Communication Problems in Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a major thought disorder characterized by a disruption in thought processes, disturbance in perception field, communication problems, and socialization issues. At this point, there is no definitive treatment for schizophrenia. Once the person gets diagnosed, the condition persists and become can become chronic with a tendency to be in its severe and disabling condition.


A schizophrenic individual can manifest various signs and symptoms. In the dark ages of mental health, it is called hysteria because the behaviors and appearance of the person are alarming, in the manic stage, with episodes of hallucinations, illusions, and delusions. In short, they are frightening to look at as if an evil spirit possessed them. Until today, those who don’t understand about the mental illness tend to create a barrier between; thus, stigmatization continues.

Persons with schizophrenia have profound communication problems. Speaking to them and understanding their speech patterns can be quite frustrating, atrocious, and terrifying. Psychiatrists explained that schizophrenia is affecting the parts of the brain that are responsible for expressing messages to others as well as comprehending the words of others. Schizophrenic persons both have problems with expressive and receptive language.

Common Problems

The following are common communication problems in people with schizophrenia:

Poverty Of Speech. In medical jargon, it is also known as alogia. The person is not able to provide a substantial amount of information when asked, and the answers to the questions can be limited to one response only or not at all.

Disorganized Speech.They present a form of communication that can be incomprehensible and makes no sense to others. Examples are clang association, word salad, and neologism.

  • Clang association or glossomania are words spoken together in a rhyming manner. Rap music is an excellent example of rhyming words; however, people with schizophrenia just speak of these words without a purpose or meaning into it. An example would be, “Hallow, borrow, sparrow, tomorrow, auto.”
  • Word salad or schizophasiais a form of language that is repetitious and does not offer original message. Unlike clang association, word salad is a combination of random words spoken like a statement to convey a message. Nonetheless, to the listening ear, it just doesn’t add up. Examples, “The queen pains on exaggerated omnipotent transient plaza covering clouds,” and “Please details map red banger till they die.”
  • Neologisms are new words coined to mean a person, thing, or situation. To them, this has a significant meaning, yet a person listening cannot distinguish its real value. Example: “The swillagegoo is out to get me.”
  • Echolalia is repeating the words being heard. Thus, instead of answering a question, the person will repeat the exact words or inquisitive statement all over again.

What To Do?

Communicating with a person with schizophrenia can all lead to exasperation. Never argue with the person just to obtain the real meaning of his language. In the height of their psychotic episodes, they tend to display more erratic and erroneous forms of communication. Antipsychotic medications are beneficial in reducing the dopamine and other significant transmitters that are associated with schizophrenia. Once these neurochemicals are decreased, the symptoms are alleviated, and that includes the problems in communication. Make sure to establish a trusting relationship with the person and help in developing effective communication skills. Always remember to know what, when, and how to communicate. Furthermore, it is critical to provide encouragement and confidence towards the person.