EARLY SIGNS OF SCHIZOPHRENIA IN TEENAGERS
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder which is difficult to spot in teenagers. Sometimes it can be tricky to see the difference between teenagers’ moodiness and sign of more serious illness. Schizophrenia is characterized by profound disruption in thinking, affecting language, perception, the sense of self and behavior. It often includes psychotic experiences, such as hearing or seeing things that aren’t there (hallucinations) or believing things that aren’t true (delusions). It can impair functioning through the loss of an acquired capability to earn a livelihood or the disruption of studies.
The onset of Schizophrenia can begin in late adolescence or early adulthood. Here are some of the most essential signs that you should notice in your teens before taking a professional’s advice:
- A drop in performance at school: One of the first signs of schizophrenia in teenagers can be noticed if they start showing up with poor performance in school/college. Their grades may drop, or may never get good grades. They can have problems with their attention span and be disruptive in class, or teachers may report that they simply sit and are unresponsive much of the time.
- Withdrawal from friends & family: If your child starts to take a step back from all the social gatherings or interactions and always fear that someone is going to harm them then, you should consider taking them to a professional for help. The teens that are dealing with schizophrenia always fear that someone is out for his or her life and to protect him or herself they start to isolate themselves. They don’t enjoy the activities they use to and have difficulty in relating to their peers or to maintain friendships.
- Trouble sleeping: Teens who are suffering or dealing with schizophrenia also has a lot of trouble sleeping. Their sleeping patterns change from normal to abnormal in a quick glance. Either they sleep too much or they don’t sleep at all. They have trouble sleeping because they always fear that someone is going to hurt them while they’re asleep.
- Irritability or depressed mood: Another major change or sign that you might notice is their mood which can either be irritable, aggressive or depressed. Your child may defend or get aggressive when asked about their hallucination or delusions. Children or teens that are not aware of these things believe that whatever they see is real or some relate to them as superpowers. So if you notice any changes in the mood from a really long time, consider taking a professional advice.
- Lack of motivation: One of the signs that should definitely consider when trying detecting early signs of schizophrenia in your teen is their motivation to do something in life. Teens who deal with schizophrenia usually lack the motivation to do anything. They lose their drive and have absolutely no motivation or a push to do things that include everyday activities as well.
- Hallucinations or Delusions: The essential & the most important sign that you should look for in your teen are hallucinations or delusions. Hallucinations are where they hear or see something that doesn’t exist whereas delusions are when the teen starts to believe that they have some kind of power or anything, which is not true i.e. the false beliefs that are not based on realty. This is a common symptom but a real red sign too.
- Strange behavior: Disorganized or strange behavior is another symptom of schizophrenia in teenagers. It can also be like they stare off with a blank look and do not respond to stimulation, calling their name, talking to them or touching them to get their attention for a longer period of time, unpredictable or inappropriate emotional response, lack of inhibition and impulse control and the most important factor a decline in overall daily functioning.
- Substance use: Some children/teenagers who are exposed to substance use show symptoms similar to those of schizophrenia. Researchers have also suggested that teens that are exposed to substance abuse might increase the risk of mental illness. So if you are aware of the fact or you doubt that your teen might be exposed to any kind of substance abuse, please get help.
Above-mentioned are the warning signs for you to notice in your teens before you take a professional’s help.
If your child or teen needs help with getting better or tackle their schizophrenia, reach us at +91-11-40190801