People with paranoid schizophrenia, the most common form of the disorder, mainly experience hallucinations. They tend to believe that others are poisoning, harassing, or plotting against them. They may also hear voices, which order them to do things. Contrary to popular belief, people suffering from this type of schizophrenia are actually not prone to violence; in fact, they generally prefer to be left alone.
Paranoid schizophrenia is the most commonly occurring form of schizophrenia. Other types of schizophrenia include:
- Disorganized schizophrenia
- Catatonic schizophrenia
- Residual schizophrenia
- Undifferentiated schizophrenia.
The different types are classified based on the symptoms a person is experiencing. Since the symptoms of schizophrenia can change over time, it is possible for a person to have more than one type during his or her lifetime.
For people with paranoid schizophrenia, the primary symptoms are delusions or auditory hallucinations. People with paranoid schizophrenia usually do not have thought disorder, disorganized behavior, or affective flattening.
People with paranoid schizophrenia have grandiose delusions. For example, they may believe that others are deliberately:
- Cheating them
- Harassing them
- Poisoning them
- Spying on them
- Plotting against them or the people they care about.
Auditory hallucinations can include hearing "voices" that may:
- Comment on the person's behavior
- Order him or her to do things
- Warn of impending danger
- Talk to each other (usually about the affected person).