What is paranoid schizophrenia??Paranoid schizophrenia represents the most common subtype of schizophrenia. It is characterized, in addition to the classic symptoms such as ego disorders and ideation, primarily by the presence of delusions and/or hallucinations, which not infrequently lead to a Delusions of persecution can lead.
Furthermore, the so-called negative symptomatology, which occurs primarily at the beginning of schizophrenia in the sense of a flattening of emotions or general indifference, is only very slightly or not at all developed. Like most other forms of schizophrenia, the paranoid subtype begins in young adulthood (20-30 years). Since paranoid schizophrenia usually responds well to drug therapy, it can generally be amed to be a Good prognosis are amed.
What are the causes of paranoid schizophrenia?
The exact origin of schizophrenia is not yet fully understood. However, it is already agreed that schizophrenia is a disease with a so-called multifactorial genesis.
This means that many different factors must interact to lead to the development of the disease. This includes hereditary factors, but also the own stress resistance or external influences.
The best known explanatory model in this regard is the so-called vulnerability-stress-coping model. This ames that a Excessive stress, which can no longer be reduced by the patient's own stress defense mechanisms (coping), can ultimately lead to the development of schizophrenia.
However, triggers such as Cannabis use, lead to the triggering of the disease. The role of the hereditary component is still controversial.
While it is known that children of affected individuals have a significantly increased risk (12%) compared to the general population (0.5-1%), it is not yet clear which genetic changes cause this increased susceptibility.
Would you like to learn more about the causes of schizophrenia?? – Then read our article: What are the causes of schizophrenia??
Learn more about the consequences of cannabis use at: What are the consequences of smoking pot?
Is paranoid schizophrenia hereditary??
It is undisputed that genetic factors play a role in the development of schizophrenia.
Knowledge of this relationship is based on observations that have shown that Children of those affected a clearly increased risk have the risk of developing schizophrenia themselves in the course of life.
This risk increases further when both parents are affected. However, studies with identical twins have shown that the risk of both developing the disease is only 50%, from which it can be concluded that the genetic factors of the twins are not responsible for the development of schizophrenia not the only trigger of schizophrenia can be.
For example, it is currently thought that certain genetic changes may lead to increased vulnerability (susceptibility) to stress, which would be consistent with the vulnerability-stress-coping model (see above).
Would you like to receive more general information on this topic? – Then read our article on the question: Is schizophrenia hereditary??
How do drugs affect paranoid schizophrenia??
There is still current scientific debate about whether drug use alone can lead to the development of schizophrenia.
A connection is amed here above all with the consumption of cannabis, LSD, cocaine or amphetamines. However, the extent to which these act as triggers, or merely worsen the course of the illness, or. acceleration is unexplained.
Especially persons with a genetic predisposition for this disease are probably susceptible to such a course.
Learn more about the: Consequences of drugs
The diagnosis of schizophrenia can be extremely complicated due to the very diverse spectrum of symptoms. This is especially the case in the initial phase, since leading symptoms such as hallucinations are usually not yet pronounced or only very mild.
In order to be able to diagnose schizophrenia, however, it is always necessary to check for the presence of a Ego disorder be detected. Especially in paranoid schizophrenia, delusions and delusions and / or hallucinations are other obligatory symptoms.
Affect flattening is rarely observed in this subtype of schizophrenia. Furthermore, the symptoms described above must be one month persistent. Thus, the diagnosis of schizophrenia is usually clinical in nature. Based on a detailed medical history. However, in order to rule out possible other diseases that present with a similar spectrum of symptoms, imaging and a detailed neurological examination are usually performed.
What tests for paranoid schizophrenia are there??
There is no specific test by which schizophrenia can be clearly diagnosed.
Rather, there are numerous psychological testing procedures that can quantify symptoms of schizophrenia, such as cognitive performance or recognition of meaningful images.
In the context of faulty perception and thinking disorders in schizophrenia, the tests usually show significant limitations.
The "Eppendorfer Schizophrenia Inventory" represents a very comprehensive test that covers many aspects of cognitive impairment due to schizophrenia. Although abnormalities can provide clear indications of the presence of the disease, they are not conclusive.
In addition to these standardized psychological test procedures, numerous other tests are offered on the Internet. Since these usually do not meet any scientific criteria, the results of these tests should be viewed very critically.
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Are online tests for schizophrenia reputable?
In principle, tests that are available free of charge online should be used with Caution be considered and the results critically questioned.
This is mainly because most tests of this type do not meet scientific criteria and thus cannot test specifically and sensitively enough for the presence of schizophrenia.
Most tests focus on risk factors for the development of schizophrenia, in addition to a few questions about the current emotional state.
Because schizophrenia, is an extremely complicated and multifaceted disorder, a diagnosis should always be made by a specialist should be carried out and, in case of self-suspicion, contact should be sought.
What are the accompanying symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia??
The leading symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia are delusions and hallucinations. In addition to these two, however, there are numerous other symptoms that can often be observed in this disorder.
This includes first of all emotional lability. Patients often experience intense anxiety, which further emphasizes the paranoid aspect of this disorder.
However, it is not uncommon for such anxiety to escalate into excessive anger, which can even lead to threatening others. The affected persons usually cannot be calmed down by good coaxing.
If this state lasts longer, a compulsory hospitalization may become necessary. In contrast to other forms of schizophrenia, the following symptoms occur no listlessness, motor disturbances or flattened emotions, summarized under the term "negative symptomatology", on.
Hallucinations are one of the leading symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia.
They are characterized by Perception of stimuli, which real but non-existence, which distinguishes them from so-called illusions.
Since it is a feigned sensory perception, hallucinations can take on many different qualities.
Thus optical, gustatory, sensory or acoustic hallucinations occur.
The latter, however, are clearly more frequent in this clinical picture, in the form of commenting or commanding voices, which affected persons state to hear. In paranoid schizophrenia, the feeling of persecution is usually created or intensified by these voices.
The source of the voice is usually given by the patient's former caregivers. The content of auditory hallucinations is very different here. Thus, in addition to commenting voices or speaking out their thoughts (becoming thought), directive instructions can also be given by the voice, which can be the case especially in delusions.
Although clearly less frequent, some patients experience olfactory or gustatory hallucinations, which in paranoid schizophrenia is often interpreted as an attempt at poisoning or the like.
The anxiety of paranoid schizophrenics can often turn into increased aggressiveness.
The triggers for such an escalation can be numerous. Affected persons may imagine that they are being attacked by someone else being chased, that they have to fight and that all bystanders are part of the "system".
Not infrequently, this results in individuals in acute schizophrenic psychosis fixed must be fixed in order not to endanger others. In addition to these extreme aggressive outbursts, which occur mainly in very severe courses of the disease, many patients have permanent increased level of aggression, that is presumably fed by the constantly felt fear.
Delusions of persecution
Delusions of persecution are characterized by the fact that actually harmless events are interpreted in the sense of persecution or threat.
Affected persons describe, at first, a restless feeling (delusional tension) and that something concrete is brewing against them. Due to the hallucinations, these thoughts are usually significantly intensified. The footsteps of pursuers are heard.
Almost everything that the affected person perceives in such a phase is put into context with persecution and thus perceived as a threat.
Any therapy of paranoid schizophrenia should be preceded by an exact diagnosis and a survey of the individual symptoms, since the therapy of schizophrenia requires a high level of knowledge and experience individual differences and can thus be adapted to the patient's symptom spectrum.
In principle, most patients can be treated on an outpatient basis and do not have to stay in the hospital for a long time. The latter is especially necessary in acute phases.
As a basic therapy for schizophrenia, structural services such as Sports, physiotherapy or music therapy be applied. However, the core of schizophrenia treatment in most cases is the use of neuroleptics.
Depending on the exact form of progression, many different neuroleptics can be used. The strongest effect of this therapy can occur in acute phase be seen.
In the long-term treatment of schizophrenia, psychotherapy plays an essential role in addition to medication. This usually consists of behavioral therapy supported by cognitive therapy and psychoeducation.
The Psychoeducation represents a relatively new therapy concept, which aims at enabling patients to deal intensively with their illness and thus to understand it better. Thus, in the treatment of paranoid schizophrenia, a very wide range of therapeutic options is available to suit the individual patient and to find an optimal therapy for the symptom spectrum.
Learn more about the treatment of schizophrenia at: Therapy of schizophrenia
Medications for the treatment of paranoid schizophrenia
Drug therapy represents one of the most important pillars in the treatment of schizophrenia. The clearest effect is achieved in the acute treatment of schizophrenic psychoses, whereas in long-term treatment other therapeutic strategies, such as psychotherapy, become more important.
Basically, there are numerous medications that can be considered for the treatment of schizophrenia. These include Antipsychotics or. Neuroleptics, but also benzodiazepines or antidepressants.
Antipsychotics are nowadays divided into 2 large groups, which are characterized by different side effect profiles. The "typical" antipsychotics include mild to highly potent substances (haloperidol, melperon,…), which show very good response rates in acute schizophrenic psychosis.
What they have in common, however, is that they can lead to motor disorders that are very similar to Parkinson's disease. These side effects are summarized as so-called extrapyramidal motor disorder (EPMS).
"Atypical" antipsychotics, on the other hand, are much less likely to result in this severe side effect, but are more often associated with a Weight gain or changes in heart activity associated. The most commonly used atypical antipsychotic is clozapine.
In addition to the antipsychotic effect, many drugs of this substance class also have a positive effect to any Negative symptomatology (Reduction of drive, flattening of affect. ).
How long a drug therapy should be taken depends largely on the previous course of the disease. If only six to nine months of use are recommended for the first schizophrenic episode, the period of use is already extended to three to five years after the second episode.
For more information on this topic, see: Schizophrenia – These medications are used!
How long does a paranoid schizophrenia last??
The duration of paranoid schizophrenia can vary greatly from individual to individual, and a distinction must be made between schizophrenic episodes and the general course of the disease.
Schizophrenia represented a disease that in almost all patients from acute phases (2 – 4 weeks) and interspersed "symptom-free" intervals.
It is not uncommon for patients to have only one schizophrenic episode and later not suffer a so-called relapse, i.e. the recurrence of an episode.
Unfortunately, however, in most cases there are several relapses in the course of the disease, which are separated by increasingly shorter time intervals. So-called residual states often occur in these patients, which have a similar spectrum of symptoms to depression and, if inadequately treated, can persist permanently.
Thus no generally valid statement Be indicated over the duration of schizophrenia.
Is a paranoid schizophrenia curable?
Schizophrenia and thus its various subtypes generally apply not considered curable, since currently no causal or. causal therapy of the disease is possible.
This is due to the fact that the exact development of schizophrenia is not fully understood until today and therefore no targeted therapy can be developed.
Thus, in the current treatment of the disorder, it is only a symptom-oriented therapy. However, this can significantly alleviate the symptoms of schizophrenia and, if applied consistently, can lead to a significantly improved course of the disease, including lifelong freedom from symptoms are achieved.
Is it allowed to get a driver's license with paranoid schizophrenia?
Basically, patients with paranoid schizophrenia are considered to be Entitled to drive of a car and thus also to the obtaining of the driving license.
An exception to this is only the circumstance of a acute episode The life expectancy of patients with paranoid schizophrenia is generally considered to be low, since the treating physician can suspend the patient's fitness to drive for this period, which is the case in the vast majority of cases, in order to prevent danger to others or to oneself.
After this episode has subsided, there is usually a detailed psychiatric and psychological examination carried out in order to check the withdrawal of the driving ability.
Is life expectancy shortened with paranoid schizophrenia?
Life expectancy in patients with paranoid schizophrenia is generally considered to be shortened.
This circumstance is mainly due to numerous concomitant diseases and the Increased drug use in this group of patients. The main factors here are cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases a crucial role, which can be caused by frequently intensive use of cigarettes and other drugs.
In addition, some antipsychotics, v.a. so-called "atypicals", side effects in the cardiovascular system on. Furthermore, patients with paranoid schizophrenia have an increased risk of self-harm in the sense of a suicide at.
You suspect suicidal thoughts in an acquaintance or are struggling with them yourself? – Then read our article: What can be signs of suicide?
What is a schizophrenic residual?
The so-called schizophrenic residual describes a Personality change, which occurs in ca. two-thirds of all schizophrenia patients after an acute episode occurs.
The residual is characterized by a pronounced lack of drive, concentration lack of drive, concentration disorders, neglect of social contacts and a generally depressed mood. This spectrum of symptoms is very similar to the definition of depression.