UK Study Finds Suprising Levels of Paranoia
> 7/7/2006 12:00:55 PM

The BBC reported this week on a study performed by the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, which found that "levels of paranoia were much higher than previously suspected - and almost as high as those for depression and anxiety." Their statistics paint a picture of a nation not quite teetering on the brink of tin foil hat sales and mass hysteria, but still facing an unexpectedly large problem.
  • Over 40% of people regularly worry that negative comments are being made about them
  • 27% think that people deliberately try to irritate them
  • 20% worry about being observed or followed
  • 10% think that someone has it in for them
  • 5% worry that there is a conspiracy to harm them
We are desperately stifling the desire to make jokes about these statistics because they seem almost too high to believe. The most important thing to note however, is that chances are pretty good that no one is plotting against you, nor is there any conspiracy against your life. With that out of the way though, we must take seriously the fact that for a large number of people, this type of paranoia is not completely out of line. Whether or not the ideas are completely unfounded, the fact remains that paranoia can lead to high levels of stress and anxiety.

As the BBC article is sure to make clear, having paranoid thoughts is not uncommon, and one of the most effective ways of dealing with these troubling thoughts is to share them with someone else. Some researchers have connected this increase in paranoia to a lack of friends that we trust (see our earlier post on this issue), and so finding someone that you can confide in can help to cut down on troublesome paranoia. Maintaining some caution about our surroundings is certainly an important survival mechanism, but this can easily slide into irrational paranoia. When and if this happens, take a couple of deep breaths and take stock. Keeping your feet on the ground will help keep your head out of the clouds.

No comments yet.

Post Your Comments

Post a comment
Email Address:
Verification Code:
Input the 8 characters you see above:


Drug Abuse
Sexual Addiction
Eating Disorders
Alzheimer's Disease

About TOL | Contact Us | Defining Behavioral Fitness | For Healthcare Professionals | Links | Privacy Policy