In the movie,” A Beautiful Mind”, Russel Crowe portrays a brilliant mathematician John Nash whose work is challenged by his bouts of paranoid schizophrenia which he constantly battled with throughout his life. Despite this ailment, John Nash was able to win the Noble Prize. This battle between John Nash and his ailment was the real story of the movie and it won the Best Picture Category in the 2002 Academy Awards.
Paranoid Schizophrenia is just one of the forms of schizophrenia diagnosed. This type of ailment is also one of the most common as people living with it have a distrust for anything and everyone and feel that someone or something is out to get them. This brain disorder is one that challenges not only the patient but those loved ones. Affecting the perception of the patient, it affects the very patient’s social interaction, thought processes, logic and perception of the real world. In short a person with schizophrenia acts and talks in his or her own world where it seems everything is illogical but him or her.
There is a classic television series called the Twilight Zone which was created by Rod Serling. In one episode, a man suddenly wakes up to find that his means of words have now different meanings in the time he is living in. What dog meant before now means tree. This proved to be understandably confusing to the protagonist and he had no option but to adapt and re-learn the meanings to the words. People with schizophrenia often do not have that option if the sickness is left untreated. Prior to the last century, those with paranoid schizophrenia were sent to mental institutions and left there. These days there are medicines which can act as inhibitors to the chemical imbalances that may trigger schizophrenia, most of which are inhibitors to cortisol, glutamate, and dopamine. Counseling is also a system of treatment used for people living with schizophrenia and these sessions do monitor the stages and incidents of any episodes as such.
Paranoid schizophrenia, if left untreated, could have detrimental effects to the patient. It may lead to suicide tendencies or worse yet, may cause them to act violently and such actions may result in unprovoked and senseless homicides. Though this is rare in most cases, some defense lawyers use paranoid schizophrenia as a defense for those charged with murder and homicide. Knowing the early signs of paranoid schizophrenia such as social withdrawal and hostility or suspiciousness are key factors for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. This ailment may not be cured but can be treated and contained.