Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that is characterized by interpreting reality abnormally. It’s a disorder that will need lifelong treatment. But, the earlier it’s caught, the sooner a treatment plan can be devised, and the more likely serious complications like addiction and suicidal behavior can be avoided.
For those who have asked, “Do I have schizophrenia?” there are reliable and effective ways to discover the answer. If you’re unsure whether or not hallucinations are occurring, it can be helpful to ask someone if they’re experiencing the same thing you are.
Schizophrenia often causes a breakdown of linear thought processes and patterns. It can lead to trouble organizing thoughts and sentences. When speaking, someone with early-onset schizophrenia may jump from topic to topic in the same sentence, ramble, or become disconnected in their speaking.
Irrational thinking is very characteristic of schizophrenia. Holding tightly to ideas that are not realistic or rational can be signs of mental distress. There may be strong beliefs that aren’t founded in real-world events. For instance, believing that a teacher is actively working to take their textbooks or fail them when all other evidence indicates otherwise would be a delusion.
Some schizophrenics make unusual or awkward movements with their bodies. Repetitive movements like rocking and tapping, or constant pacing and gesturing are warning signs. Alternatively, some schizophrenics stare for long periods of time without blinking, don’t respond to stimuli, and refuse to eat and drink.
Cognitive symptoms associated with childhood schizophrenia include an inability to concentrate, trouble remembering things and making decisions, and difficulty paying attention. These symptoms are more likely to be noticed by your teen’s teachers, and can also be attributed to teen transitions during adolescence.
If your teen just can’t seem to honor their commitments and is showing signs of having great difficulty following through, there may be cause for concern. Especially when the effort and willingness are there.
Social settings can be hard for teens. But when your teen prefers to engage in self-talk, conversing with themselves in earnest over socializing with peers and family, there may be something deeper going on.
Lacking appropriate emotional responses is problematic. This can be seen in inappropriate facial expressions and tone of voice. Laughing during somber moments or being devoid of expression when interacting with others are some examples of what to look for.
Being listless, despondent, and depressed is a big red flag. This sometimes manifests as dwelling excessively on failures, perceived slights, or past upsets and disappointments. Suicidal thoughts and behavior are also documented symptoms.
When someone gives special meaning to events or objects that have no personal relevance, for instance believing that someone on the television or radio is delivering a special message that is only meant for certain individuals through their words or gestures. Sometimes schizophrenia will cause people to believe that someone or something is controlling themselves or others.
Keep in mind that it may be more difficult to identify schizophrenia in teens because some of the symptoms can resemble typical teenage transitions, like irritability and difficulty sleeping. But it is just as important to know that these symptoms are not always indicators of schizophrenia. It’s important to raise any concerns you may have with your healthcare provider to receive a proper evaluation.