Hallucinations and Inappropriate Expressions
Schizophrenia Symptoms: Hallucinations
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Information provided by
Ronald J. Comerís Abnormal Psychology
By Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed
Psychologist (Health Psychology
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