Steven R. Kafrissen M.D. DLFAPA
Psychiatrist located in Kingston, PA
Schizophrenia is a serious and chronic brain disorder that causes delusions, hallucinations, and cognitive disturbances. Fortunately, with effective psychiatric treatment, the symptoms improve over time, allowing a normal life. From his practice in Kingston, Pennsylvania, Steven R. Kafrissen, MD, helps patients with schizophrenia to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives with personalized attention and care.
Schizophrenia Q & A
What is schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a severe mental health disorder caused by biological abnormalities in the brain. Schizophrenia affects your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, often making you feel like you have lost touch with reality. Schizophrenia isn’t as common as other mental health issues like depression and anxiety, but its symptoms can be severely disruptive to your life.
What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia typically develops in adolescence causing three kinds of symptoms: positive, negative, and cognitive.
Positive symptoms are symptoms that are additions to normal thoughts and behaviors like:
- Dysfunctional thoughts
- Agitated body movement
Negative symptoms take away from normal behaviors, for example:
- Loss of effect like facial expressions and tone of voice
- Loss of enjoyment or pleasure
- Loss of ability to start, continue, or complete an activity
- Reduced speech
Cognitive symptoms range from subtle disruptions to more severe impairment and include:
- Poor ability to understand and use information in normal daily activities
- Inability to focus or pay attention
- Poor working memory
What causes schizophrenia?
There are several potential causes of schizophrenia, and in many cases, multiple factors can contribute to the disorder.
Family History and Genetics
There isn’t a single gene that causes schizophrenia, but a combination of genetic factors and a family history of the disorder increase your chances of developing the condition.
If you were exposed to certain viruses or malnutrition before you were born, your chances of developing schizophrenia are higher. Certain autoimmune diseases and other inflammatory conditions can also increase your chance of schizophrenia.
Brain Chemistry and Substance Abuse
If your brain chemicals are abnormal, your brain won’t function normally and cause schizophrenic symptoms. Substance abuse can alter your brain chemistry, leading to the abnormalities linked to schizophrenia.
How is schizophrenia treated?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for schizophrenia. However, with effective medication and therapy, your condition is manageable. Dr. Kafrissen offers customized treatment to address your specific needs. He prescribes medication to improve the balance of your brain chemistry to reduce symptoms like hallucinations and delusions. This often helps to clear your mind so that you can focus on developing social skills and techniques for dealing with stress in therapy sessions.
If you are concerned about schizophrenia or are looking for a psychiatrist to help you manage your condition, call Dr. Kafrissen or book an appointment online today.