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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.