Psychotic disorders are characterised in general by fundamental and characteristic distortions of thinking and perception. A requirement for a symptom to be recognised as psychotic is that a person must lack insight into its unreality.
In men, schizophrenia symptoms typically start in the early to mid-20s. In women, symptoms typically begin in the late 20s. It's uncommon for children to be diagnosed with schizophrenia and rare for those older than age 45.
Schizophrenia involves a range of problems with thinking (cognition), behaviour and emotions. Signs and symptoms may vary, but usually involve delusions, hallucinations or disorganised speech, and reflect an impaired ability to function.
A psychotic patient is out of touch with reality. This state of mind can manifest in one or more of five basic types of symptoms:
Negative symptoms: these symptoms are called negative because they give the impression that something has been taken away from the patient. They include reduced range of emotion (flat or blunted affect), reduced fluency of speech, and loss of interest to do things.