Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Schizophrenia Specialist

Wendell Street Psychiatric, LLC

Board Certified Psychiatrists located in Fairbanks, AK

Though schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders affect less than 0.65% of the women, men, and children in the United States, the impact of the disease on affected individuals and their families is profound. At Wendell Street Psychiatric, LLC in Fairbanks, Alaska, board-certified psychiatrist Mikki Barker, DO, and her expert team treat schizophrenia with antipsychotic medications, behavioral therapy, frequent monitoring, and caring support for families. To get help for yourself or a loved one, contact Wendell Street Psychiatric, LLC, for a schizophrenia evaluation by phone or use the online booking form.

Schizophrenia Q & A

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a fairly rare but severe and chronic mental disorder that an abnormal perception of reality characterizes. If you have schizophrenia, you may have hallucinations or delusions and think and behave in ways that are unusual or harmful to yourself or others. 

Because schizophrenia prevents you from participating fully in life, it’s among the top 15 causes of disability throughout the world. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that an individual with schizophrenia loses an average of 28.5 years of potential life.  

If you have schizophrenia, you must be on medication for the rest of your life. People with schizophrenia are more likely to commit suicide than the general population. If you or someone you love is suicidal, call 911, go to the nearest emergency room, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?

Though children sometimes have schizophrenia, symptoms don’t usually appear until ages 16-30. You may have difficulty recognizing schizophrenia in adolescents because their early symptoms are similar to the anti-social behaviors of normal teenagers. Common symptoms in all ages are:

  • Hallucinations — hearing voices in your head or seeing things that aren’t there
  • Delusions — false beliefs about yourself or others (e.g., that you’re famous)
  • Disorganized speech and thinking — answering questions nonsensically; using words that don’t make sense (i.e., “word salad”)
  • Cognitive symptoms — having trouble focusing, remembering, and making decisions
  • Flat aspect — not exhibiting emotions or speaking much
  • Movement disorders — moving in unusual or highly agitated ways

People with schizophrenia may also lose pleasure in daily activities.

Why do people get schizophrenia?

Genetics may contribute to schizophrenia, but not everyone with schizophrenia has a family member with the disease. Some researchers think that certain genes trigger schizophrenia when they encounter environmental stressors, such as:

  • Prenatal malnutrition
  • Difficult birth
  • Viral infection
  • Psychosocial factors

Individuals with schizophrenia may have structural differences in their brains or chemical imbalances that affect their neurotransmitters.

How is schizophrenia treated?

Children and adults with schizophrenia need to take daily antipsychotic medication. The team at Wendell Street Psychiatric, LLC, follows up frequently with schizophrenia patients to ensure compliance and to monitor their progress. They also educate families on how to manage schizophrenic behaviors and ensure that their loved one gets the medication and behavioral therapies they need.

If you or someone you love suffers from schizophrenia, contact Wendell Street Psychiatric, LLC by phone or book an appointment online today.