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Schizophrenia Symptoms: Hallucinations and Inappropriate Expressions 


Schizophrenia Symptoms: Hallucinations 

schizophrenia symptomsOne of the most noticeable of the schizophrenia symptoms are hallucinations. Hallucinations are perceptions in the absence of external stimuli.  By far the most common of these misperceptions are referred to as auditory hallucinations, in which people hear sounds and voices which seem to come from outside of their heads.  These voices may give commands or provide warnings of danger and appear absolutely real to the individual hallucinating. 

Researchers have found that individuals with schizophrenia symptoms such as auditory hallucinations actually produce the nerve signals of the sounds, inside of  their brains and then believe that external sources are responsible. One study of these auditory schizophrenia symptoms measured blood flow in Brocaís Area, the region of the brain that helps people to produce speech. 

These schizophrenia symptoms can also involve any of the other senses. Tactile hallucinations may take the form of tingling, burning, or electric-shock sensations. Somatic hallucinations feel as if something is happening inside the body, such as a snake crawling inside the stomach. Visual hallucinatory schizophrenia symptoms may produce vague perceptions of colors or clouds or distinct visions of people or objects. Individuals with gustatory hallucinations may find that their food or drink tastes strange, and people with olfactory hallucinations smell odors that no one else smells such as the smell of poison or smoke.  

These types of schizophrenia symptoms are not mutually exclusive.  Frequently, symptoms such as hallucinations and delusional ideas occur together. For example, a woman hearing hallucinatory commands to take some type of action, may also have the delusions that the commands are being placed in her head by someone else. A man with persecution delusions may also hallucinate the smell of poison in his bedroom and the taste of poison in his coffee. With schizophrenia symptoms, it is often difficult to tell which may come first, with delusions and hallucinations feeding upon each other. 

Schizophrenia Symptoms: Inappropriate Affect 

Another of the more common schizophrenia symptoms is inappropriate affect, in which emotions are totally inappropriate for a given situation.  An individual may smile while making somber statements or being told terrible news, or appear upset in situations which would make most people happy.  Frequently, they also undergo inappropriate shifts in mood.  During a tender conversation with his wife, for example, a man with these schizophrenia symptoms may suddenly start yelling obscenities or complaining about her inadequacies. 

In many cases these emotions are merely a response to other features of the disorder.  Consider a woman with these schizophrenia symptoms who smiles when told her husband has a serious illness.  She may not actually be happy about the news; in fact, she may not be understanding or even hearing the information.  She may, for example, be responding instead to another of the many stimuli which are constantly flooding her senses, perhaps even a joke coming from an auditory hallucination. 

Information provided by Ronald J. Comerís Abnormal Psychology 

By Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist  (Health Psychology 

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