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What are cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
Cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia may be difficult for other people to notice. For instance, you may not be aware that a person with schizophrenia has trouble understanding what people are saying. He may not be able to process information like others do, leaving him unable to follow directions and make decisions.

Other cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia include distractibility and poor attention span. People with schizophrenia may have trouble remembering things, too. Another cognitive symptom of schizophrenia is the lack of insight into the disease. People often have such an unrealistic understanding of reality that they do not realize they have a problem. These symptoms can make it hard to maintain a job and live independently.
Cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia include problems paying attention, remembering things, and concentrating. The person may get easily distracted. He/she may not be able to read a book or watch a television programme, and may often forget things.
Mark Moronell, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia affect one's mind, brain and thoughts. Often, people with schizophrenia experience cognitive symptoms like disorganized thinking and thought disorders. Thought disorders make it difficult for people with schizophrenia to think clearly, and cause them to have problems communicating their thoughts. Another cognitive symptom is cognitive impairment. According to the Merck Manuals Online Medical Library, cognitive impairment can lead to:
  • Problem solving difficulties
  • Trouble concentrating, remembering things, and focusing on books, television or movies
  • Difficulty with organization and following directions
  • Lacking insight and understanding of one's illness
These cognitive symptoms can be some of the most debilitating symptoms of schizophrenia, making it difficult for people to take care of themselves or maintain responsibilities.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.