Paraphrenia: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Paraphrenia is a type of mental disorder characterized by paranoid delusions. The affected individual experiences imaginary fears or anxieties that are often exaggerated, but do not undergo significant loss of intellectual capabilities, such as memory and daily routine habits.

Although paraphrenia presents symptoms similar to schizophrenia, it often occurs only in the elderly, above the age of 60 and is also quite a rare condition. Schizophrenia, on the other hand, is often reported in teenagers, young adults, as well as middle-aged people.

 

Paraphrenia is, in the majority of the cases, not a very severe ailment. Nevertheless, it is absolutely essential to seek immediate medical care, as soon as typical indications of paraphrenia are recognized in any older person, to ensure timely treatment and efficient management of brain-related irregularities.

Causes

The main factors contributing to the development of paraphrenia in aged persons include:

Severe Neurological Illnesses

When the brain undergoes significant physical modifications, due to a tumour, stroke, grave injury, nerve or blood vessel damage, other neurodegenerative conditions, it affects its normal functioning and response to external stimuli. These abnormal instances could give rise to paraphrenia.

Stressful Personal Situations

Older adults who do not engage in regular social contact, are extremely disconnected from normal events going on around them, have no family or friends and struggle to sustain themselves suffer from serious emotional trauma to the brain. These challenging circumstances, in some cases, lead to paraphrenia.   more

Rampage Killer

Rampage Killer is a generic term referring to either a Spree Killer or a Mass Murderer.

 

John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo

Don’t say anything. Just listen. Dearest police, Call me God. Do not release to the press. Five red stars. You have our terms. They are non-negotiable. If you choose Option 1, you will hold a press conference stating to the media that you believe you have caught the sniper like a duck in a noose. Repeat every word exactly as you heard it. If you choose Option 2, be sure to remember we will not deviate. P.S.-Your children are not safe.

— The Snipers

 

John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, a.k.a. “The Beltway Sniper”“The D.C. Sniper”, and “The Washington Sniper”, were a pair of American snipersserial/spree killers, and robbers who murdered several people on the U.S. East Coast in October 2002.

 

History

 

Muhammad was born as John Allen Williams on December 31, 1960, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He and his parents, Ernest and Eva Williams, moved to New Orleans when Eva was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time of her death, he was three years old. After his father left him, he was mostly cared for by his grandfather and an aunt. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the Louisiana Army National Guard and went on to volunteer for active duty in 1985. In 1987, he joined the Nation of Islam, changing his surname to Muhammad in 2001. During his time in the Army, he served as a mechanic, truck driver, and specialist metalworker and earned the Expert Rifleman’s Badge, the highest possible marksmanship medal for a basic soldier in the U.S. Army. He was married twice. When his second wife, Mildred, divorced him, a bitter custody battle over their three children ensued, culminating with him taking them and moving with them to Antigua in the Caribbean in 1999. Muhammad tried to establish himself as a businessman there but ended up making a living selling false identity papers to locals who sought entry into the U.S.

Around 1999, Muhammad met Una Sceon James and her son, Lee Boyd Malvo, in Antigua. Una, who became a close friend of Muhammad, later moved to Fort Myers, Florida using false documents and left Malvo in his care. In 2001, Muhammad, who claimed Malvo to be his stepson, moved to Bellingham, Washington and tried to enroll him and his three children in a school and was caught up by the authorities, who returned them to their mother. Malvo was reunited briefly with his mother in Miami, but they were arrested by the Border Patrol. Malvo was released on a $1,500 bond the next year and caught up with Muhammad again.   more

Algophobia

What is algophobia?

Algophobia is an extreme fear of physical pain. While nobody wants to experience pain, people with this phobia have intense feelings of worry, panic or depression at the thought of pain. The anxiety of algophobia can also make you more sensitive to pain. It’s most common in people with chronic pain syndromes. Other names for this condition include “pain-related fear” and “pain anxiety.”

How common is algophobia?

Pain-related fear in people with chronic pain is common. One study suggests that half of people with low back pain have an elevated sense of fear about their pain. Chronic pain affects between 20% and 50% of people worldwide and is one of the most common reasons that people see a healthcare provider. About 67% of people with chronic pain also have a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression.

 

What causes algophobia?

Sudden fear and anxiety protect us from dangerous situations. If we see a bear, it’s natural to feel scared and want to escape. But people with chronic pain may develop ongoing fear and anxiety as protective measures. They avoid activities or situations that they think could cause more pain or make their pain worse. Unfortunately, exaggerating the threat of pain can actually make the pain worse.

The same chemicals in your brain that regulate fear and anxiety also regulate how you perceive pain. So chemical imbalances can trigger both problems.   more

Shared Psychotic Disorder

Introduction

Shared psychotic disorder (folie à deux) is a rare disorder characterized by sharing a delusion among two or more people in a close relationship. The inducer (primary) who has a psychotic disorder with delusions influences another nonpsychotic individual or more (induced, secondary) based on a delusional belief. It is commonly seen among two individuals, but in rare cases, can include larger groups. For example, it can occur in a family and is called folie à famille.

Jules Baillarger was the first to report this condition in 1860. During the 19th century, psychiatrists in Europe suggested different names. In France, it has been called “folie communiquee“(communicated psychosis) by Baillarger. In German psychiatry, it was named “Induziertes Irresein” by Lehman and Sharfetter. In 1877 Lasegue and Falret coined the term “folie à deux.” The French word “folie à deux” means madness shared by two. In the early 1940s, Gralnick, in his review of 103 cases of folie à deux, described four types of this disorder. He defined it as a psychiatric entity characterized by the transfer of delusions from one person to one or several others who have a close association with the primarily affected person. The four types are as follows:

  1. Folie imposee (imposed psychosis) – Described by Lasegue and Falret in 1877. The delusions are transferred from an individual with psychosis to an individual without psychosis in an intimate relationship. The delusions in the induced individual soon disappear once the two are separated.
  2. Folie simultanee (simultaneous psychosis) – Described by Regis in 1880. Both partners share the psychosis simultaneously. They both have risk factors through long social interactions that predispose them to develop this condition. There are reports of sharing genetic risk factors among siblings.
  3. Folie communiquée (communicated psychosis) – Described by Marandon de Montyel in 1881. This type is similar to folie imposee; however, the delusion in the secondary partner occurs after a long period of resistance. Also, the secondary partner will maintain the delusion even after separation from their partner.
  4. Folie induite (induced psychosis) – Described by Lehmann in 1885. In this type, new delusions are assumed by an individual with psychosis who is being influenced by another individual with psychosis.    more

Spree vs. Serial Killers

“The validity of spree murder as a separate category was discussed at great length. The general definition of spree murder is two or more murders committed by an offender or offenders, without a cooling-off period. According to the definition, the lack of a cooling-off period marks the difference between a spree murder and a serial murder. Central to the discussion was the definitional problems relating to the concept of a cooling-off period. Because it creates arbitrary guidelines, the confusion surrounding this concept led the majority of attendees to advocate disregarding the use of spree murder as a separate category. The designation does not provide any real benefit for use by law enforcement.”

That being said, the FBI is not the only game in town when it comes to understanding the mindset of multicidal killers or evaluating the usefulness of the “spree” designation. Criminological researchers interested in developmental and psychological issues see value in retaining distinct categories to study their differences. Even subtle differences can be important for intervention, prediction, and situation management.   more