Schizophrenia: Definition

Schizophrenia is a biological illness characterized by abnormalities in brain structure and chemistry, but influenced by environmental stress.  Individuals share a common characteristic of psychosis: They are unable to distinguish between what is real and what is not.  The most common psychotic symptoms are hallucinations, sensations involving any of the senses that a person experiences as real even though there is no evidence that they exist; delusions, fixed beliefs that a person clings to despite evidence that they are false and thought disorders, disturbances in a person’s capacity to reason, or think logically.

This condition is very disruptive to the individual and family and friends of the individual as every case is unique with someone people developing only mild features and others severe.  Within each person these features can vary, which can lead to a person being calm and rational one minute and agitated and incoherent the next.

Positive Symptoms
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorders in thought processes
  • Disorganized speaking
  • Disorganized behaviour
Negative Symptoms
  • General apathy (flattened emotions) or inappropriate reactions
  • Lack of will that interferes with task completion
  • Lack of logic that interferes with speech and behaviour
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Impaired attention
  • Impaired capacity to relate to others

Schizophrenia: Treatment

Proper treatment of individuals with schizophrenia focuses on a combination of psychosocial treatments, medication and providing individuals an objective guide to aid with the overall case coordination of services.  Psychosocial treatment includes education, stress management, supportive counselling, family counselling and relapse prevention planning.

At Stevenson, Waplak & Associates we assist people develop an understanding of their unique features of the disorder (e.g., their symptoms, recognize their triggers), learn to how to develop a lifestyle that reduces environmental influences (e.g., what makes features worst, how to add structure and routine, add positives to life, decrease negative in life) and assist with specific symptom reduction (e.g., challenging disruptive thinking, learning affective regulation skills, developing a support network).

We are with you every step of the way.