Psychosis in teens and young children

Learn about: Psychosis in teens and young children from Kenneth Duckworth, MD,...
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Psychosis in teens and young children

Psychosis is defined as a person who is having difficulty in discerning reality. They've had experiences that they are not clear are real. For example, a person who thinks that someone is out to get them in the absence of all available data, is thought to have a psychotic process. A person who is hearing voices or seeing things that aren't there, is also considered as having, kind of, a core psychotic disorder. It is interesting. When people are made aware of it, they say, "Well, maybe that's not the same kind of psychosis." Many features of psychosis are that people are not able to discern what is not a real, one that other people share. This is common problem with schizophrenia, which is an important problem to discuss on kids in the house because the onset for males is in the teen years, typically. For females, it's typically in the early 20's. There is something about a woman that is particularly protective about the development of schizophrenia. Younger children can have this phenomena of childhood schizophrenia. It's very disturbing to see an 8 or 9 year old child experiencing hallucinations and reporting it. I do want to make a pitch for a program that they have at the National Institute in Bethesda, where they do comprehensive assessments of childhood psychosis. The parents that I've talked to that have children there, get wonderful care.

Learn about: Psychosis in teens and young children from Kenneth Duckworth, MD,...


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Kenneth Duckworth, MD

Psychiatrist, Harvard Professor & Medical Director for NAMI

Ken Duckworth, MD, serves as the medical director for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He is triple board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Adult, Child and Adolescent, and Forensic Psychiatry and has extensive experience in the public health arena.

Dr. Duckworth is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at Harvard University Medical School, and has served as a board member of the American Association of Community Psychiatrists. Dr. Duckworth has held clinical and leadership positions in community mental health, school psychiatry and now also works as Associate Medical Director for Behavioral Health at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Prior to joining NAMI in 2003, Dr. Duckworth served as Acting Commissioner of Mental Health and the Medical Director for Department of Mental Health of Massachusetts, as a psychiatrist on a Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) team, and Medical Director of the Massachusetts Mental Health Center.

Dr. Duckworth attended the University of Michigan where he graduated with honors and Temple University School of Medicine where he was named to the medical honor society, AOA. While at Temple, he won awards for his work in psychiatry and neurology. He also has a family member living with mental illness.

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