What is it?

Paranoia is an intense feeling or thought that is related to persecution, threat or conspiracy. Paranoia is present in many mental disorders, and is common in psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Paranoia may have a delusional component when the paranoia becomes fixed, until nothing can change the person's mind about it, not even contrary evidence. When paranoia is not accompanied by other symptoms such as hallucinations, it is called a delusional disorder. In many cases, paranoid states are related to events and people in a person's life, hence making the person even more lonely, with decreased access to help.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Shared Psychotic Disorder
- Paraphrenia

Signs & symptoms

Paranoia symptoms include intense and irrational distrust or suspicion. These thoughts or perceptions may arouse feelings such as anger and betrayal. Other beliefs and behaviors including hypervigilance, difficulty with forgiveness, defensive attitude in response to imagined criticism, preoccupation with hidden motives, fear of being deceived or taken advantage of, inability to relax, or are argumentative.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made in a conversation with a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or a psychiatrist. Before diagnosing, it is important to rule out medical conditions that may explain the symptoms by medical hisory, physical examination and lab tests..

Treatment

Treatment usually inlcludes therapy, most commonly cognitive behavioral therapy combined with antipsychotic medications.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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