Paranoia in adults can occur after traumatic brain injury or after intoxication. In older people, after a stroke and as a result of dementia.
Paranoia arises as overvalued, and subsequently crazy idea, which has no real basis. A person is convinced of something and cannot be dissuaded. Most often, paranoia is not a separate disease, but a syndrome.
Typically, paranoia is manifested against the background of some disease, the causes of which are most often associated with schizophrenia. Nevertheless, this does not always happen: schizophrenia can develop with organic damage to the brain, with neurosis or epilepsy.
How is paranoia diagnosed?
Paranoia is difficult to distinguish from suspicion. How do doctors do this? If ideas arise on a really painful basis, then most often they are fanciful, specific, not relevant to what is happening. For example, a person works as a janitor, lives in an ordinary apartment, but is convinced that spies are watching him, that someone wants to influence him. But in the case of borderline conditions, it is difficult to understand if there is a disorder in fact.
Doctors diagnose: during a clinical conversation, the psychiatrist tries to figure out what happened to the patient. So he gets subjective data. At the next stage, second parties are connected – relatives, close people. The data received from them is called objective – this is information about how the patient lives.
Diagnosis also depends on age. If we work with a young person, we usually use only psychodiagnostics, during which we evaluate thinking. In Europe and the USA, young people are tested for drugs. This is an expensive procedure in Russia; not all state institutions have it. At the first meeting, we do not make a final diagnosis, the patient must be observed for at least several months.
If a person has had an injury, we do an MRI scan to see if there are changes in the brain. In case of attacks, we make an electroencephalogram – sometimes the disorder can be associated with epilepsy.
How to treat paranoia
Paranoia is considered a delusional disorder. Doctors prescribe antipsychotics – drugs for the treatment of psychosis, including schizophrenia. There are two types of antipsychotics: atypical (new) or typical. Depending on how the patient transfers the drugs, as well as on what the hospital has at its disposal, treatment is selected.
A person is put in a hospital when, firstly, he himself wants to get there. The law “On Psychiatric Care” contains an article on involuntary hospitalization: a person is hospitalized if he is a danger to himself or others and if his condition worsens without help. In this case, the person is sent to the hospital for 48 hours. During this time, he can be held without prescribing treatment, and the court must decide whether compulsory treatment can be prescribed or not. It should be understood that it is not psychiatrists who send a person to the hospital. If the doctor does this without the consent of the patient or the court decision, he faces criminal liability.
What to do close
A person who has paranoia is completely embraced by the idea. Sometimes his whole life becomes aimed at understanding it.
No need to argue with him. If he commits violence, you need to call the police and discuss the possibility of involuntary hospitalization or contact a neuropsychiatric dispensary at the place of residence, where they can provide guidance on further actions. This is worth doing if there really is any danger. If there is no danger, you must try to tactfully convince the patient to consult a doctor. Remember: when you enter the confrontation, nothing will work out, aggression can only push away. Try to gain confidence in the person and tactfully persuade him to receive treatment.