n. (context medicine English) A form of schizophrenia that is accompanied by delusions, either of persecution, grandeur or jealousy.
n. a form of schizophrenia characterized by delusions (of persecution or grandeur or jealousy); symptoms may include anger and anxiety and aloofness and doubts about gender identity; unlike other types of schizophrenia the patients are usually presentable and (if delusions are not acted on) may function in an apparently normal manner [syn: paranoic type schizophrenia, paraphrenic schizophrenia, paraphrenia]
Paranoid schizophrenia, schizophrenia, paranoid type is a sub-type of schizophrenia as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-IV code 295.30. It has been the most common type of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is defined as “a chronic mental disorder in which a person loses touch with reality ( psychosis)." Schizophrenia is divided into subtypes based on the “predominant symptomatology at the time of evaluation." The clinical picture is dominated by relatively stable and often persecutory delusions that are usually accompanied by hallucinations, particularly of the auditory variety (hearing voices), and perceptual disturbances. These symptoms can have a huge effect on functioning and can negatively affect quality of life. Paranoid schizophrenia is a lifelong disease, but with proper treatment, a person with the illness can attain a higher quality of life. Although paranoid schizophrenia is defined by those two symptoms, it is also defined by a lack of certain symptoms (negative symptoms). The following symptoms are not prominent: “disorganized speech, disorganized or catatonic behavior, or flat or inappropriate affect." Those symptoms are present in another form of schizophrenia, disorganized-type schizophrenia. The criteria for diagnosing paranoid schizophrenia must be present from at least one to six months. This helps to differentiate schizophrenia from other diseases, such as bipolar disorder.
Paranoid schizophrenia is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, but it was dropped from the 5th Edition. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) chose to eliminate schizophrenia subtypes because they had “limited diagnostic stability, low reliability, and poor validity." The symptoms and lack of symptoms that were being used to categorize the different subtypes of schizophrenia were not concrete enough to be able to be diagnosed. The APA also believed that the subtypes of schizophrenia should be removed because “they did not appear to help with providing better targeted treatment, or predicting treatment response." Targeted treatment and treatment response vary from patient to patient, depending on his or her symptoms. It is more beneficial, therefore, to look at the severity of the symptoms when considering treatment options.