Paranoia refers to the perception or suspicion that others have hostile or aggressive motives in interacting with them (for example, "they are out to get me"), when in fact there is no reason for these suspicions. People experiencing paranoia believe that others are persecuting them and have delusional ideas about themselves as central figures in scenarios that in reality have little relevance to them. They may mistrust others and remain often in a state of suspicion. Minor feelings of paranoia are common, but severe paranoia can cause significant fear and anxiety and can have a pronounced effect on social functioning. Feelings of paranoia can be observed with many psychological disorders, including schizophrenia, as well as with a number of medical diseases that can affect brain function, ranging from Alzheimer's disease to multiple sclerosis. Intoxication from alcohol or drug abuse may also lead to feelings of paranoia.
Other causes of paranoia
- Delusional Disorder
- Low Self-Esteem
- Paranoid Personality Disorder
- Sleep Deprivation
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Causes of Paranoia
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Bipolar disorder (or manic depression) is a mental illness characterized by depression, mania, and severe mood swings. Treatment may incorporate mood-stabilizer medications, antidepressants, and psychotherapy.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
Borderline personality disorder is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual's sense of self-identity. Originally thought to be at the "borderline" of psychosis, people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) suffer from a disorder of emotion regulation.
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Mania vs. Hypomania
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Schizotypal Personality Disorder
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Teen Drug Abuse
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Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke)
When a portion of the brain loses blood supply, through a blood clot or embolus, a transient ischemic attack (TIA, mini-stroke) may occur. If the symptoms do not resolve, a stroke most likely has occurred. Symptoms of TIA include: confusion, weakness, lethargy, and loss of function to one side of the body. Risk factors for TIA include vascular disease, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Treatment depends upon the severity of the TIA, and whether it resolves.
Examples of Medications for Paranoia
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