Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Worried mom of 5 year old

For the last about 6 months my 5 year old son has been changing into someone I don’t even know anymore he is obsessed with death and talks about how he’s going to die so casually

He talks constantly about hearing voices in his head

He thinks another child in his class has built a bomb outside of his room and is trying to blow him up and goes on long paranoid rants about it

He goes days without sleep and when he does sleep he screams and has erratic movements

And these have happened over the last 3 days and I would like to know if anyone else has experienced this and if it’s a symptom of schizophrenia or someone else

The first incident we were sitting watching tv and he started crying hysterically yelling his nose was bleeding and he was going to bleed to death and he wasn’t bleeding and when I showed him in the mirror he wasn’t bleeding he kept yelling he was bleeding he knew he was and I couldn’t convince him otherwise

Then tonight I started him a shower and he was very resistant to even having one and I know he hates anything too warm so I make it on the edge of being cold and he touched it and started screaming. It was burning his skin and I kept telling him it wasn’t hot and he kept saying it was burning him then I turned it so it was actually cold and he still kept yelling it was burning him and was so upset to the point he started vomiting …

I was just hoping I could receive some insight and know if these are symptoms or if I should be looking into something else

Thank you

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Well obviously there is a lot of anxiety involved. I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about schizophrenia, and I wouldn’t go to any professionals whom you suspect will also be quick to jump to the conclusion of mental illness. The reason you don’t want to jump to these conclusions, is that you don’t want your very young child put on heavy-duty medications with serious long-term effects, if your child might not even need them, and also because you don’t want to accidentally drug the shit out of your child while ignoring the true problem.

I recommend finding a good child therapist who will first spend lots of time interacting with your son and trying to find out where these thoughts and fears are coming from, making sure nobody gave him these ideas and scared him, find out if he is having bad nightmares that are causing these ideas and fear of sleeping, or any other possibilities. You want to rule out everything psychological first before considering psychiatry / mental illness.

My opinion.


Hi, That all sounds very worrisome.

As far as I know, no one on the forum is a doctor or would consider ourselves remotely qualified to diagnose illness.

Here is what I will say: tell your family doctor all of this. Get a full physical first (as there can be physical causes for these behaviors). There might be blood tests, EEG, MRI, whatever they can do to make sure there is no other cause. While all of that is being done, get a referral to a specialist from your doctor and/or ask around to find a good one.

The specialist should be able to get your son a complete neuropsych evaluation. This will include many “tests” of basic cognitive function as well as revealing some elements of your son’s subjective experiences.

Look into every possible cause.

As far as the cold things feeling like burning, something like that happened to me as a result of antibiotic side effects. There are just so many possibilities.

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It sounds like your son needs help. You might wait a while to see if his symptoms are going to abate, but I’m afraid he needs professional help. Shop around for a good therapist. Do extensive homework. See if you can find a therapist who doesn’t automatically place your child on debilitating medications. Your son does need to be evaluated, though.

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This sounds very distressing for him, unlike turnip I think the sooner he gets help the better, psychotherapy might not help his delusions if he’s sure of them.

If my mom went to get help for me sooner when I first start showing symptoms at an early age things would be much different. She got me a therapist but that didn’t change anything because it’s biological and the delusions were too powerful.

I’m not against medicating children with schizophrenia if that is to ease their suffering. It’s better than to grow up full blown psychotic really! I say from experience.

Hope this helps.
Best of luck

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Talking to an experienced psychologist or doctor would be the best way to improve your childs future.

Perhaps they had similar patients and know how their lives went for the better or worse.

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Yes, let’s drug up a 5-year-old on antipsychotics without first ruling out other possible causes, because… wait, why?

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Of course they should rule out other causes.

Well you found But child sz is relatively rare.
Full blown symptoms usually don’t appear until your teens or later.

As many have suggested, you need a full medical exam to look rule out any organic causes.
If these all come out OK, then maybe a child therapist can help your child deal with his fears.
While talking to him he may suggest a psych evaluation.

As a person with sz and a mother also, I feel your pain.
But these days I’m a little wary of child psychiatrists in the USA that are ready to diagnose ADD at the drop of a hat and give ADD medications and even antipsychotics.

My child had issues. But I am happy to report he grew out of all that and is now 22 and was misdiagnosed at Least twice if not more as a kid.
Psychiatry is not an exact science like medicine in my opinion, and mistakes can be made.
Get second and third opinions and they may not match at all.
But with a caring mother like you, I’m sure you will be proud of him when he becomes a man.

I think you should also read up on epilepsia. EP mimic schizophrenia in many ways. You can hear voices, have anxiety attacks and have visual hallucinations. Was thinking of his movements at night, are they like cramps or just irratic? EEG can spot EP.

There is something called night terror. The child “wakes up” one-two hours from falling asleep and screams in terror. They are unreachable. They just scream and kick and fight. My niece has this. She is 7 years old.

Check up thyroid problems too. Or diseases caused by ticks.

Thank you all so much for your input I am just very lost and worried for him and want to do my best to help him.

We have been seeing our family doctor for 2 years now as we thought he had some form of learning disability as he one day knows colours and next day does not
All his fine motor skills are extremely under developed He doesn’t know how to hold a pencil, he won’t draw any shapes or anything other then scribbles, he is in his own world a lot do the time when I ask him to do something he starts walking to do it then just stops and stand there lost, even getting dressed is an extreme struggle it takes him atleast 20 minutes as he cannot focus on one task and he has since being a baby bashed his head of things and now hits himself in the head whenever he feels over whelmed or frustrated but we have not been able to pin point anything and now these new things have popped up and seem to be escalating

You have all gave amazing input and I appreciate it so so much I am really hoping that whatever it is I can help him as I don’t like seeing him in fear and pain and upset it breaks my heart and I just want the best for him and to him to have a happy life

I say if you drug the poor child take him out of school and home school him because he won’t be a normal kid on antipsychotics. Therapy of some sort at this early age is worth a try, because once he’s on drugs and older he will be harder to deal with if he comes off. At this young age he’s got the best chance at learning he has a mental illness.

I’m wondering if there is some Autism/ Aspergers going on here from your last description.

But none of us are doctors, so please seek professional help for your child.

I second that. I’m not a doctor nor any kind of professional, but it would seem prudent to get the kiddo to a doctor and see what’s going on. I think it would be a more direct course of action if you brought him to a pediatric therapist.

I am very against drugs I myself suffer from extreme anxiety as well as depression and I know the struggle of trying to find a medication that works for you and how scary it is when you are on one that does not and the thoughts of suicide and feeling like you have no control over your thoughts and I don’t want him to ever feel that struggle especially at 5 years old, we have an apt Monday to be referred to a child psychiatrist but wanted to reach out before that as this is all that consumes my thoughts these days as He is not the same person he was 6 months ago and it is breaking my heart and was hoping to find some insight and other things to look into which you have all been so amazing to provide

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His behaviors are not the same, but he is the same person you love.

I also thought of autism spectrum from your latter description. The only people who can diagnose him are the doctors you are taking him to. You are doing everything you can; please take care of yourself too

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I was also thinking autism. I have an autistic son. He has had complete meltdowns when he was 5. He could not pull the zipper on his jacket until he was 9. He just learned to tie his shoe laces last year, 14 years old. He hit himself and his head.

Autistic children need structure. Many of the meltdowns are avoided with the right environment and approch.

Check out Ross Greene. He has written a great book about inflexible kids.

I suggest getting him to a pediatric neurologist as soon as possible. There are a number of conditions that could cause the symptoms you mention, including autism, epilepsy, etc…but a neurologist or ped. Psychiatrist would need to be involved. Best wishes to you and your little boy.

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my mom has problems similar to this with my brother, he has adhd, autism and bipolar disorder with psychotic features. The first thing she did was get my brother evaluated by a family doctor who recommended a mental health clinic. The clinic set him up with a therapist once a week. he was put on meds and from 7 till he was about 23 he took the meds but he always had problems with school, he couldn’t function like a normal student so they let him take special education classes. he has several relapses on the they way and talked of suicide.