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Inner Harmony & the Pathway to Spiritual Peace (Original)

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Author Topic: Inner Harmony & the Pathway to Spiritual Peace (Original)  (Read 3676 times)
Jade Hellene
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« Reply #60 on: December 18, 2007, 01:05:04 am »

Morrison

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   posted 01-26-2006 09:37 PM                       
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In popular culture, the term paranoia is usually used to describe excessive concern about one's own well-being, sometimes suggesting a person holds persecutory beliefs concerning a threat to themselves or their property and is often linked to a belief in conspiracy theories.

In psychiatry, the term paranoia was used by Emil Kraepelin to describe a mental illness in which a delusional belief is the sole, or most prominent feature. This usage is now largely obsolete and the term is more typically used in a general sense to signify any delusion, or more specifically, to signify a delusion involving the fear of persecution. The exact use of the term has changed over time, and because of this, psychiatric usage may vary.

Use in psychiatry

In his original attempt at classifying different forms of mental illness, Emil Kraepelin used the term pure paranoia to describe a condition where a delusion was present, but without any apparent deterioration in intellectual abilities and without any of the other features of dementia praecox, the condition later renamed schizophrenia.

In the original Greek, παράνοια (paranoia) means simply madness (para = outside; nous = mind). Kraeplin's developed a definition from this root involving delusional beliefs. Notably, in his definition, the belief does not have to be persecutory to be classified as paranoid, so any number of delusional beliefs can be classified as paranoia. For example, a person who has the sole delusional belief that he is an important religious figure would be classified by Kraepelin as having 'pure paranoia'.

Although the diagnosis of pure paranoia is no longer used (having been superseded by the diagnosis of delusional disorder) the use of the term to signify the presence of delusions in general, rather than persecutory delusions specifically, lives on in the classification of paranoid schizophrenia, which denotes a form of schizophrenia where delusions are prominent.

More recently, the clinical use of the term has been used to describe delusions where the affected person believes they are being persecuted. Specifically, they have been defined as containing two central elements:

The individual thinks that harm is occurring, or is going to occur, to him or her.
The individual thinks that the persecutor has the intention to cause harm.
Paranoia is often associated with psychotic illnesses, particularly schizophrenia, although attenuated features may be present in other primarily non-psychotic diagnoses, such as paranoid personality disorder.
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