Dimension of Disorganization Affected persons lose their train of thought during talks, create haphazard subject connections (tangentially shifting from one topic to another, seemingly at random, or on the most tenuous of associations), and respond to unrelated queries. They may appear confused about what they are trying to say.
Symptoms first identified by psychiatrists in the early 20th century, the "positive" symptoms include delusions and hallucinations. These symptoms are still considered essential for making a diagnosis of schizophrenia. However, recent research has shown that even when these symptoms are present, individuals with schizophrenia can be very impaired emotionally and socially. Therefore, the negative and positive symptoms do not always go together - people can have many symptoms without being diagnosed with schizophrenia - and the presence of delusions or hallucinations is not enough to guarantee improvement with treatment.
Delusions are fixed beliefs that are completely false but feel true because the person believes them. For example, a patient might believe he is married to a beautiful woman named Linda. If someone asked him how he could possibly know this was true, he would have no answer. But because the belief makes sense to him, it isn't really a delusion. It's a belief.
Hallucinations are perceptions that don't exist outside of the person's mind. The patient might see images of Linda when she isn't there or hear her voice when nobody else can hear it.
Symptoms in Children and Adolescents
The Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms depicts the multidimensionality of symptoms, their interactions, and possible stimulation. The idea states that the formation of a symptom is preceded by the interplay of antecedent elements, which might be physiological, psychological, or situational. Thus, the theory considers symptoms to be independent events rather than merely responses to an underlying disease process.
The theory was first proposed by Jules Angst in 1894. He suggested that symptoms are responses that serve to eliminate or reduce internal tension caused by some previous experience.
He also suggested that symptoms can be divided into two broad categories: pleasant and unpleasant. Pleasant symptoms include sensations such as warmth or tingling that signal recovery from illness or injury. Unpleasant symptoms include feelings of pain or discomfort that keep us away from harmful situations.
Angst's idea has been widely accepted since its introduction but many recent theories on symptoms have been proposed since then. One major advancement in this field was the emergence of cognitive theories in the 1970s. These theories try to explain symptoms by looking at them as consequences of our thinking processes instead of simply viewing them as signs of an underlying problem.
Cognitive theories include attribution models, information processing models, and expectancy-value models. Attribution models assume that we infer the cause of our symptoms by making judgments about how much stress to assign to different factors in our lives.
Individuals with trait negative affect, which refers to a greater proclivity to experience more intense and frequent negative emotions (Clark, Watson, & Mineka, 1994), may inadvertently elicit more negative events in their lives, particularly interpersonal events that confer the highest risk for depression. For example, someone who tends to be pessimistic about his or her ability to perform tasks likely will encounter more failure than success.
Trait negative affect also has been linked to anxiety disorders. For example, individuals who suffer from panic disorder tend to experience more intense and frequent feelings of fear than others. This hypervigilance to potential threats may lead to an increased likelihood of encountering danger even in situations that are not actually dangerous.
Finally, people who have trait negative affect are at greater risk for developing depression. Depression is a mental illness that causes severe symptoms such as sadness, loss of interest, poor appetite, sleep problems, low energy, and difficulty concentrating. It is estimated that up to 20% of college students will experience some form of depression during their lifetime.
Negative thoughts are another important aspect of trait negative affect. People who have this tendency tend to think negatively about themselves and their surroundings. These thought patterns may cause them to engage in behaviors designed to reduce negative feelings, such as drinking alcohol or using drugs.
Negative affect syndrome, or NAS, is a general psychological condition characterized by powerful negative moods and feelings that interrupt or hinder normal functioning and have a negative influence on well-being (Henriques, 2013). People with this condition experience frequent intense depressions or episodes of depression. They also may have problems concentrating, making decisions, or controlling their behaviors.
Negative affect syndrome affects about 1 in 20 people at some point in their lives. It often begins in adolescence or early adulthood and can last for months or years. However many people who experience negative affect episodes are not diagnosed with the disorder because the symptoms go away on their own or through treatment (Henriques, 2013).
People who suffer from negative affect syndrome experience several symptoms related to depression. These include:
Loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities.
Feelings of guilt or remorse over insignificant errors or sins.
Trouble sleeping, eating properly, or exercising regularly.
Low energy levels most of the time.
Poor concentration skills or difficulty making decisions.
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
Unexplained physical symptoms such as pain, diarrhea, or constipation.
Impulsiveness and hyperactivity
The following signs and symptoms may occur depending on the type of dissociative disorder you have: Memory loss of specific time periods, events, individuals, and personal information (amnesia). A sensation of being disconnected from oneself and one's emotions. A skewed and unreal perspective of the people and things around you. These problems may or may not be accompanied by psychotropic drug use.
Dissociative disorders are brain diseases that can cause you to feel disconnected from yourself or your surroundings, use drugs or have other abnormal behaviors. They often begin in childhood or early adulthood and can last for life. There are two main types of dissociative disorders: Dissociative identity disorder (DID) and dissociative amnesia (DA). These terms are used interchangeably, but they describe different conditions with different treatments. In DID, there are multiple personalities that develop later in life after a traumatic event. Each personality has its own distinct memory, sense of self, and belief system. People with this condition may deny having more than one self or may not realize that they are different persons. They may also exhibit other unusual behaviors such as stealing to avoid punishment if their alters do not understand why they were punished.
In DA, there is a sudden loss of all memories from before a certain date. Patients may believe it to be a single incident or may think there are several gaps in their memory.