Saturday, February 25, 2012

Recognizing Signs of Schizophrenia in Children

Early signs of schizophrenia may show up as long as 35 years before a diagnosis. What signs should be of concern?
  • Emotional highs and lows are not as extreme as those of other children.
  • Reports that the child hears voices.
  • Feels people are spying on them.
  • Antisocial behavior.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Self-harm.
Risk factors include:
  • Family history of a psychiatric disorder.
  • Prenatal risks
    • older father
    • emotional stress or depression in mother during first trimester
    • loss of oxygen at birth
    • birthday in winter
    • prenatal exposure to 'flu or rubella
    • chaotic household
    • physical abuse of mother
  • Family risks
    • migrant family
    • urban household
    • lower socioeconomic status
    • peer bullying
  • Childhood risks
    • physical developmental milestones not met
    • low physical coordination
    • expressionless face
    • prefers playing alone after 4 years of age
  • Adolescent risks
    • uncoordinated
    • fewer than 2 friends
    • low IQ and learning problems
    • social anxiety and withdrawal
    • depression
    • working memory problems
    • antisocial behavior or conduct disorder
    • self-harm
    • early smoking or marijuana use
See your pediatrician if you recognize these signs in your children.

*****All information obtainted from "A Mind in Danger" by Victoria Costello published in Scientific American Mind, March/April 2012*****