I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia 3 years ago. I have had symptoms of extreme paranoia since I was 15, mainly at night, and generally involving someone in my house and bedroom. The fear is not specific as regards the harm I think will come of this. I am also very suspicious of people doing things to trick me, my husband cheating, etc. On and off I have had beliefs of special messages over the radio, and the feeling that I am being followed. My question is, are there any other illnesses that this could be attributed to?
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Given the amount of time you have suffered the suffer symptoms you report it seems as though the diagnosis could be accurate, at least, in my opinion. However, I want to be very careful in letting you know that there is no way I can give a diagnosis or an accurate opinion about a diagnosis, over the Interntet. It is only by being seen in a doctor’s office, face to face, that a diagnosis can be made.
Having said this, let me also report that yes, there are other illnesses that can cause your problems. For example, there is something called Schizoaffective Disorder that can have very similar symptoms. In addition, a severe case of Bipolar Disorder can have the same effect. Then, too, such things as chronic drug abuse have created what are called “Drug induced psychosis.” Brain tumors, Alzheimers Disease, Strokes and other medical conditions can also produce these types of results along with other symptoms.
I assume you have been thoroughly examined by a medical doctor and screened for any of these physical and mental illnesses. Nevertheless, it is always possible and sometimes necessary, to go for a second or third opinion. If you were diagnosed three years ago, perhaps it makes sense to see a new Psychiatrist for further evaluation.
Assuming the diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia is correct, you must understand that it is a chronic disease that can be controlled but not cured. Therefore, such things as these are important to prevent flare-ups of symptoms:
1. Regularly take your medications.
2. Do not drink alcohol or use illicit drugs of any kind including marijuana because they willl worsen things for you.
3. Keep your stress levels as low as possible by getting plenty of sleep and eating a proper and balanced diet.
4. Keep your appointments with your psychiatrist and learn as much as possible about the illness.
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Best of Luck