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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is my paranoia a symptom of schizophrenia or part of my PTSD?

    I was diagnosed with PTSD early this year. I had some experiences with harassments before it resulted in problems with physical intimacy. I realise I get really suspicious of others' intentions a lot of the time when I am stressed out and feel overwhelmed. I have thoughts that people will attack me, take advantage of me or do something horrible to me. Is it a delusion if I have these things in my head? Does that mean I might have schizophrenia or can it just be the PTSD hypervigilance going to extreme?
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  • 7

    Thanks

    Dr Raiz Ismail

    Psychiatrist

    Dr. Raiz ISMAIL is a psychiatrist and a fellow of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists . His areas of interest include: depression … View Profile

    Hi 

    Paranoia is a symptom which is not just specific to Schizophrenia; it can be present in PTSD, severe anxiety, Bipolar disorder (especially mania), severe depression (depression with psychotic features) , some personality traits (like paranoid personality ,schizoid ,schizotypal ,borderline etc). 

    To be honest , it is very difficult to ascertain the reason in your condition. The paranoia in PTSD is usually relevant to the trauma which casued PTSD

    Some times , paranoia may be due to  extreme anxiety (such as fear of scrutiny) or may be due to extreme hyper vigilence reaction like your case and most of the times , it may not be of a delusional level, just an over valued idea. 

    To diagnose Schizophrenia ,patient has to have few specific signs and symptoms and I believe an interview with your GP or a mental health professional will shine more light into this. 

  • 1

    Thanks

    Mr Max von Sabler

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    http://www.mvsgroup.com.au/ Max is a clinical psychologist working in the public and private health sectors. He currently holds several appointments at Monash Health where he provides … View Profile

    This is a great question, and often difficult to distignuish on your own. The short answer is that it can be a symptom of either condition. However, PTSD and the stress associated with trauma can cause symptoms associated with your schizophrenia to become more apparent, and viseversa.

    I would strongly recommend booking in to see a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. We offer some brilliant programmes to address PTSD and schizophrenia at MVS Group. You can find out more information here: https://www.mvsgroup.com.au/programmes/

    Best wisehs,

    Max.

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