Paranoid schizophrenia is one of several types of schizophrenia, a chronic mental illness in which reality is interpreted abnormally (psychosis). The classic features of paranoid schizophrenia are having beliefs that have no basis in reality (delusions) and hearing things that aren't real.
Paranoid schizophrenia is one of several types of schizophrenia, a chronic mental illness in which reality is interpreted abnormally (psychosis). The classic features of paranoid schizophrenia are having beliefs that have no basis in reality (delusions) and hearing things that aren't real (auditory hallucinations).
With paranoid schizophrenia, your ability to think and function in daily life may be better than with other types of schizophrenia. You may not have as many problems with memory, concentration or dulled emotions. Still, paranoid schizophrenia is a serious, lifelong condition that can lead to many complications, including suicidal behavior. But with effective treatment, you can manage the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia and work toward leading a happier, healthier life.
Signs and symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia may include:
With paranoid schizophrenia, you're less likely to be affected by mood problems or problems with thinking, concentration and attention. Instead, you're most affected by what are known as positive symptoms.
It's not known what causes paranoid schizophrenia. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that paranoid schizophrenia and other forms of schizophrenia are caused by brain dysfunction. Why and how that brain dysfunction occurs is still under investigation, though.
It's thought that an interaction of genetics and environment may lead to brain dysfunction that causes paranoid schizophrenia. Problems with certain naturally occurring brain chemicals called neurotransmitters may also contribute to paranoid schizophrenia. Imaging studies show differences in the brain structure of people with schizophrenia, but researchers aren't yet sure about the significance of these changes.
Although the precise cause of paranoid schizophrenia isn't known, researchers have identified certain factors that seem to increase the risk of developing or triggering paranoid schizophrenia, including:
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, schizophrenia affects about 1 percent of the general population, and paranoid schizophrenia affects an even smaller percentage. Schizophrenia typically becomes apparent between the teenage years and the mid-30s, but paranoid schizophrenia may start later in life.
Left untreated, paranoid schizophrenia can result in severe emotional, behavioral, health, and even legal and financial problems that affect every area of your life. Complications that paranoid schizophrenia may cause or be associated with include:
If your doctor believes you may have paranoid schizophrenia or another mental illness, he or she typically runs a series of medical and psychological tests and exams. These can help pinpoint a diagnosis, rule out other problems that could be causing your symptoms and check for any related complications.
To be diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, you must meet the symptom criteria.
Diagnostic criteria for paranoid schizophrenia include:
It can sometimes be difficult to diagnose paranoid schizophrenia, especially because other conditions may have similar symptoms. Be sure to stick with it, though, so that you can get appropriate treatment.
If you would like to know the latest treatment and management strategies, using conventional and scientifically backed complementary medicine and therapies, plus an assortment of helpful tips, hints and lifestyle remedies which will improve your overall quality of life, then call into our pharmacy and we'll be delighted to help.