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Schizophrenia in Children
Schizophrenia is a medical illness that causes strange thinking, strange feelings and unusual behavior. The behavior of children and adolescents with schizophrenia may differ from that of adults with this illness. Child and adolescent psychiatrists look for several of the following early warning signs:
- trouble telling dreams from reality;
- seeing things and hearing voices which are not real;
- confused thinking;
- vivid and bizarre thoughts and ideas;
- extreme moodiness and odd behavior;
- ideas that people are out to get them;
- behaving like a younger child;
- severe anxiety and fearfulness;
- confusing television with reality; and
- severe problems with making and keeping friends.
Schizophrenia is a serious psychiatric illness. Early diagnosis and medical treatment are important. Usually, these children need individual treatment plans involving other professionals. A combination of individual therapy, family therapy, specialized programs and medication is often necessary.
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