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Schizophrenia in Young Adults

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

Schizophrenia and Suicide

Schizophrenia  is a chronic, disabling mental illness characterized by a wide range of symptoms, including: abnormal thinking loss of contact with reality hallucinations It is strongly linked to an increased risk of suicide attempts and completed suicides. Among people diagnosed with schizophrenia, an estimated 20% to 40% attempt suicide. From 5% to 13% actually complete the act of suicide. Compared to the general population, people with schizophrenia have a more than...

Read the Schizophrenia and Suicide article > >

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

Reviewed on July 12, 2006

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