The Paranoia Network was originally started in Sheffield in 2004 by Peter Bullimore, Chris Molloy and Jenny Shaw.
When we decided to start the network we were widely criticised for using the word paranoia, as people said we were stigmatising people. This was their ignorance. The word paranoia was coined by Hippocrates who is commonly described as the founder of Medicine who was born around the year 460BC on the Greek island of Kos.
He used the word paranoia to describe people’s experiences when they had a very high temperature.
He did this by putting together the Greek words (Para) beside and (Nous) mind, to create a word ‘out of ones mind’. The word was around a long time before psychiatry it is a word we use in everyday language it is descriptive of fear.
The first meeting of the paranoia group was held in an old school we did a mail out a couple of weeks prior and waited to see who turned up. The first meeting was attended by 15 people, they were from all walks of life, we had an ex police officer, a housewife, people who had never been in services and people who had, it was a resounding success. We held the first Understanding Paranoia Conference in Manchester in the same year, it was held on a Saturday and 200 people attended some from as far away as Aberdeen. The conference was a real festival of explanations.
The Maastricht Interview schedule on Paranoia was written by Peter Bullimore, Professor Marius Romme and Dr Sandra Escher and is available as a download; they are now in the process of writing a book titled Accepting Paranoia.