Q. Doctors mentioned that a schizophrenic patient has negative symptoms — what is a negative symptom?
A. Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. When the doctor mentioned negative symptoms, he was referring to one of the three groups that the symptoms of schizophrenia fall into: positive, negative, and cognitive. Positive symptoms are ones in which the patient loses touch with reality (hallucinations, delusions, thought disorders, movement disorders). Negative symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors (reduced expression of emotions, reduced feelings of pleasure, difficulty conducting activities, reduced speaking). Cognitive symptoms are changes in memory or other aspects of thinking (poor ability to comprehend information and make decisions, trouble focusing/paying attention). Resources: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml