by Dr. Jerry Kennard Paranoid thinking is more common, and more normal, than most people realize. In fact paranoia is as common as the everyday worries and anxieties that most people experience. Some estimates suggest that at any one time up to 25 percent of the population is experiencing paranoid thinking. Unlike anxiety however, our society tends to frown upon open declarations of suspicion. This helps to mask the fact that most of us, at some points in our lives, will have a sense that someone is deliberately trying to upset, harm or irritate us. In fact these are some of the most common examples of paranoid thinking. They tend to be fleeting however and, for the most part, don’t cause undue distress. The strongest form of suspicion is often referred to as the persecutory delusion. This tends to be associated with mental health problems. Persecutory delusions can take a whole variety of forms. For example, that food is being poisoned, money stolen, malicious rumors
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