Adolescent Schizophrenia

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Date Submitted: 09/16/2011 07:29 PM

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Adolescent Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that causes people to abnormally interpret reality. The term literally means “split-minded,” which refers to the unusual balance of emotions displayed in those diagnosed with schizophrenia (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), 2007). Though Schizophrenia usually emerges in early adult life, adolescents can be diagnosed with the disorder. Those diagnosed with schizophrenia during adolescence have more severe cases and poorer future outcomes than those who begin displaying symptoms in adulthood. Therefore, it is important for teachers to understand schizophrenia and the strategies that will help their students have positive outcomes (Hollis, 2007).

Adolescents are usually diagnosed with the subtype of disorganized schizophrenia (Hollis, 2007). Adolescents with disorganized schizophrenia often respond to events and people in ways that make little sense. Symptoms may include disorganized speech, such as rapidly jumping from one idea to another or using a made up language, which make speech unintelligible. Adolescents may also show disorganized behavior, for example shouting out of the blue or wearing many layers of clothing on a warm day, and display absent or inappropriate emotional expression. There are also many symptoms of adolescent schizophrenia that are not found in adults diagnosed with the disorder, including a prevalence of cognitive impairment and developmental delay in areas of language, reading, motor development, and bladder control. Well-formed delusions and hallucinations are also less commonly found in adolescent diagnoses of schizophrenia than in adult cases of the disorder (Hollis, 2007). Adolescents can gradually begin to display symptoms, but a sudden of appearance of psychotic symptoms and deteriorate in hygiene and functioning is more common (MFMER, 2007).

The causes of schizophrenia are unknown, but both genetics and environmental...