Paranoid schizophrenia is the most common type of schizophrenia and is characterized by delusions, hallucinations, and limited social contact. The reasons for the development of the disease are not exactly known, they speak of a combination of factors, including heredity, prenatal pathologies, and severe stress suffered in childhood. In old age, the disease can develop against the background of Alzheimer’s disease.
Paranoid schizophrenia is the most common type of schizophrenia and is dominated by paranoid or paraphrenic delusions and hallucinations, as well as affective flattening and incoherent speech. During illness, a person loses touch with reality, but the ability to think is preserved, unlike other types of schizophrenia. During remission, a person is capable of self-care.
According to statistics, the incidence of paranoid schizophrenia is about 1% of the total population. The debut, or the first vivid episode of the manifestation of the disease, occurs before the age of 30 years. It is important to understand that concomitant symptoms and signs can be observed for a long time before the first attack, but they must be recognized and classified in a timely manner.
Schizophrenia itself appears without any external reasons for that – it is believed that the hereditary factor plays an important role in this case. Paranoid schizophrenia significantly affects the daily functioning, communication with others, personal life, and work status of the patient.
Symptoms of Paranoid Schizophrenia
The main symptom of paranoid schizophrenia is delusional ideas that distort the idea of the world around. Thus, the patient may feel that he is being persecuted, or that he belongs to some ancient royal family. If we talk about hypochondriacal delirium, then in this case it cannot be associated with real sensations.
For example, such patients are sure that they have installations in their bodies, thanks to which UFOs monitor their behavior and the functioning of the body. Often there is also love delirium when it seems to patients that this or that person is in love with them. Often such people suffer from hallucinations – auditory and visual. The clinical picture of paranoid schizophrenia is:
- Emotional inadequacy;
- Social isolation;
Paranoid Schizophrenia Causes
Functional disorders of the brain are considered the main, however, far from the only factor in the development of paranoid schizophrenia?
In addition to a violation of the functional activity of the brain, the causes of the disease can be a viral disease of the mother during pregnancy, severe stress, lack of a balanced diet during pregnancy, taking psychotropic drugs during puberty, Alzheimer’s disease (in old age). Symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia:
- Delirium – obsessive suspicions, thoughts, manias, delusions. The most common delusion of influence is when the patient believes that they want to poison, kill, harm, or delusion of persecution, when it seems to the patient that he is being followed by special services, aliens, etc. Also, delusions of grandeur often occur, the patient sincerely considers himself to be some outstanding person (president, Napoleon, Superman, etc.) and behaves accordingly, but if reasonable attempts are made to convince him of the opposite, aggression arises.
- Hallucinations are a violation of the perception of reality, when it seems to a person that he hears voices, they can give him commands, criticize, mock, or provoke the patient to action. Sometimes hallucinations become so strong that the patient is talking with imaginary interlocutors, arguing or swearing with them.
- Disturbances in thinking, attention, or inability to concentrate are extremely rare in patients with paranoid schizophrenia and should not prevail.
- Irritability, anger, phobias.
Development of Paranoid Schizophrenia
The first signs of paranoid schizophrenia, as a rule, appear at the age of 25 years, but sometimes earlier. At first, the disease develops slowly and often unnoticed by others. The first signs can be manifested in an increase in the level of anxiety, suspicion, isolation, and rigidity. This period can last from several months to several years.
Further, the disease manifests itself, and symptoms appear in the type of hallucinations, delusions, or mixed states. Depending on the type of course of the disease, paranoid schizophrenia is divided into chronic and episodic. Gradually, in the course of the development of the disease, hallucinations, and delusions become less pronounced, weaken, and are replaced by long meaningless monologues.
To any, the simplest question, the patient embarks on lengthy discussions, this is how irreversible changes in the psyche or a schizophrenic defect manifest themselves. In addition to monologues, a person develops emotional callousness, interest disappears, and depression develops. It is impossible to prevent the development of a schizophrenic defect, it can only be slowed down, and this requires timely and qualified treatment.
Paranoid Schizophrenia Treatment
Only a professional doctor can diagnose paranoid schizophrenia. This is a complex, chronic disease that needs to be treated as early as possible. At Clinic, a comprehensive program is selected for each patient to prevent the development of symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia and its treatment, depending on the degree of development of the disease, as well as the individual characteristics of the patient’s personality. Paranoid schizophrenia is a chronic disease, and its treatment depends on the period of the disease.
- Active therapy is used during exacerbations of the disease, its main task is to remove the productive symptoms of the disease. The duration of treatment in this phase usually takes about a month. Depending on the prevalence of symptoms (hallucinations or delusions) and their severity, antipsychotics are usually prescribed, which quickly stop the symptoms. In the course of active treatment of psychopathic schizophrenia, specialists of the Clinic center also use atypical neuroleptics, which effectively combat the productive symptoms of the disease and, in addition, slow down the development of a schizophrenic defect, and the release of drugs in various dosages makes it possible to choose an individual, therapeutic dose.
- Stabilizing therapy is used after the removal of acute manifestations of the disease. At this stage, the treatment regimen is reviewed. The dosage of the drugs used is reduced. The duration of treatment on stabilizing therapy is up to six months.
- Maintenance therapy is aimed at maximizing the prolongation of remission and consolidating the achieved result, as well as preventing relapse.
Unfortunately, today there are no methods to completely cure it, just as there are no methods for the prevention of paranoid schizophrenia. However, thanks to highly professional specialists and modern drugs, the development of the disease can be significantly slowed down, and the patient can be brought into long-term remission, during which he can lead a normal life.
Paranoid Schizophrenia Prevention
There is no universal prevention against schizophrenia since this disease does not develop for external reasons. Paranoid schizophrenia is an endogenous disease that develops for genetic reasons and due to hereditary predisposition. Therefore, the only prevention of paranoid schizophrenia will be mental hygiene.
If you or your loved one in the family has relatives with mental illness, in particular, schizophrenia, you should avoid, if possible, stressful situations, taking psychoactive substances, visit a psychologist or psychotherapist if the person has experienced a strong emotional shock, if he is in a state of chronic stress.
In the event that the disease is diagnosed, it is important not to stop taking medications, to follow all the recommendations of specialists, and regularly visit the attending psychiatrist. It is also very important to lead a socialized life as much as possible, to do feasible work, not to withdraw and not to withdraw from the outside world, to observe the daily routine, and have a good rest.