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ESL 91
SPRING, 2002


Tephirou Men
ESL 91
Spring, 2002
Dr. Tara Weiss

Paranoid Schizophrenia and Its Symptoms

What is schizophrenia?

According to the book that I’ve read called " The Experience and Its Treatment", by Werner M. Mendel. Schizophrenia is the most common psychosis (serious mental disorder characterized by loss of contact with reality). It is a disease that runs in the families. Approximately 1% of the world populations has schizophrenia. There are no lab tests that indicate that schizophrenia is present, and the diagnosis of schizophrenia is made by ruling out other diseases. Therefore, those who make diagnoses in psychiatry are limited to information they gather from their own observations and from what they are told by patients and their families, friends, and acquaintances. However, the most commonest type is paranoid schizophrenia.

Based on my research, I found that a person who has paranoid schizophrenia is dominated by the diseases but relatively stable. A person often feels paranoid, delusion, and usually accompanied by hallucinations. It is particularly of the auditory variety, and perceptual disturbances. A person with paranoid schizophrenia has disorderly thoughts and bizarre behavior. For example, a patient will have trouble figure out with a simple problem like when he/she gets on a bus with short changes for a bus’s fair, a patient would just stand there being panic instead of asking people for changes. He Begins to feel paranoid, and think that other people are staring at him. However, it can be cured if the patient keeps up with their medication schedule. Although, the problem can reoccur due to anxiety. Sometime a person might committed suicide. These are some of the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia:

  1. delusions of persecution (false beliefs), reference, exalted birth, special mission, bodily change, or jealousy;

  2. hallucinatory voices that threaten the patient or give commands, or auditory hallucinations without verbal form, such as whistling, humming, or laughing.

  3. hallucinations (false perception) of smell or taste, or of sexual or other bodily sensations; visual hallucinations may occur but are rarely predominant.

Thought disorder may be obvious in acute states, but it doesn’t prevent the typical delusions or hallucinations from being described clearly. Affect is usually blunted than in other varieties of schizophrenia, but a minor degree of incongruity is common, as are mood disturbances such as irritability, sudden anger, fearfulness, and suspicion. The patients might turn around, and do harm to their doctor or ones who look after them because of their hallucinations voices. " The course of paranoid schizophrenia may be episodic, with partial or complete remissions, or chronic. In chronic case, the florid symptoms persist over years and it is difficult to distinguish discrete episodes.

What are the psychiatric diagnoses today?

Experts in the diagnosis of schizophrenia have outlined a set of symptoms that must be present before a responsible diagnosis can be made. This method of diagnosis by objective criteria has allowed mental health professionals to agree on which people have schizophrenia.

Two people with schizophrenia may have completely different symptoms, different courses of the illness, and even different responses to treatment.

A person is required to have at least two of the symptoms such as marked lack of initiative, interest, or energy, and significant inability to function ,for at least a month, plus associated problems: odd beliefs and unusual perceptual experiences, for 6 months, to qualify for a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

What causes schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is caused by the brain defect. There are many possibilities for the exact defect in brain structure or function that is responsible for causing schizophrenia.

The term professionals have chosen to use to categorize schizophrenia is neurobiological disorder (neuro because the disease is a disfunction of the central nervous system and biological because the origins and primary demonstrations are biological in nature).

As a result of the recent focus on the biological causes of schizophrenia, several new treatments, including new different medications with little side effects, have been developed to reduce the symptoms of this disorder.

Can physical trauma and brain damage cause schizophrenia? If a person previously showed no symptoms of personal disorder, and then had considerable brain damage (after stroke) could that be the cause of what now appears to be schizophrenia?

"The basic flaw in the brain of many schizophrenics seems to be that certain nerve cells migrate to the wrong areas when the brain is first take shape, leaving small region of the brain permanently out of place or misfired. Such errors in neural architecture may have 1 or more causes, which remain to be discovered".

Researchers are finding more evidence that Schizophrenia is a disease of the brain. This means that nobody causes anybody else to have Schizophrenia.

Something physical happens to the brains of people with schizophrenia and that is what causes the symptoms.

Can children have schizophrenia?

Children over the age of five can develop schizophrenia, but it’s very rare before adolescence. Though some people who later develop schizophrenia may have seemed different from other children at an early age. Schizophrenic child (sometime called the autistic child) is quite different from the schizophrenic adult. Even when the schizophrenic child becomes an adult, his residual childhood schizophrenia does not manifest itself like the usual adult schizophrenia .

The person with this type of schizophrenia, will always feel paranoid, suspiciousness, and realistic fears (very common in many people with schizophrenia ). The delusions and hallucinations they have often intents fear. They believe that they are actually being spoken to by other people, they become fearful of other intentions. Their bizarre delusions, involving external control of their thought, impulses, and actions also contribute to the development of paranoid. In some ways, suspiciousness is a fairly natural reaction to many of the symptoms of schizophrenia. This reaction can be far more dangerous than the delusions and hallucinations.

People with this disorder can be very dangerous, however, they often are able to be more organized than people with schizophrenia and can follow through on their fear-stricken plan. Their symptoms are treated with the some medications as those of people with schizophrenia and their responses are usually very good. The delusion of schizophrenia usually focused on a very specific idea, involving a plot to jealousy, harm, or kill the person. For example, the delusion of a person with paranoid schizophrenia most likely believes that someone is trying to kill him or her. Paranoid delusions and hallucinations can completely dominate the lives of people who have them and dramatically affect those who are close to them. Like, a person with paranoid delusions and hallucinations would kill his or her doctor because he or she thinks that the doctor had put a device under their bed, inserted a microcomputer chips beneath their skin, so that the doctor can spy on them.

The symptom of extreme paranoid may have a greater impact than any other symptom on those close to a person with schizophrenia. They don’t trust no one including family or friends who only try to help.

Impairments in attention and thinking

One of the most basic truths about schizophrenia is that mental functions are impaired. ( damage, to make less or cause to appear less). The ability to think clearly about simple things may be lost. For instants, they may loose the ability to concentrate while having conversation or the ability to figure their way. Or sometimes a person just stop talking in a middle of sentence. Problems in conceptual thinking are clearly linked to schizophrenia as well. Loss in the capacity to think clearly. They give highly idiosyncratic or concrete answer to simple questions.

Poor insight (the power of seeing into a situation: understanding, penetration)

One of the most consistent observations about people with schizophrenia is their remarkable lack of awareness of their illness. The patient would say like: " Why should I take any medication? You’re the one with the problem !". This leads them to refuse medication, to escape from hospitals, and to avoid their supportive families. (aggressive) Without taking any medications, a patient can become very violent. For instants, she would hurt or kill someone around her because she thinks that everyone is trying to kill her. But once the patient is treated, she would say to her supportive that instead of keeping her at home, they should take her to the hospital for treatment before she ends up hurting anyone. The way I see in a person with schizophrenia is like a yoyo. If the patient stops taking medications, the problem will trigger once again.

 My response page for "Paranoid Schizophrenia"

Everyday we deal with stress, which leads us to frustration. We sometimes talk to ourselves, feel jealous, or get paranoid when we are facing a problem. This is normal among common people. But, for a person with paranoid schizophrenia, they may act differently from us when it comes to dealing with minor problem. I’ve learned that a person with this type of disease will get panic and angry easily.

They tend to lose self-control and lose connection with reality. Where a normal person will solve the problem in any circumstances, the person with paranoid schizophrenia will freeze himself or herself when they’re facing a problem. For example, a person with this condition would not know what to do if he ran out of gas while driving a car. The effected person may even become violent. Base on my research, knowing what I know now, I feel fortunate that none of my family members have this kind of disease. I would feel very sad if I knew someone who has paranoid schizophrenia because there is no cure for it.

I learned about paranoid schizophrenia through my research, by borrowing a book from a library. The book called "The Experience and Its Treatment" by Werner M. Mendel. I chose this book because it’s very in depth. For example, it showed the illustration of a normal brain and the one of a person with paranoid schizophrenia. The effected brain clearly had differences throughout both hemispheres. As I was reading this book, I understood more and more how critical this disease really is. Unlike from what I’d heard from other people had told me about the disease. I’ve learned that paranoid schizophrenia is an innate disease. Which means that no one can fake of having this type of disease. For instance, if you killed someone intentionally and try to stay out of prison by saying that you are a schizophrenic; remember, the diagnosis will show how your brain hemispheres are like, whether you’re normal or not.

According to my research, I’ve learned that paranoid schizophrenia is a disease that can be treated but not cured. With all the medical advances that we have today, there is still a lot of work needed in this field. Paranoid schizophrenia is an inherited condition. A generation may be spared, but it may show up again in a later generations. I also learned that this disease is common in men and it affects about 1% of the world populations. I think people should be more aware of this illness so that more research can be done to help those who have it.

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Oleg Makarenko
ESL 91
Spring, 2002
Dr. Tara Weiss

The Treatment of Schizophrenia

We read from the article "The Biology of Behavior" that behavior and emotions are higher functions of the human brain (Kasper, Loretta, F., Interdisciplinary English, McGraw Hill. 161). Almost everyday we learn about terrible things that people do to other people from the newspapers. Often these people have psychiatric problems. Schizophrenia is the most serious mental disorder. To prevent dangerous social behavior of schizophrenics, psychiatrists use medications that can control and correct abnormal acts.

Schizophrenia appears to be a combination of thought, mood, and anxiety disorders. The medical management of schizophrenia often requires a combination of antipsychotic, antidepressant, and antianxiety medication. Antipsychotic drugs, such as haloperidol, chlorpromazine control hallucinations, delusions, and confusion of schizophrenia (162). These drugs primarily block dopamine receptors in the brain. Dopamine helps to transmit nerve impulses in the brain. Thus, antipsychotic drugs reduce schizophrenic symptoms by blocking dopamine receptors (Mental Help Net -7- Information – Treatment – Treatment – Schizophrenia, 2).

The treatment by antipsychotics causes side effects, such as dry mouth, constipation, drowsiness, dizziness, muscle spasms or cramps in the head and neck, and grimacing (Mental Help Net -7- Information – Treatment – Treatment – Schizophrenia, 2-3). I interviewed my friend who is psychiatrist in the United States. He says that mental patients are afraid of the side effects; and they often do not take medications out of their psychiatric clinics. The stopping of treatment leads to a relapse of the schizophrenic symptoms.

I worked in psychiatric clinic in my country. I know from my own experience that schizophrenics can have auditory hallucinations. I think this type of hallucination is the most dangerous one. These "voices" can have imperative character. For example, a schizophrenic might hear a voice telling him to kill his doctor, or to kill his parents because they are agents of the KGB. I saw these patients; they talk to unreal interlocutors; they behave strange.

In addition, I have read an article about treatment of auditory hallucinations on schizophrenia. The Yale University School of Medicine does research on transcranial magnetic stimulation. This is "… brief, powerful magnetic pulses emitted by an electromagnet placed on the scalp" (Knowlton, Leslie "Treatment of Auditory Hallucinations in Schizophrenia" p.1-2). Transcranial magnetic stimulation treats auditory hallucinations. Ralph Hoffman, medical doctor asserts claims states, "About twenty five percent of schizophrenic patients with auditory hallucinations respond poorly or incompletely to drugs. ...Even clozapine, considered to be the most efficacious antipsychotic drug, often leaves auditory hallucinations uncharged" (1). Thus, antipsychotics do not reduce this type of hallucination always. I am sure that our society needs new methods to treat dangerous symptoms of schizophrenia. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is the one of new ways to treat it, and this stimulation helps. Hoffman says, "About half of the patients receiving this type of magnetic brain stimulation demonstrated clinically significant reductions in auditory hallucinations" (1-2).

My Response

I would like to express my thoughts about the treatment and prevention of dangerous social behavior of schizophrenics. Everybody wants to live without troubles that a mental patient can cause to somebody or somebody’s family members. I am sure that the treatment of schizophrenia in the United States is a big problem. The mental clinics do not hold the schizophrenics for a long time. The patients go everywhere without the treatment. They often do not take their medication at home because they are not under control of medical staff at home. These people might cause dangerous social acts, such as murder or suicide.

Therefore, psychiatrists have to use effective medicines. These drugs supposed to be with reduced side effects. The association of psychiatrists has to revise the treatment’s period in mental clinic or reinforce the control over taking drugs at home. Schizophrenics have to take necessary medical treatment. Otherwise, this is going to be very dangerous.

Each patient is different and requires specific therapy. We need new advances in treatment of schizophrenia because permanent antipsychotic drugs reduce the symptoms, for example, auditory hallucinations not always. Psychiatrists have to research new methods in treatment of schizophrenia that can help to patients, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation. If all of the aforesaid things will be realized, our life will be less dangerous.


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