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Delusions / Delusions are false beliefs about which a person is firmly convinced despite the absence of concrete evidence. Such false beliefs must be distinguished from culture-specific beliefs that are held by an entire group or society. People with delusions may believe they are being persecuted, have special gifts or powers, or that their thoughts or actions are under the control of an external force. The delusions may be fantastic or bizarre (e.g., being able to control the weather or being in communication with aliens from another world). People holding these false beliefs may be very fearful that they are going to be harmed or may act in unusual ways because of the beliefs.

Hallucinations / Hallucinations are imagined sensory perceptions. The most common type of hallucinations that occur in schizophrenia are auditory in which the person hears imagined voices. Sometimes people with schizophrenia hold ongoing conversations with these voices. Sometimes the voices give commands or comment on the character and actions of the person with schizophrenia. Less common types of hallucinations include seeing, feeling, tasting, or smelling things that are very real to the person but which are not actually there. The person may perceive ordinary colours and shapes in a distorted fashion and feel that they possess an urgent personal significance.

Thought Disorder / People with thought disorder have confused thinking that is evident in what they say and how they say it. The person's speech may be difficult to follow because it jumps from one subject to another with little or no logical connection. Interruptions in the train of thought (thought blocks) may occur. The syntax may be bizarre and appear to make sense only to the speaker. In some cases, people believe their thoughts are being broadcast or stolen from them, or that their thoughts are being controlled or influenced by an external agent (e.g., an alien, a demon). These phenomena are referred to as thought echo, broadcasting, insertion, or withdrawal. In severe cases, speech may be so jumbled and disjointed that it is impossible to understand.

Bizarre Behaviour / Some people with schizophrenia behave in strange ways or transgress social mores (e.g., undressing in public). They may make odd gestures or incongruous facial expressions and grimaces or assume strange postures for no apparent purpose.
    Positive symptoms are relatively easy to recognise because they are so obviously different from normal. However, the presence of positive symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions does not necessarily mean that the person has schizophrenia. These same symptoms may also occur in people who abuse alcohol or drugs or who have severe depression, mania, brain injury, or certain medical illnesses.
     Because prominent positive symptoms make it very difficult for the person to function socially, they often result in admission to a psychiatric hospital. Fortunately, antipsychotic medication can eliminate or reduce the intensity of positive symptoms and lessen the chance that they will recur, although the person may still be affected by negative symptoms. A relapse can occur if the person experiences a stressful life event, long-term stressful relationship, or if medications are stopped or the dosage reduced. Relapses can also occur without any apparent trigger even when the person has continued to take a dosage of medication that was previously adequate.
     People with schizophrenia may speak and behave in odd or bizarre ways that cause others to fear and avoid them, thus perpetuating the stigma associated with the disorder.
     The difficulty that individuals with schizophrenia have in communicating verbally may contribute to the stigma associated with the disorder.
     Positive symptoms are associated with the kind of stigma attached to madness. Delusions, hallucinations, disturbed behaviour, and an altered perception of reality are characteristic of those who are considered "crazy" by lay persons. The strange behaviour of those with schizophrenia raises the fear among others that they may lose control of their own behaviour.

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