Describe what schizophrenia is in relation to the teenage brain.
In the adolescent brain, the onset of schizophrenia is called the prodromal period. This is a time where the teenager has already engaged in behavioral patterns that, combined together, form a typical profile of what schizophrenic behavior is. These behaviors are:
- isolation from friends and family
- erratic reactions
- problems with sleep
- unusual ideas
- extreme suspicion
- the imminent feeling of being in danger
- excessive anger and mood swings
- motor/cognitive anomalies
- flat affect
This prodromal period can be alleviated by medical professionals through immediate intervention in a mental institution. However, this disorder is chronic, which means that it will not go away. Hence, the only way to treat it is with a consistent action plan and monitoring.
Schizophrenia develops as a result of genetics, or abnormalities in the chemical reactions of the brain. In some studies, the brains of people with schizophrenia denote less gray matter, larger ventricles, badly-developed brain cells, and overall biological changes. In teenagers these symptoms are even stronger due to their constant hormonal changes, and because they are still developing.