Basics Concerning the Paranoia Disorder

Category: Psychology


Any human being can undergo numerous mental disorders. However, most of these mental disorders tend to be caused by certain personal or social factors. Some of the factors may be self-made while others come naturally and affect the victims. This essay focuses on a mental disorder called paranoia. Paranoia refers to a mental disorder caused by a lack of trust towards others. Individuals with this mental disorder tend to portray certain specific symptoms.


The first symptom for this disorder is pervasiveness. Here, the victim tends to generalize issues. For instance, he or she has a certain unverified issue in mind; this would be simply generalized as true or false. In addition, he or she would not be in a position to trust anyone, since they think that they behave in the same way. This means that the relations with other people would be immensely poor.

Another fundamental symptom is that such people are hypersensitive. This means that they get easily affected by delicate things done of said around them. Moreover, they contain events for a long time while still generalizing things. Such generalizations do not only occur with people around them, but also with the general environment.

Next, most of them always like to stay in isolation. This is caused by the fact that they appear largely emotional. Furthermore, they possess a lower capacity or capability of having meaningful or logical emotional involvements. This makes them to withdraw and keep away from others. Most of the time, such people accuse others of being rather hostile or unfair. Moreover, they usually appear self-centered and see themselves as always being right. These issues, coupled with their immense suspicion of others, make an individual appear as paranoid. It may be normal for any person to be paranoid about certain life situations. However, people suffering from paranoia tend to take their worries to extremes.

This disorder appears slightly as mere cases of mistrust towards others. If one is not keen, it may be seen as simple and ignorable. However, at the onset of this disorder, it comes as cases of light or brief psychotic episodes. When these episodes worsen, the victim may encounter chronic cases of schizophrenia. In some cases, the victim suffers dilution. In major cases of paranoia, the victim may encounter immense depression or even become an alcoholic. Moreover, some people contract agoraphobia. Further cases of substance abuse may also depict themselves. This disorder comes in different levels based on the severity of the case. For instance, it may come as a schizoid personality disorder. In other cases, it can be depicted as an avoidant personality disorder. All these symptoms depict major stages of this disorder.

One thing that should be well noted is that this disorder affects mainly adults. It also has a great impact on teenagers and children. However, this is mostly classified as a generic disorder that is passed on to infants. Another instrumental fact about this disorder is that it has affected 0.5%- 2.4% of the entire population. It is also closely related to schizoid and the schizotypal personality disorder.

This disorder has been proven to affect mostly males. A larger percentage of those suffering from this disorder tend to be men. This disorder is characterized by immense cases of mistrust and fear. Most patients who suffer from this disorder feel highly susceptible to others even when it is clear that the people they fear are of no harm to them. Men are viewed as strong and witty in the society. However, the big query here is why would a man have such immense mistrust and fear towards other people. The answer comes about in the realization that this defect is largely hereditary. It is passed on from one generation to another. This fact may make it quite difficult for the patient to be completely cured.

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The main causes of paranoia have not been clearly discovered by researchers. However, there have been several causes outlined for this particular disorder. Up to this level of research, it has been found out that this defect is caused by certain generic factors. In addition, social factors that are related to how one interacts with others also have an upper hand in the causal factor for this disease. For instance, the way one used to relate with parents, age mates and other members of the society largely determines the possibility of developing this disorder. The individual’s temperament and flexibility to environmental factors also play a major role in experiencing this disorder. There is no particular causal factor for this disorder. Some people have a lower capability of handling stresses that arise around them, they also are easily distressed and destructed by such matters. Hence, this may be a reason for being majorly affected. It should, however, be noted that people with this disorder have a higher capability of passing it on to their children. That is why it is said to be largely biological (Reid, 1989).

From the above explanation, it is clear that the causes for paranoia are varied. That is, paranoia is caused by both biological and environmental factors. It also be caused by social factors that include how a person is used to relate and mingle with others in their earlier developmental lives.

There are various modes of treatment of this kind of disorder. However, for the best outcome, a patient should contact a well-qualified psychiatrist who has good knowledge on how to handle such cases. Moreover, a prescription of the right drugs can be given to the victim in cases of certain debilitating symptoms.

The patient goes through a series of psychiatric treatment for an unspecified duration. The success in the treatment comes about if the patient’s level of mistrust and pervasiveness reduces. However, the patient may take a longer time to recover than expected. In extreme cases where the patient refuses to respond to treatment, the recovery may not occur at all. Hence, for quicker recovery, the patient should always cooperate and try to reduce the levels of mistrust. Some of the most appropriate prescriptions for a receptive patient are anti- depressants and anti-anxiety drugs. These help the psychiatrist in hastening the recovery of such a receptive patient.

The outcome of this disorder is highly determined by certain factors. First, the patient must be receptive to treatment. Failure of this may either lead to a prolonged recovery or to no recovery at all. Moreover, people living around such a patient should help him or her by being supportive; they can be supportive by always trying to be accommodative and honest with them. This would help them to open up and change their pervasiveness. Another fundamental thing that others should do to such patients is to keep them in a company. This goes a long way in ensuring that the patients are always in a good company and not withdrawn. It also keeps their minds busy chatting and not thinking about how other people are bad.

Patients may fail to recover if they refuse to adapt to the changes offered to them, in fact, this appears as the main reason for a failed therapy. The psychiatrist uses behavior therapy. This is the best way of trying to help the patients to adapt to certain criticisms that may be extended to them by friends and other members of the society. This also helps the patients to develop basic social skills that would help them in dealing with people in the society (Munro, 1999).


To conclude, paranoia is a mental disorder that is caused by hereditary and biological factors. In addition, it may be caused by social factors that relate to how someone interacts with his or her age mates, parents, and siblings. It starts with how one mingles or relates with others in their earlier developmental stages. Some environmental factors may also lead to development of this disorder.

Paranoia disorder is characterized by immense cases of mistrust and generalization. The patients do not seem to trust anyone and view everyone in the same way. Moreover, they feel largely vulnerable around other people. They also tend to convince themselves that certain people may harm them even without any proof of this. The patients also appear withdrawn and secluded from other people.

The main and common method of treatment of this disorder is therapy. The patients undergo a series of therapies that are supplemented with drugs. However, only a receptive patient encounters recovery within the shortest time. Those who refuse to receive the treatment procedures positively remain in this state. Eventually, the disorder is passed on to the children. Finally, this disorder is mainly diagnosed in males (Kantor, 2004).

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