Paranoid symptoms and disorders among 100 among refugees: a longitudinal study

J. Westermeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Paranoid disorder has been recognized as a special problem among migrants in general, and refugees in particular. Controversy exists about whether vulnerability to paranoia is a pre‐emigration or post migration phenomenon, and whether paranoia is caused by genetic or organic factors, victimization, or the stress of acculturation, information is limited on the distribution of paranoid symptoms among refugees. The course of paranoid symptoms in refugees is unknown. Findings reveal that: most refugees have no or mild paranoid symptoms (suspiciousness or mistrust); a small number have severe symptoms (ideas of reference, paranoid delusions or paranoid hallucinations); paranoid symptoms (unlike depressive symptoms) tend to remain at about the same level over several years; and the prevalence and incidence of paranoid disorders among refugees are high compared with other groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-59
Number of pages13
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • paranoia
  • refugee


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