Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects 2.4 million Americans in a given year and more than 24 million people worldwide.
Research suggests that men and women are at equal risk of developing the disease, which occurs at similar rates in all ethnic groups around the world. At this time, no one knows exactly what causes the disease or why it affects some and not others. Just like people who have arthritis or migraines, it’s not your fault that you have schizophrenia. No one is to blame. Nobody knows for sure what causes schizophrenia. Research suggests that it may be caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. An imbalance in these chemicals can cause messages in the brain to get mixed up. Scientists believe that schizophrenia, like many other illnesses, results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The symptoms vary from person to person. Some may have many symptoms, while you may only have a few. Generally, symptoms fall into 2 categories. They are called positive symptoms and negative symptoms.
- Distortions in thought content (delusions)
- Hearing, seeing, tasting, feeling, or smelling things that others do not experience (hallucinations)
- Disorganized speech and behavior
- Losing interest in everyday activities, such as bathing, grooming, or getting dressed
- Feeling out of touch with other people, family, or friends
- Lack of feeling or emotion (apathy)
- Having little emotion or inappropriate feelings in certain situations
- Having less ability to experience pleasure
|Schizophrenia Screening Test and Early Treatment Resources|
|The Yale University PRIME early psychosis / schizophrenia screening test is currently off line. We do, however, have a file-version of the PRIME Early Psychosis / schizophrenia screening test here that you can read and review and it may be helpful to review if you want to understand what some common early signs of schizophrenia are. Review it - and if you want to take the test - write down your answers and then read on. Most people who show some of these symptoms will not have schizophrenia - but are at increased risk for other disorders like anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder. Whatever the case, its important for any distressing mental health issues, to seek treatment as soon as possible so that it doesn't get worse. More details on the screening test (including details on how to score the test) are available here. |
Note that this is just a "screening test" - it checks for early possible symtpoms but doesn't measure whether you actually are geting schizophrenia. If you do have any of the symptoms at a high level it suggests simply that you would benefit from getting a formal evaluation from one of the centers listed here.
If you are concerned that you, or someone you know, may be developing schizophrenia, a good resource to read over is: Schizophrenia Prevention .
We also recommend you consider visiting an early schizophrenia and psychosis diagnosis and treatment center - click here to see the Worldwide list of centers
About NAMINAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raising awareness and building a community of hope for all of those in need.
From its inception in 1979, NAMI has been dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Financial contributions allow NAMI to offer an array of programs, initiatives and activities in support of the NAMI mission.
Our promise.NAMI promises to build better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
Our passion.Because mental illness impacts the lives of at least one in four adults and one in 10 children--or 60 million Americans--NAMI will work every day to save every life.
Our people.Thousands of members and supporters are the face and voice of the NAMI movement--families, individuals, friends and businesses--who come together to celebrate mental illness recovery, to honor those who have lost their lives to mental illness and to combat stigma, promote awareness and advocate for others.
Our work.NAMI stays focused on educating America about mental illness. NAMI is the foundation for hundreds of NAMI State Organizations, NAMI Affiliates and volunteer leaders who work in local communities across the country to raise awareness and provide essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs for people living with mental illness and their loved ones. NAMI creates change and works tirelessly to advocate for an American health care system that ensures access to treatment to those in need.
NAMI focuses on support, education, research and advocacy to help individuals and families affected by mental illness. Learn more about awareness and support, NAMI's education programs and our advocacy efforts.
Our success.NAMI is the largest grassroots mental health organization and is a lifesaver to many, offering help, hope and resources to the millions of people affected by mental illness. NAMI members and leaders are visible and formidable advocates, owning a well-earned reputation for taking on hard battles and winning them, ensuring a national commitment to research as well as access to services and treatment that promote recovery.
Our future.To accomplish our promise to build better lives, NAMI will continue to provide education, support and advocacy programs and services that benefit individuals and families affected by mental illness in communities across the country.
What are the benefits of NAMI membership?All NAMI members receive the benefits of membership at all three levels of the organization, including:
- Membership at a NAMI State Organization, a NAMI Affiliate and the NAMI national organization
- Eligibility to vote in all NAMI elections
- A subscription to The Advocate NAMI's flagship magazine, as well as access to optional subscriptions to specialty newsletters and information at the national, state and local levels.
- Member discounts on brochures, videos, promotional items and registration at NAMI's Annual Convention and many state and local conferences.
- Access to exclusive members-only material on www.nami.org
- Become a NAMI member
How can I volunteer with NAMI?As a grassroots organization, NAMI relies on volunteers at all levels of the organization. Contact the NAMI HelpLine at email@example.com or (800) 950-6264 for opportunities at the national office as well as referral to NAMI State Organizations, NAMI Affiliates and NAMIWalks and NAMIBikes events in your community.
More about NAMI:
- Download the What is NAMI Fact Sheet (pdf).
- Meet the Board
- How NAMI is governed
- NAMI State Organizations and NAMI Affiliates
- NAMI's annual reports
- Contact us
As a caregiver, you are an important person in the life of someone with schizophrenia. It is your support that can help them. Your care, along with medicine, therapy, interventions, and peer support, can be essential to helping a family member or friend with schizophrenia feel better.
As a caregiver, you may take on many different responsibilities. These responsibilities help provide support through the treatment process. You may assist the individual’s efforts to manage the illness when you:
- Go to doctor visits together
- Keep in contact with their healthcare professionals
- Help them maintain a daily routine at home
- Help them with daily activities
- Make sure your family member or friend is taking their medicine. Watch for worsening symptoms
- Have a conversation with your family member or friend to discuss ways you can support their treatment plan
Helping an individual with schizophrenia stay healthySchizophrenia is just one aspect of one’s overall health. A person with schizophrenia needs to stay healthy in body and mind. This includes following a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and visiting the doctor and dentist regularly. It is important to stay involved in the treatment of your family member’s or friend’s mental and general health. As a caregiver, you can do this by keeping their healthcare professionals informed.
Community and Educationwww.nimh.nih.gov
1-866-615-6464 (toll free) —The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) offers information on mental illnesses and treatment options.
Healthy Minds is the American Psychiatric Association’s online resource for anyone seeking support or facts about mental illnesses. You can sort through mental health information based on an individual’s age, gender, and ethnicity.
1-800-950-NAMI (6264) —The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) supports people with mental illness and their families and friends.
1-800-445-8106 (toll free) —The Family Caregiver Alliance is a public voice for caregivers. Their programs support and sustain the important work of families nationwide caring for loved ones with chronic, disabling health conditions.
Mental Health America was formerly known as the National Mental Health Association. It is the country's oldest and largest nonprofit organization for mental health and mental illness.
This site offers information about treatment options for mental illness provided by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. You can also call
1-800-JANSSEN (1-800-526-7736) if you have any questions about