Paranoid schizophrenia is a type of schizophrenia in which the patient experiences delusions that somebody may be plotting against them or their family or friends. This is the most common form of schizophrenia. These patients may also experience auditory hallucinations, meaning they hear things that are not real.
Patients may spend majority of their time thinking of ways they can protect themselves or their loved ones from these delusions or hallucinations.
Compared to patients with other types of schizophrenia, patients with paranoid schizophrenia often have fewer memory problems, dulled emotions, and concentration difficulties. This allows these patients to think more clearly and have a higher level of functioning.
Paranoid schizophrenia is a chronic condition. And because it’s there for life, it does increase the risk of complications later on.
Signs and symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia include:
Like with other types of schizophrenia, the exact cause of paranoid schizophrenia is unclear. Some studies have shown that brain dysfunctions can contribute to the onset of schizophrenia, but why this brain dysfunction occurs is undetermined.
Environmental triggers have been speculated to contribute to the development of schizophrenia, too.
Furthermore, an imbalance of dopamine has also been found to contribute to schizophrenia. Even serotonin, another neurotransmitter, has been found to play a role in causing schizophrenia.
The researchers have identified some risk factors for the condition, including genetics, viral infections, fetal malnutrition, stress during early life, childhood abuse or trauma, parental age of conception, and drug abuse.
If treated, a person with paranoid schizophrenia can live a very fulfilling life, but if left untreated, the condition raises the risk of complications. Complications resulting from paranoid schizophrenia include depression, suicidal thoughts, suicidal behavior, malnutrition, hygiene problems and lack of personal care, substance abuse, homelessness, delinquent behavior leading to imprisonment, inability to study or perform work, or illnesses related to tobacco use – many schizophrenics smoke heavily and regularly which increases the risk of smoking-related complications.