The teenage years are a common time for the symptoms of schizophrenia to start showing. While nobody knows the true cause of schizophrenia, it tends to run in families, and the hormonal changes that occur during puberty may cause the onset of symptoms. Detecting them early and seeking psychiatric services for your teen can help them manage their symptoms well into adulthood, so it's important to keep an eye out for them, especially if you have a family history of schizophrenia. To find out what to look for, read on to learn about some common signs of schizophrenia in teens.
Teens who begin developing schizophrenia sometimes begin having auditory and visual hallucinations, which means that they hear and see things that aren't real. Hallucinations can vary in their intensity. Visual hallucinations may consist of seeing very detailed objects or periodically seeing shadowy figures in their peripheral vision.
Delusions are another common symptom of schizophrenia in teens, and it's one that parents often notice. Delusional behavior can include your teen thinking that all of their classmates are conspiring against them as a group or that television or online videos are personally talking to them. A teen with schizophrenia is often unable to realize that their thinking is delusional. If your teen starts talking to you about bizarre thoughts that only make sense to them, it can be a sign that they're starting to develop schizophrenia.
Someone with flat affect seems to be very uninterested in the world around them, and it's a symptom of schizophrenia that's often overlooked. Your teen's speech may be slow, and they may not show any emotion while they're speaking. In some cases, they may also stop in the middle of a sentence while talking to you and never continue the remainder of it.
Withdrawal and Lack of Motivation
Social withdrawal is a potential symptom of schizophrenia that's often mistaken for normal adolescent behavior in teens. Teens who begin to develop schizophrenia may suddenly become uninterested in friends or dating. This is often combined with a lack of motivation. Your teen's grades may fall, and they may become uninterested in personal hygiene like showering and washing their clothes. Hobbies like playing guitar or video games that they used to enjoy may no longer interest them.
If your teen exhibits any of the above symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with a psychiatric service in your area for an evaluation. Some potential symptoms of schizophrenia like social withdrawal can be signs of depression instead, so it's important to have your teen's symptoms monitored over a period of time to see if schizophrenia is the cause. Treating schizophrenia early with medication can help delay the course of the disease. Getting an early start with psychiatric treatment can help your teen manage schizophrenia as they transition into adulthood.
For more information, contact a company such as Psyche PC.