Nearly 3.5 million Americans are diagnosed with schizophrenia and struggle to deal with the impact the behaviors cause. At New Hope Specialty Clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina, Kurian Abraham, MD, offers compassionate care for both diagnosing and treating schizophrenia symptoms. Using the latest treatment options, Dr. Abraham works with you to create a care plan to improve your quality of life and reduce the occurrence of disabling symptoms. If you or someone you love is experiencing difficulty controlling unusual behaviors, schedule an appointment with Dr. Abraham online or by calling the office.

New Hope Specialty Clinic

Internists & Internal Medicine located in Charlotte, NC

Schizophrenia Q & A

New Hope Specialty Clinic

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health disorder that affects your thinking, feelings, and behavior. Many who have schizophrenia appear to have lost touch with reality and exhibit other symptoms that can reduce their quality of life and ability to function.

Typically, symptoms of schizophrenia appear between the ages of 16-30.

What are the risk factors for schizophrenia?

Factors that may increase your risk for developing schizophrenia include:

  • Family history
  • Genetics
  • Brain chemistry makeup
  • Exposure to viruses
  • Problems during birth

In some cases, chemical changes that take place in the brain during puberty can trigger psychotic symptoms in those with existing brain issues.

What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?

There are three categories of schizophrenia symptoms:.

  • Positive symptoms
  • Negative symptoms
  • Cognitive symptoms

Positive symptoms include psychotic behaviors not normally seen in healthy people, such as hallucinations, delusions, and agitated body movements.

Negative symptoms include disruption of normal behaviors, including reduced feelings of enjoyment of life, difficulty maintaining interest in everyday life, and reduced emotional expression via facial expressions and tone of voice.

Cognitive symptoms may also be present and, in some cases, can be severe. These symptoms include difficulty understanding information, difficulty making decisions, memory problems, and trouble staying focused.

What treatments are available for schizophrenia?

Dr. Abraham evaluates your symptoms and your medical history. He performs specific screenings to confirm a schizophrenia diagnosis then creates a customized treatment plan to address your specific mental and physical needs.

Treatment may include antipsychotic medications that can stabilize your thoughts and behaviors. If you’re prescribed medications, it may take some time to find the right dosing amounts or medication type to control your symptoms. It’s crucial that you continue to take the medicine Dr. Abraham prescribes on schedule to prevent a relapse or worsening of symptoms.

Once Dr. Abraham finds the right medication to manage your symptoms, he may recommend special therapy to help you and your family cope with the challenges of schizophrenia on a long-term basis.

Dr. Abraham can also provide you with additional resources to you can enjoy a high quality of life with the goal of reducing long-term disability. If hospitalization is necessary to get your symptoms under control, Dr. Abraham can help coordinate treatment and monitor your progress throughout your stay.

To schedule a consultation and learn more about treating schizophrenia, contact the office directly or book an appointment online.