The Mystery of Urban Psychosis - Why are paranoia and schizophrenia more common in cities?


I don’t know for sure, but paranoia and schizophrenia might not be more prevalent in cities than in rural areas. I recall reading somewhere that there is actually more crime in rural areas than in the cities. Crime is just more concentrated in cities. It could be the same with mental illness. Paranoia and schizophrenia is more diluted over a larger area in the countryside, but on a per capita basis there is more mental illness in rural areas. I live in the countryside, and people are kind of paranoid here. You definitely do not want to come walking up on somebody’s back door.

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Perhaps tha Foundation of “ideas of reference” is Easier to Be a Victim of … ,

Connectivity as a Self Violent Staple of a Field of Helplessness … ,

e(Y)e Didn’t Read tha Lynk but N e Hoo , My Personal Victim Self of Feelings … … …

Country folk don’t have time for all that psychosis nonsense taking up valuable hard working time, there just too practical and tired. Plus whose going to come over every day to feed the animals and do the chores when your sick, the work still has to be done, psychosis or not.
Its not paranoia when dirtbags from the city come on to the property uninvited, and it’s not to pay someone a compliment either. The sheriffs can’t get there fast enough should there be a problem, so the folks have to be on guard to protect their lives and property.

City folks have too much extra time and money, and kinda like the drama that comes with the territory?

That’s just my two cents.

I wish I could like Schizophrenia:Sane Response to an Insnane world? . At least I believe that was the title. It was a book that came out in the 1940s or so that pointed out things such as that there are no examples of psychosis in classical literature, and made a case for the disease being environmentally induced. it is, to an extent.

The popular theory is the diathesis-stress hypothesis, as you probably know. People are born with a susceptibility to schizophrenia that stress triggers. more stress in cities? Premorbid schizophrenics have other negative genetic traits. Selective breeding, urban crime, and bussing?

The psychological, descriptive model for the disease revolves around self-deception. “We expend so much effort concealing ourselves from others that, in the end, we conceal ourselves from ourselves.”

My money’s on the former.

I would argue that it’s a social drift effect. People with paranoia/schizophrenia are less likely to be in employment and more likely to be financially impoverished. Economic necessity drives them to the town/city ,especially poorer areas where rents are cheaper.
Rural house prices/rents tend to be considerably more expensive(at least here in the UK).


It’s the other way around here. Rents and houses are cheaper in the interior, more expensive in the city.

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I wonder also if people with MI in rural areas are maybe less likely to be diagnosed and so the statistics might reflect that.

Which suggests, if accepting the social drift theory, that the Urban > paranoia/schizophrenia connection might not be universal.

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Yeah I don’t know, I lived in the interior and had symptoms back then, didn’t have paranoia though, that only arose in the city.

As a child I lived in a rural area when my father’s job was based in the UK and middle class suburban areas when he was posted abroad. After I got ill he opted to work in the UK for a number of years and forgo overseas postings(probably cost him earlier promotion). It is hard to say for me which had the greater effect; time spend in a rural environment or a suburban environment.
During the time I was having my last spell in hospital my father finally opted to be posted abroad again and sold the family home. When I left hospital being unemployed and with no financial capital I could not afford to return to live in my old area.
After years of bed and breakfasts and private lets my wife and I got social housing. We moved several times but each time the social housing was in an economically deprived area of a town.
It is my own experiences re development of severe mental illness(,subsequent lack of employment) and decline in economic and social status that has lead me to support the social drift theory.

I don’t think this illness discriminates by social status at all.

I think it seems they are more common in the interior or cities because more people see them. In rural out of town areas, no one cares and there isn’t a community type atmosphere where they can be seen unless they want to be seen.

True. And people are spread out so much more over large areas of land. If people from the country were more crowded together you might sense that there are nefarious elements among them.

There’s more transient people in the City…more to get paranoid about. Simple as that.

When I had my big psychotic episode last year, I moved temporarily to my mum’s place in the country to help recover.

It did help. The peace and quiet, less sirens and people in general. Fresher air, less concrete, more sun. I can’t speak highly enough about how it helped me and I am acutely aware of how lucky I was to have that option available to me at such a dire time.