Paranoid Schizophrenia-Symptoms, Causes, Treatment


Schizophrenia is a severe case of lifelong mental disorder. Among the five sub-types of schizophrenia, paranoid schizophrenia is the most common. Paranoid schizophrenia is a serious psychiatric illness that is characterized by delusions accompanied with auditory hallucinations and perceptual disturbances.

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Paranoid schizophrenia is more common in people aging 17 to 35 years old. Young men with paranoid schizophrenia commonly begin to show symptoms in their late teens or early twenties, while women begin to show symptoms only in their twenties or early thirties. Paranoid schizophrenia is a chronic type of mental disorder and the possibility of a total cure has not yet been discovered.

Symptoms of Paranoid Schizophrenia

Delusions

A person suffering from paranoid schizophrenia may experience a state of delusion or false beliefs. A “delusion” means that a person believes things that aren’t real. These delusions include the feeling of being conspired against by a group of people with an intention of bringing him harm resulting to paranoia. Paranoia may lead to violent behavior as a way of defending oneself. Some delusions may include “delusions of grandeur”. This is a state when an individual believes he is a famous person, someone who can read minds or someone gifted with powers like a superhero.

Hallucinations

Hallucination is a distortion of an individuals’ perception of reality. Meaning, when a person is going through hallucination, his senses are playing tricks on his mind making him believe that what he sees, feels or tastes are real or true. Paranoid schizophrenia hallucination are classified into two types, they are:

Auditory hallucinations

A person with paranoid schizophrenia hallucination may suffer an auditory type of hallucination. Auditory hallucination is when a person hears voices and sounds that only he could hear. These voices could either be talking directly to the person or to each other. They might be laughing, mocking, judging, harassing or criticizing the person’s actions, on what you’re doing or they are saying harsh comments about the person’s imaginary and real faults. In worst case scenarios, the voices might be commanding or ordering the individual to hurt the others or him, thus leading to suicide attempts. A person with auditory hallucination believes they hear real voices and they intend to scream, shout or talk to these voices.

Sensory hallucinations

Paranoid schizophrenia hallucinations can also be sensory. An individual with paranoid schizophrenia may seem to smell or taste things that are not really there. Sometimes they feel sensations from different parts of their body like insects crawling in their skin or sometimes they also feel sexual sensation. These hallucinations may seem real and often times very frightening for those who are going through these sorts of problems.

Nonsensical thinking

Individuals with paranoid schizophrenia will most likely develop nonsensical thinking. This often affects the ability of a person to act and think straight and say non-sensible things. They are easily distracted and cannot think of one thought for a long time which leads them to do or say things which create no sense at all coming from a normal person. But to a person with paranoid schizophrenia, these actions or words make a complete sense. These nonsensical thinking may result to social isolation.

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Isolation

Most individuals with paranoid schizophrenia will often times feel empty, exhausted and want to be left alone. They isolate themselves from interacting with other individuals or they even tend to push their loved ones away. In severe cases, the condition will lead them to leave their homes, their jobs or quit school.

Warning

Individuals with paranoid schizophrenia may oftentimes show signs or warnings of suicidal tendencies. They seem to speak about wanting to die, or giving their possessions away. When a paranoid schizophrenic shows these signs or symptoms, medical treatment should be given immediately.

Other symptoms may also include:

• Anxiety

• Anger

• Emotional distance

• Violence

• Argumentativeness

• Feeling tensed, guarded, suspicious, and reserved

Causes and Effects of Paranoid Schizophrenia

Paranoid schizophrenia is regarded to be the most damaging psychotic disorder. Though the exact causes of this disorder are still unknown, researchers suggest that it may also be hereditary. If one of your parents has paranoid schizophrenia then you have a high possibility of developing it too. Brain with abnormal amounts of chemicals or chemical changes brought by puberty is also a factor in developing this illness. Complications brought by pregnancy and childbirth may also contribute in developing paranoid schizophrenia. Other causes may include excessive stress, exposure to viral infections, taking psychoactive medications especially during adolescent period, and other external causes.

In the later stages when symptoms become more visible, it might result into various side effects like showing a loss of motivation or lack of emotion. They might be laid back in dealing with social interactions, sleeplessness, tension, and changes in their personality.

Treatment and Drugs for Paranoid Schizophrenia

There has been no total cure for a paranoid schizophrenic patient and for those who are seeking healing; they need to take lifelong treatment. This means that even if symptoms are resolved, treatment regime should still be continued and not be ignored.

Treatments vary depending on the severity and duration of the symptoms. They are usually guided by the different types of therapies depending on the patients needs. It is also very useful to have a strong support team while undergoing treatments such as the involvement of parents, loved ones and family members, help from the psychiatrist and psychotherapist, and other health workers involved during treatments.

The primary key in treating paranoid schizophrenia is through taking medications. Medications like oral and injectable drugs are usually used to treat this disorder. Medications usually used are antipsychotic medications. The most prescribed are as follows;

• First-generation (typical) antipsychotic drugs are medications used to control symptoms affecting the brain chemicals. They are also effective in managing symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia hallucinations and delusions.

• Second-generation (atypical) antipsychotic drugs are newer types of antipsychotic medicines. They are also effective in managing delusions, hallucinations, and other symptoms like being emotionless.

• Other medications can also be helpful like antidepressants, anti-anxiety and mood stabilizing medicines.

Prevention

Ways to prevent the development of paranoid schizophrenia are still not known. It is still best to consult the doctor right away if early symptoms are shown to help control and avoid any serious complications brought by paranoid schizophrenia.  Just make sure you are good in mental and physical condition and avoid too much stress and  depression.

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