Paranoia and schizophrenia

Paranoid schizophrenia (F20.0) is a type of schizophrenia characterized by hallucinations and delusions, as well as incoherent speech, affective flattening. There may be mild catatonic symptoms that are not predominant. It is one of the most common types of schizophrenia. A distinctive feature of paranoid schizophrenia is the presence of paraphrenic and paranoid delusions. Catatonic symptoms are mild.          

Causes of paranoid schizophrenia

The main cause of paranoid schizophrenia is brain dysfunctions. Also, genetic factors play a role in the appearance and development of schizophrenia. In addition, the causes of paranoid schizophrenia can be:  

  • the presence of viruses in the mother during pregnancy; 
  • malnutrition of a pregnant woman;
  • stress;
  • Alzheimer’s disease;
  • the use of psychotropic drugs in adolescence. 

Paranoid schizophrenia can be diagnosed between the ages of twelve and thirty. However, it can often be detected even in infancy.     

Paranoid schizophrenia symptoms

Along with the universal symptoms of schizophrenia, the symptoms of the disease are: 

  • delirium of persecution, grandeur, jealousy;
  • auditory hallucinations;
  • olfactory, gustatory hallucinations, bodily sensations;
  • visual hallucinations;
  • thinking disorders;
  • irritability;
  • anger;
  • fears;
  • suspicion;
  • violation of volitional functions.

The course of paranoid schizophrenia

The course of the disease can be episodic, or chronic, in which vivid symptoms persist for several years.

Paranoid schizophrenia usually develops after age 25 . At the first stage, the disease is slow, the initial period can last from 5 to 20 years.      

In the debut, anxiety attacks, obsessive states are observed , then suspicion, isolation, rigidity increase.  

The stage of development of the main clinical manifestations of the disease is characterized by the presence of persecution delusions, physical impact, pseudo-hallucinations.

In the future, there is a hallucinatory-paranoid phenomenon, in some cases hallucinosis prevails, in others – delirium and mixed states. The change of stages is characterized by a wave-like flow.     

Treatment of paranoid schizophrenia

Paranoid schizophrenia can have serious consequences: emotional, behavioral disorders. The patient often becomes depressed, abuses alcohol and drugs.     

The main forms of therapy for paranoid schizophrenia are pharmacological treatment, psychotherapy and electroconvulsive therapy.    

In the treatment of paranoid schizophrenia, alcohol and drugs are categorically contraindicated . 

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