Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Symptoms around age 12


#1

I noticed major changes in my daughter starting at age 12. Just interested if others had the same experience.


#2

Hi - welcome to our forums. That is very young (and quite rare, generally) for someone to develop psychosis that young. What exactly did you see as “major changes” that your daughter experienced.

We have had people post in the past about this. Not sure how often they come back - but here is one of the discussions:

You can also search our archives (search on child schizophrenia or childhood schizophrenia

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#3

Hello. I am a parent of a diagnosed Schizophrenic. I believe this is a condition he was born with. He exhibited difficulties as an infant to soothe yet bright and acheiving milestones early. His toddler years were the most difficult for me. I was riddled in self- dought. In my parenting only to have my parenting skill challenged with the many professionals I sought help from. I read, I went to classes, I followed through and still could not control a 18 month old. At the time my son was born I was a 31 year old practicing professional in the community. I am intelligent and mature. But how I was treated by mental health professionals is an entire other topic.
After taking him to Westchester Medical center child development center he was placed in a special preschool. He had a 33% delay in cognitative skill and language. He was breifly placed in with austic children until proven not to be autistic. His diagnosis at that time pervasive Development al Disorder-NOS. PDD-Nos. In other words, theres something but we dont know what.
My son began seeing a psychiatrist we had met at Westchester MC. She recommended Risperdal. Within a half hour of him taking the med he was a more pleasurable, agreeable child. I was grateful. I hated the fact that my child needed special care. I was concerned about placing him on medication so young. It is what he needed. He told me the shadows didnt bother him so much anymore. I can only think the shawdows were halucinations. I dont know. When my son was 10 he had suicidal thoughts which awarded him his first of several hospital stays. The doctors diagnosed him with rapid cycle bipolar disorder. Fast foward to 18 years old where the term schizoaffective was used. My son does not function in society without assistance and modifications. He is back home now, after taking a year off livigng off other family members. He has a job coach and is consistant on meds.


#4

My daughter had severe temper tantrums from 2-4 year old. Throwing things, crying, taking her clothes off and pinching herself. No doctor I discussed this with seemed to think this was odd. She was and has been above average on all developmental milestones. As she got older she would start and stop actives usually in the middle. Start piano stop, start a sport stop, start an art project stop, start a job stop. At 12 she started berating me and “telling stories” about me to others and about them to me. At 14 into drinking which lead to drugs. Raising her was like managing chaos. Had double with relationships at school, started cutting her arms, then bingeing and purging. I sought her psych care but all doctors fell for her stories that she had a traumatic childhood upbringing. Those doctors that didn’t believe refused to treat her because of her noncompliance. She ended up heavy into drugs and alcohol and it was hard to tell if she had psych issues or behaving as someone who is a drug addict. She continued to struggle to keep jobs, stay out of legal trouble with her driving and having trouble managing money. She had weird eating habits and like when she was younger would not eat with family or friends. Then she got clean and soon after had her first psychotic break.

There does not seem to be common symptoms other than hearing voices or hallusinating that people talk about when their kids were young. I’m hoping to have parents reflect back and share what signs they noticed when their kids were younger that might have been indicators of schz down the road.


#5

My daughter is 28 now. While growing up she had things I always thought was strange. But she was very intelligent. At 2 she was able to recite “The Night before Christmas” and would turn the pages at the proper spot. She was off the charts with vocabulary. In preschool she would cry and think no one liked her. I visited her teacher to see what we could do to help her. Her teacher was shocked - when she would arrive at school, she said all the children would call out to her. She said they all wanted to be her friend and thought she was so pretty. Her kindergarten teacher reported an egg hunt where tons of eggs were in plane sight and she just stood and didn’t know what to do. She noted other strange occurrences.

In 1st grade she didn’t notice that the whole class was leaving to go to the library. All during these years she had quirky things going on. Sometimes she would think of something funny and laugh uncontrollably for so long I’d finally fuss at her and then she would cry uncontrollably and then my husband would say something like “poop” and she would start laughing again. She had the same teacher in 2nd grade who recommended she get tested (although she was well behaved and smart, her teacher felt something was not right). She was identified with ADD and given Ritalin.

After being on Ritalin for a while she was re-tested and was identified as gifted. All through school she was given awards for different subjects. But she was extremely disorganized and would fail to turn in assignments. In 3rd grade she fell on the monkey bars and told the teacher that she had amnesia. I taught at the same school so it was easy to contact me. In the 6th grade she told a friend she was pregnant. The friend was worried and told the teacher who told the councilor who told the principal who told me. She spoke to the adults and went farther in the story which was not true.

When 5 she cried because she wanted to die and go to heaven. When 8 she talked about dying often. I took her to a psychiatrist who added Zoloft to her medication and counseled her once a week. She would go into the office all bubbly and happy and he eventually said she was a well adjusted child. This was the beginning of her manipulating of professionals. She learned what to say and not to say. It took me a while to realize what she was able to do.
Her first suicide attempt was just after graduating (she had continued saying she wanted to die).

I know I said a lot and there was more I could have said, but I highlighted the biggest things. My regret was I trusted the professionals and didn’t trust my own instincts. She is now diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia and Borderline Personality Disorder. I’ve heard such hard stories of childhood schizophrenia, mine was a little mild in comparison. I wish you the best.


#6

Honestly, no. The only slightly odd thing about my son’s development was that he never crawled. He rolled over, he sat up, then he did nothing for a while, then he started to pull himself up into a standing position. Then he walked. He just never crawled. In every other milestone he was normal. He was above average throughout his school career. He was quiet but not shy and was rather popular. He was very witty and quite a good actor when in the mood. From about 4 to seven years old he had repeated bouts of tonsillitis. He was diagnosed at the age of 27. I believe his prodromal phase started at about 17/18, but in the beginning it was nothing more than being a bit bad-tempered, so I put it down to adolescence. He is coping quite well with his sz since diagnosis. I don’t think he has fully accepted it yet; he has stopped taking his medication and relapsed three times since diagnosis, but for six months he has been on depo shots, he has been living independently since before diagnosis and his life is gradually getting more stable and he is starting to achieve more. I had some sarcosine shipped to him recently so I am hoping that will help him too,