Paranoid SchizophreniaJust because they really are out to get you doesnt mean you arent paranoid.
-Steven BrustParanoid schizophrenia is a serious, lifelong condition that leads to many complications, including suicidal behavior. Paranoid Schizophrenia is one of the several types of schizophrenia, a chronic mental illness in which a person loses touch with reality. The classic features of paranoid schizophrenia are having delusions and hearing things that are not real. This paper will discuss the key symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention of paranoid schizophrenia. Key SymptomsDelusions and hallucinations are the symptoms that make paranoid schizophrenia most distinct from other types of schizophrenia. You are less likely to be affected by mood problems or problems with thinking, concentration or thinking.
In paranoid schizophrenia, a common delusion is that you are being singled out for harm. For instance, you may believe that the government is monitoring every move that you make or that a co-worker is poisoning your lunch. You may also have delusions of grandeur- the belief that you can fly, that you are famous or in a relationship with a famous person. You hold on to theses false beliefs despite evidence to the contrary. Delusions often result in aggression or violence, especially if you believe you must act in self-defense against those who want to harm you. An auditory hallucination is the perception of sound, usually voices, that no one else hears.
The sounds may be a single voice or many voices. These voices may talk either to you or to each other. The voices are usually unpleasant. They make ongoing criticisms of what you are thinking or doing, or make cruel comments about your real or imagined faults. Voices may also command you to do things that can be harmful to yourself or others.
When you suffer from paranoid schizophrenia, these voices are real to you. You may even talk to or shout at the voices. Causes Paranoid schizophrenia and other forms of schizophrenia are brain disorders. Genetics and environment play a key role in causing paranoid schizophrenia. The precise cause is unknown. Certain factors may increase the risk of developing or triggering paranoid schizophrenia including: family history, exposure to viruses while in the womb, poor nutrition while in the womb, stressful life circumstances, older prenatal age, and taking psychoactive drugs during adolescence.
Treatment and PreventionIf your doctor or mental health provider suspects that you may have paranoid schizophrenia he or she will run a series of test. These tests will help pinpoint a diagnosis, and rule out other problems that may cause some similar symptoms. These test may include: a physical exam, laboratory testing, and a psychological evaluation. To be diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, you must meet the symptom criteria spelled out in the Diagnostic and Statistical manual of mental disorders. ( www. mayoclinic.
com)Diagnostic criteria includes a preoccupation with one or more delusions, and frequent auditory hallucinations. Paranoid schizophrenia is a chronic condition that requires lifelong treatment, even when you have periods when you feel better and symptoms have lifted. You may be tempted to ignore or stop treatment, but effective treatment can control your condition and lead to a happier life. The main treatment methods for paranoid schizophrenia are: medication, psychotherapy, hospitalization, electroconvulsive therapy, and vocational skills training. Paranoid schizophrenia is not a condition that can be prevented. Evidence shows that some signs of schizophrenia may even be present from early childhood.
However, to prevent episodes from occurring as frequently some steps can be followed. Take your medications as directed, even if you are not feeling well. Avoid drugs and alcohol as these tend to worsen the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia. Pay attention to the warning signs and check before combining other medications to your daily regimen.