Ideas of reference

From Academic Kids

Ideas of reference or delusions of reference involve a person having a belief or perception that irrelevant, unrelated or innocuous things in the world are referring to them directly or have special personal significance.

In their strongest form, they are considered to be a sign of mental illness and form part of a delusional, paranoid or psychotic illness (such as schizophrenia or delusional disorder).

They may include experiences such as:

  • feeling that people on television or radio are talking about, or talking directly to them
  • believing that headlines or stories in newspapers are written especially for them
  • having the experience that people (often strangers) drop hints or say things about them behind their back
  • believing that events (even world events) have been deliberately contrived for them, or have special personal significance
  • seeing objects or events as being deliberately set-up to convey a special or particular meaning

See also

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