PARANOID STATES

A psychotic disorder characterized by transient, poorly systematized delusions.Paranoid states appear to be intermediate between “true” paranoia and paranoid schizophrenia. The delusions are usually persecutory in nature, but are less systematized, clear-cut, and elaborate than those in paranoia. At times they may be accompanied by hallucinations. Other thought processes may also be disturbed, and the patient may be less coherent and logical than the paranoiac. On the other hand, his thinking is not bizarre, fragmentary, or disorganized, and he is not thoroughly out of touch with reality, as are patients afflicted with paranoid schizophrenia. Kraepelin used the term “paraphrenia” to designate this type of reaction, but this term is not in use today.The background and dynamics of paranoid states are similar to those in paranoia, but instead of a gradual and insidious development of symptoms, there is usually a fairly sudden onset following a traumatic experience or a period of overwhelming emotional stress. Though occasionally chronic, most of these cases are transient and clear up spontaneously after a few days or weeks. Psychotropic drugs are now used to reduce the severity of the symptoms and hasten recovery. The patient may also receive brief psychotherapy to prevent a recurrence.

Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "PARANOID STATES," in PsychologyDictionary.org, November 28, 2018, https://psychologydictionary.org/paranoid-states/ (accessed December 7, 2019).
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