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Terminology

What is a negative symptom and what is a positive symptom?

They are not what I initially thought, when I started talking with psychiatrists in 1998. But it is helpful to understand both concepts. In psychiatry or mental health, a ‘negative symptom’ refers to the abnormal absence of a feature; for instance, the absence of motivation in a patient; as with a person not having the motivation to get out of bed. Conversely, a ‘positive symptom’ refers to the abnormal presence of a feature; for instance, the presence of paranoia in a patient; as with a person having delusions of persecution and self-importance.

By Stephen Plustwik

'In the face of all my foes I am a reproach, an object of scorn to my neighbours and of fear to my friends. Those who see me in the street run far away from me. I am like a dead man, forgotten in men's hearts, like a thing thrown away.'—Psalm 31[30]:12–13 (Grail).