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Understanding Paranoia (Thorsons health series) Paperback – 22 May 1995

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Thorsons (22 May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0722530234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0722530238
  • Package Dimensions: 19.2 x 13 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,106,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Paperback
Peter Chadwick is a Professor of Community Psychology and has suffered from paranoia. "Understanding Paranoia" gives a clear account of the experience of paranoia and the distortions of thinking it involves. As someone who has been paranoid I found it helped me get a deeper understanding of myself, particularly in the way it presented paranoia as a defence against depression and low self-esteem. It also has advice for treating paranoia without medication that I wish I'd known about at the time. In my opinion it is an excellent book for anyone wishing to understand paranoia better.
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Paranoia comes in a number of forms, notably psychosis and paranoid personality disorder. The latter, I believe, underlies a surprising proportion of serious human conflict. We all meet people with abnormal degrees of paranoia. This can be frustrating, disturbing and in situations such as the workplace disabling as the paranoid person gets their 'retaliation' in and collects an unjust advantage. Often it seems as if the person who suffers is not the energetic and driven paranoid individual but his or her victim, though in truth being paranoid implies unhappiness.
Since paranoid people blame others and not themselves (in contrast,for example, to the depressed) they usually see no need to be treated for their paranoia. This is perhaps one reason why some writing on the subject paints a gloomy picture of prospects for improvement. I believe that this book gives a commendably balanced account of this aspect, nothing like as bleak as I've encountered elsewhere but commendably cautious and also salutary in highlighting tempting but counterproductive approaches to avoid.
My view is that the information in this book is of great practical value even if the paranoia remains, as it usually does. Clear recognition of the problem, learning to understand responses which minimise undesirable conflict and learning to avoid aggressive responses hurled uselessly at the incurable can make a major difference.
There is an odd emphasis on paranoia in homosexual people. My guess is that the author just has more homosexual patients than the average psychotherapist and takes a legitimate interest in their particular problems.
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