Each person with schizophrenia will have a different combination of symptoms and each symptom might be very specific to that person.
Positive symptoms are things that someone with schizophrenia experiences that most people do not. These tend to be things like delusions, abnormal thinking or hallucinations, but also include changes in speech and behaviour.
Delusions are abnormal beliefs that a person holds without any proof. These can be supernatural or magical and are often very unusual. Many experts believe that these beliefs are based on ways of rationalising abnormal perceptions which the person may experience. Delusions vary from person to person, although some similar beliefs can occur in a number of people. For example, a number of people with schizophrenia believe that their loved ones have been replaced by imposters (called Capgras delusion).
Hallucinations are experiences that a person perceives even though there is nothing really there. In schizophrenia this usually means hearing voices in your mind which are not your own (known as auditory hallucinations). These voices tend to say very negative things and can be quite frightening for the person hearing them. Sometimes the voices will tell a person things that aren't true or may tell the person to do something.
Negative symptoms are characteristics that are missing in a person with schizophrenia that should be found in most people who don't have schizophrenia. These symptoms include a loss of interest and enjoyment in activities, reduced expression of emotion in facial expressions and speech, and a lack of concentration.