negative symptoms of schizophrenia

Last reviewed 01/2018

The chronic syndrome is characterised by negative symptoms, which include:

  • Lack of motivation and initiative; decreased activity
  • Social withdrawal
  • Abnormal social behaviour, such as overfamiliarity with strangers, sexual disinhibition
  • poverty of thought and speech
  • Mood disorder
    • blunting of affect
    • incongruity
    • depression

Such symptoms may be exacerbated in a stultifying environment, such as was characteristic of many large asylums in the first half of the 20th century. The negative symptoms are strongly associated with chronic social and vocational impairment.