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Delusions of reference involve people having a belief or perception that irrelevant, unrelated or innocuous things in the world are referring to them directly or have special personal significance. Ideas of reference should be distinguished from delusions of reference and they are an exaggerated form of self consciousness, usually driven by social anxiety. The two are clearly distinguished in psychological literature. People suffering from ideas of reference experience intrusive thoughts of this nature, but crucially, they realize that these ideas are not real. Those suffering from delusions of reference believe that these ideas are true.In their strongest form, they are considered to be a sign of mental illness and form part of a delusional, paranoid or psychotic illness (such as schizophrenia or delusional disorder).They may include experiences such as:
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