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Paranoid Boyfriend

Question:

My boyfriend thinks his friends are trying to kill him. Examples being… he thinks they’re trying to poison him through water, or he thinks they want to stick him with needles that are disease filled. These are delusions. I know the people he fears and what he thinks is happening isn’t. Could this be a sign of schizophrenia?

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Answer:

What you are describing are perhaps delusions – firmly held beliefs (often of a persecutory nature) that are not based on evidence and that are resistant to being explained away. Delusions are sometimes a prominent symptom of schizophrenia, but they can also occur in other contexts (e.g., Delusional Disorder, Paranoid Personality Disorder, Schizoaffective disorder, Drug abuse or addiction, etc.). If your friend is experiencing delusions, it will be important to have him evaluated by a psychiatrist as soon as is feasible.

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