Ideas and delusions of reference  

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Ideas of reference and delusions of reference involve people having a belief or perception that irrelevant, unrelated or innocuous phenomena in the world refer to them directly or have special personal significance. In psychiatry, delusions of reference form part of the diagnostic criteria for psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia, delusional disorder, or bipolar disorder during the elevated stages of mania.

Persons with ideas of reference may experience:

  • A 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 for them
  • Seeing objects or events as being set up deliberately to convey a special or particular meaning
  • Thinking persons or groups of persons are plotting against them and that precautions must be taken to avert the threat
  • Many religious propositions, particularly that God created the universe with them in mind

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ideas and delusions of reference" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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