Paranoia or persecution mania is a pathological condition of excessive suspiciousness, which tends to be a form of delusion or be part of a more complex symptomatology in psychosis with hallucinations and thought disorder.
Paranoid delusions occurr in many different psychological disorders and even some neurological disorders and conditions.
Particularly distinctive is the state of schizophrenia and specifically the type that is called paranoid schizophrenia, but also occur in a personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder, and delusional disorder. Paranoia is also common among addicts in withdrawal phase or under substance intoxication on drugs.
Those who writes a research paper on paranoia should understand that in most rigorous medical scientific context the paranoia refers to all different types of psychotic symptoms and not only feeling of persecution without auditory hallucinations, hallucination of sensation or thought disorders. In this context, paranoid does not denote paranoia. Paranoid schizophrenia shows no feeling of persecution at all, but it can occur with voice hallucinations and delusions. Inner voices with exhortations and reproaches occur in functional psychosis caused by external factors, such as stress, lack of sleep or something events that have deeply wounded the victim. Endogenous psychosis is due to internal factors, such as excessive use of alcohol (toxic psychosis) or disease, such as epilepsy or brain tumor (organic psychosis). At toxic psychosis visual hallucinations can occur.
Paranoid psychosis is a general term for psychosis, in which paranoia is the major symptom, whether it is a functional, drug induced, or organic psychosis. There is no definition in the manuals as ICD-10, indicating it as a synonym for delusional disorder. Other psychoses with a strong element of paranoia are paranoid schizophrenia, psychogenic paranoid psychosis, and certain forms of organic psychosis.
Megalomania is another common feature. As a rule, delusions are influenced by the person’s culture and environment. Delusion accompanying paranoia lead to reactions such as suspicion, accusations, jealousy, isolation, anxiety, depression, etc. The clinical picture of schizophrenia, but not delusional disorder, also includes hallucinations.
This form of paranoia is also known as a form of hypochondria. The paranoid believes he is sick or infected by various (physical) illnesses, and are therefore seeking care for these imaginary diseases, sometimes several times a week. Hypochondria may have several causes, and therefore the disease paranoia is not the leading cause of hypochondria.
Jealousy is classified sometimes as a form of paranoid disorder and is manifested in that the sufferer is fully convinced that the partner is or wants to be sexually unfaithful. In extreme cases, the jealousy is manifested as notoriously overprotective surveillance and persecution of the partner. Persecution exists indeed, but it is the sick who persecute and not perceive it as pathological, for example, bussing wife to work, parking outside her job until it’s time to ride home again at 17.00. Or to interpret the slightest action or behavior from the wife, for example, when she did not leave work until 17:01 or her during the trip home cranks down box and clears her throat while a red car with aerial passes, as proof of real infidelity.
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