Schizophrenia - Symptoms

Because schizophrenia's cause is unknown, the disease is defined by a set of symptoms. Most patients have some, but not all, of these symptoms. The most common symptoms are delusions and hallucinations, which may include hearing imaginary voices.

Another common symptom is called insertion or withdrawal of thought. This term refers to the patient's belief that someone or something can put thoughts in the patient's head or take them out. For example, some patients believe that God, the FBI, or alien beings talk to them and tell them how to behave.

Disorganized thinking and behavior are also characteristic of schizophrenia. A patient may have trouble completing a sentence, thinking through an idea, or answering a question clearly. He or she may also have trouble carrying out routine tasks such as tying shoe laces, washing, or getting dressed.

Those suffering from schizophrenia may exhibit other abnormal behavior. For example a patient may show no emotions, or be unable to speak, or may avoid taking any action at all.

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