Schizophrenia Specialist

Ashraf Abaza, MD -  - Psychiatrist

TMS Medical Therapy of Suffolk County

Ashraf Abaza, MD

Psychiatrist & Psychopharmacologist located in Long Island, Northport, NY

Of all the mental health disorders, schizophrenia is the most debilitating due to its severe symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions. When schizophrenia is properly treated, you have hope for recovery, especially when you have the compassionate support and expertise of Dr. Ashraf Abaza at TMS Medical Therapy of Suffolk County. To learn more about comprehensive medical and therapeutic treatment for schizophrenia, call the office in Suffolk County, New York or use online booking to schedule an appointment.

Schizophrenia Q & A

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a neurological disorder that affects your ability to think clearly, distorts your perceptions, and changes the way you relate to other people.

In most patients, the symptoms first occur in between the ages of 18 to 25. Although experts continue to study the cause of schizophrenia, they believe it develops from a combination of genetics, abnormal brain structure and chemical imbalances, and environmental factors.

What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?

The hallmark symptom of schizophrenia is psychosis, which includes hallucinations and delusions that are often debilitating. Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia have at least two of these five primary symptoms:

Delusions

Delusions are false beliefs that you hold onto despite evidence that they’re not grounded in reality. For example, you may wrongly think you’re being harassed, that someone is out to get you, that you’re a famous or important person, or that someone is controlling you.

Hallucinations

You hear, see, smell, taste, or feel something that doesn’t exist outside of your immediate perceptions. The most common hallucinations are auditory, such as hearing voices.

Disorganized speech

Patients with schizophrenia often have disorganized speech due to abnormal thought processes. You may quickly jump from one topic to another unrelated topic, repeat what another person just said, or speak to someone who’s not there. You could also say random words that are jumbled, rambling, and don’t make sense.

Disorganized or catatonic behavior

Disorganized behavior refers to repetitive, senseless movements, while catatonic behavior occurs when you stay in the same position without moving for an extended time.

Negative symptoms

Negative symptoms include lack of emotions, loss of interests, and lack of purposeful activity. When you have negative symptoms, you’re likely to experience extreme inertia, to the point where you’re not motivated to go to work, school, or socialize, and you don’t keep up with basic hygiene.

How is schizophrenia treated?

The primary treatment for schizophrenia is medication, followed by psychotherapeutic support. Dr. Abaza provides the full scope of schizophrenia treatment, using his extensive experience to evaluate and manage short-term and long-term antipsychotic medications and to monitor lithium therapy closely.

Antipsychotic medications diminish hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized speech and behavior, while also helping prevent a relapse of symptoms.

If you’re a good candidate for long-acting injectable antipsychotics, you won’t need to worry about taking daily pills. Long-acting medications are injected at different intervals, depending on the medication. Some require injections every few weeks, while others are injected four times a year.

As an expert in complex psychopharmacology, Dr. Abaza works closely with each patient, explaining the recommended medication, how long it takes to work, and the dangers of stopping the drug. He performs ongoing monitoring to be sure your medications don’t cause problems with your thyroid or other body systems.

Will you receive therapeutic treatment for schizophrenia?

Medication combined with psychotherapy often achieves the best results, helping each patient reach their recovery goals. Dr. Abazza works one-on-one with patients, providing therapies proven to be effective for the issues faced by patients with schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia treatment can stabilize and minimize symptoms, help you avoid hospitalization, and support your ability to engage in life. To schedule an appointment, call TMS Medical Therapy of Suffolk County or book an appointment online.