Childhood Onset Schitzophrenia

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by AmyLeigh_1, May 16, 2008.

  1. AmyLeigh_1

    AmyLeigh_1 Having a Mommy Meltdown

    I am starting to wonder if my son may be misdiagnosed as ADHD. I know he has a lot of the symptoms, but the behaviour issues are escalating instead of getting better. I was talking to my mother the other day and she asked me if I thought he could have COS - Childhood Onset Schitzophrenia.

    I started thinking back over the past year or so and things started clicking into place...So I called bio-dad to get his family history! What an eye opener!

    difficult child Bio#1 has heard voices in his TV but says they are not scary voices...they just talk alot. He has seen people in our driveway and garage that are not really the time I chalked it up to being psychic, cause I see things sometimes too. Many of the other symptoms of COS are similar to ADHD. mother tells me my psychiatric thought I could have COS when I was 15. I was never diagnosed, because I moved out on my own and never went back to see the Dr. Is it any wonder I see things sometimes....

    Then I talk to bio-dad, who says that bio-grandpa was hospitalized for 5 years for schitzophrenia and Bi-polar...and that Bio-dad takes seroquel for bi-polar (but is also used to treat schitzophrenia.

    Does anyone here have any experience with COS? Any suggestions on what I can do until I can get him evaluated and figure out what the heck is going on?
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I don't have any experience on COS so I cannot be of help with personal experience. I would say though, that until you can get your son evaluated, just stay available, watchful, and supportive.

    Here's a link for you that should give you some good information and a place to start.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't know about COS, however if he is hallucinating, and it sounds like he is, it's best to get help soon. Hallucinations tend to get worse and turn ugly in time if they are not treated. Since you have lots of psychiatric issues on the family tree, and they are hereditary, in my opinion it's best to see a Child Psychiatrist (with the MD) as soon as possible. ADHD doesn't cause hallucinations.
    medications for ADHD can make hallucinations worse or even cause them on their own. Adderrall was horrible for my child, although he didn't hallucinate. Still, it can be troublesome. But I'd still check it out, due to that family history Good luck.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree. Just be there for him until you get an appointment. with-a family history like that, you know the statistics are not in your favor...
    I would attempt a bit of cognitive therapy to see if it works. I mean, if the voices in the TV (I'm assuming it's not turned on) are not scary, ask what they are saying. Then tell difficult child to think about why the voices might be there if the TV is not turned on. Then direct him to telling them to go away because he's busy with-school, dinner, whatever, and he can't talk to them right now. The idea is to get a very early grip on the fact that he is in control of the voices, not the other way around.
    Good luck.
  5. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I don't have much advice that you haven't been given but I wanted to say hang in there. I know you must be frightened with the unknown possibilities.
  6. Christy

    Christy New Member

    You've gotten good advice so far and I don't have any personal experience with COS but I wanted to offer my support and encourage you to seek an evaluation. You are right to be concerned and wise to consider the possibility. It is always a good idea to gain as much information as possible.

    Wishing you and your son the best,
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Amy, I agree with the need to see a competent board-certified child psychiatrist as soon as possible.

    Hallucinations can be a part of bipolar disorder (mania fuels psychosis); it doesn't have to be COS just because there are hallucinations, but it does take a skilled psychiatrist to sort it all out.

    I respectfully disagree with Terry about talking to your son about the voices, unless he brings it up and he needs reassurance. You can't reason with the person who has hallucinations. They are very real to the hallucinator and only go away with the proper medical treatment.

    If he begins to have "command hallucinations" (voices telling him to do harm to self or others), that is considered an emergency and you should bring him to the ER for a psychiatric evlauation.

    If he is still taking Ritalin or any other stimulant for ADHD, you might want to ask the prescribing doctor about discontinuing it because stimulants can cause hallucinations as a side effect.

    Hang in there.
  8. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    My Daughter K Hallucinates, both auditory and now Visual. No-one thinks she is Schizophrenic. Could she end up having Schizo-Affective Disorder, maybe? (A combo of Bipolar and Schizophrenia)
    Yes I agree with Smallworld, K's hallucinations are considered part of her BiPolar (BP). Her's are not bad usually mostly nice people and nice voices. Once in awhile an angry mans voice.
    She seems to find comfort in these things. I do not bring them up and do not engage her about them, unless she wants to talk about it. I have let her know that there is nothing wrong with this, unless they are angry or mean things.
    We have gone over all of these things with her and told her this is her special thing and she does not need to talk about it with anyone. Only her Doctor if she feels comfortable.
    It is a fine line to walk, because you don't want them to think they are bad or scare them. But husband and I need to watch her and make sure they are not becoming command hallucinations. So far no...
    I would get him evaluated also. We are trying to find a medication for K right now that will help her calm them down with out drugging her up too much.
    She actually does not want them to go away. But husband and I and the Docs feel it would be better!!!
    Hang in there... I know it is scary. But there are answers no matter why he is having these.
  9. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello AmyLeigh,

    I agree with the others that you need to get your son evaluated as soon as you can.
    I'm not sure where you are located in Ontario. I am in the Toronto area. If that's near your neck of the woods, please PM me and I can give you some links to resources in the area.


  10. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Could you add difficult children age in your profile, please? It is just helpful to know if he is 9 or 19.

    I think Schizophrenia is split personalities and is quite rare actually. There are symptoms associated with schizophrenia that it turns out are really not part of that disorder (if I am remembering correctly from something I read years ago). But, often times someone that has schizophrenia also has multiple personality disorder and BiPolar (BP) - the comorbid disorders I think in the past were getting the symptoms mixed together.

    Of course, this is going on memory and could be wrong, but I think that is what I recall.
  11. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

  12. AmyLeigh_1

    AmyLeigh_1 Having a Mommy Meltdown

    Thanks so much for your opinions and ideas....your right I am terrified...Honestly, I've been too afraid to ask him what the voices are saying.

    I have a call into the family doctor, who will likely end up referring us to a specialist in Ottawa. Part of what worries me is that I remember how long it can take to get in to see a psychiatrist.

    Thanks means alot.