At Your Appointment

Schizophrenia Appointment Guide

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Ask the right questions at your next doctor’s appointment. Answer two questions below to personalize your appointment guide.
  • Please describe the symptoms and issues you’re having that led you to schedule this online appointment. Start at the beginning of this current episode and tell me how and when things have changed and progressed.
  • Are you, or your loved one, still taking medicine to treat schizophrenia? How often do you, or your loved one, miss a dose?
  • How well are you, or your loved one, functioning in daily life, including activities such as eating, bathing and dressing?
  • When did you first notice symptoms?
  • Have these symptoms been constant or do they come and go?
  • What other medical conditions do you, or your loved one, have?
  • What medications do you, or your loved one, take? Do you, or your loved one, ever use illegal or mind-altering drugs?
  • Is there a family history of schizophrenia?
  • What side effects are you noticing?
  • What is your main concern about a schizophrenia diagnosis?
  • What new symptoms are you or your loved one experiencing?
  • Have you seen improvements in your, or your loved one's, symptoms?
  • Are you, or your loved one, able to function at work or school?
  • Are you, or your loved one, using alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs?
  • Do you think about hurting or killing yourself? For loved ones, does your loved one talk about self-injury or suicide?
  • Describe your, or your loved one's, symptoms. Do they include false beliefs not rooted in reality, hallucinations, disorganized speech, flat affect, or inability to make decisions or follow directions?
  • What is the most likely cause of the symptoms?
  • Could another medical condition be causing or contributing to the symptoms?
  • How do you diagnose schizophrenia? What is the criteria?
  • Is schizophrenia a lifelong condition?
  • How do you treat schizophrenia? Is it curable?
  • What are the possible side effects of schizophrenia medications?
  • What kinds of counseling or support can augment medication treatment?
  • What is the next step or alternative if my current treatment doesn't work?
  • What other conditions are more likely to develop with schizophrenia?
  • What are the warning signs that a serious problem is developing? How do I reach you in an emergency?
  • How can I best support and assist my loved one?
  • Could another medication be as effective with fewer side effects?
  • Are these new symptoms related to schizophrenia or its treatment?
  • What is the best treatment plan?
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2018 Dec 27
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
  1. Schizophrenia. American Psychiatric Association. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/schizophrenia/what-is-schizophrenia
  2. Schizophrenia. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/schizophrenia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354443 
  3. Schizophrenia. National Institute of Mental Health. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml