Do schizophrenics experience emotions?

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a major mental illness that affects the way the brain processes information.  Research on schizophrenia and emotions has revealed that people with schizophrenia lack the ability to recognize and express their emotions.

Schizophrenia is a major mental illness that affects the way the brain processes information. Research on schizophrenia and emotions has revealed that people with schizophrenia lack the ability to recognize and express their emotions.

Schizophrenia is one of the most debilitating and relentless mental illnesses. It usually appears between the ages of 16 and 30 in people at risk. So, unfortunately, it affects people during their most productive years. If left untreated, schizophrenia can have a detrimental effect on everyone around them, from friends and family to their community. Much effort must be made to understand this disease and how those affected process thoughts and emotions.

Schizophrenia is a major mental illness. It affects how the brain processes information. Those affected usually suffer from psychosis, which means they find it difficult to process their emotions, think clearly, and know what is real and not real. Affected people can sometimes see or hear things that aren’t there, called hallucinations. Or, they may have ideas that aren’t true or abnormal, known as delusions. Those experiencing psychosis may feel the need to isolate themselves. They may be irritable or depressed and have difficulty interpreting the emotions of others.

Schizophrenia affects more than 2 million adult women and men in America each year. This represents approximately 1 in 100 people worldwide. Researchers studying the disease assess adults who have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, then investigate patient records from the present, then work their way back to identify past emotional deficits.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Symptoms of schizophrenia can include:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Problems thinking clearly
  • Unusual speech and thought
  • Having trouble making decisions and making plans
  • suicidal thoughts
  • Difficulty understanding the motivations and emotions of others

Many of these symptoms are labeled as positive or negative. Positive symptoms are so called because they are not things that people normally feel, but additional experiences. Examples would be delusions and hallucinations. Some negative symptoms would be inability to feel emotions, loss of pleasure, loss of interest in others, and lack of inspiration to do anything. They are considered negative because something is missing.

How are schizophrenics perceived in society?

Popular culture’s portrayal of schizophrenia paints an image of this population as outsiders with split personalities. They are seen as paranoid murderers roaming the streets ready to attack anyone. This is a stereotype and grossly inaccurate. He shows the disease as a simple combination of paranoia, hallucinations and delusions. These symptoms are associated with schizophrenia, but they are not the most distinctive. These are positive symptoms. The negative symptoms of schizophrenia are more relentless and widespread. They affect the quality of life of people with schizophrenia much more. It is the negative symptoms that most affect the emotions of those who suffer from the disease.

How do schizophrenics appear emotionally?

Research on schizophrenia and emotions has revealed that people with schizophrenia lack the ability to recognize and express their emotions. Areas intact were also found, including an ability to have an emotional experience and, when presented with emotionally suggestive material, activation of brain areas related to emotional processing.

A typical negative symptom of people with schizophrenia is known as flat affect, which means they often appear emotionally flat and lack emotional expressiveness. Research that focuses on schizophrenia and diminished emotional functioning shows that looking flat is extremely debilitating. The flat appearance is seen more often in men than in women and does not respond well to treatment.

People with schizophrenia have difficulty integrating emotional awareness into context. When shown emotional content, they report experiencing different feelings than one might expect. Differences in brain arousal are typically seen in areas that house cognitive control. These areas of the brain include parts of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, so much research is focused on this area.

How do people with schizophrenia process emotions?

People with schizophrenia have difficulty predicting their emotions. Research in brain imaging, behavioral health and psychophysiology shows that they cannot enjoy or maintain their emotional experiences. This research shows that the first episode of schizophrenia exhibits the flat affect that is an early symptom of the disease. The findings are based on clinical studies of facial expressions of emotion in affected individuals. It shows the relationship between flat affect and deterioration in quality of life.

The research findings led to the question of whether flat affect is just a decrease in facial emotion recognition, or whether there are other areas of dysfunction related to flat affect. Is there anything else affecting their quality of life and adjustment? Relapses are when symptoms get worse. When symptoms improve or disappear, it is called remission. When hallucinations and delusions worsen, affected individuals may have problems with:

  • think clearly
  • Accomplish daily tasks
  • Problem solving
  • Decision making

People with schizophrenia may not be able to control their emotions. They may not be able to interact normally with friends, family, community members, or medical staff.


Schizophrenia is the most disabling mental illness.
See the answer

How is schizophrenia diagnosed?

Mental health professionals diagnose schizophrenia by assessing a person’s behavior and symptoms. They will only make this diagnosis after spending a significant period of time with the affected person. They also carefully gather information and thoroughly research other causes.

There is no specific test for schizophrenia and no specific warning that someone has it. Just having delusions or hallucinations does not necessarily mean that a person has schizophrenia. This can make getting the right diagnosis long and difficult. There are many medical conditions and other mental illnesses that can present in the same way. Tests like brain scans are sometimes used. This is done to make sure the symptoms are not caused by other brain conditions or medical issues. Once properly diagnosed, the best treatment for someone with schizophrenia is the use of psychological treatment, medication, and community support.


People with schizophrenia are visibly less expressive than those without the disease. Emotions may not be expressed outwardly, although their brain’s emotional response is internally activated.

Latest mental health news

Medical examination on 05/25/2022



Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, CA: “Emotional deficits in people with schizophrenia”.

Tufts University’s Emotion, Brain, and Behavior Laboratory: “Emotion and Schizophrenia.”

Your health in mind: “Schizophrenia”.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button