Childhood schizophrenia is a severe brain disorder in which children interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia involves a range of problems with thinking (cognitive), behavior or emotions. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking and behavior. Signs and symptoms may vary, but they reflect an impaired ability to function.
Childhood schizophrenia is essentially the same as schizophrenia in adults, but it occurs early in life and has a profound impact on a child's behavior and development. With childhood schizophrenia, the early age of onset presents special challenges for diagnosis, treatment, educational needs, and emotional and social development.
Schizophrenia requires lifelong treatment. Identifying and starting treatment for childhood schizophrenia as early as possible may significantly improve your child's long-term outcome.
Feb. 28, 2014
- Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Hales RE, et al. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2008. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Schizophrenia. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/schizophrenia/complete-publication.shtml. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Fischer BA, et al. Schizophrenia: Clinical manifestations, course, assessment, and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Fischer BA, et al. Schizophrenia: Epidemiology and pathogenesis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Stroup TS, et al. Pharmacotherapy for schizophrenia: Acute and maintenance phase treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Mental illness and the family: Recognizing warning signs and how to cope. Mental Health America. http://www.nmha.org/go/information/get-info/mi-and-the-family/recognizing-warning-signs-and-how-to-cope. Accessed May 16, 2013.
- Factsheet: Schizophrenia in children. Mental Health America. http://www.nmha.org/index.cfm?objectId=C7DF8F81-1372-4D20-C84C5539FAB14576. Accessed Sept. 13, 2013.
- McClellan J, et al. Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with schizophrenia. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 2013;52:976.
- Facts for families: Schizophrenia in children. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/Schizophrenia_In_Children_49.aspx. Accessed Sept. 13, 2013.
- Staying well when you have a mental health condition. Mental Health America. http://www.nmha.org/go/mental-health-month/staying-well-when-you-have-a-mental-illness. Accessed Sept. 13, 2013.
- Abidi S. Psychosis in children and youth: Focus on early-onset schizophrenia. Pediatrics in Review. 2013;34:296.
- Huxsahl JE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 30, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.