Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Questions about behaviour

My son is 9 with a diagnosis of autism and adhd. He is extremely violent when he has outbursts - hurting us, trying to hurt himself with knives and us. Last week he woke in the night asking me to make the whispering stop because it’s scary. He has said that he feels someone is watching him and hears his name being called sometimes when we are out. I’m trying to connect the dots and becoming increasingly concerned that he may be experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia… or am i wrong?

There is such a thing as schizophrenia in childhood. I’d get him evaluated by a child psychiatrist to be safe

Hi and welcome to this site. You will find people here who understand and get some suggestions that might help your life.

Hearing voices, feelings of being watched or talked about by others, and being scared were symptoms that my daughter experienced early on. She wasn’t diagnosed with schizophrenia right away, but we knew something was wrong. I found that educating myself on the symptoms of schizophrenia helped me to explain to others what was happening to her. Hallucinations and delusions are common symptoms of schizophrenia

@Spindy I’m sorry your son and you are experiencing this. It sounds very scary and stressful. Does he have a psychiatrist already?
My son is 25 now and is on the autism spectrum as well. He never had any psychosis symptoms (that we were aware of Anyway) until about a month and a half ago. It was very scary and fortunately after a very stressful week he was hospitalized on a voluntary basis.
I would definitely recommend getting an evaluation for your son. Schizophrenia and also other mental health disorders have symptoms like the ones he is experiencing.
From what I am learning in my son’s program is that it takes months of observation and evaluation to make a real diagnosis.

Thank you for your message.
Do you mind me asking how old your daughter was when she experienced these symptoms? and did it escalate? I completely understand if you would rather keep this private.
It has been suggested by a mental health nurse that the voices could be a symptom/response to anxiety. However, I haven’t come across anybody that has experienced this type of thing with anxiety. The voices, my son said there is more than one, only ever call his name - was this the same for your daughter?
Take care

Thank you for your message.
We don’t have a psychiatrist. We do have a paediatrician and access to mental health nurses. The paediatrician deals mostly with autism and the mental health nurse we spoke to suggested that the voices could be a symptom/response to anxiety. I’m not sure if I think this could be the case as anxiety has been a part of my son’s life for a long time and has only recently experienced the voices.
You mentioned that before recently your son never showed any symptoms of psychosis that you were aware of - are there any behaviours that you think may have been something other than autism? I completely understand if you wish to keep this private.
I am so glad that your son is getting the help he needs and hope that this gives you some reassurance and peace of mind. It sounds like you have been under incredible amounts of stress, stay strong.
Take care

@Spindy The only thing I can think of that maybe could have been something other than autism is that he sometimes starts giggling out of the blue. But when we ask him what he is laughing about, he says he is thinking of something funny. And it’s always something along the same lines, stuff that happened in middle school. My daughter brought this up after the psychotic episode, thinking maybe he had been having hallucinations, but I don’t think that’s the case because of what he says.
The voices thing would make me very nervous. My son saw his outpatient psychiatrist for the first time today and she said the longer someone has an untreated episode of psychosis the more the brain suffers and the more likely that they will have more and more serious ones later on. I don’t want to tell you what you should be doing, especially since I’m by no means an expert. I do think though that getting your son evaluated by a mental health provider is a good idea. It does sound like the voices are distressing to him and at least you will get an answer and some help.

Hi Spindy, My daughter was 32 when her sz started. Yes, it was barely noticeable at first and then escalated over a 3 year period. The voices always talked to her, and there was more than one voice. She felt they were out of body people talking to her from far away. She talked back to them. Sometimes she was saying outloud what her voices said to her in an altered voice, and then answering them in her own voice. So she held both sides of the conversation, but didn’t know it.