Schizophrenia

Ocean View Neuropsychiatry

Child Psychiatrists located in Laguna Beach, CA & Irvine, CA

While childhood schizophrenia is very rare, late adolescence or early adulthood is a common time for a first psychotic break. At Ocean View Neuropsychiatry in Laguna Beach and Irvine, California, Ashraf Elmashat, MD, and Mohamed Yaser Elatrozy, MD, offer expert and compassionate diagnosis and treatment for young people with schizophrenia and their families. Call the practice or schedule an appointment online today.

Schizophrenia Q & A

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a rare but severe brain disorder that affects the way you perceive the world as well as your thoughts and behaviors. Contrary to common misconceptions, schizophrenia doesn’t cause multiple personalities, nor are people with schizophrenia violent or dangerous.

Patients with schizophrenia live with hallucinations and delusions. They may have distorted thought processes or struggle to concentrate or remember information accurately. These symptoms can severely impact a patient’s ability to function normally, but with psychiatric treatment, you can reduce schizophrenic symptoms and lead a fulfilling life.

What are the signs my child has schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia can impact your child’s emotions, behaviors, and cognitive abilities. Their symptoms may vary depending on their age and stage of development. For example, it’s rare for schizophrenia to develop in children under the age of 13, but if your child has early-onset schizophrenia, you may notice:

  • Language delays
  • Delayed motor skill development including crawling or walking
  • Abnormal movements such as rocking or arm flapping

In older children and teenagers, you may see:

  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Decreased performance at school
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Depressed mood
  • Irritability
  • Low motivation
  • Abnormal behaviors
  • Substance abuse

Teenagers are less likely to have delusions, but more likely to have hallucinations than adults, which means they might see or hear things that aren’t there.

How is schizophrenia diagnosed in young people?

Dr. Elmashat and Dr. Elatrozy provide comprehensive assessments to diagnose the condition causing your child’s symptoms and behaviors. Many conditions cause similar symptoms to schizophrenia in young children, and it’s critical for the doctors to diagnose the correct illness to provide effective treatment.

How is schizophrenia in young people treated?

Dr. Elmashat and Dr. Elatrozy treat schizophrenia with a combination of medication and therapy. Schizophrenia stems from abnormal brain chemistry and activity, which is best regulated with medication.

Therapy can help your child learn to cope with their thoughts and feelings. You may also benefit from family therapy to ensure that you’re providing a supportive environment for your child and that any family issues that arise from the challenges of your child’s illness are addressed constructively and positively.

If you have concerns about your child’s mental health, call Ocean View Neuropsychiatry or make an appointment online today.