Negative symptoms - do they get better?

I became psychotic 10 months ago and have come a long way in recovery. The positive symptoms (mainly visual hallucinations and paranoia) have been brought under control by the medication (risperidal) and a lot of work on my part to find stability.

I am very much afflicted by the negative symptoms which were never present in the early psychosis, which I am wondering about.

My mind is blank 90% of the time and when thoughts do enter my head I have difficulty steering them or they slip away. No inner monologue.
Complete lack of emotion and passion
Anhedonia - cannot feel physical pleasure whatsoever, even sexual.
Do not have any feelings toward people I once loved.

I am trying to find ways to cope with these but I am wondering if any of you have had success in recovering from these symptoms and if so, what helped?


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I had a remission of negative symptoms when I came off Lexapro, a common SSRI. I have no negative symptoms anymore, just controlling my positives with antipsychotics.

it was hard bc i had all of this as well and i waited 7 years on it until i finally had a med change,

things got better for me after that but i had to experiment a bit, ability didn’t work and almost hospitalised me so its a really tricky thing to do,

glad your positive symptoms are under control just now though :thumbsup:

welcome to the forum btw :slight_smile:


i have minimal postive symptoms and under control. - my first psychosis was 7 years ago
my negatives actually progressed in the last year and a half. it seems to be slightly improving now with lesser duration.

in october i had a 4 week period of no symptoms negative or positive . that was the first time thats happened in 4 years

i usually get a lot of flat expression lack of emotion but that is improving a lot.

the main symptom right now is - no motivation, avolition - if this improved id be so happy

i dont take any meds. so i know it isnt meds causing it.

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Thanks for your replies. I’m glad things are moving forward for you guys. :slight_smile:

I think finding the right meds is important for getting your emotions, feelings and passions back. Keep on doing the things you once loved to do.

I am experiencing lack of emotion too. I always want to be upright, but often end up doing things contradict with my initial intention.

If there is no hearing voices or bilateral dialogue with hidden imaginary people,
your case is irrelevant the schizophrenia {the main character of the psychosis}

look at the aspects of differences:
You said " when thoughts do enter my head "
while the schizophrenic person says that " when I hear the voices "
or says " some people can read my thoughts "

you said "no inner monologue "
this is wrong expression,because ;
1-any normal person “person without sz” have inner monologue,because he can talk with himself,even if he is deaf /blind or health /sick or whatsoever
2-the schizophrenic person suffer from bilateral dialogue with hidden imaginary persons,and have not the ability to have inner monologue with himself most time of waking,viz the main suffering of the schizophrenic is the impossibility to do inner dialogue with owner oneself because he has bilateral dialogue with hidden persons INSTEAD

I’m still struggling with negative symptoms, even on my meds. I don’t know when they will get better, but I hope they do. I feel blank and dead much of the time and have virtually no motivation and interest in life.

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I was very lucky in that my meds helped me get moving from my Negative symptoms.

I was in pretty deep… shutting down in a big way. Numb, blank… nothing to say… no motivation to even move. Just sitting in my own empty head.

It was the meds that helped melt the wax and let me get up and moving. After that it was CBT to get back in the swing… and get the life skills back. It also helped me keep the emotions in perspective.

I hate the negative symptoms so much more then the positive ones.

Good luck.


I’m glad you’re no longer suffering. Out of interest, what where the meds that helped?

I noticed the wax start to melt about a month after Latuda was added at 60 mg… (twice a day)

The Seroquel was cut from 150 mg to 50 mg (twice a day)

and the Zoloft got taken away.

I’ve been at the game for decades, and this remains for me.

Just hope that new generation of anti-psychotic will help to eliminate the negative symptoms.

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Yeah I’m looking forward to trying those.

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This is because some of the newer drugs are not very sedating at all and are considered “activating”. Latuda is a perfect example- I tried it and it just made me worse, I need some degree of sedation, and Geodon, my main medication, is mildly sedating, less so than most others but still, I notice that it keeps me easy going. I would suggest Abilify or Latuda, perhaps Clozapine, all of these drugs are known for improving negative symptoms more so than the other anitpsychotics.

My case is low negative symptoms, the “madman” kind- restless, irritable, cold and callous, that is my natural state. I am also on Xanax, a moderate dose of 1mg every 6-8 hours. It keeps me level and helps me feel like my mind is relaxed enough to take things one at a time.

But my case is the “raving mad” kind. I was a gym rat and martial artist when it hit me in full force. I became socially withdrawn and introverted, it was unlike my old self. Today I am extroverted again, I mean I am on here out of boredom because it’s winter break and my GRE books come in like three days. I am going to a new year’s party tonight, cooking dinner right now, for example. I mean I used to exercise excessively and would drink to calm down. My doctors know all about this.

Negative symptoms have been countered to a lesser degree with caffeine and nicotine, both CNS stimulants. I myself drink plenty of caffeine and smoke a little less than a pack a day. I smoke like 15 cigarettes a day. Not that I suggest smoking- there are alternatives, there are even antipsychotics being derived from nicotine. It is a new thing in medicine.

I suggest you get a coffee habit and perhaps research nicotine and negative symptoms. The evidence is strong. I mean you could use a vaporizer, but those are not FDA evaluated and who knows if they cause cancer like cigarettes do.

An antidepressant may help you out. Talk to your psychiatrist about this.

Good post, and to be honest, no, negative symptoms do not often get better unless medications are adjusted. They are very hard to treat.


I’ve tried Abilify + Clozaril, but not Latuda. Lots of nicotine and enough caffeine to serve as my daily fix. I don’t know if my insurance would pay for Latuda. Can you get it generic? I would like to try that - but the truth is, last time I tried to go off off Zyprexa I was unsuccessful. It was torture.

I’m not depressed - my Effexor fixes that, as far as I know.

My negative symptoms - all the a’s. Disorganized thinking, I think is a positive one.

I know what you mean, when a thought enters my brain I almost think I’m alive just for a second and then its gone, no emotion really feel like a plank of wood, very interested in sex but sexual sensitivity greatly diminished, barely ever bother looking at porn anymore as I just see it as another way to torture myself. negative symptoms for me seem to be evolving with my ability to cope with them. first it was delusions of grandeur and that was great, I mean who doesn’t want to be neo from the matrix lulz… then it was voices about five years later, that was a ■■■■■■■ bitch nightmare to put up with… all their lies and disgusting crap that they made up about me, man I swore to god I would murder every single one of them… bloody scary too. then I came up with a technique for dealing with voices that seems to work for me, and two weeks later I’m getting pareidolia, its pretty bloody suspicious. either god hates my guts or its some kind of conspiracy and no I’m not paranoid about it lulz…

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It’s so strange how it evolves.
I had dissociation for 1 year then masked it all with alcohol then then later came severe depression to mania swings. Then major psychosis then repeated episodes. And now Just mild mania. No depression, no voices. But heavy negative symptoms. This is over a period of 7 years. It can’t make up its mind lol

Me too. I’d rather have voices and agitation than deadness. It makes me at least feel alive!