How Do Schizophrenic People Behave?

How Do Schizophrenic People Behave?
How Do Schizophrenic People Behave? (Image: Image courtesy of Microsoft Office online)

People with schizophrenia have varied behaviors. The symptoms and signs of schizophrenia are often expressed through a person's behavior and can range from one extreme to the other. A schizophrenic can react and behave based upon delusions or hallucinations (which often occur around a theme such as jealousy), speak incoherently, be catatonic, not take care of their hygiene or be unable to take care of their daily needs such as preparing meals.


The person with schizophrenia may act upon delusions. These delusions cause the person to believe they are being followed, tricked, monitored or tormented. The person may also believe that environmental cues---such as song lyrics, gestures or passages in books---are directed to them. As the person acts on these beliefs, he may begin acting out the song lyrics or take extreme measures to ensure they are not being followed such as drive many miles "out of the way" just to go home.


Hallucinations can occur within the five senses: touching, hearing, tasting, seeing or smelling. A person suffering from a tactile (touching) hallucination may feel that something is crawling on them constantly. He may constantly rub or scratch the skin to remove the sensation. Auditory hallucinations may cause a schizophrenic to constantly cover their ears to stop the sounds. The person with schizophrenia may also talk to people who are not there. He could be responding to a voice or several voices speaking to them or about them.

Interactions with Others

The speech patterns of a schizophrenic are often disorganized. A conversation may begin on one subject and go to another without any apparent connection to the previous subject. The schizophrenic person may not advise the listener that the conversation topic is being changed. Answers to questions will not be complete or the response may be completely unrelated to the question. The range of emotion of a person with schizophrenia is restricted. There may be a lack of eye contact or body language in response to the environment. In severe cases, someone with schizophrenia could have catatonic motor behavior. Catatonic behavior is a rigidity of body language or posture; there could be a resistance to being moved. On the other hand, there could be excessive motor activity in the absence of any relevant external stimuli.


A schizophrenic may have flat affect. In light of what should be exciting or disturbing news, the person with schizophrenia may not react at all or react inappropriately. He may not have any facial expressions. The person may have a limited range of emotional expression.

Daily living

A schizophrenic may be unable to take care of themselves. He may not be able to prepare meals or take care of their hygiene properly. The person may not show an interest in any work-related activities.


Someone suffering from schizophrenia may be suicidal. In these cases, please seek a doctor's help immediately while seeking long-term assistance for the patient.

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