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What Mental Illness Is Paranoia A Symptom Of?

What Are Examples Of Paranoia?

Mental Health America explains that paranoia “involves intense, anxious or fearful feelings and thoughts often related to persecution, threat, or conspiracy.” It is a pattern of thinking that results in suspicion of other people and irrational mistrust. Paranoia is a symptom that can be part of a variety of health conditions, including but not limed to the following, provided by Verywell Mind:

  • Bipolar disorder: characterized by sudden and severe episodic mood swings from emotional highs (manias) to emotional lows (depressions) with intervals of stable moods.
  • Delusional (paranoid) disorder: characterized by the dominance of one delusion (false belief) without any other sign of mental illness.
  • Paranoid personality disorder (PPD): characterized by a pervasive pattern of unwarranted distrust and suspicion of others that involves interpreting their motives as malicious.
  • Schizophrenia: characterized by positive symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, and grossly disorganized speech and behavior), negative symptoms (apathy, social isolation, and diminished effect), and cognitive impairment.

Other causes of paranoia can be related to:

  • Recreational drug use: Abusing substances such as amphetamines, cannabis, alcohol, cocaine, and ecstasy can cause paranoia during intoxication or withdrawals.
  • Neurological disease: Diseases such as dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease), Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or brain injury can cause paranoia.
  • Severe trauma and stress: Some studies have found that paranoia is more common in people who have experienced severe and ongoing stress (e.g., abuse in childhood, domestic violence, racial persecution, living in isolation, etc.).
  • Stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients.
  • Epilepsy: a central nervous system disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness.
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): is an infection that can affect the brain and trigger paranoia. 

According to Good Therapy, “the hallmark of paranoia is that it is rooted in false belief.” The symptoms of paranoia often bring on a sense of fear, anger, and betrayal. Paranoia can range in severity from mild feelings of discomfort to pervasive, debilitating patterns of thinking.

For Information and Support

Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, in the long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.


We are available to answer any questions you may have regarding mental health treatment and our residential program, anytime. Contact us today using the form to the right.

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