When schizophrenia is diagnosed, antipsychotic medication is most typically prescribed. This can be given as a pill, a patch, or an injection. There are long-term injections that have been developed which could eliminate the problems of a patient not regularly taking their medication (called “medication noncompliance”). This is a common concern in schizophrenia because of the symptom of anosognosia. Anosognosia is the lack of insight and an unawareness of the presence of a disorder. Someone with schizophrenia may not recognize that their behavior, hallucinations, or delusions are unusual or unfounded. This can cause a person to stop taking antipsychotic medication, stop participating in therapy, or both, which can result in a relapse into active phase psychosis.
Paranoia refers to the perception or suspicion that others have hostile or aggressive motives in interacting with them (for example, "they are out to get me"), when in fact there is no reason for these suspicions. People experiencing paranoia believe that others are persecuting them and have delusional ideas about themselves as central figures in scenarios that in reality have little relevance to them. They may mistrust others and remain often in a state of suspicion. Minor feelings of paranoia are common, but severe paranoia can cause significant fear and anxiety and can have a pronounced effect on social functioning. Feelings of paranoia can be observed with many psychological disorders , including schizophrenia , as well as with a number of medical diseases that can affect brain function, ranging from Alzheimer's disease to multiple sclerosis . Intoxication from alcohol or drug abuse may also lead to feelings of paranoia.
Diagnosis Index entries containing back-references to :