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ISBN: 9780199237500

Published: 1 Jan 09

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The 21st Century Fear

Daniel Freeman, Jason Freeman

Are we living in a uniquely paranoid age? Catalysed by the threat of terrorism, fears about others have reached a new intensity. The roll call of apparent dangers seems to increase by the day: muggers, child abductors, drug dealers, hoodied teenagers. Crime has apparently reached such high levels that CCTV cameras are required in every town centre, and parents are so fearful that many children never go out alone.

Until recently, no one suspected just how common paranoia was. But new research suggests that around a quarter of us have regular paranoid thoughts, and probably lots more have them occasionally. Paranoia is so prevalent that there's a very good chance that all of us will, at some point in our lives, be among the 25%.

Yet, although paranoia is as common as depression or anxiety, most of us know almost nothing about it. What is paranoia? What causes it? Are some people more prone to paranoia than others? Are we more paranoid now than we used to be? How should we deal with our paranoid thoughts? And how can we reduce the amount of paranoia in our society? Co-written by one of the world's leading psychologists of paranoia, and drawing on the latest scientific research, this lively and accessible book answers these key questions, highlighting for the first time the central role of paranoia in our world today.

Highlights for the first time the astonishing prevalence of paranoia in society today

Explores what paranoia is, what causes it, the thoughts and feelings associated with it, and how we can deal with them

Takes a scientific perspective on paranoia in society: asking whether we are more paranoid now than we used to be, and what can be done to reduce the amount of paranoia in society

Accessible and authoritative: co-written by one of the world>'s leading psychologists of paranoia, and presenting the cutting-edge of psychological thinking on the topic

Highly topical: our fears about terrorists, criminals, paedophiles, and conspiracy theories are a constant presence in the media

Explores the role of stress, anxiety, drugs, and sleep deprivation on paranoid thoughts

Includes short questionnaires for the reader to test their own levels of paranoia

 Chapter 1   Introduction

Chapter 2   What is paranoia?

Chapter 3   Are paranoid fears increasing?

Chapter 4   The causes of paranoia: how we see ourselves and others

Chapter 5   How we feel inside

Chapter 6   How we reason

Chapter 7   Combating paranoia

Chapter 8   Conclusion

Daniel Freeman , Wellcome Trust Fellow, Institute of Psychiatry, King>'s College London, and Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Jason Freeman , Freelance writer and editor

Daniel Freeman is a Wellcome Trust Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, and a consultant clinical psychologist in the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. He publishes prolifically in the leading international journals, makes regular keynote addresses at international conferences, and is an Associate Editor of the British Journal of Clinical Psychology. He studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, specialising in experimental psychology, and has completed doctorates in psychology and clinical psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. He is a co-author of the first self-help book for people affected by suspicious thoughts Overcoming Paranoid and Suspicious Thoughts (Freeman, D., Freeman, J., & Garety, P.; Robinson Constable; 2006). Jason Freeman is a freelance writer and editor working in the areas of popular psychology and self-help, film, and children's fiction. He is the co-author of Overcoming Paranoid and Suspicious Thoughts.