PARANOIA, a mental disease of the psychosis type, characterized by marked delusions, tending toward persecutory ideas and apt to terminate in a form of mental degeneration. The progressive psychosis may begin almost from child hood, with a systematizing of one or sev eral hallucinations, the symptoms of which are indicated in extravagance of speech or eccentricity of conduct, and easily aroused emotions. An element is the hereditary or acquired predisposition, though physical injury may be a pre dispc_sing cause.
The paranoiac is usually a person of fixed ideas, who is not amenable to out side influences, but whose persistence in a wrong line of conduct springs from emotional conditions that will not yield to rational exposition. The patient is apt to show himself unduly sensitive and suspicious, to imagine conspiracies di rected against him, and to show an in disposition to mingle with others. The
effects of these ideas and impulses are shown in the patients' inability to get on in the world, a preference for soli tary pursuits, and a dislike for syste matic work in any field except in that which leaves them at liberty to indulge in their ideas and delusions. The per sonal delusion may sometimes take a so cial or patriotic or religious form, and may display itself in an extreme fervor for which there is no rational basis. Where the hallucinations are strongly developed the paranoiac is apt to show distinct homicidal tendencies. In such cases the only remedy is the removal of the patient to surroundings where he can do no harm, and to improve his con dition by such diversions and discipline as may suit his individual case.