Schizophrenia is a serious and chronic mental disorder in which patients suffer from an intense distortion of thinking because it is difficult for them to differentiate between what is real and what is not. Patients suffering from schizophrenia often experience hallucinations and delusions, as well as a serious alteration of perception and a lack of awareness about their psychological state. This affects the normal life of those affected in a very deep way, managing to interfere in any facet of their daily lives and becoming unable to perform many of the normal functions of daily life.
Schizophrenia affects 1.1% of the world population and is usually divided into different classifications according to the most notable symptoms, with paranoid type schizophrenia being the most common class.
- 1 What is paranoid schizophrenia?
- 2 Causes of schizophrenia
- 3 Symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia
- 4 Treatment of paranoid schizophrenia
What is paranoid schizophrenia?
Paranoid schizophrenia is the most prevalent form of schizophrenia.. In this type of schizophrenia, symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations are more common in patient behavior than other symptoms such as disorganized behavior, common in other types of schizophrenia.
Paranoia is a self-referential delirium that is part of the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, in which the person adheres to irrational and structured fixed ideas about patterns of distrust of others that may become extreme. Within the paranoid ideas we can find persecutory manias, such as those that, for example, would have a person who believes he is the victim of a conspiracy and who is being heard through microphones in his own home. People suffering from paranoid schizophrenia show a behavior in which paranoid ideas are very pronounced and exclusive, as well as hallucinations and other delusions, such as delusions of grandeur.
Causes of schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is caused by a set of factors, although the fact that it occurs in some people and not in others is still unknown. Although the exact cause is still being investigated, there are several key factors that interact with each other causing people to develop this disorder.
It seems clear a great involvement of genetic factors, especially on chromosome 5. People whose parents or close relatives have schizophrenia have a greater predisposition to develop it.
Some sources also point to a biochemical alteration in patients' neurons that causes a communication problem between them. It seems that dopamine, a very important neurotransmitter in neuronal communication, is in imbalance in patients with schizophrenia, who seem to possess an excess of dopaminergic activity. A decrease in the activity of the prefrontal cortex of these patients is also studied.
Other risk factors may be certain problems during the gestation or birth period or the use of drugs that alter brain chemistry.
Symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia
The positive and negative symptoms that may indicate the presence of schizophrenia are varied, the most common being:
- Hallucinations: Hallucinations are distorted and unreal perceptual experiences that can be auditory, visual or other sensory and that for the person who suffers them may appear to be completely real.
- Delusional ideas: These are unreal and altered ideas that are rigidly maintained and that seem completely true to the patient.
- Disorganized language: It is a form of expression with great lack of coherence and practicality.
- Disorganized behavior: The disorganized behavior refers to a severely unstructured behavior in which they can occur from extreme muscular rigidity to an inability to maintain personal hygiene
- Extreme emotional reactions: Emotional reactions can be strange and disproportionate before diverse situations.
- Apathy or affective deficit with a great lack of reaction to external stimuli
- Cognitive deficits such as speech poverty
Paranoid-type schizophrenia leans more toward delusions and hallucinations than other symptoms such as those of disorganized schizophrenia. Paranoid delusions are irrational or strange ideas through which the patient interprets reality in a distorted way, his figure being key in these ideas. Some of the most pronounced features are:
- Persecutory mania. In this case, for example, the person may think that he is part of an external plan or that he may be persecuted, spied on or even that others try to kill him, when it is not true.
- Delusional jealousy. This would be the case of patients who firmly believe they are deceived and manipulated by people around them even if this is completely unreal
- Megalomania and delusions of greatness. This describes patients who may firmly believe that their figure is key in different unreal causes or that they are famous or important in a parallel reality.
- Auditory, visual or even olfactory hallucinations. As we talked about before, hallucinations are distorted perceptions of the reality in which the person thinks they are seeing, feeling or hearing something or someone who does not exist in real life and that can even lead them to commit dangerous acts for themselves and others. .
Treatment of paranoid schizophrenia
The treatment of schizophrenia in general, not only of paranoid schizophrenia, is essential to improve the patient's quality of life. Due to the complicated symptoms experienced by patients affected by this disorder, continuous medical treatment and follow-up that manages to control and manage the characteristics of this disease is essential. Patients with schizophrenia can usually adopt self-destructive behaviors and may commit suicidal acts in a large number of cases. However, with proper treatment, people with schizophrenia can have a healthy and satisfying life.
Among the treatments, the most recommended by mental health professionals is the pharmacological treatment with antipsychotics. These manage to control the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. In addition, psychosocial therapies such as those focused on the management of everyday skills, group and cognitive behavioral therapy or education and family support are very important to improve the quality of life of patients. Fortunately, more and more progress is being made in the study of this disease and in the treatments that improve the condition of the patients.
Links of interest
Schizophrenia, a distortion of thought. // blog / schizophrenia-a-distortion-of-thinking / # Types_of_Schizophrenia
What Is Paranoid Schizophrenia ?. //www.webmd.com/schizophrenia/guide/schizophrenia-paranoia#1
Paranoid Schizophrenia. //www.psycom.net/paranoid-schizophrenia