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Why is schizophrenia difficult to diagnose in teens?

Mark Moronell, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
It can be difficult to diagnose schizophrenia in teenagers because normal teen behavior can sometimes be similar to symptoms of schizophrenia. For instance, many teenagers are short-tempered, distancing themselves from their parents and certain peers as they enter young adulthood. Drug and alcohol experimentation is common for many high schoolers, and symptoms of substance abuse can sometimes be hard to distinguish from other mental illnesses. However, teenagers who display highly unusual behaviors or thought processes, including delusions or hallucinations, may need to be screened for schizophrenia. Teens with these symptoms, who isolate themselves or have a family history of schizophrenia, are at an especially high risk for the disease.

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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.