Ideas Of Reference (or Delusions Of Reference)

Ideas of reference (or delusions of reference) are perceptions of an individual that appear as if stimuli in the environment are directed towards them and referencing them specifically even though they are not. It is the belief that simple coincidences are relevant and specific to them even though they are not connected to them in any way.

For example, thinking a group of people you don't know are talking about you. Or thinking that a newscaster is speaking directly to you. Ideas of reference refer to experiencing these thoughts but distinguishing them as not real. For example, you feel that a big group in a restaurant is laughing at your shirt. But then you reflect on this for a moment and realize that this is a ridiculous thought and dismiss it from your mind. A delusion of reference is when the individual believes these ideas and connections to be true. This can be a sign of mental illness such as schizophrenia and other delusional disorders. For example, thinking people on TV are talking to them specifically or believing that a world event happened for them.

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