Damon G. LaBarbera, PhD


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Schizophrenia services offered in Panama City Beach, FL, Rockville Centre, NY and Union City, NJ

Schizophrenia is one of the most damaging psychiatric disorders, but with help, you can successfully manage your symptoms. If your or a loved one has schizophrenia or is suspected of having schizophrenia, visit experienced psychologist Damon G. LaBarbera, PhD, at Rockville Centre, New York. Dr. LaBarbera also offers telehealth services from Rockville Centre and Union City, New Jersey. He works with your doctor to ensure you get the most effective medication and psychotherapy. Call Damon G. LaBarbera, PhD, today or book an appointment online to tap his extensive experience with schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia Q & A

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a biologically based disorder that damages reality, contact, perception, judgment, decision-making, clarity of thinking, and emotional life. All is not known about this disorder, but treatment has come a long way in recent decades.

Up to two million people in the United States have schizophrenia. Symptoms in men tend to occur during adolescence or early adulthood. Women tend to develop symptoms in their late twenties or early thirties. 

Symptoms of Schizophrenia include hallucinations, delusions, difficulty with abstract thinking, social detachment, or bizarre behavior.  When symptoms emerge, there is typically a drop in a person’s level of social or academic functioning. Prognosis is best when the disease is spotted early.

What are symptoms of schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia symptoms vary between patients but can include:

  • Auditory or visual hallucinations
  • Perceptual Illusions
  • Delusional thinking
  • Flattened or blunted mood
  • Thoughts that may seem paranoid, grandiose, personalized, or otherwise distorted
  • Problems organizing thoughts
  • Loose associations in speech 
  • Social detachment or disengagement 
  • Catatonia or physical immobility for hours.

Odd behavior or thoughts not explained by another disorder can also be signs of schizophrenia.

What are delusions and hallucinations?

Delusions are irrational systems of beliefs. Persecutory delusions involve paranoid beliefs that others are unsafe or attempting to harm the individual. Grandiose delusions involve feelings of specialness, having unusual powers, being a famous or historical person, or having heightened awareness and abilities. 


A person may have “delusions of reference” where ordinary events seem personalized. For example, they might think a billboard sign is a special message intended for them.


Other types of delusions exist and become apparent to the trained eye, though the client may not perceive the thoughts as unusual or slanted. When the distorted thinking does not reach the level of delusion, it may be called an “idea”, such as “an idea of reference.

Hallucinations can be visual and/or aural. Most commonly, hallucinations are voices, with “command hallucinations” that order the person to do things.

How is schizophrenia treated?

Schizophrenia symptoms are persistent, but with Dr. LaBarbera's help, symptoms can be managed.

Psychotherapeutic interventions can augment the medical treatment of this disorder, improve functioning, increase the quality of life, and help guide relatives through the challenging experience of caring for an individual with schizophrenia.

However, this therapy can be different from other types of therapy, best done by a specialist in the area. It is essential to find a psychologist who understands the disorder, its severity, the critical role of the family, and the need for multi-approach treatment. 

Early diagnosis is key to a good prognosis, and having an expert like Dr. LaBarbera work with you or your family member is essential. A family often does not know what to do, and seasoned, informed treatment is necessary.

Call Damon G. LaBarbera, PhD, today or book an appointment online for informed schizophrenia care.