Paranoid schizophrenia is the most common subtype of schizophrenia , the patient experiences delusions commonly referred to as “False beliefs”, common of these delusions are persecutory in nature wherein the individual believes that other people are “out to get him” while some delusions are conspiracy in nature wherein the individual believes that people are plotting against him.
Auditory hallucinations is also a major manifestation in Paranoid Schizophrenia, these are instances wherein they hear voices that may come from inside their head joining their thoughts wherein these voices can argue with other voices, comment on the individual’s actions and thoughts and they can even discuss among themselves, while sometimes the voices come from outside the individual’s mind and may appear to have come from no physical source at all, it may even occur that an individual will hear the voice of a real present person but in reality the person in question did not utter a single word.
Paranoid schizophrenic may spend a lot of time protecting themselves from imagined persecutors.
A person with paranoid schizophrenia have less problems with memory, concentration and blunted emotions compared to other types of schizophrenia. This allows them to function better and think better the other subtypes of schizophrenia. Though Paranoid Schizophrenia is a lifelong disorder that could lead to suicidal thoughts and actions.
Signs and Symptoms of Paranoid Schizophrenia
- Auditory hallucinations – hearing voices that don’t exist
- Delusions – false beliefs, commonly persecutory and conspiracy in nature
- Anxiety – Extreme periods of anxiety
- Anger – Ranging from mild irritability to full-blown rage
- Detachment – feeling of not being in one’s body
- Thoughts about suicide
Other warning signs:
- Social isolation
- Mood swings
- Obsession with death
- Feeling of desperation
- Drug and/or alcohol abuse
Risk factors for development of Paranoid Schizophrenia
- Genetics – family history of individual’s positive with schizophrenia has a higher chance of developing the illness. Without family history, the chances for development is less than 1& but with one parent as a sufferer the risk rises to 10%
- Viral infection – if the fetus is exposed to a viral infection in the womb, this increases the chance of the baby developing schizophrenia after it is born and grows older
- Fetal malnutrition – If the fetus is inappropriately nourished inside the womb during pregnancy, this increases the risk for the development of schizophrenia
- Stress during early life – severe stress early in life is a factor for development of schizophrenia.
- Childhood abuse and trauma
- Parental Age – Individuals with older parents when they were born have a higher risk of developing schizophrenia