Choosing the right doctor can be the difference between well-controlled and uncontrolled schizophrenia. And trust us, you don’t want to have yourself, or a loved one experience severe effects of schizophrenia. So we’re here to help.
While there are many types of people who can help care for someone with schizophrenia, including—
- General practitioners
- Social workers
- Occupational therapists
— finding the proper schizophrenia specialists for care is vital to managing and even ridding oneself of some of the symptoms of the disorder. Our guide will help you and your family members find the absolute best treatment option needed.
What Are the Symptoms of Schizophrenia?
When most people think of schizophrenia, they probably first think of someone having hallucinations or something like a split personality— however, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Schizophrenia is a mental illness that has numerous symptoms accompanying it, such as:
- Social withdrawal
- Inability to express emotions
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Mood swings
- Anger outbursts
- Speech disorders
- And yes, hallucinations
The sheer number of symptoms someone with schizophrenia might have can drastically differ, making it hard to diagnose schizophrenia and also treat it. Often, schizophrenia may be misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder as treatments and medications may be used to treat that, but it can make delusions worse or quickly decline the mental and physical health of the patient.
So, proper diagnosis and treatment are vital to ensuring someone with schizophrenia can live a happy, fulfilling life. One way to do this is via a schizophrenia specialist and finding the right program for their needs.
Tips for Finding a Schizophrenia Specialist
As we stated, quite a few types of physicians may be included in schizophrenia care, from general practitioners to social workers and psychiatrists. But ultimately, you’re going to want to find a doctor who is specialized or well-versed in treating schizophrenia. This can make all the difference in treatment.
It can be difficult to know where to start when you or a loved one is diagnosed with schizophrenia. The following tips will help you in your search for the perfect schizophrenia specialist.
- Get a recommendation from a general practitioner. A great way to start your search is by getting a recommendation from a general practitioner. They will likely have experience with schizophrenia specialists in the area and can help you get started on the right foot.
- Look for someone who is board-certified. When searching for a specialist, always make sure they are board-certified. This means they have completed the necessary requirements and have been deemed qualified by their peers. Board certification is not always required, but it is a good way to narrow your search.
- Choose someone who has experience. Experience is critical when choosing a schizophrenia specialist. You want someone who has treated patients with schizophrenia before and knows what they are doing.
- Ask schizophrenia support groups or peers for recommendations. Ask around and see if anyone you know has a schizophrenia specialist they would recommend.
- Check reviews. Once you have a few potential specialists in mind, be sure to check online reviews. This will give you an idea of what other people’s experiences have been like.
- Make sure they accept your insurance. Another important factor to consider is whether or not the specialist you are considering accepts your insurance. This will significantly affect how much you end up paying out of pocket.
- Set up a consultation. Once you have narrowed down your search, set up a consultation with each of your top choices. This will allow you to meet them in person and get a feel for their bedside manner and overall personality.
Choosing the right schizophrenia specialist is a very important decision. Be sure to take your time and do your research to find someone who meets all of your needs.
How to Pay for Schizophrenia Treatment
As with any specialized health care, patients may choose to go through insurance, which can be complicated but is more affordable than paying out of pocket. But waivers and medical assistance benefits can also help lower the hefty bills of seeing a schizophrenia specialist.
Some options include:
Insurance doesn’t always immediately cover mental health care but could cover outpatient or inpatient treatment at health facilities, which can benefit those with schizophrenia. It’s imperative to check your deductible, out-of-pocket limits, and in-network providers to determine if going through insurance is the best way of paying for ongoing schizophrenia specialist care.
Medicaid is a federal and state insurance program that provides health care coverage to low-income adults, children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and the elderly. To be eligible for Medicaid benefits, an individual must meet specific criteria set by their state of residence.
CADI (Community Access for Disability Inclusion) Waivers are another way for people with schizophrenia that affects their daily lives to pay for more specialized care. This waiver provides financial and care support for those of low income or those who cannot work due to their disability. There is an application process through the state and through the facility you wish to seek treatment— more information can be found here.
SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) are two programs that can help those with schizophrenia pay for specialist care. To qualify, an individual must have a disability that limits their ability to work and make money. The type of schizophrenia specialist you see may also determine whether SSI/SSDI covers your treatment.
Paying for the treatment of schizophrenia can be difficult, but there are options available to those in need of specialized care. It’s important to do your research and understand all the financial options before committing to a treatment plan.
The Best Schizophrenia Specialists in Minnesota
If you or a loved one has schizophrenia, it’s important to seek the best specialist possible. In Minnesota, many great schizophrenia specialists can help you get your life back on track. Here are some of the best in the state:
The HOPE Program at HCMC
The HOPE Program at HCMC is a great schizophrenia specialty program that provides comprehensive care for those suffering from the disorder. This program offers inpatient and outpatient care, medication management, and therapy. The staff is highly trained and experienced in dealing with schizophrenia, and they offer a great support system for their patients.
First Episode Psychosis (FEP) Programs
There are several great FEP programs in Minnesota that offer specialized care for those who have schizophrenia. These programs provide medication management, individual and group therapy, psychoeducational, and case management services. They also offer a variety of support groups and resources for patients and their families. There are currently three FEP programs in MN, including The HOPE Program:
- Hennepin Healthcare
- University of Minnesota
- Human Development Center
Dr. Lisa Cowley – Schizophrenia Specialist
Dr. Lisa Cowley is a well-known schizophrenia specialist in MN who has been helping patients for nearly 20 years. She offers various services, including medication management, individual and family therapy, and case management. She also provides resources and support for her patients and their families.
Get Long-Term Care at Sunflower Communities
When the long-term solution is an inpatient care facility, Sunflower Communities is the perfect place. Sunflower Communities has been caring for and supporting individuals facing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injuries, and more as they age.
We accept CADI waivers and can help you or your family navigate the process of applying and getting the best care (and coverage) possible. Contact us today for more information on how to get one-on-one schizophrenia care for you or your elderly family member.