Schizophrenia delusions are one of the common symptoms of the specialized disorder of the same name. The condition of schizophrenia is a mental illness that can take on many different manifestations, most of which are concerned with a distorted thinking process or perception of reality. It is estimated that approximately 0.5% of the population is affected by this disorder and the schizophrenia symptoms most commonly appear in the early years of adulthood. In treating the condition, a combination of psychotherapy and medications are commonly used. Anti-psychotic drugs are the most often used and help to reduce the frequency and severity of delusional outbreaks. In more severe cases, institutionalization may be needed as the best treatment option.
Schizophrenia delusions are only one of many possible symptoms of the condition. Other possible schizophrenia symptoms include hallucinations (both visual and aural), disorganized thoughts, scattered speech, paranoia, and dysphoria. With the delusional symptoms, many patients feel that something bizarre or wildly impossible is in fact true or possible. These beliefs are held with strong conviction and the thoughts of the patients cannot be changed even after irrefutable proof against the thoughts has been shown. One form of the condition that is more well-known than others is paranoid schizophrenia. In this variation of the disorder, patients experience paranoid schizophrenia delusions without the other symptoms that are normally related to normal cognitive thinking. In other words, the paranoid schizophrenia delusions are the major problem and the person will not have issues with normal speech or activities even though some of their thoughts are delusional.
The causes of the condition are not exactly known, but most experts conclude that is most likely due to the factors of hereditary genetics, individual neurobiology, environment, social experiences, and psychological reasons. In some cases, the condition may be mild, but is exaggerated by use of either prescription or recreational drug use. With some patients, there is an area of overlap with other conditions, such as bipolar disorder or depression. Some of the societal and environmental factors have been shown to increase the risk of a person developing delusional schizophrenia disorder. One of the most common risk factors is to live in an urban area. Poverty and other forms of social disadvantage may also play a role in the development of the condition. Although reasons for a direct connection have not been definitively established, there is a much higher ration of persons with the disorder and use of alcohol and other drugs. Also, tobacco use is extremely high in schizophrenia patients.
To be classified as a patient with delusional schizophrenia disorder, a person must have at least two delusional periods per month or the existence of other symptoms of the condition. These symptoms must also persist for a period of six months or longer to receive clinical classification as delusional schizophrenia disorder. Those patients who have delusions but not for a period of six months are often labeled as having schizophrenia disorder. Schizophrenia delusions can be a major obstacle in living a normal life, but there are treatment options available to patients.