- Paranoia can be a symptom of a mental health disorder, however, it isn’t a diagnosis itself.
- A delusional disorder (previously known as paranoid disorder) is a serious type of mental illness.
- While the two may share similar characteristics they are different.
Have you ever felt like someone was talking behind your back, even though you didn’t have proof? Perhaps you’ve felt like someone was trying to steal your possessions or harm you. You might be suffering from paranoid or delusional thoughts. However, paranoia and delusional disorders are different.
Paranoia can be a symptom of a mental health problem, but it’s not a diagnosis in itself. Delusional disorder, on the other hand, is a type of serious mental health illness. But there’s a lot more to know about the two. Let’s take a look at what paranoia and delusional disorders are and how they differ!
What Is Paranoia?
According to Mental Health Americans, (MHA) paranoia “involves intense anxious or fearful feelings and thoughts often related to persecution, threat, or conspiracy.” Paranoid thoughts are also sometimes called delusions.
Many of us have felt paranoid at some time or other, but how can you tell the difference between a suspicious thought and a paranoid one? For starters, if no one else shares the same suspicious thought, you may be paranoid. If there’s no definitive evidence that confirms the thought, or if there is evidence against the thought, it may also be paranoia. Finally, you may be paranoid if you still have the thoughts even though you have reassurance from others.