Signs & Symptoms of Paranoid Schizophrenia

Written by leigh walker
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Signs & Symptoms of Paranoid Schizophrenia
(U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Domain)

Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects how a person thinks, acts and feels. Paranoid schizophrenia is one of many forms of schizophrenia and produces delusions and hallucinations that have no basis in reality. While the cause of the illness is still being researched and there is no cure, there are treatment options and medications available that can help relieve many of the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia.


An individual with paranoid schizophrenia may experience delusions/false beliefs. These delusions generally include the individual feeling that a person, group or society is after him and their intent it to cause him harm. As a result, paranoia sets in, which can result in violent or aggressive behaviour as the individual tries to act in self defence. Other delusions can include what is classified as 'delusions of grandeur' which is when a person thinks he is famous or that he has some type of superhuman power such as being able to fly, read minds or that he is anointed to perform miracles.

Auditory Hallucinations

A person with paranoid schizophrenia may have auditory hallucinations. This is when the individual hears one or more voices that no one else can hear. These voices may talk to the individual, or to each other. These voices are generally critical and harassing in nature. They may laugh, mock, judge and criticise the individual, or they may give orders such as commanding a paranoid schizophrenic to hurt herself or other people.

Sensory Hallucinations

Just as hallucinations can be auditory, they can also involve other senses. A person with paranoid schizophrenia may taste or smell things that aren't there. They may also feel sensations in their body, sometimes sexual, that aren't occurring. While visual hallucinations can occur, they are not as common as other sensory hallucinations.


A person that has paranoid schizophrenia will often feel exhausted and may want to be alone. It's common for these individuals to push away loved ones and isolate themselves away from social activities. Some people will even quit school, work or leave their families when symptoms are very severe.

Nonsensical Thinking

People with paranoid schizophrenia will have nonsensical thinking. This produces disordered speech and actions. While people observing and interacting with the individual cannot make sense of what the individual is saying or doing, everything that is going on makes perfect sense to the paranoid schizophrenic.


A paranoid schizophrenic may contemplate and/or attempt suicide. He may speak of no longer being around. He may also threaten to do harm to himself. Another sign of suicidal thoughts is if the paranoid schizophrenic begins to give his possessions away. It's very important that medical intervention is given immediately for an individual who is displaying suicidal behaviours.

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