The Paranoia Network, founded in
November 2003, is a self-help user-run organisation in Sheffield, England, for people who have paranoid or delusional beliefs.
In contrast to mainstream
psychiatry, that tends to see such beliefs as signs of psychopathology, the Paranoia Network promotes a philosophy of living with unusual and compelling beliefs, without necessarily pathologising them as signs of mental illness. It was partly inspired by the Hearing Voices Network's approach to auditory hallucinations.
What would otherwise seem to be a relatively minor disagreement over theory is complicated by the fact that people diagnosed as delusional can often be detained under mental health law and treated without their consent. Therefore, many of the criticisms of the diagnosis or definition have important ethical and political implications, which often leads to heated public debate.
Hearing Voices Network
* [http://www.asylumonline.net/paranoianetwork.htm Launch of the Paranoia Network] - from "Asylum Online" magazine.
* [http://www.psychminded.co.uk/news/news2003/dec03/self%20help%20group%20for%20people%20with%20extreme%20paranoia.htm Finding a way out of paranoia] - "Guardian" article on the Paranoia Network.
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