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What Is Schizophrenia in Children and Teens?

Learn about schizophrenia in children and teens from Dr. Kimberly Williams in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Childhood schizophrenia, or early-onset schizophrenia, is very difficult to diagnose in children. However, the course of symptoms is very similar to that of adults. What we observe in children with early onset schizophrenia are hallucinations, delusional or paranoid thoughts and unusual or erratic behaviors. This is called psychosis.

Childhood early-onset schizophrenia is typically diagnosed by a child psychiatrist or a pediatric neurologist. It's very difficult to treat. Behavior therapies and medications are often the first trials of interventions, but prognostically, they really just control the symptoms. There's no cure for childhood schizophrenia, but with family intervention and strong family involvement, a child with schizophrenia can go on to maintain a positive and prosperous life.

Schizophrenia is very complex, but these are some of the specific factors underlying this disorder.

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