Hallucinations are false perceptions that affect our senses & cause us to hear, see, taste, touch or smell what others do not. In the acute phases of schizophrenia, patients are likely to insist they are hearing voices that no one else can hear. Sometimes they hear noises, clicks or non-word sounds. On occasion they are disturbed by seeing, smelling or feeling things that others do not.
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Delusions are false beliefs or misinterpretations of events & their significance. For instance, a person may get accidentally bumped in the subway & may conclude that this is a Government plot to harass him. Everyone tends to personalize & misinterpret events, especially during times of stress or fatigue. What is characteristic of the schizophrenic however, especially during an acute period, is that the conviction is fixed & alternate explanations for the events experienced are not even considered. Usually attempts at reasoning or discussion about possible other meanings of the bumping or the noise in the night can only lead to the further conviction that the reasoner must be in on the plot, too. Arguing with a delusion only leads to further mistrust or anger. The beliefs are tenaciously held, against all reason, & they are characteristically not shared beliefs. They are held only by the person himself & by no one else.
This generally occurs when a person is in the active phase of his illness. It can re-emerge sometimes when medications are too low or stress is too high. What the patient says becomes incomprehensible to those around him either because sentences are unconnected to each other, or else because there seems to be no point to the stories told, or else because topics seem to switch with great frequency. Words may take on special meanings in schizophrenia either because they trigger private associations or because attention is paid to individual sounds rather than hole words.