Schizophrenia: The Debilitating Disease

Schizophrenia, one of the most debilitating of mental illnesses, is a serious mental disorder that affects the way one thinks, feels, and behaves. Typically first diagnosed around ages 20-25, Schizophrenia affects about 1% of the US population. Though it is uncommon, Schizophrenia may be genetic, making it a common issue in families who may suffer from it. If a parent has Schizophrenia, the child has a 10% chance of also developing it. 

Contrary to popular belief, Schizophrenia is NOT defined as multiple or split personalities but instead may include:

  • Positive Symptoms: (Those that are abnormally present)
    • Delusions
    • Hallucinations
    • Disorganized speech
    • Trouble thinking
    • Lack of motivation
  • Negative Symptoms: (Those that are abnormally absent)
    • Lack of pleasure
    • Inability to perform daily tasks
    • Becoming distant from friends and family

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Schizophrenia. However, antipsychotic medications and injectables are available to help suppress symptoms and allow those suffering to live a normal life. Over the years of research we have found that Dopamine plays a large role and has a connection to Schizophrenia, which will hopefully lead to more information regarding the disorder. 

If you or a loved one is suffering from Schizophrenia, please contact Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy, located in New York and New Jersey to speak to licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists. To contact the office in Paramus NJ, call (201) 368-3700. To contact the office in Manhattan, call (212) 722-1920. For more information, please visit .


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Schizophrenia: Symptoms

By: Cassie Sieradzky

Schizophrenia is a chronic and often debilitating mental disorder. Schizophrenia affects all aspects of functioning and consequently, sufferers may appear to have lost touch with reality. Symptoms of schizophrenia usually begin between ages 16 and 30. The symptoms fall into three categories: positive, negative, and cognitive.

The positive symptoms of schizophrenia consist of behaviors that are not usually seen in individuals without schizophrenia. Individuals displaying positive symptoms appear to lose touch with reality. These may include, hallucinations (hearing voices), delusions (being controlled by aliens), thought disorders (incoherent speech), and movement disorders (agitated body movements) are classified as positive symptoms.

The negative symptoms of schizophrenia are classified as deviations to normal emotions and behaviors. Flat affect, reduced expression of emotions, are commonly seen in individuals with schizophrenia. Someone who displays flat affect may speak in a monotone manner and show little facial expression. Some other examples of negative symptoms include loss of pleasure in activities and reduced speaking or communication.

The cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia include disruptions in executive functioning (the ability to understand information and use it to make decisions), trouble focusing, and deficits with working memory (the ability to use information immediately after learning it).

Antipsychotic medications can be very beneficial in the treatment of schizophrenia. Additionally, psychotherapy is helpful in order to foster coping skills to address the everyday challenges of their diagnosis. Studies show that individuals who participate in psychotherapy are less likely to have relapses or be hospitalized.

If you or a loved one appears to be suffering from schizophrenia, the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit


Schizophrenia. (2016, February). Retrieved April 30, 2018, from