Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history. About 1 percent of Americans have this illness.
People with the disorder may hear voices other people don’t hear. They may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated. People with schizophrenia may not make sense when they talk. They may sit for hours without moving or talking. Sometimes people with schizophrenia seem perfectly fine until they talk about what they are really thinking.
Treatment helps relieve many symptoms of schizophrenia, but most people who have the disorder cope with symptoms throughout their lives. However, many people with schizophrenia can lead rewarding and meaningful lives in their communities. Researchers are developing more-effective medications and using new research tools to understand the causes of schizophrenia. In the years to come, this work may help prevent and better treat the illness.
If you suspect a patient may have Schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder, make a referral to a psychiatrist or other psychiatric specialist with the expertise to diagnose and treat these conditions. Please call Beacon Health Options for assistance. The materials within this section of the toolkit are informational and not to be used in order to diagnose and treat Schizophrenia or any psychotic disorder.
- Video: Treating First Episode Psychosis – A Research Project of the NIMH
- Schizophrenia for Primary Care Providers – How to Contribute to the Care of a Vulnerable Patient Population (The American Journal of Medicine, 2012, March)
Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®)1 Tip Sheets
- Adherence to Antipsychotic Medications for Individuals with Schizophrenia
- Cardiovascular Monitoring for People with Cardiovascular Disease and Schizophrenia
- Diabetes Monitoring for People with Diabetes and Schizophrenia
- Diabetes Screening for People with Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder Who are Using Antipsychotic Medications
- Metabolic Monitoring for Children and Adolescents on Antipsychotics
- Use of First Line Psychosocial Care for Children and Adolescents on Antipsychotics
- Schizophrenia: What Is It?
- Medications to Treat Schizophrenia
- Talk Therapy for Schizophrenia
- National Institute of Mental Health Questions and Answers
1 HEDIS is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).