Paranoia mental illness

PPD is one of a series of personality disorders known as "Cluster A" illnesses, which are characterized by unusual or eccentric thinking. Paranoia, or an unyielding mistrust and suspicion of others, is also a symptom of PPD, even when there is no reason to be suspicious.

Paranoia is a mental disorder characterized by unwarranted mistrust and suspicion of others. It can range from minor discomfort to an intense, exceedingly upsetting pattern of thought, all of which suggest that a person's mental health is in grave danger. 1

If you are worried or apprehensive about a situation or a person, you might describe yourself as paranoid. Many people have a passing sense that someone is "out to get them," and may use the term "paranoid" to characterize their concerns when casually speaking.

Paranoia, on the other hand, can be persistent, exceedingly unpleasant, and even deadly for persons with mental diseases including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and paranoid personality disorder.


While most people have paranoid thoughts now and then, paranoia is a more chronic condition of continual, unreasonable, and unwarranted suspicion. It could include the following:

  • Suffering from the sensation of being a victim

  • Feeling as if you've been misunderstood

  • Suffering from a sense of being persecuted

  • Isolation

  • Others' mistrust

  • Anxiety and stress that persists as a result of paranoid notions

  • Due to distrust, you have poor relationships with people.


Your doctor will assess your medical history, examine you, and possibly order lab tests to rule out any medical disorders that could be causing your symptoms. You may be referred to a psychiatrist for additional evaluation if no underlying medical problems are found.

To better understand your symptoms and mental state, your psychiatrist will ask questions and even offer psychological assessments.

Paranoid Thoughts Examples

Everyone's paranoia appears differently, however there are some common themes:

  • You're afraid that someone will take from you, injure you, or murder you.

  • You have the impression that everyone is looking at you and/or talking about you.

  • You believe that people are attempting to exclude you or make you feel awful on purpose.

  • You suspect that the government, an organization, or a single person is spying on or following you.

  • You misinterpret certain facial signals made by others (strangers or friends) as an inner joke about yourself.

  • You believe that people are laughing at you or gossiping behind your back about you (can be accompanied by hallucinations).