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Until very recently psychiatry regarded paranoia solely as a symptom of severe mental illness. Indeed, paranoid beliefs were seen as "empty speech acts" that should be ignored or discouraged. But the latest research has shown that this view of paranoia is mistaken. Paranoia encompasses a broad spectrum of experiences, varying in intensity from the comparatively mild to the relatively severe. And it is very common among the general population. This is not surprising: more or less on a daily basis, we all have to decide whether to trust or mistrust other people, and it's easy to get this judgement wrong.

What is the aim of this website?

This website puts the experience of paranoia centre stage. It was set up in 2006 to mark the publication of the first self-help book on the topic, Overcoming Paranoid and Suspicious Thoughts. The book shows readers how they can use techniques based on the talking therapy CBT to cope with their paranoia (these techniques have been shown to be highly effective in reducing paranoia).

About the authors

Daniel Freeman is a Professor of Clinical Psychology, and a Medical Research Council (MRC) Senior Clinical Fellow, in the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University, and a Fellow of University College, Oxford. He is also an honorary consultant clinical psychologist in Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Jason Freeman is a writer and editor in the areas of popular psychology and self-help

Philippa Garety is a Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. She is the Clinical Director and Joint Leader of the Psychosis Clinical Academic Group in the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

More about the authors.

How often is the web site updated?

The website was substantially updated in 2008 upon the publication of Paranoia: The 21st Century Fear, which offers a clear and entertaining introduction to the new science of suspiciousness.

There was an additional substantial updating of the website in 2012.

Photographs illustrating paranoia?

These images capture the experience of paranoia. If you wish to reproduce the photographs page please contact

© 2006-2012 Daniel Freeman. All rights reserved. Follow us on Twitter at: @ProfDFreeman and @JasonFreeman100

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