ESSAY: Early Onset Schizophrenia

Children and adolescents with schizophrenia have more difficulty functioning in academic or work settings, and significant impairment usually persists into adulthood. They may have speech or language disorders and in some cases borderline intellectual functioning. These individuals are more likely to complete suicide attempts or die from other accidental causes. Schizophrenia is characterized by positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, and behavior disturbance. Negative symptoms include blunted affect and attention, apathy, and lack of motivation and social interest.

In this Assignment, you compare treatment plans for adults diagnosed with schizophrenia with treatment plans for children and adolescents diagnosed with schizophrenia. You also consider the legal and ethical issues involved in medicating children diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Learning Objectives
Students will:

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Compare evidence-based treatment plans for adults versus children and adolescents diagnosed with schizophrenia
Analyze legal and ethical issues surrounding the forceful administration of medication to children diagnosed with schizophrenia
Analyze the role of the PMHNP in addressing issues related to the forceful administration of medication to children diagnosed with schizophrenia
To Prepare for this Assignment:

Review the Learning Resources concerning early-onset schizophrenia.
The Assignment (2 pages):

Compare at least two evidence-based treatment plans for adults diagnosed with schizophrenia with evidence-based treatment plans for children and adolescents diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Explain the legal and ethical issues involved with forcing children diagnosed with schizophrenia to take medication for the disorder and how a PMHNP may address those issues.


Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes people interpret realities abnormally. Its symptoms range from hallucinations, delusions and at times disordered thinking that makes daily functioning problematic (Müller, 2017). According to the World Health Organization, close to 20 million people in the world have the condition. In the U.S, about 1.2% of the populace has the disorder. WHO also states that affected people are 2-3 times more likely to die earlier than other populations as they can be attacked by other metabolic diseases, infections and cardiovascular disease. Despite having lifelong treatment options, WHO contends that close to 69% of people affected don’t receive the right care. This essay compares at least two evidence-based treatment options for adults and adolescents diagnosed with the condition. Furthermore, legal and ethical issues associated with children being forced to undertake medications when they have been diagnosed with the condition will also be evaluated.

Comparison of Two Evidence-Based Treatment Plans for Adults and Children/Adolescents

Before evidence-based treatment options are implemented, diagnosis is always key, especially for children/ youths. This is to rule out other mental health disorders whose symptoms are related to schizophrenia. Such disorders include substance abuse or a medical condition. Childhood schizophrenia plan of treatment is mainly comprised of psychotherapy means where treatment is guided by a psychiatrist who has experience in handling the condition. For children/ adolescents, the treatment team can be composed of a psychiatrist, social worker, pharmacist, family member as well as a case manager who coordinates care (McCarthy et al, 2017). Psychotherapy treatment options may also include training in life skills. This kind of evidence-based treatment in children may not be so different in adults. Just like it was the case for children/ adolescents, adults that have been diagnosed with schizophrenia also need family interventions, supported employment as well as assertive community treatment. The elderly people must be provided with the necessary education regarding their condition. The training has to be geared towards illness self-management so that the adults who on most occasions depend on other people, can learn to be as independent as possible. Unlike in the case of children, the adults have to be provided with housing where they can receive much more support and supervision. Psychotherapy is critical as it can help manage symptoms and also help both children and parents to cope with the disorder (McIlroy, 2018). Another evidence-based intervention is the use of Medication or the use of psychopharmacological options which have found great utility in handling schizophrenia in both children/ youths and adults (Pagsberg et al, 2017). For the elderly, the treatment plan must consider the age and the likely response to antipsychotics. Since adults are likely to experience physical problems, there has to be a well-thought balance between the antipsychotics given and the psychosocial effect…

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