I am diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia but recently I have been crying alot about someone who is ill. I can’t stop crying even though I know this person very little. She is more of an acquaintance than friend. Can I still have schizophrenia if I feel this much emotion? Before this I cried very little, but now I keep crying through the day and part of the night.

A. There are times when people with schizophrenia experience a reduction in their ability to feel a full range of emotions. Psychotic episodes significantly alter one’s emotions. People who experience the negative symptoms of schizophrenia commonly have a flat affect. Medications can sometimes blunt emotions. Otherwise, people with schizophrenia can be as emotional as someone without schizophrenia.

There could be something about your acquaintance that is making you very sad. Maybe they remind you of someone or their illness triggered a fear that you may have. Without more information it’s difficult to know why you feel the way you do. It would be good if you had a therapist with which whom you could discuss these issues. It could help to clarify what might be wrong.

I can only provide a general answer to your question. If you would like to write back and provide more information, I would try to give you a more complete answer. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle