Psychotic Disorders




This discussion will take a closer look into psychotic disorders affecting child and adolescent populations. Hua (2021) defines psychosis as an impairment in thought and behavior so intense that the capability to tell the difference between reality from unreality is lost. Symptoms of psychosis include hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking, disorganized or abnormal motor behavior, and negative symptoms. The appearance of symptoms of psychosis in children under 12 is rare. However, early warning signs may appear during puberty or adolescence in those who go on to develop psychotic disorders as adults. The period of time when an adolescent experiences the early warning signs of psychosis is called prodrome (MHA, 2022).

An example of a psychotic disorder experienced in childhood is schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a complex etiology. Adolescence is known as a critical period for neuronal pruning; therefore with early onset of symptoms, there may be disruption in the normal process of neuronal development, causing impairments with memory, abstract thinking, and emotion regulation that may become permanent. The lifetime prevalence of schizophrenia is 1% in the general population, making the incidence of pediatric schizophrenia rare (Kendhari, Shankar, & Young-Walker, 2016). Because of this, it is important to effectively evaluate the cause of any psychosis of a child or an adolescent. Doing so means collecting an accurate history and physical, performing a detailed neurological examination, and obtaining pertinent laboratory or imaging tests to rule out alternative differential diagnoses that also present with psychotic symptoms (Kendhari, Shankar, & Young-Walker, 2016).




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Cendrero-Luengo, C., Jiménez-Palomares, M., Rodríguez-Mansilla, J., & María Garrido-Ardila, E. (2021). Cross-Sectional Descriptive Pilot Study on the Risk of Psychotic Disorders among Adolescents. Children, 8(10), 1–13.

 Hua, L. L., Alderman, E. M., Chung, R. J., Grubb, L. K., Lee, J., Powers, M. E., Upadhya, K. K., & Wallace, S. B. (2021). Collaborative care in the identification and management of psychosis in adolescents and young adults. Pediatrics, 147(6).

 Kendhari, J., Shankar, R., & Young-Walker, L. (2016). A review of childhood-onset schizophrenia. Focus, 14(3), 328-332.



Please respond to one of the following discussion prompts and plan to include 3 or more scholarly resources in your post. 


 1. Studies show that identifying psychosis in the prodromal period and starting early intervention provides a better response to treatment and overall prognosis in treating schizophrenia. Explain how a provider can conduct a thorough interview when assessing children and adolescents presenting with psychotic symptoms. What should be included in the assessment?   

2.  Psychosis can develop gradually or suddenly. What are some early warning signs of adolescent psychosis?

3. Because the prevalence of schizophrenia is low, what are some other differential diagnoses that may present with psychotic symptoms in the pediatric population?




NOTE: Please respond to one of the questions that the group posted. You can start by appreciating the group for their informative post etc. 

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