Persecutory Delusion: Causes and Effects

1575 words (6 pages) Essay in Psychology

23/09/19 Psychology Reference this

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Persecutory Delusion

Persecutory delusion is recognized as being a common mental illness that happens in our life but it is a serious mental delusion. Persecution delusion is a false belief that a person or group of people is being harmed or persecuted. It involves the person’s belief that he or she is conspiring, deceiving, surveillance, tracing, poisoning or drug abuse, malicious slanders, harassment of obstruction. (Grinnell) Therefore, the life of people whom with this issue could be awful and they are not able to think like normal people. The persecutory delusion is increasingly becoming more and more common as many people are under the pressure from work, school, money, and relationship etc. People with this type of delusional disorder are usually offensive and not be able to complain to legal authorities. On the other hand, for those people who got this kind of delusions are viewed as abnormal because they are intended to harm others with unprovable reasons but they think the reaction seems like reasonable self-protective defense. Thus, the following question comes out with a serious issue:  Should people who have persecutory delusion be isolated with human major society?

Persecutory delusion is​ the individual thinks that harm is occurring, or is going to occur.  They also think that people have the chances to harm them on purpose. People who have ​persecutory delusion suspect to everyone he or her saw would do a bad thing toward him or herself. Even though the people with persecutory delusion have the same feelings in the same situation, with the different personality they have, they would Produce different emotions and reactions.

symptoms: Perceiving someone is tending to harm you is the most common themes of persecutory delusions. There are about 10% to 15% of the general population have paranoid thoughts, in some cases, it finally results in a persecutory delusion. Many specifics regarding delusion of persecutory are subject to different significant variation.   (Pitaya) For example: In some extreme cases of persecution, people with persecutory delusion might think others are tending to murder them. Or they may believe that their friend or family members are conspiring to kill them because of the little conflict happened in the past. The paranoid behavior would result in some overreaction such as constantly checking who is behind them, be careful of the food they eat or never let anyone touch them with items. (Merrill)  In that case, the ones would possibly harm the people they are suspecting in order to keep themselves in safe. Also, when many people who have persecutory delusion are facing a suspectful threat, they might choose to escape or afraid the potential risk. Such as some people are persuaded that a government agent has set up a camera in their living environments like house, car, and office. In addition to surveillance, they might also believe that their phone, computer or other electrical devices are being hacked and others could hear everything they speak. It seems like a stranger monitor ones clearly without permitted.figure1

Figure 1 shows how the symptom of persecutory disease is occurring in a individual.The person in the pictures seems going crazy because he/she thinks the whole society is watching him/her.

Some of the people when face this situation would choose to escape to another place in order to prevent it. The emotion they produce is more likely as a fear; unlike the previous case that the people’s emotion is more likely as an anger. Nevertheless, the similarity of individuals with persecutory is they all think too much based on a small thing. Because the unnecessary thought constantly appears in their mind, they would be easier to emphasize or amplify the dark side of a thing with negative altitude. In result of thinking that way would bring the extreme feeling of insecurity and be very offensive to others.

As Persecutory delusion is considering a kind of serious  mental illness, the bias that aim at the people who have persecutory disorder would automatically comes out which some people are repulsive and think that the people with persecution should be isolated with the entire society in order to make the society health and keep it as a sustainable development. It truly reflects how the people with persecutory disease would cause or affect the society in a terrible way. However, this standpoint is relative unfair to the people who have persecutory delusion because they might lose something they deserved or being treated unequally as being a “persecutory person” but it is also unfair to others because they would be affected by the people with persecutory delusion.

On the perspective of most people in the society, suitably isolating the people with persecution mind is necessary for the world.If the people who is having persecutory delusion is living with the normal people. It could potentially be threat to other people because they might actually being treated unfriendly with no reasons. For example, if a person with persecution behavior is walking on the street and other people are walking behind him/her. The individual believes that he/she is being followed by others on purpose which may lead the person to constantly check who is behind or carefully look around. In some extreme case, the individual would deeply suspect others and harm them to prevent themselves in safe. In fact the others don’t even have the intention to hurt him/her which involves the innocent of other people. In the case above, the normal people are automatically putting themselves  into a dangerous situation as the time they are walking on the street which is definitely unjust to them.

figure2:As shown in figure2, the girl might be too sensitive about the man’s purpose of walking behind her. The overreaction is going to cause the negative impact to others and it makes the other people in society running into unnecessary conflict.

Even though for some of people who have  slight symptoms of persecutory, they still need to see psychiatrist. The reason for that is the experts believes that the reaction of persecutory delusion is considering an abnormal personality to automatisms. Therefore the reaction is a essential reaction without conscious intention.(Clerambault)As the result for that, whatever the individual is with slight or serious persecutory delusion; he/she has to be controlled with different levels of treatment or isolation.

The most important reason of the individual with persecutory delusion should be isolated with society is that the most complicated part of human’s body is brain. Thus the mental illness is also known as one of the most challenging disease that makes the experts distressed. There are plenty of the reasons that cause the persecutory disorder but the treatment is scarce. Unlike the other common disease that happened in human’s body, most of the mental illness is relevant to individual’s emotion or memory which is obviously hard to treat with physical medication therapy. The only way of anesis is to chill them down or enlighten them. For instance, the CBT(cognitive behavioral therapy) is a treatment which is helpful of teaching a person how to react when they find themselves with fearing persecution. CBT could also effectively teach them how to cope with their faulty persecution.(DeStavola) Most of the exist treatment could only control the mental illness, in other words, it still have the possibility to happen again. Therefore, for the individual who have persecutory delusion, although he/she has been taking the therapy;  he/she still need to see the psychiatrist once per period of time.


According to the cycle of the figure , we can tell that the thoughts, emotion, and behaviors are related to each other. All of them are representing the perception of human which is the main factor of persecutory delusion.

All in all,the persecutory delusion is a serious mental disease which is awful. In order to prevent getting this kind of disorder, we must have positive behavior when facing everyday’s life. As it is been told above, the persecution often comes with automatisms; sometimes the individual couldn’t control the action with their thinking. In results, every individual who is having persecution behavior should be isolated with different level, otherwise, he/she would bring a negative effect to the society.

Work cited

  • Varsamis, J., Adamson, J. D., & Sigurdson, W. F. (2018, January 29). Schizophrenics with Delusions of Poisoning | The British Journal of Psychiatry. Retrieved May 5, 2018, from
  • Tost, H.,Delusions Of Persecution: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment. (2015, May 14). Retrieved May 7, 2018, from httpsm
  • Ruf, M.,Paranoid Delusion | Encyclopedia of Psychology. (2016, July 17). Retrieved May 5, from
  • Schulze, T. G., Knorr, C., Vollmert, C.,Rietschel, M. (2010, January 25). Prefrontal-temporal gray matter deficits in bipolar disorder patients with persecutory delusions. Retrieved May 14, 2018, from
  • Schmäl, C.,Delusions Of Persecution: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment. (2015, May 14). Retrieved May 14, 2018, from

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