The moment you suspected that something was wrong, you sought help for your son. You are also spending a great deal of time researching his problem. You are doing all the right things.
I would concur that his delusions are concerning. They are unusual. Schizophrenia rarely occurs among children. At this time, he may not meet the criteria for schizophrenia but it is important that his symptoms are evaluated. You should consult a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist may suggest medication to reduce his symptoms or as a precautionary measure to help prevent the development of a full-blown psychotic episode.
People can experience symptoms of psychosis as a result of serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Psychosis can also be brought on by drug use, fever, organic brain disorders, dementia, and on very rare occasions, parasitic infections. You may want to have your son evaluated by a neurologist to rule out a physical disorder.
Finally, you should check with local hospitals and universities to determine if they have a first-episode or early psychosis program. These programs typically offer highly specialized evaluations for individuals who are in the early stages of schizophrenia or who are experiencing psychosis. Many “first-episode” programs also offer psychoeducational programming to patient’s families. Massachusetts General Hospital has a First-Episode and Early Psychosis program. Similar programs also exist in other states.
Generally speaking, the sooner that a person receives treatment for psychosis, the better the outcome. It seems that you’re doing everything you can. He is fortunate to have you in his life. You are keenly sensitive to his symptoms and needs. The early help that you can help to facilitate has the potential to make a major positive difference. I wish you and your son the best of luck. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle