There is no test that can make a schizophrenia diagnosis. People with schizophrenia usually come to the attention of a mental health professional after others see them acting strangely.
Doctors make a diagnosis through interviews with the patient as well as with friends and family members.
Psychiatrists have the most experience with diagnosing schizophrenia. A psychiatrist or other licensed mental health professional should be involved in making a schizophrenia diagnosis whenever possible.
You can also help the person with good health habits, like getting enough sleep and avoiding alcohol and drugs.
Sometimes people who have schizophrenia are too sick to
seek treatment on their own. If the symptoms are severe, you may have to force
the person to get treatment. Talk with your health care providers and/or local
law enforcement officials about the laws and procedures in your area for
getting treatment in this situation. If you have this information before you
need it, it will reduce your fears and concerns and may make it easier for you.
Some people who have schizophrenia
may become aggressive or violent at times. Call 911 or other emergency help if you
Warning signs of suicide, such as the person threatening to harm himself or herself and being preoccupied with death or suicide.
Don't feel that you need to do everything possible to help a loved
one who has schizophrenia. Remember that you need to respect the wishes and
choices of your loved one, unless those wishes and choices are dangerous.
Everyone learns from a wrong choice or mistake. Recovery may be faster if your
loved one believes that family members trust him or her with decision
Don't do it alone. Ask others to help you, or join a support
group. The more support you have, the more help you can give.
help from a local organization. Your city or state may have programs to help
you. Ask at your local or state health department. The National Alliance on
Mental Illness (NAMI) provides contact information for support organizations
nationwide. For more information, go to www.nami.org.