Paranoia is an unfounded belief that something bad is happening (or going to happen). Often, an individual experiencing paranoia will be suspicious of another person or group. The person may believe the other party is hostile and acting against them. Others tend to perceive the person’s sense of threat as exaggerated and “illogical.”

Paranoia tends to be a symptom of a mental health condition rather than a diagnosis in itself. Paranoia can also occur outside of any mental health issues. When paranoia interferes with daily life, a therapist can provide support.