Paranoid Schizophrenic Treatment

Paranoid Schizophrenic Treatment

Schizophrenia is a debilitating disease of which paranoid schizophrenia is a subset. Depending on the severity of the disorder, those who suffer from paranoid schizophrenia can lead functional lives in spite of their suffering.

Paranoid Schizophrenia Overview

The DSM-IV states that the diagnostic criteria for paranoid schizophrenia is a “preoccupation with one or more delusions or frequent auditory hallucinations.” Some of the symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, distorted thought and language processes. Paranoid schizophrenia can manifest for those in their late teens to 20s. Those with a familial history of schizophrenia have a 10 times greater risk for developing schizophrenia than those that do not have a family history of schizophrenia.

Treatment Options

Paranoid schizophrenia can be treated using medications, psychotherapy, hospitalization or ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) which is a mild shock to the brain. These treatment options can be used in conjunction with one another.


The medications used fall under the category of antipsychotics. However, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety and mood stabilizing medications may also be used to control the symptoms of hallucinations and delusions. The medications often affect the transmission of neurotransmitters in the brain. Some of the medications used to treat schizophrenia are: Seroquel, Thorazine and Haldol.


The individual and the entire family can be involved in the psychotherapy treatment for the patient. The individual is taught to manage his disorder through behavior modification. The family is taught provide a support system for the patient. Education is the key for both the patient and the family. Psychotherapy helps both parties understand the progression of the disorder, social skills and/or vocational training and what to expect in terms of having a normal life.

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For severe cases, hospitalization is necessary. The patient is under 24-hour care from licensed practitioners. The care for the patient may also include medications and psychotherapy while hospitalized. The length of the hospital stay may be short-term or long-term. This is done to ensure that the patient does not harm himself or others.

Electroconvulsive Therapy

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) involves sending electrical currents to the brain. While this is done, the patient may experience seizures or reactions similar to a seizure. This is thought to be a quick and very effective way of treating schizophrenia. ECT may be given for a period of three times a week for two to four weeks.