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What is Paranoid Psychophrenia?

By Jeremy Laukkonen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Paranoid psychophrenia is an alternate term for paranoid schizophrenia, which is a psychosis that can result in a person losing touch with the world or reality. While it can be a very serious condition, those with this form of the disorder are often much more successful at leading normal lives than people with other forms of schizophrenia. Common symptoms experienced by people with the condition can include elaborate delusions regarding strangers or even friends wanting to harm them. It is also common to experience auditory hallucinations that may reinforce these delusions. There may be problems with concentration and memory in addition to somewhat dulled emotions, though these symptoms may be less severe than those associated with other types of the disorder.

The causes of paranoid schizophrenia are not fully understood, though there may be both genetic and environmental components. A family history of schizophrenia may be one of the key indicators, and those with such a history may want to be watchful for the onset of symptoms. Environmental causes can include poor nutrition, the contraction of viruses in utero, or taking excessive amounts of psychoactive drugs when the brain is still forming. Regardless of the cause, paranoid psychophrenia typically manifests some time between the early teenage years and the mid 30s.

Common symptoms of paranoid psychophrenia include delusions and hallucinations. The delusions often result in the person believing the government is out to get them, or a co-worker or friend is trying to hurt or kill them. Delusions of grandeur may also be experienced, where the person has a significantly inflated sense of importance, believes they have special powers, or a relationship with a celebrity. Auditory hallucinations that seem very real may also appear. These voices may simply be unpleasant, or may be a part of whatever delusions the person is suffering from.

A variety of other symptoms may be present apart from delusions and hallucinations. Two things to look for include suicidal thoughts or tendencies and an emotional distance. Those suffering from paranoid schizophrenia may also have problems with violence and anger, behave condescendingly or be particularly argumentative.

It is typically recommended to seek treatment if the symptoms of paranoid psychophrenia are experienced. This is a condition that is not known to go away or get better without treatment, and left untreated it may actually grow worse. Since the paranoid delusions commonly associated with paranoid psychophrenia can result in severely antisocial behavior, those who go untreated can have relationship problems, trouble finding or holding down a job, and may end up homeless or incarcerated. Treatment can help avoid many of these situations, though in some cases anti-psychotic medicines may come with risks of their own.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon343679 — On Aug 01, 2013

My husband's son has paranoid psych0phrenia. He has been hospitalized several times. He just got out a few months ago and is headed there again. He will not take his medicine. He calls us at all times of the night ordering us to do things for him. He is totally out of touch with reality.

We are at our wits' end with him and really don't know what to do. We have been helping him financially and my husband told him that we are cutting off all help until he helps himself and starts to do what the doctor tells him to do. We are worried about him and worried that he might harm himself.

Does anyone have any suggestions for us? He is rude to us and just wants us to jump when he calls or needs anything. We are older, in our retirement years, and would like some help. I am afraid when we get older that he might even try to hit us to get his way.

By anon298722 — On Oct 22, 2012

My sister-in-law has this paranoid psychophrenia and she has become suicidal. She has tried to slit her wrist and has also written a suicidal note. As a result we have taken in her 13 year old boy. She's starting meds and going in for counseling.

Her symptoms including being afraid someone was out to get her or being sabotaged, and then becoming antisocial. What other suggestions can you advise?

By ddljohn — On Apr 17, 2011

There was a man on TV and he was saying that he controls natural disasters. He said that when people tried to harm him and control him, he made a tornado or a hurricane happen. The channel reported later that he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. I guess this illness can cause really big delusions.

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