It’s rare for teens to experience schizophrenia. However, if adolescents are prone to this illness or another psychotic disorder, late adolescence is when a teen may experience their first signs of the illness. In fact, if and when this happens, most teens will recover from it and never experience psychosis again.
However, other teens might experience the beginning signs of schizophrenia and end up facing struggles with this disorder for the rest of their lives. A psychotic break may be the beginning of a lifelong relationship with having a psychotic disorder. Schizophrenia is a psychological illness that affects thinking, feeling, movement, and behavior. If a teen is going to develop the illness, it will likely show up around 19, 19, or 20 years old.
Its symptoms are clinically divided into three main categories: positive, negative, and cognitive. In order for a teen to be diagnosed, the following symptoms must last longer than six months.
Positive symptoms are those that become present and would not normally occur without the illness, such as certain sensations, beliefs, and behaviors. They include disturbances in thought, delusions, hallucinations, certain erratic feelings, changes in movement, and unusual behavior. Psychosis makes up a major part of the positive symptoms. It is considered to be an experience of the mind (psyche) characterized by the loss of contact with reality and including either hallucinations or delusions
Negative symptoms are the absence of certain abilities. These can include low energy, low motivation, poor social skills, little facial movements, and less than lively physical movement. Although these might seem less significant than those listed above, a loss of energy and motivation can also have a significant impact on a teen’s life, particularly at this stage in life.
Cognitive symptoms refer to difficulty with concentration and memory, such as disorganized thinking, slow thinking, difficulty understanding, poor concentration, poor memory, difficulty expressing thoughts, and having a hard time integrating thoughts with feelings and behavior.
Although schizophrenia is one of the more serious psychological illnesses, it’s very possible for someone to have a very normal and fulfilling life. With the use of medication, therapy, and daily exercises, someone with schizophrenia can enjoy their lives just as much as anyone else.
If you are concerned about your teen, typical and early warning signs of psychosis are a drop in grades or job performance, trouble thinking clearly or concentrating, suspiciousness or an uneasiness with others, decline in self-care or personal hygiene, spending a lot more time alone than usual, increased sensitivity to sights or sounds, mistaking noises for voices, unusual ideas, and having strange feelings or having no feelings at all.
Regardless of whether you see these warning signs or not, if you have any feeling or indication that your teen might be prone to psychosis, take him or her to see a mental health professional. You can also schedule a psychological evaluation for assessment. When you involve a mental health professional, you provide the safety and support your child needs.