- The individual thinks that harm is occurring, or is going to occur.
- 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." In the DSM-IV-TR, persecutory delusions are the main feature of the persecutory type of delusional disorder.
If the delusion results in imprisonment or involuntary commitment, the person may feel justified in this belief.
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. Cognitive behavioral therapy has also been used.
- Grandiose delusions
- In Object relations theory see: Splitting (psychology), Paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions, and Paranoid anxiety
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