The Danger of Depression Paranoia

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Depression is a very serious illness that often is not taken seriously enough.  Many people are afraid to admit that they may be depressed for fear that people will not understand or will make fun of them; and when depression is compounded by other problems, such as paranoia, the consequences of underestimating it can be even more serious.

Paranoia And Paranoid Thinking

Paranoia is the feeling that people are out to get you or that people are talking about you.  It has been estimated that most people experience paranoia in some manner.  A study recently preformed at the Institute of Psychiatry Kings College London, determined that the level of paranoia that people experience is much higher than anyone anticipated.  Paranoia is a problem in and of itself but when you add it to depression paranoia compounds the problem and makes it harder to deal with and treat.

Paranoid thinking is defined as the suspicion that other people intend to do harm to us. Here are the findings from The Institute of Psychiatry Kings College London:

? Over 40% of people worry that negative comments are being made about them regularly
? 27% of people think that people irritate them on purpose just to be mean
? 20% of people worry that they are being watched or followed
? 10% of people think that someone is out to get them
? 5% of people think that there is a conspiracy against them

Compound Problems

People who suffer with depression generally have a feeling of low self worth and a diminished ability to appreciate and enjoy life’s simple pleasures.  Compounding depression with paranoia causes a person to experience a double hit of emotions.  Someone who is suffering from paranoia depression may feel that someone is out to harm them and that they deserve it due to their low level of self worth.  Or they may think that someone is out to get them but lack the energy to do anything about it.

Having paranoia can cause extreme harm to a person if it is not put into proper perspective.  Paranoia often stems from real life events such as the terrorist attacks on 9/11, or the London subway bombings.  It is normal to feel some anxiety about situations that bring those tragic events to mind.  Recent research has shown, though, that the tendency is to over-exaggerate the danger and let our fears continue unchecked.  Researchers also discovered that when people focus on paranoid ideas and fears it tends to lead down the path towards depression because the paranoia paralyzes people with fear and prevents them from enjoying their daily lives.

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