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Anna
Anna, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.
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my niece is 7 and has been experiencing auditory hallucinations.

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my niece is 7 and has been experiencing auditory hallucinations. she has a history of night terrors and would commonly hallucinate during fevers. she has recently said she has heard voices during the day. this is not a daily occurrence. she says she hears voices that are yelling and it hurts her head. she is scheduled for an mri and i believe and appt with a psychiatrist, but i was trying to gather some more information, as my sister is very upset. i am wondering what the chances are for schizophrenia or a brain disease/tumor. also, how common is it that auditory hallucinations are caused by anxiety and stress? she is awkward at her age right now and does not have alot of confidence ie:she is dreading going to school this year (and has always loved it in the past). other than that, there are no major issues. thank you for your input
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Anna replied 4 years ago.
Hey Tess,

     I'm glad your sister has an appt with a psychiatrist and is getting an MRI. These are very serious symptoms, and not at all normal for a 7 year old child. Anxiety and stress do not cause auditory hallucinations unless the trauma is extremely severe, and the child has really shut down. What I hear in your story is a medical condition that needs a full work-up for a complete and proper diagnosis.

     I'm going to give you a link that will help you understand childhood schizophrenia, which certainly is a possibility for you niece, but since it is rare, the doctors will work very hard at ruling out anything else before giving that diagnosis.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/childhood-schizophrenia/DS00868

     The first step is to get to a pediatrician or child psychiatrist for the diagnostic workup. They will help you go from there. You can be a strong support for your sister in this - I'm sure she is very scared for her daughter right now. Take it one step at a time and try not to dwell on your worst fears.

I appreciate the opportunity to answer your question.If I can be of further help, please let me know.
Anna
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Anna thank you. Do you have any other ideas besides schizophrenia? also, how intensive do you think the diagnostic workup will be? i know the psych end of it, but will they also do bloodwork or anything else (eeg, etc). just trying to be as prepared as possible. (i wasn't sure if i accepted it would let me ask another question, but will be accepting after this-thanks!)
Expert:  Anna replied 4 years ago.
Hey Tess,
Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner...I lost my WiFi for a bit.

     I'm not a physician, (disclaimer:so don't take this as medical advice) but I just asked my husband, who is: his guess is that they'll do blood work to rule out all kinds of things, do an eeg to study the brainwaves and then an MRI and/or CT for an inside look for any abnormalities, and a full neuro exam. It could be so many things, that the list would look like a drug warning sheet. If they don't find something through all that, then the likelihood of schizophrenia comes closer to the front.
     The good news is that these exams don't take long, nor do the results, so you'll know a lot of information soon.

Good luck, and let me know if I can be of further help. If you would, please fill out the feedback form after accepting - its very valuable to me. Thanks,
Anna
Anna, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.
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