Schizophrenia paranoid symptoms, causes and treatmentsThe paranoid schizophrenia It serves to give a name to the illness suffered by many patients with schizophrenia who present positive symptoms as their main manifestations.
This subgroup is characterized by a clinical picture in which relatively stable and often paranoid delusions predominate, accompanied by hallucinations (especially aural) and perceptual disturbances.
It should be noted that the division of this mental disorder and different categories (paranoid, hebephrenic, catatonic schizophrenia, etc.) has been questioned.
In fact, these subgroups have been removed from the most recent psychiatric diagnostic manuals, with insufficient scientific evidence found to support their prevalences.
This means that people with schizophrenia cannot be systematically included in the various proposed subgroups because symptomatology is usually very different in different patients.
In this way, a schizophrenic person may present positive, negative, or disorganized symptoms with relative arbitrariness, complicating the construction of specific diagnostic categories.
However, this does not mean that these subgroups do not have their usefulness, as there are, for example, many schizophrenic patients with a more or less similar symptoms and can be categorized under the subgroup of paranoid schizophrenia.
To be diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, the general guidelines for diagnosing schizophrenia must be met, and in addition, hallucinations and delusions must be prevalent.
As for delusions, the most common:
Delusions of persecutionThe patient feel deceived persecuted, may be abused spied on, slandered, poisoned or drugged, robbed him that there is a conspiracy against him or any false belief of possessing harm.
Reference deliriumIt is based on a false belief that the events, objects, behavior of other people and other perceptions that the patient grasps are related to his person.
Celotypical ideasIt is also known as Otelo syndrome and the patient and is characterized by the irrational belief that his partner is unfaithful, so it is a delusion of infidelity.
Delusions of having a special mission or suffering a physical transformation.
As for hallucinations, the most common are hallucinations in which the patient hears voices rebuking him, giving him orders, or judging him. Likewise, olfactory hallucinations, gestations, sexual or other types of bodily sensations are usually present.
What are the causes of schizophrenia?
A very important genetic load has been demonstrated in the development of schizophrenia. Several studies, such as those carried out by Faraone and Santangelo, show that their heritability can be calculated at 60-85%.
Likewise, there are other important risk factors in the development of this disease.
Among them they suffer from obstetric complications, malnutrition during pregnancy, born in winter and with changes in psychomotor development.
In this sense, schizophrenia is understood as a disease of neurological development in which the above factors suffer and have a high genetic load that can cause the person to develop a mental illness.
Also, factors such as consumption of certain drugs, especially marijuana, or living stressful events can trigger the development of the disease in an already predisposed schizophrenia brain structure.
Treatment and prognosis
Paranoid schizophrenia is characterized by being the most therapeutically accessible schizophrenia type with the best prognosis. This fact is explained by two main reasons.
The first is based on the type of drug treatment that exists today for schizophrenia, which is effective for positive symptoms (in paranoid schizophrenia) and quite ineffective or even harmful for the negative (absent paranoid schizophrenia is very effective ).
The second reason is explained by the absence of negative symptoms and cognitive deterioration, which predominate in paranoid schizophrenia.
Thus, the long-term effects of schizophrenia have a completely listless and dull affective state to develop and suffer a gradual deterioration of cognitive abilities, usually occur with less intensity in this type of schizophrenia.
In this way, paranoid schizophrenia is treated mainly by psychotropic drugs.
Currently most used are atypical neuroleptics, such as quetiapine, risperidone or clozapine, which allow to reduce delusions and hallucinations and often produce less than conventional antipsychotics harmful effects.
Similarly, people with paranoid schizophrenia may benefit from psychological treatment.
First, motivational therapy is often a very useful tool for the psychotherapists who get patients who are taken nothing of schizophrenia is adequate to drug treatment and antipsychotics adhere to reduce the positive symptoms.
On the other hand, cognitive-behavioral treatments to address the intensity of delusions and hallucinations, and social skills training to increase the level of patient performance are highly beneficial treatments.
Finally, psychoeducational family interventions are very useful in helping both the patient and the family understand and properly manage the illness.
Symptoms of schizophrenia
To simplify the understanding of the symptoms of schizophrenia, they can be divided into three main groups: positive, negative and disorganized.
1. Positive symptoms
The positive symptoms of schizophrenia are probably the best known and those that receive the most attention both socially and professionally.
In this way, most of the treatments of schizophrenia have the objective of reducing or attenuating these types of manifestations, which are largely due to the great eccentricity that characterizes them.
Among the positive symptoms we find formal thought disorders, that is, delusions or paranoid ideas.
The delusions that a person with schizophrenia may experience can be of many different types; moreover, they may acquire greater organization and therefore play a more important role in the person's thinking, or they may be more mild and fragmented.
Among the typical delusions are those of persecution, in which the patient believes to be persecuted by others, the self-referential, in which the patient believes that others are talking about him or celotIpico based on a delusional belief that the pair He is unfaithful.
Another type of delusions that can be found are the erotomaniacs, the megalomaniacs, the mystical delusions, the guilt, the nihilists, or the hypochondriacs.
Finally, the delusions considered most serious are those of orientation of thought, characterized by the patient's belief that other people control, read, steal or disseminate their own thinking.
Hallucinations, which can be either visual, auditory or sensory, are another important positive symptom.
Finally, as positive symptoms, we find formal disorders of thought such as derailment, in which the person loses the thread of conversation while speaking, or taquipsIquia, which is characterized by an excessively accelerated thinking.
2. Negative symptoms
Negative symptoms are the other side of the coin, i.e., all those symptoms that a person with schizophrenia may have that relate to a decrease in both cognitive level and mood.
These symptoms tend to be less eccentric than positives, they attract less attention, they may take a form similar to depressive symptoms, and they usually receive less attention in treatment.
In fact, most medications used to reduce positive symptoms (such as delusions and hallucinations) can increase negative symptoms.
Likewise, few people are aware that a person with schizophrenia can suffer from these types of symptoms, which cause the greatest discomfort and deterioration at the same time.
Among the negative symptoms, we find speech disorders, which usually become worse, slower, and have less content.
Likewise, there is a deterioration of thinking, which also slows down, blocks and impoverishes.
Finally, at the emotional level, symptoms such as apathy or anhedonia, the loss of energy, affective indifference and sluggishness appear.
3. Disorganized symptoms
Finally, disorganized symptoms refer to a large number of manifestations that affect both the behavior and speech of people suffering from schizophrenia.
In this way appear speech disorders such as stuttering, echolalia (instantaneous repetition of what another says) or completely disorganized discourse in which words are said without any semantic structure.
Also, catatonic symptoms such as mannerisms (automatic, unconscious repetitive finger movements), which can develop bizarre postures (strange and unconscious postures that can even lead to injury) or catatonic stupor.
Other symptoms that may occur are abnormal movements, mimicking in an automatic and unconscious way the movements of other people, extreme negativism, muteness or extravagant behavior.
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