Schizophrenia: Symptoms Of Schizophrenia In Children

By Lonnie Whitcher
Updated July 26, 2016
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Schizophrenia: Symptoms Of Schizophrenia In ChildrenSchizophrenia along with other psychotic disorders are illnesses that cause the patient to experience strange and unusual feelings, behaviors, and thought processes. The psychosis that occurs in the brain can be the result of a number of factors including drugs, stress, or environmental elements of some kind. It is a difficult disease to live with for anyone but when it happens in children it can be even more challenging for the entire family.

While the symptoms of schizophrenia in children are usually rare, it is important to be able to recognize the early warning signs of the disease as soon as possible so treatment can begin. In most cases, the signs appear sometime during their pre-teen and teen years when they first recognize that their symptoms are not the norm. But that doesn't mean the early onset symptoms have not been present before that.

Early Warning Signs:

When a parent or guardian knows what to look for they will be able to pick up on some of the early warning symptoms of schizophrenia in children while they are still young and before the symptoms reach a point where they can become a danger to themselves or those around them.

One of the first signs one might see is delayed language development. This usually occurs in the first years of life long before the paranoia begins. In about 30% of children they may also show other signs of abnormal behavior. These could include actions like incessant rocking, posturing, and arm flapping. Even in the very small children, you might see unusual crawling and signs of anxiety.

As They Get Older:

As they get older the intensity of the symptoms will become more apparent. A sudden change in their thinking and behavior could be a strong indicator that they need to be taken to the doctor for tests. Children are not likely to tell their parents that they feel strange as they don't usually have a measure for what is normal behavior like adults do. But they may say things like their brain is not working, or they feel as if their mind is playing tricks on them.

Once they reach their teen years they may speak of seeing things or hearing voices. These may be sounds like knocking, tapping, or clicking or they may think someone is call them. They may get confused frequently or they will have increased sensitivity to light, sounds, smells, or touch.

Most children will express fearfulness of something but when their fears are unwarranted, they fear that someone is trying to get them, or they are inclined to withdraw from others, it may be a sign that something deeper is going on.

As a child continues to grow, you'll see the behavior change. Psychoses in children will trigger extremely unusual behaviors like clinging to parents or saying things that don't make sense even from a child's point of view. Recognizing these symptoms of schizophrenia in children early can make a major difference in the quality of life in the child. The sooner they can get into treatment, the more helpful it will be so that appropriate treatment can be provided.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.