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Description: the most chronic and debilitating of all psychiatric conditions, and the most widespread form of psychosis.

“Schizophrenia,” which literally means “split mind,” is frequently confused with a separate disorder, “split personality or multiple personality disorder.” Schizophrenia causes people to waver between reality and their own distorted perception of reality. Early intervention may improve a youngster’s prognosis. Unfortunately, the subtle warning signs are apt to be attributed to the normal growing pains of adolescence.

Signs of Schizophrenia

  • impaired concentration
  • bizarre thoughts, ideas, statements (delusions)
  • seeing imaginary objects or people; hearing voices that do not exist (hallucinations) 
  • severe depression 
  • jumbled thinking and incoherent speech
  • lack of emotion, or “flat affect”
  • withdrawing socially from others
  • paralyzing anxiety and fear
  • immature behavior
Last Updated
Caring for Your Teenager (Copyright © 2003 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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