About 90% of people who have schizophrenia begin to express false, illogical beliefs called delusions, one of the positive symptoms doctors use to determine a diagnosis. Positive symptoms are not "good," but rather additive, as opposed to negative symptoms, which take away a trait. The individual may communicate a fear that other people are reading their thoughts or monitoring them. Some may insist that a story they read in the newspaper or someone they saw on television is attempting to send them a personal message. They may believe that people are plotting against them or trying to poison them. Some people with schizophrenia experience delusions of grandeur, such as having unusual powers. Others believe that they are a famous historical or religious figure. The person insistently holds on to these delusions despite the presentation of facts.
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