Schizophrenia Symptoms

(Also Known As: Paranoid Schizophrenia Symptoms, Schizophrenic Symptoms, Delusional Symptoms, Psychosis Symptoms)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What are the Symptoms of Schizophrenia?

The pattern and severity of symptoms in schizophrenics may vary from each person and not all symptoms characteristic of schizophrenia may be manifested by the affected individual. There are 5 characteristics of symptoms found in schizophrenia as follows: 5


This symptom is manifested as illogical or bizarre fantasies among schizophrenics. There are common types of delusion that occur in schizophrenia as the following:

  • Delusion of reference involves the neutral environmental event perceived by a schizophrenic to have a special and personal meaning such as believing that a TV or billboard, for instance, is sending a message intended for them.
  • Delusion of persecution often involves thinking other people are making a plot against them.
  • Delusions of grandeur involve the belief that they are an important figure, such as Jesus Christ, and possess unusual power that others do not have.
  • Delusion of control involves the belief that their actions and thoughts are under the control of outside forces such as aliens. This may involve thought broadcasting, where they broadcast their thoughts to others, through insertion, such as thoughts are planted in their head by someone, and thought withdrawal, where they believe someone is robbing their thoughts.


  • Involves the sounds and sensations experienced and perceived by a schizophrenic that only exist in their mind. Auditory hallucination is the most common form such as hearing sounds and voices followed by visual hallucination.
  • The hallucination experiences in schizophrenia are usually meaningful to the person experiencing it. The voices they hear are often from those they know and it is at times abusive, vulgar and critical.
  • Hallucinations are often worse and intense when the affected person is alone.

Disorganized Speech

  • Fragmented thinking is characteristic of schizophrenia which only becomes obvious from the way the schizophrenic speaks.
  • Loose associations (rapid change from one topic to another)
  • Perseveration (repetition of words/statements)
  • Neologisms (use of words which meaning is only known to the patient)
  • Clang (meaningless use of rhyming words)

Disorganized Behavior

  • Unpredictable emotional response
  • Lack of inhibition and impulse control
  • Decline in overall daily functioning
  • Bizarre behavior with no purpose

Negative Symptoms

  • Lack of emotional expression, flat voice, lack of eye contact, blank facial expression
  • Avolition (lack of enthusiasm)
  • Catatonia (unawareness of the environment, lack of self care)
  • Alogia (difficulty with speech and inability to converse)

Each type of schizophrenia also has its own characteristic symptoms:

Paranoid Schizophrenia

  • Absurd ideas
  • Suspicious beliefs
  • Delusion of persecution
  • Delusion of grandeur

Disorganized Schizophrenia

  • Emotional indifference
  • Incomprehensible speech
  • Impaired communication skills
  • Infantile behavior
  • Peculiar facial expressions/mannerisms

Catatonic Schizophrenia

  • Hallmark of catatonic schizophrenia is movement disturbance
  • Stuporous motor signs
  • Excited motor signs

Could You Have Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia Topics

Related Conditions

Bipolar Disorder – Psychosis, Hallucinations, Delusions, Suicide, Hypomania, Hypermania
Borderline Personality Disorder – Mood Variations/Changes, Unstable Interpersonal Relationships, Dissociation
Schizotypal Personality Disorder – Social Isolation, Odd Behavior, Unconventional Beliefs, Paranoia, Social Anxiety