Child’s phase of growth should be taken into account when allowing for an analysis of psychological sickness. Activities that are ordinary at one time may not be at another. Infrequently, a typical immature child may report eccentric incidents—such as heeding tones—that would be considered anomalous at an anon age. Clinicians look for a more unrelenting pattern of such behaviors.
Parents may have reason for concern if a child of 7 years or older often hears voices saying derogatory things about him or her, or voices conversing with one another, talks to himself or herself, stares at scary things—snakes, spiders, shadows—that aren’t really there, and shows no interest in friendships. Such behaviors could be signs of schizophrenia, a chronic and disabling form of mental illness.
Luckily, schizophrenia is uncommon in children, affecting only about 2 in 50,000, compared to 2 in 100 in adults. The standard age of onset is 17 in men and 24 in women. Ranking among the top 10 causes of disability in developed countries worldwide, schizophrenia, at any age, exacts a heavy toll on patients and their families. Children with schizophrenia experience complexity in managing everyday life.
They distribute with their adult foils hallucinations, fantasies, social withdrawal, crushed emotions, and enhanced jeopardy of suicide and loss of social and individual care abilities. They may also share some indications with—and be mistaken for—children who suffer from autism or other pervasive developmental disabilities, which affect about 1 in 500 children. Even though they tend to be harder to treat and have a worse prognosis than adult-onset schizophrenia patients, investigators are finding that many children with schizophrenia can be helped by the new generation of anti-psychotic medications.