posted on Feb, 3 2013 @ 03:43 AM
One thing I found very true I read decades ago - at some author of psychology, not psychiatry - was that a genuine schizophrenic, especially the
paranoid type will be aggravated by coffee and anything containing a stimulant. Another interesting thing was that schizoid people on the whole do
better when slightly sleep-deprived. However, some schizophrenics were observed to actually become very sleepy from stimulants like coffee and tea
(this is called a "paradoxical effect"). Must be something with being already overstimulated by dopamine...
As I have a very paranoid relative (more exactly, my wife does), who sometimes stays with us, I had a chance to observe this first-hand many times.
This person would be totally human and nice and rational just arriving from a trip overseas (which would, with all the lack of sleep, put a normal
person of her age in a very exhausted state) and reacted very well to having a glass of wine (alcohol is a mild depressant). In fact, after missing a
night's sleep at the age of 64, she was very amiable and chatty.
The next day, after having had an average night's rest, eating etc., she had some coffee.
Trouble was at hand immediately.
One could immediately sense there was something wrong, from her body posture, facial expressions (in common parlance, paranoid people often look
brooding, forlorn, very sad and angry at the same time without any external cause, with bulging eyes). In a few minutes we had to face a violent
flareup with crazy accusations etc. Now I saw this happen over and over again over the years.
Star to xcalibur for saying what I wanted to see stated in this thread: most ordinary schizos do not have sharp symptoms like experiencing voices from
outside. They say all those monologues themselves. When you hear it from the outside, you should be hospitalized or on medication, but that does not
mean that a crazy, paranoid dialogue inside one's head would be OK. No, because many paranoids have that and they are unaware that they are sick and
thus refuse help and treatment.
What you CAN use to recognize whether a mild paranoid schizophrenia is what they say it is, is that the person simply refuses to check their reality
with the reality of others, never letting in outside information concerning their pet paranoid theories, going as far as denying simple facts. Another
is that they desperately hide their true agenda and many times have actually a very refined, keen sense of intuition concerning their pet theories
(which would all be based upon how they cannot trust anyone anywhere). Plus that stimulants aggravate their situation...
Based on this, many people obsessed with a certain brand of politics are paranoid. Joseph Stalin certainly was.
As far as the theories of causation go though, I would be very careful even though certain neurological symptoms have been observed. Just because a
certain neuro-transmitter is in excess when someone with fixed ideas has a flareup, the causative relationship has not been proven. All you can say is
that the two go together. Try this: talk to a common paranoiac who would be unable to manage her life and bring in the subject of her paranoia -
whatever it is, that those evil Jews take all the money away from honest people, or that UFO's make people oversexed or whatever the person's idée
fixe is. Immediately, their organism is flooded with dopamine, and they are ready to defend good from evil. That means, because of mere nonphysical
units of meaning, tens of thousands of neuro-transmitter molecules are suddenly manufactured or fired by the nervous system - a pretty complex task,
if you ask me, something bio labs haven't ever been able to reproduce.
So what is the cause here and what is the effect?