Schizophrenia: Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Last updated 22 Mar 2021
Schizophrenia can cause ‘negative symptoms’ which cause a decline in functioning. Negative symptoms appear to reflect a loss of normal function. For example, sufferers may not be able to work at a job that requires the same level of skill or concentration as the job they held before they became ill, or they may lose all ability to withstand the stress of working. The illness can also affect their ability to function at home; for instance, they may be unable to complete household chores, raise their children or maintain an active social life.
Speech poverty is the inability to speak properly, characterised by lack of ability to produce fluent words; this is thought to reflect slowing or blocked thoughts. It can manifest itself as short and empty replies to questions.
Avolition is the reduction, difficulty, or inability to start and continue with goal-directed behaviour. It is often mistaken for apparent disinterest. Examples of avolition include: no longer being interested in going out and meeting with friends, no longer being interested in activities that the person used to show enthusiasm for, no longer being interested in anything, sitting in the house for many hours a day doing nothing.
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