usually begins when people are teenagers or young adults, but it
can begin later on. Symptoms must be present for at
least 6 months in order for schizophrenia to be diagnosed.
The symptoms of schizophrenia are generally categorized with
positive or negative symptoms.
- Positive symptoms -
(the outward or more visible symptoms) include delusions,
hostility, hallucinations, feelings of persecution,
disorganized thinking, incoherence or excitement.
- Negative symptoms - (the inward or less visible symptoms) include emotional
withdrawal or isolation, apathy or social withdrawal, lack
of emotion or inappropriate emotion, or inability to follow
the flow of conversation.
These symptoms can make it
difficult for people to get along with others, hold jobs, go to
school, or even take care of themselves. Getting
appropriate treatment depends on the accurate diagnosis of a
qualified professional, since these symptoms may be associated
with other illnesses or with using alcohol or drugs like LSD.
Other schizophrenic disorders
include: schizophreniform disorder, which is the same as
schizophrenia except that symptoms are present for less than 6
months; and schizo-affective disorder, an uninterrupted period
of illness during which, at some time, symptoms of mania and/or
depression (see mood disorders) are present along with positive
and/or negative symptoms of schizophrenia.