Schizophrenia in childhood
Schizophrenia is a mental illness of a chronic nature characterized by a combination of symptoms - a violation in communication with others( autistic traits), dullness or complete absence of emotion, psychopathological symptoms( hallucinations and / or delusions).According to statistics, schizophrenia in childhood is diagnosed at 1.66% per thousand patients.Table of contents: Symptoms of schizophrenia in children Causes of pediatric schizophrenia Treatment of pediatric schizophrenia Recommended reading:
Symptoms of schizophrenia in children
This mental disorder may also occur in the first year of life, but most often the first symptoms occur at the age of 7 yearsAnd older.Parents and others note that the child suddenly becomes withdrawn, he has no interest in the usual and previously pleasant things, violates logical thinking.In general, the childish form of schizophrenia is quite diverse and its manifestations have their own characteristics in different periods of childhood.
At the age from 1 to 3 years, the mental state in question is manifested by catatonic attacks - there is a walking of a monotonous character( for example, in a circle or along a certain path), running in an indefinite direction, rocking in a sitting position from side to side or up/ Down, a sudden attack of hysterical laughter or tears.
At an older age, anxiety may occur, the child is overcome with fears, against this background, the ability to logically express his thoughts is lost, the child becomes withdrawn, ceases to communicate with friends and parents.
After 12 years, doctors celebrate hallucinations and delusions on the background of the development of schizophrenia.It is noteworthy that another 30-40 years ago for adolescence was characterized by the hebephrenic form of the mental disorder in question( the child behaves foolishly, he does not dress), now this kind of schizophrenia is practically not diagnosed.
For schizophrenia in childhood is characterized by the absence of any emotion in the child.For example, if others laugh at some action or incident, the sick child will not react at all.
The most severe type of schizophrenia in childhood is oligophrenic.It develops only in cases of cognitive impairment and is characteristic of those children in whom the mental illness under consideration develops in the first year of life.
If you clearly formulate the symptoms of schizophrenia in childhood, you will get the following:
- Paranoia.The child thinks and is sure that all around him - parents, grandparents, friends in the kindergarten or on the playground think badly about him.
- Hallucinations.In childhood, they are especially developed in schizophrenia - for example, a child can see what, by definition, can not be.
- Indifference to own appearance.The environment notes that the child is absolutely indifferent to the hygienic procedures and persistently refuses to follow the generally accepted rules - for example, will not wash, wash hands, put on dirty or crumpled clothes, go to bed right on the floor.
- Fears and anxieties for no apparent reason.The child will complain about the presence of some monsters in the room or claim that he is being watched by UFOs / monsters and so on.
- Voluntary isolation from age.This is considered one of the brightest signs of childhood schizophrenia - the child refuses to communicate with friends, avoids conversations and presence near parents and close relatives.
- Whimsy.Of course, this phenomenon is inherent in all children, then those who are exposed to the mental disorder in question have sharp mood swings for quite obvious reasons.For example, the refusal to buy a toy for him turns into a long / protracted hysterics, turning into aggression.
- Violation of speech.The child may lose the ability to lead a normal dialogue.And, it can happen suddenly or gradually - the parents immediately notice that the child, who already speaks several words and knows how to build the simplest sentences, suddenly turns into an "agucing" baby.
Parents should understand that the above symptoms of childhood schizophrenia are very arbitrary.For example, if a child is afraid to sleep in the dark, because "babeika" is sitting in the closet, then this does not indicate a mental disorder.Independently do any conclusions about the full development of the baby can not be - you need to get advice from a specialist.
If at least 2-3 of the above signs are available, then it's worth starting a special parent diary and writing down all the changes that occur with the child.But this must be done only after a visit to the doctor!Such records will not only allow parents to monitor changes in the behavior and development of the baby, but also facilitate the process of diagnosing the doctor - schizophrenia is confirmed only after a long observation of the patient.
Causes of Childhood Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a long-known disease, but is still poorly understood.No doctor or scientist will give an exact answer to the question of the causes of the emergence and development of childhood schizophrenia.Much depends on the hereditary factor, on how the pregnancy took place with the mother, in what situation the baby is growing and being brought up. But some factors that are capable of provoking the development of the mental illness in question can still be called:
- The presence of diagnosed schizophrenia in the child's relatives on the first and second lines.
- Late pregnancy - according to statistics in women over the age of 35, the risk of having a child with a similar mental disorder is 48%, and the older the future mother, the higher the figure.Adverse life conditions of the child.
- .These are powerful stressful situations that can trigger a schizophrenic disorder - for example, loud and emotional divorce of parents, too rigid, authoritative upbringing.Malnutrition during pregnancy.
- .It's not that the diet of a pregnant woman is meager - this can happen with everyone under the current economic situation.Influence on the birth of a child with schizophrenia can only chronic, high-grade malnutrition.
- Psychotropic drugs.If a child takes any drugs or abuses alcohol, it can also trigger the development of the mental illness in question.
In no event should you accept the listed factors for the truth!There are many cases when, in the presence of a schizophrenic patient, absolutely healthy children were born, even too "loud" divorce of parents can not affect the emotional / mental state of the child at all, and eating only one potato and bread can lead to the birth of a healthy and very well-fed baby.
Treatment of pediatric schizophrenia
Schizophrenia in childhood should be treated in a comprehensive manner, involving both drugs, and working with sick children of psychologists, and group sessions with speech therapists / psychotherapists, and individual lessons at home, and creative therapy.It is very important to discover early the mental disorder in question - this will give a chance to use all modern methods of treatment at the very beginning of the disease development and maintain the normal functioning of all organs and systems of the body( as far as possible in each case).
Previously, antidepressants and antipsychotics were used to treat childhood schizophrenia, which had a rather serious impact on the central nervous system.That is, they coped well with the task of stopping schizophrenia attacks, but negated all the work to develop the mental and physical development of the child / adolescent.Modern drugs are more gentle in this regard and allow "softly" to correct the mental state of the patient.The only side effect of these drugs is a significant increase in body weight, so doctors should constantly monitor the level of insulin in the body and the pancreas - the risk of developing against the background of taking antipsychotics and antidepressants of the latest generation of diabetes is very high.
It is compulsory in the treatment of child schizophrenia to have sessions with a psychotherapist - the child( if he is at the age of 7 and above) should realize his own peculiarity, accept the diagnosis and accept that he will always be different from everyone else.A good effect is given also by classes in groups - sick children learn to behave correctly in society, are prepared for the society, get used to cope with attacks of aggression or irritability on their own.
Note: Many parents, discovering in their child strangeness and deviations from the usual development, try not to contact specialists, and solve problems on their own - for example, carry children by "grandmothers" and home-grown folk healers.Note that folk methods of treating schizophrenia are not able to give effect without the use of specific medications, they only provide support to the body.
Schizophrenia in childhood is extremely rarely treated in the inpatient departments of specialized medical institutions - even during an attack, the patient can be helped on an outpatient basis.We are not talking about the severe forms of the mental illness in question, because oligophrenic schizophrenia unambiguously implies the constant( or very frequent) finding of a child in a closed medical institution.
According to the statistics of childhood schizophrenia, only in 40% of cases leads to a complete disability of the child in the future.With the right approach to treatment and maintenance therapy, a child can quite easily master the most necessary skills for independent living, communicate with others, be trained according to a special program and work in the future.It is important only to apply to specialists in a timely manner, carry out diagnostics and get consultations about further treatment - thus parents will help their sick children become practically full members of the society.
Forecasts for the course of schizophrenia depending on the presence of disease-provoking factors are presented in the table:
How can schizophrenia manifest in children, what factors contribute to the development of schizophrenia in childhood?Detailed answer in the video review:
Tsygankova Yana Aleksandrovna, medical reviewer, therapeutist of the highest qualification category.