Richard Bentall – The Psychology of Paranoid Delusions

The pearls here were too numerous to mention, but one thing was clear: trauma in infancy and early childhood showed a high correlation, with insecure attachment, unwanted pregnancy, institutional experience, being of an ethnic minority all correlated. And the delusions serve a protective function. When the delusion is activated in a “poor me” paranoid, self-esteem is improved. Life adversity has a profound effect on the brain — the hippocampus has a sensitized dopamine system, with an excessive expectation of threat. We can’t look at biology without looking at life history.

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