In schizophrenia, some of the Activities of Daily Living

In this piece I, the
writer, will be discussing how schizophrenia may effect a person’s ability to
look after their physical health needs. I will describe what schizophrenia is
and the symptoms of this illness. I will also discuss how having this illness
may effect one’s ability to take care of their personal health needs.


Schizophrenia is
widely misinterpreted by many people in our society due to what can be in the
media and what people may decide as their own definition. The definition I
found to be most accurate, in my opinion, was the World Health Organisation’s
definition. They describe schizophrenia as ‘a group of disorders which involves
a complex set of disturbances of thinking, perception, affect and social
behaviour’ (WHO, 1998, p. 1).

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Symptoms of
schizophrenia may sometimes be very obvious but other symptoms may not be as
clear. There are two subcategories of symptoms of schizophrenia; positive
symptoms and negative symptoms.

Positive symptom can
be defined as ‘thinking or behaviour that the person did not have before they
became ill’ (, 2014). Some examples of positive
symptoms are hallucinations such as hearing voices and delusions.

Negative symptoms
‘describe thoughts or behaviour that the person had before they became ill but
now no longer have or have to a lesser extent’ (IBID). Examples of such
symptoms are lethargy, apathy, anhedonia or flat affect.


According to Roper,
Logan and Tierney, there are twelve Activities of Daily Living, and one must be
able to complete these to adequately be able to take care of themselves (Roper
et al, 1996). Due to the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, some of the Activities
of Daily Living may not be possible to the person diagnosed with schizophrenia.
With negative symptoms such as lethargy and anhedonia it’s possible that one
may not be able to complete some of the ADL’s, such as maintaining a safe

Maintaining a
Safe Environment: One of the
negative symptoms of schizophrenia is depersonalisation. This means the person
has an altered sense of reality and ‘distorted perception of time’
(, last accessed 30/01/18). This may affect the person’s ability to
maintain a safe environment. If the person is paranoid they may believe that
people are out to get them and they may think self defence could be an option,
this may mean they have knives or other dangerous objects around their house
which is not safe.

Eating and
Drinking: Another symptom of
schizophrenia is paranoia