Schizophrenia is never an easy disorder to manage, especially when children are the ones affected. Child schizophrenia is rather unheard of but it definitely exists. It is important to identify child schizophrenia symptoms early on so they can be addressed by a specialist. Children suffering from this disorder cannot function normally in the society and have their decision making ability severely impaired.
Childhood Schizophrenia Symptoms
Children experience schizophrenia symptoms much like adult sufferers do. They have hallucinations, distorted thinking and are often delusional. Children suffering from this disorder are also quite unpredictable and tend to have bad behaviors. If you notice your child avoiding speaking with other children or avoiding any type of interaction then this too may be a cause for concern. Childhood schizophrenia is also known to cause difficulties in concentrating on studies and a constant degrading of the child’s performance in school. Teachers could also play an important role in identifying the symptoms so make sure to speak to your child’s teacher about your son’s or daughter’s behavior in school.
Parents often get confused when it comes to determining whether their child has schizophrenia. This happens because many of the symptoms associated with schizophrenia are shared with other disorders. However, you can make sure whether your child suffers from schizophrenia or not by better understanding childhood schizophrenia.
The best way to understand schizophrenia is undoubtedly to speak with a psychiatrist. However, you can also observe your child’s behavior to get a good sense of what is going on inside their minds. Therefore, a very common occurrence in young children is having imaginary friends. Although it is normal to some extent for children at a very young age to have ‘imaginary friends’ you need to talk to them and understand what they are feeling. A child nearing adolescent age who has imaginary friends is a major concern.
Depression and anxiety may not always be the symptoms of childhood schizophrenia but most often the result of grievance. Your child may have recently lost a friend or has had a traumatic experience. It is a good idea to talk to them or take them to a psychiatrist for counseling.
Even though you think you know your child, it is never easy to determine all by yourself whether your child is suffering from schizophrenia or not. Even if you only suspect that your child may suffer from a behavioral disorder it is strongly recommended that you take them to a specialist to determine with certainty if your child has a problem.
Treatment options for childhood schizophrenia are usually group therapy, family therapy and atypical antipsychotic drugs. Encouraging your children to participate in different school activities will also help in treating their mental disorder.
James is a writer and blogger with 5 years experience.