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Chapter: 11th 12th std standard Class Nursing Health Care Hospital Hygiene Higher secondary school College Notes

Psychoses: Paranoia - Symptoms, Kinds, Causes, Cure

In Paranoia, the patient becomes a prey to permanent delusion. According to Kreplien, the causes of delusion are internal and no hallucination is involved.



Psychoses are generally divided into two classes functional and organic. In organic psychoses, organic and physiological factors play a primary part.


On the other hand in functional psychoses, physiological factors play a lesser part than psychological causes. Clinical psychology restricts its study to functional psychoses since their causes and cure are more purely psychological.


Functional psychoses are mainly of the following there kinds.


1.     Schizophrenia


2.     Paranoia


3.     Manic depressive psychosis.




Nature of Paranoia:


In Paranoia, the patient becomes a prey to permanent delusion. According to Kreplien, the causes of delusion are internal and no hallucination is involved. Thus Kreplien' s explanation has succeeded in counting both the earlier views to which that disease had been accredited. Henroth and his followers believed it to be a mental distortion, while Gresinger and fellow thinkers accepted it as an emotional deformity.


Symptoms of Paranoia:


In Paranoia the patient becomes a prey to a permanent delusion. It should be kept in mind that there is delusion in schizophrenia also but in that case it is not permanent or organized. In paranoia, the symptoms of delusion appear gradually and patient is sentimental, suspicious, introverted, depressed, obstinate, feelers, enthuse selfish, unsocial and bitter.


Hence his or her social and family adjustment is not desirable and while he or she has the highest ambitions, the effort that he or she is prepared to expend is correspondingly little. He does not acknowledge his own faults or failure and by sometimes accepting certain qualities as belonging to him or her, even when imaginary, he or she develops paranoia.


Kinds of paranoia:


The chief feature of paranoia is permanent delusion and delusion can be of many kinds. Hence kinds of paranoia have been distinguished on the basis of different kinds of delusions.


The main kinds are the following:


Persecutory paranoia:


This is the most prevalent kind. In this the patient makes himself or herself, believe that all those around him or her are his or her enemies, bent on harming him or her, even on taking his or her life. In this delusion, people of an aggressive temperament often turn dangerous killers.


Delusion of grandeur:


In this, the patient believes himself to be a great individual and according to Blender, this delusion of grandeur accompanies the persecutory delusion.


Religious Paranoia:


In this the patient suffers from a permanent delusion of a primarily religious nature. He believes that he is the messenger of God, who has been sent to the world to propagate some religion.


Reformatory Paranoia:


In this the patient turns to considering himself a great reformer. He accordingly looks upon all those around him as suffering from a dangerous disease and believes that he is their reformer and curator.


Erotic Paranoia:


In this the patient often tends to believe that some member of the opposite sex belonging to an illustrious family wants to marry him. Such people even write love levers and thereby cause much bother to other people.


Litigious Paranoia:


In this kind of delusion, the patient takes to filing meaningless cases against other people and feels that people are linked together to bother him. Sometimes he even tries to murder.


Hypochondrieal paranoia:


In this type, the patient believes that he is suffering from all kinds of ridiculous diseases and also that some other people are to blame for his suffering.


Causes of paranoia:


Different psychiatrists have attributed paranoia to different causes, the main ones being the following:


Homosexual fixation:


According to Freud, the patient suffering from this disease has repressed his tendency to homosexual love to such an extent that he develops a fixation concerning it. Freud view has been found correct in many cases, but it does not explain each and every cure of the disease.


Feeling of inferiority:


Henderson and other psychologists examined cases of paranoia to find out the truth of Freud' s contention, and during this examination they found that the main cause of paranoia is a sense of inferiority that may be caused by a variety of conditions, such as failure disgust, sense of guilt etc.


Emotional complex:


Certain psychologists have traced the causes paranoia to emotional complex. But in this connection it is necessary to point out the emotional complex that causes this disease since these are various kinds of emotional complexes and also because they are seen to be present in other mental diseases as also in normal individuals.


Personality type:


Cameron believes a certain personality type to be more susceptible to this disease, a personality that has sentimental values, jealousy, suspicious, ambition, selfishness, shyness etc. Patients of paranoia do exhibit these peculiarities of personality but on this base they cannot be said to belong to a definite personality.




In the opinion of Fisher, the main responsibilities of paranoia, lies fairly and squarely upon heredity although he does not deny the importance of repression and emotional complexes. The causes of paranoia are not physical because no patient exhibits any signs of physical deformity, major cause such as defects of personality, sense of inferiority, repression etc.


Cure of paranoia:


A cure of paranoia is very difficult and it is essential that treatment should be started immediately. Once it grows, there is no curing.

Psychoanalytic method:


Compared to other mental diseases, this disease does not respond immediately to psychoanalytic treatment, because being suspicious, the patient does not Co-operate with the Doctor. Even then, with due precaution, certain results can be achieved by employing this method.


Injections of insulin:


Some patients also respond to this treatment but this cannot be said of all.


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