DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Childhood schizophrenia is one of several types of schizophrenia, a chronic mental illness in which a person loses touch with reality (psychosis). Childhood schizophrenia is essentially the same as schizophrenia in adults, but it occurs early in life — sometimes even before the teen years — and has a profound impact on a child's behavior.
Childhood schizophrenia includes hallucinations; delusions; irrational behavior and thinking; and problems carrying out routine daily tasks, such as bathing. With childhood schizophrenia, the early age of onset presents special challenges for diagnosis, treatment, educational needs, and emotional and social development.
Identifying and starting treatment for childhood schizophrenia as early as possible may significantly improve your child's long-term outcome.
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