Psychotic disorders can be misunderstood or misdiagnosed by clinicians that deal with children, including clinical social workers, counselors, child psychiatrists, and child psychologists. Many times it is difficult for a mental health professional to determine whether the problematic behaviors exhibited are the result of an altered normal developmental process or the result of a serious mental disorder. This book provides professionals and students with the specific information needed to assess better the exact nature of what is affecting the young patient.



Schizophrenia is considered to be the archetypal psychotic disorder. It is arguably the most severe of the psychotic illnesses. Schizophrenia is not a rare disorder. It is present in approximately 1% of the population worldwide. There have been international epidemiological studies that have revealed that the rates of schizophrenia vary little from country to country or continent to continent. Males and females are affected at equal rates.


Schizophrenia is characterized by significant disorders of perception such as auditory hallucinations, visual hallucinations or visions, and can even include tactile, gustatory, or olfactory hallucinations. For many patients suffering from schizophrenia, delusions—fixed false beliefs—of a strikingly unusual or bizarre nature are often present. These two types of symptoms have been considered the hallmarks of schizophrenia.

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