Childhood Schizophrenia

Below you will find more information about Childhood Schizophrenia from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Childhood Schizophrenia it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Childhood Schizophrenia and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Childhood Schizophrenia comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness that causes people to communicate and behave differently than most other people through disorganized, detached, paranoid, or illogical behaviors.

Diagnosis

Patients are referred to a psychiatrist for a complete diagnostic workup which includes a complete medical, social, and family history. Patients may also undergo blood and brain-imaging tests to rule out other medical conditions. The patient and his or her parents as well as guardians are interviewed to assess any psychotic symptoms or behavioral changes. The patient is diagnosed as having schizophrenia only if his or her psychotic behaviors continue for at least six months with no other causes for the signs and symptoms.

Treatment

Childhood schizophrenia has no cure. However, medications and mental health care services are available to help families manage the disease and cope with its effects. Antipsychotic drugs, which are also known as neuroleptics, are also prescribed help suppress, lessen, prevent psychotic behaviors or their recurrence. Psychotherapy for child and parents or guardians and special education programs addressing the child's learning and developmental needs are also available to complement the drug treatment. The patient is hospitalized when his or her psychotic behaviors present danger to himself or herself as well as others.

Symptoms and Signs

Patients may have a severe deterioration in their ability to socially and regularly function. They commonly experience hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking, disruptive behaviors, academic problems, and delayed development.

Causes

The disease is believed to be usually caused by early brain development problems exposure of the fetus to certain viruses or malnutrition in the womb or a stressful childhood environment in a genetically susceptible child.

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