What are negative symptoms?

Under the influence of negative symptoms, patients’ abilities may be lost or attenuated. These negative symptoms include:
Blunted affect
Reduced intensity and variety in emotional expression; f
lat expression; and not reacting to circumstances at all

Restriction in thinking ability and language fluency
Alogia; poverty of speech, and lack of additional, unprompted content
Lack of motivation
Lack of desire to form relationships: asociality, unwillingness to go to school or work, hypersomnia, and low activity level, increasing lack of care about own appearance and personal hygiene

It is more likely that negative symptoms cripple a patient’s life quality more than positive symptoms do. As such, caregivers nursing people who exhibit negative symptoms may feel an onerous burden. In general, negative symptoms last longer than positive ones in the majority of patients, and are more difficult to treat. There exists a close relationship between improving negative symptoms and enhancing own functions, which include independent living abilities and social abilities.  

Family members may find it difficult to assess whether the patient is under the influence of negative symptoms, because these symptoms are similar to normal behaviours. Furthermore, many pertinent factors are involved, for example, medication side-effects, and mood problems. Contrary to positive symptoms, we may pay less attention to negative symptoms, but mistakenly attribute that our relationship with the patient is strained. We should be patient in encouraging the patients to overcome the difficulties brought by negative symptoms.