ETYM New Lat., from Greek paranoia.
A psychological disorder characterized by delusions of persecution or grandeur.
Form of insanity in which patients believe themselves to be people of great importance, or think themselves persecuted by everyone. Mental disorder marked by delusions of grandeur or persecution. In popular usage, paranoia means baseless or exaggerated fear and suspicion.
In chronic paranoia, patients exhibit a rigid system of false beliefs and opinions, believing themselves, for example, to be followed by the secret police, to be loved by someone at a distance, or to be of great importance or in special relation to God. There are no hallucinations and patients are in other respects normal.
In paranoid states, the delusions of persecution or grandeur are present but not systematized.
In paranoid schizophrenia, the patient suffers from many unsystematized and incoherent delusions, is extremely suspicious, and experiences hallucinations and the feeling that external reality has altered.