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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rebels With a Cause

MADRID () -- Teenagers who withdraw from friends, act strangely and start getting low grades at school may not be rebels without a cause -- they could be showing early symptoms of schizophrenia.

Since film star James Dean immortalized the anguished teenager in the 1950s, parents have taken it for granted that adolescents go through a period of feeling misunderstood.

"That is often used as an excuse for not actually carefully looking at what kind of problems are going on," Professor Patrick McGorry, a schizophrenia expert, told a Friday meeting at the World Congress of Psychiatry in Madrid.

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects one person in 100 before the age of 45. Acute schizophrenics lose touch with reality and suffer from hallucinations and paranoia.