What is Paranoia?
Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is a mental illness characterized by excessive worry and apprehension. People with paranoid personality disorder are prone to believe they are being watched or followed by others, and may experience feelings of fear and unease. They tend to see threats around them and interpret ambiguous situations as having sinister overtones.
The term “paranoid” refers to the belief that there is a threat or danger lurking behind every corner. Common types of paranoia include delusions and hallucinations. Paranoia is usually the result of drug use, a mental disorder or a brain injury. It may also be due to genetics, experiencing a traumatic event, or being bullied.
Paranoid personality disorder is a mental condition in which a person has an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep mistrust of others and a strong tendency to suspect others are out to harm them. People with this condition are often deeply pessimistic and cynical, interpreting many actions of others as threatening or malicious. More men have paranoid personality disorder than women.
Paranoia is a long-term mental condition in which someone has extreme fears and suspicions that lead them to believe others are trying to harm or betray them, even when there is no real evidence. This can make them withdrawn and unwilling to trust anyone at all. In some cases, however, paranoia can lead people to behave in a hostile manner towards others.
Paranoia is considered a “persecutory” type of delusion. This means someone suffering from paranoia will experience delusions involving the belief that they are being hated, betrayed or plotted against. For example, a person suffering from paranoia may believe somebody is trying to poison them, or that their partner is having an affair.
The primary symptom of paranoid schizophrenia is hallucinations. These may involve hearing voices which issue threats or commands, or having powerful delusions involving someone they know, such as a famous celebrity or fictional character. These symptoms may be accompanied by a loss of interest in everyday life, lack of motivation and social withdrawal.
Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is defined as an exaggerated mistrust in others.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Paranoia and self-consciousness. (A Fenigstein, PA Vanable – Journal of personality and social …, 1992 – psycnet.apa.org)
- Manic depressive insanity and paranoia (E Kraepelin – The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 1921 – journals.lww.com)
- Paranoia and the structure of powerlessness (J Mirowsky, CE Ross – American Sociological Review, 1983 – JSTOR)
- Delusional disorder (paranoia) (G Winokur – Comprehensive psychiatry, 1977 – Elsevier)
- Artificial paranoia (KM Colby, S Weber, FD Hilf – Artificial Intelligence, 1971 – Elsevier)
- Pynchon, paranoia, and literature (L Bersani – Representations, 1989 – online.ucpress.edu)
- Cognitive therapy for delusions, voices and paranoia. (PD Chadwick, MJ Birchwood, P Trower – 1996 – psycnet.apa.org)