Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If your loved one has signs and symptoms of disorganized schizophrenia, schedule an appointment with your family doctor or mental health provider. After an initial evaluation, your loved one may be referred to a psychiatrist for further evaluation. Join your loved one for these appointments. Your input will help the doctor or mental health provider make an accurate diagnosis.

What you can do

To make the most of your loved one's first appointment, prepare a list of questions in advance. Questions that may be helpful to ask include:

  • Do you think my loved one has disorganized schizophrenia?
  • How do you treat disorganized schizophrenia?
  • How could treatment change things for my loved one?
  • How could counseling help?
  • How long will my loved one need treatment?
  • With treatment, what goals are realistic for my loved one? Will he or she be able to work or to live independently?
  • What can I and my family do to help my loved one's treatment succeed?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? Or can you recommend reliable websites?

In addition to your prepared questions, don't hesitate to ask questions at any time during your appointment if you don't understand something.

What to expect from your doctor

During your appointment, your doctor or mental health provider is likely to ask you a number of questions about your loved one's thoughts, behavior and mood. You may be asked such questions as:

  • What signs and symptoms have you noticed?
  • When did these signs and symptoms develop?
  • How have these signs and symptoms changed over time?
  • Does anything in particular seem to trigger these signs and symptoms or make them worse?
  • What impact do these symptoms have on your loved one and on your family's daily life?
  • Have any of your loved one's relatives had a mental illness?
  • Does your loved one ever talk about suicide or about harming others?
  • Does your loved one smoke? How much?
  • Does your loved one use alcohol or recreational drugs? How much?
  • What medications or over-the-counter herbs and supplements does your loved one take?
Dec. 10, 2010