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Schizophrenia Usually Strikes First in Young Adults

Unlike virtually every other mental illness, schizophrenia is fairly unique in that its first onset is nearly always in young adulthood — not childhood or as a teen, and rarely after one’s 30s. Most people who are diagnosed with schizophrenia have their first symptoms and episode in their 20s — early to mid-20s for men, a little later (late-20s) for women.

This is, in part, what makes it such a devastating disorder. Just as a person is finding their way in the world, exploring their personality and relationships with others, schizophrenia strikes.

Unlike other disorders, too, its symptoms can be especially scary and troubling to the person’s loved ones.

5 Comments to
Schizophrenia Usually Strikes First in Young Adults

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  1. My 23yr old daughter was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 19/20 after having a full assessment with a PhD.She always a stellar student at the top of her class since as far back as pre-k. She was sheltered growing up and very much an introvert who never made friends. Her first year at school her grades began to drop and that’s where her bottom fell out. .She has never been hospitalized nor has she ever had an episode. In fact the psychiatrist was not fully convinced of the PhD’s report and did a MRI which came back normal. She has since been on and off several meds and tried a couple IOP and Day treatment services to no avail. The one trauma that may have triggered her illness is losing her uncle to gun violence and he was the only male figure in her life and she was very close to him. She is refusing to take meds anf in denial and will start a program but not finish. I have little to no control because she is no threat to herself or others and I feel frustrated watching her deteriorate with the only hope she will eventually get hospitalized for a point of reference to force compliance or me getting her more help.

    Feeling exhausted at this point and my hands are tied as her only caregiver and payee for SSI?

  2. My question has always been, what if someone showed symptoms of schizophrenia in young adulthood but never received a diagnosis or treatment? What happens then?

    My other question has always been: what if the delusions lessen over time on their own? For example, what if something happens that makes the undiagnosed person lose track of their delusion (such as a much more traumatic event,) and then suddenly they remember it much later, but can see it as a delusion. After that they have residual issues with reality/fantasy but no real big breaks like that first time. Then what? Is that even possible?

    These questions are very important to me and have no answers as far as I can tell.

  3. I have been on antipsychotic medication for the last 15 years schizophrenia was diagnosed in 1999. I donot know what caused it. It was like something made me have a terrible headache. That got worse then diagnosed with it. email me with feedback

  4. I am about to take on caring for my 22 year old nephew who’s been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He dropped out of college 2 years ago and since play online video games every waking second. His mother works 3 jobs and is unable to supervize him during the day. She lives in a very small rural town with not access to day programs nor much resources. I am his only option to try to him as I live in a large metro agrea. I am lost on where to even start. He has come and stayed for a few weeks at a time to give his mother a break. He won’t leave the house, can’t initate getting a daily shower or doing personal cares. He is on anitpyscotic medication but his new Psyh does not feel it is helping. Any advice would be most welcome!



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