The clinical term for unusual beliefs is ‘delusions’, although they are sometimes called ‘over-valued ideas’. If the beliefs are frightening or stressful they may be termed ‘paranoia’. There is often not a clear line between beliefs people think of as normal or sane, and those they consider to be delusions. Here are a few links you may find useful in trying to understand or explain how usual ideas develop and how people can understand and recover from beliefs that are harming them:
- Noel Hunter writes about the theoretical frameworks that underlie how beliefs are formed for all of us in Who is Delusional? The Answer Is: We All Are
- Rachel Waddingham shares her personal experience of recovering from frightening and unusual beliefs in Symptom or Experience: Does Language Matter?
- Sarah K Reece writes about the risks and consequences of how we define reality and sanity in When sanity is lethal and madness has value
- TED Talk by Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong – how all people construct and defend their beliefs