A Basic Overview Of Childhood Schizophrenia Essay, A Basic Overview Of Childhood Schizophrenia Childhood Schizophrenia Although this disease affects only two in every 1000 children who have been diagnosed with a mental illness, it is becoming more widely recognized in the psychiatric profession. There is no proof of the cause of this disease, but there are some suggestions and ideas about what could cause it. Many different factors can affect the treatment of this disease, and some may lead to a cure for some children. Early diagnosis is a must to ensure a chance at curing it. Many of the symptoms of Childhood Schizophrenia are different than the symptoms of Adult Schizophrenia. Even though Childhood Schizophrenia is rare, there has been increased awareness and efforts to cure it and to define it.

Childhood Schizophrenia? is a mental illness characterized by disorders that last longer than six months that affect perception, thought, behavior, and communication. ? (? Childhood? ). It is rare that symptoms of this disease appear before age 12. Many symptoms of this disease include hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, confused thinking, extreme moodiness, and peculiar behavior. There are many more symptoms to this complicated and rare disease. In Adult Schizophrenia, ? Schizophrenics differ so markedly among themselves in terms of their presenting clinical symptoms? ? (Harvey 50).

Some psychiatrists suggest it would be better to divide the Adult Schizophrenics into smaller, sub-groups (Harvey 50). Because the symptoms of Schizophrenia are so different in adulthood, many Childhood Schizophrenics are looked over, or diagnosed as having some other mental disorder. The cause of Childhood Schizophrenia is still relatively unknown. However, there are many theories as to what causes this severe mental disease. ? Mounting evidence indicates that Schizophrenia has neurodevelopmental [brain-related] roots? (NMHA, par. 2).

It is also believed by some psychiatrists that genetics plays a role in the development of Childhood Schizophrenia. A study was done on children of Schizophrenics, and it was found that in middle adolescence (ages 12 to 18), all of the researchers found that many of the patients had? impaired fine motor coordination? (Kales 195). Whatever the cause, there have been many advances in the treatment and curing of this disease. Many psychiatrists believe that by using drugs, such as chlorpromazine, and clozapine, the symptoms of Childhood Schizophrenia can be repressed and / or kept under control. ? A combination of medication and individual therapy, family therapy, and specialized programs (school, activities, etc.

) is often necessary? (N HMA, par. 5). ? Having the support of a caring family is also very important in helping them [the diagnosed children] to get well? (? Childhood? ). There is no test to determine if, indeed, a child has Schizophrenia, so psychiatrists need to be careful in their examinations of a mentally disturbed child. Before the psychiatrist even diagnoses a child with Schizophrenia, he / she must rule out a number of other probable illnesses such as anxiety disorders, medical illnesses like thyroid disease and brain tumors, and the doctor must also rule out substance abuse because of the symptoms of LSD, PCP, and cocaine. ? About one in three children originally diagnosed with Childhood Schizophrenia is actually found to be suffering from an affective disorder (a mood disorder, like depression) when re-evaluated as an adult.

? (? Childhood? ). So even if a child is diagnosed with this disease, and the doctors have ruled out all other possibilities, it can change, develop, or regress, to a different mental disorder throughout the transformations of adolescence. This rare disease continues to gain support and awareness. Who knows what might happen in the coming years. Maybe a cure will finally be found and these children can live happy, normal lives once again. Bibliography: Childhood Schizophrenia.

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Harvey, Philip D, and Elaine F Walker. Positive and Negative Symptoms of Psychosis. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1987. Kales, Anthony, Costas N. Stefan is, and John Talbott, Eds. Recent Advances in Schizophrenia.

New York: Springer-Verlag, 1990.