A Brief Introduction to “How I Experience …”

A couple years ago, I took some time writing about how my psychotic symptoms affect me. In the next few days, I will be posting them seeing as they don’t serve much use sitting on my computer untouched. This post is to give you a brief context of what schizophrenia is and what categories they can be divided up into.

According to healthguide.org’s brief and general description of schizophrenia, it is a disorder that “makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally.” It also says that schizophrenia can be successfully managed. While it can be difficult, I’d like to think I’m an example of that.

Symptoms can, for the most part, be divided into 4 different categories. Positive symptoms, negative symptoms, affective symptoms, and cognitive symptoms. Positive symptoms are by no means positive in terms of benefitting from them; they include things like hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking and varying degrees of irritability. The reason they are called positive symptoms, is that they are symptoms that other people might be able to identify that the schizophrenic person is experiencing, for example when I was hallucinating that a nuclear bomb had detonated in the city I was living in, my friends were able to see the panic in my face as I watched them getting vaporized by the blast.

Negative symptoms are less noticeable by another person, they include behavior changes or discrepancies including lack of drive, emotional unresponsiveness, and withdrawn social behaviors.

Another category of symptoms is affective symptoms. These include depression, anxiety, loneliness and suicidal thoughts. I have never really experienced many of these symptoms. There is one that had plagued me for quite some time, but I will save that for another post. I think describing it to you now would be a little too much if you don’t know about schizophrenia and how it works.

The last category of symptoms is cognitive symptoms. These include difficulty with concentration and memory. Examples of this would be inattentiveness, slowness of thought, and lack of insight of the illness itself. The slowness of thought is one that is a real problem for me. In future posts, I will elaborate on how all of these affect me.

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