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Watching our mental health

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Steve Hydonus
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« on: Jan 31, 2016 02:49 pm »

i have come across people who have the expectation that others are or will be taking advantage of them and they have a mistrust of others. i found some interesting facts about paranoia that we may find characterizes people that are not mentally ill but still have degrees of the symptoms of various mental illnesses. As an example, let us look at paranoia below:

Paranoia (par-a-NOY-a) refers to either an unreasonable fear of harm by others (delusions * of persecution) or an unrealistic sense of self-importance (delusions of grandeur). While paranoia is often associated with a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, people without such illnesses can have paranoid feelings, think that people are talking about them, or have difficulties trusting others.

John's Experience

One day John came across a group of his friends huddled together on the soccer field. As he approached, they were all talking and laughing and enjoying themselves. However, when he reached where they were standing, the group suddenly became quiet. John could not help feeling that his friends had been talking about him and that was why they had all stopped talking when he approached. He found himself thinking about this throughout the rest of the day. He even began to believe that his friends had been plotting against him.

The next morning, John saw the same group of guys huddled around his locker. This time when he approached, they shouted "surprise" and presented him with a new CD for his birthday. With embarrassment he realized that they had probably been discussing his birthday surprise the day before on the soccer field. He wondered what had caused him to doubt himself and his friends like that? Was it paranoia or a simple misunderstanding?

* delusions (de-LOO-zhuns) are false beliefs that remain even in the face of proof that they are not true.
What Is Paranoia?

Paranoia is not a particular disorder so much as a way of experiencing (or incorrectly experiencing) reality. For example, John experienced paranoia when he wrongly believed that his friends were out to get him. A person whose phone was once tapped and was thereafter cautious about saying confidential things over the telephone might be considered reasonably concerned rather than paranoid. In contrast, a person who unrealistically feared that his or her phone was tapped even though it never had been before, and who persisted in the belief even when presented with compelling evidence that it was not true, would be considered paranoid. The key issue is not the behavior itself so much as its basis in reality.

Common characteristics of people who tend to be paranoid include:

    poor self-image
    social isolation
    an expectation that others are trying to take advantage of them
    an inability to relax
    an inability to work with others
    a deep mistrust of others
    an inability to let go of insults or to forgive others
    a poor sense of humor

Like many personality traits, paranoia is something that can occur in different degrees of severity. In its milder forms, paranoia may be something that a person feels only occasionally or only in certain situations. John, for example, experienced paranoia one day, but he did not usually feel this way. In its more severe forms, however, paranoia can seriously limit an individual's life. People with significant levels of paranoia may consistently misinterpret reality and experience delusions. Delusions are classified as bizarre or nonbizarre. A person who believes that others are out to get him and are somehow monitoring his actions through the television set is experiencing a bizarre paranoid delusion; this type of delusion is called bizarre because it is completely unbelievable. An example of a nonbizarre paranoid delusion is a person's belief that he or she is under surveillance by the police; while the belief might be false, it is not out of the realm of possibility. Because everyone's experience of reality seems real to them, it is hard to tell individuals with paranoid delusions that they are not in danger. For a person with paranoia, minor hassles or mild insults may be seen as dangerous threats.

Even people with severe paranoia may function normally much of the time if, for instance, they have a paranoid delusion that affects only a part of their life. For example, they might become obsessed with the idea that a particular chain of restaurants is conspiring to poison unsuspecting customers like themselves. They might stop eating in those restaurants and even go so far as to call the health authorities to investigate while they still function normally in other parts of their lives.

Read more: http://www.humanillnesses.com/Behavioral-Health-Ob-Sea/Paranoia.html#ixzz3ypCONvSD
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