Do negative symptoms get better with time?

I recently had my first psychotic episode and was diagnosed with schizophrenia; it’s only been a little over a month. I’ve been taking the antipsychotics and the positive symptoms haven’t really been a problem. The negative symptoms, though, have started to get bad. For the first month they were okay and manageable, but the past week and a half they’ve really started to wear me down. It’s been difficult to even do basic things like shower and brush my teeth, all I feel like I can do is lay down and eat. This only started happening recently like I said, it wasn’t much of a problem in October. I even started taking an antidepressant to try and help counter this. My cognitive functioning seems fine but avolition and anhedonia have started to get the better of me. Is this something that will become manageable with time and the antidepressant will help? What have your experiences in dealing with negative symptoms been?

well they do disappear with time if your life’s quality became better…just work on getting your self comfortable with life :slight_smile:

Mine seemed to worsen a little. All I want to do now is sleep for 14 hours, and do a little excersize and my hobbies. My positive symptoms decreased now I am 45 and my anxiety is gone unless I have to get up in the morning, i sleep until 2-5pm. I am trying vitamin supplements to help with my negative symptoms and they seem to help a little.

My first gut reaction was no, they will always be with you. But personal experience, if I look back, it seems that my negative symptoms were much worse shortly following an episode. It’s been a few years since a “break” for me and it seems like the negative symptoms have gotten better, but haven’t disappeared totally. But now I’m able to stay awake much more, I talk a little more, and am somewhat interested in things again. So I think maybe it’s all linked in a cycle? I don’t know if that makes sense. But yes, shortly after psychosis, I felt terrible and those negative symptoms were definitely a real issue for me. Now, not as bad.

I still have negative symptoms, but its not as bad as it was when i was on high dose,
My friends were calling me grandpa, but they didnt know i was on med for psychosis, i keep my illness confidential.

I think that when one is younger the positive symptoms can be very intense - as one ages the positive symptoms subside more but the issue becomes more negative symptoms - this is not the case for everyone

This is from a NY times article

A person with schizophrenia may have the following negative symptoms:

Lack of self confidence
Lack of emotions
Colorless speaking tones
Inappropriate reactions to events (such as laughing hysterically over a loss)
A general loss of interest in life and the ability to experience pleasure
Lack of responsiveness and poor sociability often appear in childhood as the first indications of schizophrenia. Certain imaging techniques suggest that these findings are based on biologic changes in specific parts of the brain. In many patients, however, negative symptoms do not appear until after positive symptoms develop. Negative symptoms tend to be more common than positive symptoms in older patients and typically persist after positive symptoms have been treated.


From my experience, I have had residual schizophrenia for 19 years so the worst symptom has been the avolition and less intense anhedonia.
I hope that your case has better outcome than mine.

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Since it’s happened mostly in the last month and not there before I’d say they are side effects rather that symptoms.

I wish I had an answer for myself. Another medicine might be better. Lowering the dose as far as possible helped me with lethargy but not avolition. ‘Typical’ psychotics work better for some people without the same set of side effects.

Mine haven’t gotten better over time.

I feel like I’ve been battling negative symptoms much more then positive ones.

That loss of emotional response… poverty of speech… loss of motivation… loss of empathy… I just feel disconnected from my life and any joy in it… and I was starting to fail at basic self preserving tasks. No hunger, no real thirst… anything.

It’s just as bad as depression… only … with depression… at least I’m feeling something… I’m aware of what day it is.

Having my emotions and my cognitive abilities just wiped clean from my head… made me want to cry if I could.

What helped me was adding a kick start dose of Latuda to my med mix and cutting the Seroquel down… also cutting the Zoloft… that at least got me up and moving.

After that it was CBT to get back into the swing of things… relearning things and getting to know my emotions again… and it’s taken therapy to get myself back to this level of functioning.

Yes… I’m out of my negative swing for now… meds… therapy… keeping an eye on my moods… not letting myself sit too long and stew on stuff… talking to my therapist…

Did I mention the meds? That really did kick start my upward swing.

Unfortunately when I am not really depressed - which I havent been lately, I still have lack of motivation - even with the lower doses of Risperdal. As I am lowering the dose, 2 mg of Risperdal I am feeling more pleasure, but the avolition or lack of motivation has worsened a bit. This tells me that it is probably connected to either SZ or BP psychosis.
I am kind of disappointed, I thought that lowering the Risperdal dose down to 2 mg from 4 mg originally would make me more motivated - I am worse! I guess the APs like Risperdal help with avolition - lack of motivation!?!?

Thanks for all the replies. I’m actually feeling a bit better tonight.

My negative symptoms were a problem for me for a long time, with meds or without meds. I cannot say if it gets better or worse, unless you go into remission. I went into remission for five years and had an interest in life again, but then when I got sick the negative symptoms came back. Its been two years since they came back, and are usually constant.

You wrote" …I recently had my first psychotic episode and was diagnosed with schizophrenia;
it’s only been a little over a month"

-i think that,after the early onset of sz ,the person with schizophrenia has spends one-two years within his inner new psychological problems which has comes as a result of sz effectiveness,and during this time ,he does not gives any attention towards any thing other

-thus,he has not the ability to uses his mind to write such a scientific article, because he suffers from language disorder ,

it is impossible for him to using the medical terms like "positive and negative symptoms after one month ,and mainly he has not the ability to perceives any concept to what so-called the negative or positive symptoms

after one month,he has not the ability to has such these observations ,he is absent about the actual world by the effectiveness of medication and hallucination activity