Is schizophrenia an incurable disease
Paranoid schizophrenia: diagnosis
About half of all schizophrenia patients show symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia during the course of the disease. This usually develops later than the other types of schizophrenia. It often only appears in middle-aged people.
According to the "International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems" (ICD-10), the following criteria must be met for a diagnosis of "Paranoid Schizophrenia":
- The general criteria for schizophrenia are present.
- People have delusions or hallucinations (predominantly auditory hallucinations).
- Inappropriate emotions or lack of expression (so-called "flat affect") do not occur or only appear weakly.
Paranoid schizophrenia: delusions
The delusions in paranoid schizophrenia can be very different. Often the patients suffer from Paranoia: They firmly believe that they are being watched by other people and that they want to harm them. As a result, patients develop great distrust of others. Many patients with paranoid schizophrenia believe that they are being watched and wiretapped in their home. Some also feel persecuted by aliens.
Another form of delusion is that Relationship mania. Sufferers believe that normal conditions, such as the weather, contain a message or warning for them. Sometimes the newscaster on television or radio is also seen as a messenger of secret messages. Many patients also assume that people who are talking are talking about themselves. The mistrust can also be directed against one's own family or partner.
Note: Relatives should be aware that this often hurtful behavior of a patient arises from his illness. Professional support from the attending physician, for example, can help. As a relative, you should also not try to argue with the sick person about their delusions. That could make the situation worse.
Paranoid schizophrenia: hallucinations
In addition to delusions, paranoid schizophrenia also very often produces hallucinations. These are hallucinations in which something is heard, seen or smelled that does not exist. Yet paranoid schizophrenia patients hold these perceptions real. Acoustic hallucinations, such as hearing voices, are the most common. Some patients "hear" whole dialogues between different voices or receive commands from one voice.
Paranoid schizophrenia: other symptoms
In addition to delusions and hallucinations, paranoid schizophrenia patients often develop anger and fear. They are often restless and contentious. In very rare cases, those affected also become violent. This can happen when they feel severely threatened.
Note: In this case, relatives should get help immediately - it is best to call the emergency doctor! It is pointless to use words to persuade the person concerned to see their senses. If there is an acute danger for the person concerned or for other people due to the schizophrenia, a forced admission against the patient's will may be necessary.
During a phase of paranoid schizophrenia, there are usually no or only very weak speech disorders, motor disorders, or listlessness - symptoms that are typical of other forms of schizophrenia. Paranoid schizophrenia patients also do not have inappropriate or shallow emotions. One speaks of a shallow affect when the facial expressions and posture do not allow any conclusions to be drawn about the inner emotional state.
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