Can paranoid personality disorder develop into paranoid schizophrenia?A person from my family went undiagnosed for many years despite strange behavior, only when she had a psychotic episode did she allow us to take her to a doctor and was diagnosed with paranoid disorder. The symptoms fit her "usual" symptoms (i.e. those she's had for years) - relatively coherent delusions of being disliked, plotted against, of her flat being bugged, someone stealing things when she's out. However, I saw her during the psychotic episode she had and her thinking was not coherent then, I couldn't follow it, she started with saying someone at her work was plotting to have her fired, then said they wanted to frame her into embezzlement, I asked how, she said she had told them to repair a pipe and someone came to fix it and took, say, 1000 dollars for it, and she signed it and now she''ll be in trouble, she'll go to prison, then she said the whole market where she works has been flooded today and they will set her up for it, when I asked how it was possible to blame her if she hadn't been there for the last 3 days she couldn't answer. She spent 5 days at home not even dressing up, in total mess. I tried to calm her but after I left she called me and started saying again they wanted to put her in jail and that her landlady (a friend of mine) is also involved in conspiracy. Then she called my boyfriend and told him I was also involved. She told her landlady the people at her work were trying to poison her. When her son came she suddenly got better and when they took her to the doctor she only said she felt depressed and tired. But I remember her in that state, I remember I was terrified with the sight and what she was saying, it was clear to me at once that these are symptoms of mental illness. Is it possible that she has had paranoid disorder for long, but now it has developed into schizophrenia? If so, what is the difference in treatment? Now that she's taking medicines she hasn't had acute symptoms. Thank you in advance for the reply.
Paranoid personality disorder is rare. Schizophrenia is more common. And I would agree the idea of schizoaffective makes sense as that is schizophrenia with a mood disorder. As a person who has recovered from schizoaffective disorder with glycine, an antipsychotic in Phase II FDA study (my specific case study will be published in a psychiatric journal, in the meantime for the official study google "Dr. Javitt, glycine") which is a glutamate antagonist, a new form of antipsychotic that will promote a fuller recovery and has a more favorable long term side effect profile, I can say that I experienced many of these feelings before recovery. And was misdiagnosed at least once. If she has schizoaffective disorder, then an antipsychotic and a mood stabilizer togther (along with talk therapy) would indeed be beneficial but the psychiatrist could give you more specific options.
Have you also had those persecution delusions? The person I wrote about has had them for years, while I have not seen strong mood swings in her, certainly not manic-depressive, those acute periods are more like she forms a set of persecution beliefs and begins to add new ones to them until it leads her to believe everyone is conspiring against her and that something terrible is going to happen to her. She gets very much afraid,can't sleep. It usually happens when she's been under stress or is physically ill.
Paranoid Personality Disorder is more common than Schizophrenia. PPD is different than Paranoid Schizophrenia.
There is also difference between delusion and paranoia. If a person "believes" someone is plotting against him then it is delusion. But if the person "suspects, fears etc" about a plot, but CAN be convinced that it is not true, then it is paranoia.
I do not know if PPD can develop into schizophrenia. I hope not even though symptoms can be very similar. If a patient has severe PPD, they don't even trust the doctors. But again, they can be convinced.
I experienced both before recovery. I had all forms of delusions and paranoid delusions are ones that involve fear of persecution. Not all delusions are paranoid. Some I had were bizzare or just didn't make sense. Yes a person can be paranoid without it being a paranoid delusion and I could get out a psychiatric textbook and discuss but I'd rather explain what I peronally know and went through before recovery myself. Before recovery, I always thought people were "after me" and a random remark by a teenager meant it was a "hate crime" and the like. There were aspects of grandiosity that were part of mania as well. My recovery was from schizoaffective, not schizophrenia.
If paranoid personality disorder is hard to treat I wouldn't be surprised. Borderline personality disorder is hard to treat. Narcissistic personality is very difficult to treat. And anti-social personality disorder is almost impossible to treat. But I'd rather not second guess a psychiatrist as to what's wrong. Just to guide a person into seeking help and treatment.
Thanks for all comments. Actually what the doctor said was paranoid syndrome, which I took to mean paranoid disorder, but from what I now read it may be part of schizophrenia. So maybe the doctor does not know yet whether it is schizophrenia, only that she has those symptoms. But the pills she gets are also prescribed to schizophrenia patients (sorry for the confusion; I still don't know much myself about those things, plus English is not my first language, so despite doing - I hope - quite well I have even more problems with medical terminology).
Some beliefs she only expresses for short periods, others form part of her everyday "system of beliefs". When her suspicions "get out of reach" as in the example I quoted in my first post she tends do deny them when she gets better - she denies ever saying that somebody had been plotting to take her life of that I had been involved in the plot. We don't know whether she really doesn't remember this or whether she realizes these were delusions and consciously denies them (she doesn't accept she may be mentally ill). But the other, less obviously untrue beliefs - that people in her town are malicious, that her sisters-in-law have somehow arranged for her not to get a job, that neighbors are only waiting to steal something from her - are part of her daily life. For example, when her son lost his job and wanted to reply to an ad in his home town (he was living elsewhere then), she told him not to go because people in the town were bad.
I am sorry Lydia but it does sound more than PPD. I never heard of the term "paranoid syndrome" but it probably means that the doctor is not sure yet.
In my guess she suffers from delusion disorder which is more severe than PPD and has occasional episodes of psychosis.
I think I have PPD. It started when I was threatened for something I didn't do. Later is developed into more frequent fears. Also once I forgot to pay for an item in the store that I put into my baby's cart and I was afraid they might think I stole it and avoided that store for a while. There are million of little fears but they all have a cause.
My shrink says PPD has no basis but I still think it is possible that I might have it.
I, however, realize that these fears are irrational and am angry for having them, and wish there was cure for it. Therapy is good but I have no time for it.
Let us know what diagnosis your relative gets from her doctor.
Well, it's entirely possible that if I forgot to pay for an item in a shop I'd also avoid it for a while ;) I once incidentally broke a bottle in a shop and felt so embarrassed that I also avoided it for weeks if not months.
As for this relative of mine, I rather (strange as it may sound) prefer to believe she has something more serious. Her behavior is what it is, whatever the diagnosis, and we have to cope with it. But if its schizophrenia at least we can hope she gets disability pension and we won't have to worry about money so much - she keeps quitting jobs, or not getting them for long periods.
My first language is Polish. An English teacher, though ;)
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