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Paranoia

A paranoid psychosis consists of delusions that you are convinced are real. 

What is paranoia?

Paranoia is a mental condition where you suffer from delusions, for instance of being persecuted, watched, or influenced from without. The paranoia often originates from a real situation, but with time it develops into a delusion.

The risk of getting a paranoid psychosis is greatest if you use drugs, are older, single, live isolated or suffer from impaired hearing or sight.

Symptoms

The diagnosis paranoid psychosis requires that the following criteria are met:

  • You do not have hallucinations all the time
  • The symptoms are not caused by mania, depression or a mix of these
  • The symptoms are not caused by physical illness
  • You have suffered from non-schizophrenic delusions for at least 3 months
  • You do not meet the criteria for schizophrenia

In order to preclude schizophrenia, the doctor will examine if your delusions are bizarre, completely impossible or unrealistic. If that is the case, it suggests that it’s schizophrenia and not paranoia.

Treatment

A paranoid psychosis can last a long time, and treatment with medicine or psychotherapy often has a limited effect. It can be difficult to convince a person suffering from paranoia of the need for treatment, as the person thinks the notions are real.

Psychotherapy and counselling can make the delusions take up less space by discussing the imagined situations, preferably with close relations. Medical treatment with neuroleptics, which is used for psychoses, is also an option.

Find more information here:

Mental Health America
The Net Psychiatrist (in Danish)

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