Mental health

Paranoid Schizophrenia: What it means and how to treat it

Paranoid schizophrenia is a form of schizophrenia where the patient feels that they are being manipulated, or manipulated. Read on to find out more

Schizophrenia is a serious mental health condition, and paranoid schizophrenia is a type of schizophrenia. Here, the patient believes that he is confined. There is a strong sense of paranoia, of something going wrong against them. Symptoms may include hallucinations as well as delusions. It is very important to understand the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia as soon as possible to get the right treatment. Read on to learn more about this condition, why it occurs, its symptoms and treatment.

What is paranoid schizophrenia?

Paranoid schizophrenia is a subtype of schizophrenia, where the patient experiences delusions. However, the American Psychiatric Association announced that this term is no longer used in 2013. It now recognizes that it is one of the symptoms of schizophrenia and lists it under psychosis.

Paranoid schizophrenia is a type of schizophrenia in which people have strong, unfounded beliefs that they are being manipulated or that some grand scheme is being planned against them, and they often hear voices that others cannot hear. ‚ÄúThese experiences are called delusions and hallucinations. “People with paranoid schizophrenia may not have the language or behavior problems seen in other forms of schizophrenia, which may allow them to function better in everyday life,” said the psychiatrist. Dr Ajit Dandekar.

Causes of Paranoid Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia has no specific cause. However, there are several factors that can play a role in a person being diagnosed with schizophrenia or paranoid schizophrenia. Here are some reasons:

1. Chemical imbalance

An imbalance in brain chemistry can also lead to paranoid schizophrenia. The brain uses chemicals to communicate with brain cells, and when there is an imbalance, it can cause a problem. An imbalance between neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, can cause schizophrenia. The study, published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, lists dopamine as an inhibitory neurotransmitter involved in the pathology of schizophrenia. This means that if a patient is diagnosed with schizophrenia, there will be an abnormality of dopamine in the frontal areas of the brain.

2. Genetics

Genetics play an important role. It is known that having family members with schizophrenia increases the chance of developing the disease. The NHS lists genetics as one of the biggest causes of schizophrenia. Different genetic combinations can increase a person’s chances of developing schizophrenia. However, it should be remembered that it is not certain that a combination of genes can lead to schizophrenia. For example, in twins, if a person has schizophrenia, there is a one in two chance that the other twin will also get it.

3. Differences in brain structure

Changes in brain structure, such as changes in gray matter volume, have also been observed in some patients, says Dr Dandekar. Brain mass changes in schizophrenia, and there are structural and functional changes in the cortex, says the study, published in Current Directions in Psychological Science.

4. Environmental factors

Environmental factors such as exposure to viruses or malnutrition during pregnancy, severe psychological stress, and trauma can also cause symptoms. Other psychological factors include the response to severe stress or trauma, which can lead to psychotic episodes in vulnerable people.

Paranoid schizophrenia occurs due to chemical imbalances in the brain, as well as genetics. Image credit: Freepik

Symptoms of Paranoid Schizophrenia

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition lists the following symptoms

  • Disturbing feelings and visions
  • Unstructured speech
  • Disorganized behavior
  • Reduced emotional expression

It also means that two or more symptoms must be present for one month or more. Also, it is important to realize that when people deceive themselves, they believe things that are not real, like thinking that someone is always being followed by someone. On the other hand, hallucinations often involve hearing voices that are not there.

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How is Paranoid Schizophrenia different from other types of Schizophrenia?

Paranoid schizophrenia is characterized primarily by symptoms; of self-deception and sensory perception. The person does not experience significant cognitive decline or depression. However, these symptoms are common in other forms of schizophrenia. This may make it easier for people with paranoid schizophrenia to function in everyday life compared to those with other subtypes.

Diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia

Diagnosing paranoid schizophrenia includes a complete psychological examination to discuss symptoms and mental health history, a medical examination to rule out other conditions, and psychological tests using standard tools.

Psychiatrists use the criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which requires the presence of symptoms such as confusion, hallucinations, and disorganized speech. some time.

Antipsychotic drugs are used to control symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations. Image credit: Freepik

Management and Treatment of Paranoid Schizophrenia

Here are a few ways schizophrenia can be treated:

  • Management of paranoid schizophrenia involves medication. Antipsychotic drugs are used to control symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations.
  • Psychological interventions, especially cognitive-behavioral therapy, help individuals cope with the problems of their condition and reduce the stress caused by their symptoms.
  • Comprehensive care also includes social and vocational skills training to support and improve their community building skills and quality of life. Often, ongoing treatment and support is required to successfully manage the condition.

What does it mean to live with someone with schizophrenia?

Living with a person suffering from schizophrenia requires patience, understanding and knowledge about the disease. A few things can help:

  • It is important to communicate openly, maintain a calm and orderly home environment, and establish clear expectations to help manage stress for the individual and family members.
  • Education about this disease is important for understanding the behavior and symptoms that a loved one is displaying.
  • Professional support for the patient and family members, including therapy and support groups, is also important.


Paranoid schizophrenia is the most common form of schizophrenia and must be treated as soon as possible. It is important to follow your treatment plan closely, including adherence to medication and attending treatment sessions. Managing stress through methods such as meditation, yoga or exercise can help manage symptoms. Creating a schedule helps provide structure and reduces the uncertainty that can lead to stress. Finally, maintaining social relationships and seeking support from peers or support groups can provide comfort and advice, helping to manage the situation effectively.

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