Specialist treatment is essential for treating the symptoms of Paranoid schizophrenia, with a combination therapies often being the most effective.

What is Paranoid Schizophrenia?

Paranoid schizophrenia is a condition within the spectrum of schizophrenia that manifests itself in delusions and hallucinations, often causing the person suffering to believe they are being ‘plotted against’ by those around them. These debilitating and fear-inducing symptoms confuse what reality is and what isn’t, making it difficult for the person affected to live a normal and fulfilling life. Some people find that symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia develop slowly over a period of time, whereas others notice them occurring very rapidly.

What are the signs of Paranoid Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is unique to each person there may be warning signs if you

  • Unable to complete day to day tasks such as going to work or taking care of your personal hygiene and appearance.
  • Feel distrusting, scared and suspicious of certain people, especially those who hold positions of authority or are part of groups.
  • Feel that people are ‘out to get you’ and are lying to you
  • Feel afraid to seek help due to distrusting others around you

What are the symptoms of Paranoid schizophrenia?

If you are experiencing some of the following symptoms, you could be diagnosed with schizophrenia:

  • reduced interest in things
  • disconnection from feelings
  • difficulty concentrating
  • wishing to avoid people
  • hallucinations, which can include hearing voices or seeing things
  • delusions (which can include paranoid delusions) – strong beliefs that others don't share
  • disorganised thinking and speech
  • not wanting to look after yourself
  • slow movement
  • a difference in sleep patterns
  • no interest in social activities you previously enjoyed
  • reduced sex drive

It’s important to note that not everyone with paranoid schizophrenia will experience these symptoms. The "prodromal phase" of the illness can include changes in sleeping patterns, avoiding social situations and feeling disconnected from the world around you and generally occurs to those in their late teens to their early thirties.

An acute episode of schizophrenia is more severe. The individual may feel anger, depression and panic which can be extremely frightening and debilitating.

What are the causes of schizophrenia?

The exact causes of schizophrenia are unclear, but it most likely arises from a combination of environmental and genetic factors.  When neurotransmitters in the body such as dopamine and serotonin are imbalanced, symptoms of schizophrenia can occur, and if there is a history of the illness within the family, there is a higher risk (around a 10 per cent chance if a parent has had it ) of developing it also.

There is an argument as to whether stressful situations could be a catalyst for developing early symptoms of schizophrenia, or whether the circumstances are actually caused by the symptoms themselves, e.g. anger and distrust within relationships.

Other contributing factors can stem from issues before and during birth, such as babies with malnutrition in the womb, complicated births or viral infections in the pregnant mother. Babies born to older parents are more likely to develop the illness, and if a person uses drugs that alter the mind, this also increases the risk.

What are the different types of schizophrenia?

Paranoid is the main schizophrenia type, but there are others, including:

  • Disorganized
  • Catatonic
  • Residual
  • Schizoaffective
  • Undifferentiated

Paranoid schizophrenia treatment

Specialist treatment is essential for treating the symptoms of Paranoid schizophrenia, with combination therapies often being the most effective. Schizophrenia can be effectively treated and cared for at home by a multi-disciplinary team of experts, suitable for the client's particular circumstances and individual traits. 

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