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How can I help my child if I think he or she has schizophrenia?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
You should intervene early if you suspect that your child has schizophrenia. It can be very worrisome when your child displays behaviors that are abnormal, or claims to hear voices in his head. However, the best way to offer a child a healthy life with schizophrenia is to get an early diagnosis and start treatment right away. Experts recommend taking a child to a doctor annually for a physical exam. This is a great way to make sure your child is meeting appropriate social, mental, emotional, and physical milestones. If you have concerns about your child's actions, discuss these with the doctor. If your doctor agrees that there is a problem, you will be referred to a child psychiatrist. The psychiatrist can do a thorough evaluation and determine if your child does have schizophrenia. If the diagnosis is positive, your child will begin an intensive treatment plan including medication and psychosocial therapy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.