Paranoid schizophrenia is a serious mental condition that can cause a person to become disconnected from reality. This can cause symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions. A person suffering from paranoid schizophrenia will also often become convinced that they are being unfairly persecuted. Other symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia include confusion, weight loss, changes in eating habits and anger. There is no known cure, but it is possible to control the signs of paranoid schizophrenia using drugs although in some cases the person may need to be hospitalized.
The first symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia usually occur in either the person’s teenage years or 20s. Often, the symptoms are initially relatively mild and then get worse over time. Although there is still debate over the exact causes of the problem, it seems that an imbalance of chemicals in the brain plays an important part. A common misconception is that stress causes the condition, which is not true, although stress can magnify the symptoms.
Most of the signs of paranoid schizophrenia affect a person’s behavior and are most noticeable by the people closest to him or her. For this reason, relatives and friends often notice the condition before the person does. To start with the person may change daily routines. For example, the person’s sleeping habits or overall energy levels may begin to change. This is often accompanied by difficulty in making decisions and a sense of nervousness.
The distinguishing symptom of paranoid schizophrenia compared to other types is that the person will often have a heightened sense of importance. This then leads the patient to believe that he or she is being persecuted or hunted in some way. In many people this is displayed as a general feeling that other people are “out to get me.”
Some other potential symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia include hallucinating with images and sounds, an inability to accept other people’s opinions and a sense of grandeur. There may also be other changes such as a lack of personal hygiene and strange comments. In most people simply taking a drug such as Haldol will reduce the symptoms although counseling may also be required to deal with some of the symptoms. Group therapy is sometimes used to help provide an understanding of the condition which is important if the patient is to learn how to control his or her symptoms.