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Schizophrenia Health Center

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Schizophrenia in Young Adults

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When Does it Start and Who Gets It?

Psychotic symptoms (such as hallucinations and delusions) usually emerge in men in their late teens and early 20s and in women in their mid-20s to early 30s. They seldom occur after age 45 and only rarely before puberty, although cases of schizophrenia in children as young as 5 have been reported. In adolescents, the first signs can include a change of friends, a drop in grades, sleep problems, and irritability. Because many normal adolescents exhibit these behaviors as well, a diagnosis can be difficult to make at this stage. In young people who go on to develop the disease, this is called the "prodromal" period.

Research has shown that schizophrenia affects men and women equally and occurs at similar rates in all ethnic groups around the world.

Recommended Related to Schizophrenia

What Is Paranoid Schizophrenia?

Paranoid schizophrenia, or schizophrenia with paranoia as doctors now call it, is the most common example of this mental illness. Schizophrenia is a kind of psychosis; your mind doesn't agree with reality. It affects how you think and behave. This can show up in different ways and at different times, even in the same person. The illness usually starts in late adolescence or young adulthood. People with paranoid delusions are unreasonably suspicious of others. This can make it hard for them to hold...

Read the What Is Paranoid Schizophrenia? article > >

WebMD Public Information from the U.S. National Institutes of Health

Reviewed on July 12, 2006
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