Teen Schizophrenia is a mental illness characterized as a Psychotic Disorder, and is characterized by hallucinations and delusions, which lead to irrational thoughts and behaviors. While the severity of the disorder can vary, in certain instances Teen Schizophrenia can become all-encompassing in teens’ lives, preventing them from being able to function healthily and lead healthy lives. This leads to considerable stress and challenges for both the teens as well as parents and family members.
Delusions & Hallucinations:
The primary symptoms of Teen Schizophrenia are delusions and hallucinations which can vary in frequency and severity.
Delusions are false beliefs teens hold to be true and often, strongly believe in, even despite consistent and considerable evidence of their falsity. These beliefs can be absurd and even logically impossible, such as the teens believing that they have magic powers, believing there’s a conspiracy against them, that they’re famous, or that someone is plotting against them.Hallucinations are imaginary things teens with Schizophrenia see, smell, feel, or hear that are not real. The most common hallucination is voices and the second is the teens seeing people that do not actually exist.
Both delusions and hallucinations can understandably lead to considerable disruption in the teens’ lives, because even as ludicrous as the beliefs or experiences may be, teens will experience feelings, thoughts, fears, and worries related to the delusions or hallucinations, as if they were completely real. Not only does this disrupt the teens’ perspective on their actual lives, but can also lead to considerable stress and anxiety. Delusions can also often cause the teens to withdraw from others, because of both feelings of paranoia as well as being misunderstood. And of course, this also causes considerable stress in the loved ones of the teens, as well.
Beyond delusions and hallucinations, teens with Schizophrenia may sometimes also suffer from Movement Disorders and/or Thought Disorders. Movement Disorders are characterized by strange body movements such as repetitive movements, jerky motions, or extreme lack of motion. Thought Disorders are characterized by teens having difficulty connecting and/or articulating their thoughts in a logical way and/or being unable to complete their thoughts, while speaking.
Some of the other symptoms that may be present in teens with Schizophrenia include: insomnia, depression, anxiety, inability to engage in activities, apathy, sudden mod changes, difficulty in school, difficulty with peers, unclear speech, and neglect of personal hygiene.
Teen Schizophrenia Treatment often involves a combination of different therapeutic measures, including both talk therapy and behavioral therapy approaches. During talk therapy sessions, therapists work with teens to help them to identity and address their current needs, symptoms, and challenges. As therapists work with teens to help them identify these things, they can help teens to also identity some of their stressors and/or factors that either aggravate or abate their symptoms. It’s also common for teens to take medication, which will help to lessen the severity of the symptoms they’re experiencing. Over time, therapists will teach teens helpful techniques and tools they can use to manage both their symptoms and effects, as they also learn to re-engage in activities and healthy relationships. We also incorporate Family Therapy sessions as part of our Teen Schizophrenia Treatment plans, in order to address the needs of parents and family members, throughout this time. By working together with the family unit, our therapists can help to not only foster improved communication among the family, but also to create a healthy, supportive environment for the teen to return to, following their time at Paradigm.
Paradigm New York:
Paradigm New York is a residential teen treatment facility, located just outside of New York City, in Westchester. At Paradigm New York, we provide holistic adolescent treatment for a wide range of mental health and substance abuse struggles, including Teen Schizophrenia. Within our treatment plans, we incorporate a number of different techniques, including both traditional and experimental approaches.