Dealing With Reality: Parenting Teens With Schizophrenia

mother hugging son

It was his first time in the Psychiatric ER. He wasn’t sure why he was there. At first, neither were we. Other than a reported funny feeling in his jaw from a fight after smoking “bad weed,” it appeared he simply was emotionally distressed by a reasonably upsetting situation. He was 19 and in his first year of college, but how the next few hours unfolded threatened to jeopardize his academic and personal future. He was experiencing the early signs of schizophrenia.

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Schizophrenia Spectrum is both one of the most widely known mental illnesses and misunderstood because of the profound dysfunction it can cause. A distinguishing feature of schizophrenia is the presence of psychosis, a mental distortion that separates one from reality. Often the distortions emerge as auditory or visual hallucinations, delusional or bizarre thinking, disorganized speech, or severe emotional and physical withdrawal from others.