Paranoia are psychiatric disorders characterized by nightmares (without hallucinations) but no change in personality.
Paranoia is unwarranted or exaggerated mistrust of others, sometimes reaching erroneous proportions. Paranoids constantly have suspicions and beliefs that individuals or people are “to persecute them” at all.
Paranoia is a thought process that is strongly influenced by anxiety or fear, often useless and misleading. Paranoid thinking usually involves confidence in threats to oneself. From the Greek language, παράνοια (paranoia) is simply insanity (para = outside; nous = mind).
Paranoia can occur in several mental illnesses. Nightmares are systematic, mundane content.
- Unfounded, sick beliefs about supposedly existing diseases (hypochondria),
- Nightmares of harm.
Jealousy nightmares usually occur in men, chronic alcoholics (see also alcohol psychosis).
A patient who has nightmares of invention, for example, is convinced that he has made an important discovery, created new devices of construction or found unusual treatment methods, original theories.
Some of these inventions are completely useless, others have important details, but they are almost never valuable and usable.
Nightmares of harm are common in the elderly, more often in women (the patient feels that he is being robbed, his products, clothes, etc. are damaged).
Paranoia gradually progresses, and the patient over time thinks only of what is associated with nightmares, while losing interest in the surrounding events, family, work (some patients set up their “enemy” file, write “evil” expressions, see the surrounding people in the ordinary behavior “hidden meaning “).
Because nightmares are close to real-life conflict situations, differentiation is often difficult and we can misunderstand diagnostics at first.
The patient considers himself / herself completely healthy, but nightmares can become dangerous to society and lead to crime (especially if there are nightmares of jealousy). Treated with neuroleptics.
Different Paranoid Manifestations
Paranoid schizophrenia: strange nightmares, thought splits, compelling hallucinations. Paranoia: a long-lasting, stable paranoid system, but thinking clear and sequential.
Acute and transient paranoid psychosis usually begins with external difficulties; course is acute and passes without leaving traces of symptoms.
Paranoid personality disorders:
- Unfounded paranoid notions, but without strange content;
- Paranoid jealousy, but without psychotic nightmares. This is probably the beginning of deeper paranoid disorders.
Sometimes the cause of these symptoms is quite insignificant. The main ones are the growing difficulties in solving internal complications at this stage of life.
Loneliness and isolation are important contributing factors. A special type of paranoid psychosis is sensitive relationship nightmares (this corresponds to Krepelin’s designation sensitiver Beziehungwahn).
Projection is the protective mechanism by which the evil, threatening part of the personality is pushed out of it, and it is no longer felt.
The paranoid system makes the current internal evil harmless, but the paranoid continues to deal with it and fight it. We can conclude it that paranoia pays very dearly for maintaining self-confidence.
Because of this hard condition, many paranoid people refuse to talk about their illness and think if it is happily behind them. They leave their ideas unclear, and they may continue to be partially divided.
Psychotherapeutic contact with these patients is difficult to establish. They are reluctant to agree to the use of antipsychotics.
Paranoia is their special way of life that they have compensated for the lack of some essential values. It permits only involuntary hospitalization if the patient endangers his or her own health or the lives of others.
Inpatient care is also required if the young child is adversely affected by living in a family with a paranoid father or mother, or if the patient completely refuses food and therefore develops health problems.
If the symptoms are like schizophrenia, sometimes a marked improvement can be achieved by injection (forced).
Very hostile attitudes are likely to diminish. At the same time, some patient’s misconceptions disappear. Long-term treatment usually has limited success, as the patient almost always stops treatment after a few months.
This is usually followed by a recurrence of the disease. Good contact between doctor and patient is also very important in treatment. A prerequisite for good contact is personal interest and respect by physicians.
The prognosis is often poor in the sense that the patient tries to avoid contact and gradually rebuilds his paranoid world.
We know some patients to the police as “ray aunts.” These are older paranoid ladies who diligently call and say they are being irradiated or otherwise influenced from the outside.
They ask the police to come home, but it would be even better to have permanent security. Such home visits are a form of contact the police should not reject that as much as possible.
It is important that the police listen to them with respect and understand that they are deeply lonely people. They can later be taken care of by social workers.