Diagnosis

Some youngsters diagnosed with schizophrenia have been described by their parents as not quite like other kids when they were younger. They may have been quiet, seeming to be off in their own world, but they functioned adequately on a day-to-day basis. Although the break from reality may have seemed to be sudden, it is likely that the youngsters showed signs of emotional and physical decline before the actual defining episode. For others, the onset of the disorder can be more sudden and swift, occurring unpredictably after an uneventful, possibly successful, early life. Among the criteria for diagnosis, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual –IV (DSM-IV) are two or more of the following during a one-month period or less: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, and negative symptoms, and social/occupational dysfunction.