Persecution complex

Persecutory delusions are a delusional condition in which the affected person believes they are being persecuted. Specifically, they have been defined as containing two central elements:[1]

  1. The individual thinks that harm is occurring, or is going to occur.
  2. The individual thinks that the perceived persecutor has the intention to cause harm.

According to the DSM-IV-TR, persecutory delusions are the most common form of delusions in schizophrenia, where the person believes "he or she is being tormented, followed, tricked, spied on, or ridiculed."[2] In the DSM-IV-TR, persecutory delusions are the main feature of the persecutory type of delusional disorder.

Legal aspects

When the focus is to remedy some injustice by legal action, they are sometimes called "querulous paranoia".[3]

In cases where reporters of stalking behavior have been judged to be making false reports, a majority of them were judged to be delusional.[4][5]

If the delusion results in imprisonment or involuntary commitment, the person may feel justified in this belief.

Treatment

Persecutory delusions are usually treated with medications for schizophrenia, especially when positive symptoms are present. Both first-generation antipsychotics and second-generation antipsychotics may be useful.[6] Cognitive behavioral therapy has also been used.

See also

References

zh:精神分裂症#被害妄想