Understand paranoia before you regret

Understand paranoia before you regret
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 26-02-2023

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We all feel anxious or scared at some point in our life because of either false beliefs, trust issues, or illusions. However, it is common for a person to recognize that they have been wrong and that their fear or illusion is not a fact. But some people experience recurrent anxiety or illusions, which may mean that they have a mental health problem such as paranoia.

Paranoia includes extreme feelings and thoughts of anxiety or paranoia, which are often linked to persecution, danger, or plot. Paranoia occurs in many mental illnesses but in psychotic disorders, it is the most severe. When a person believes others are watching, hunting, spying, or paying excessive attention to them for no reason, they may be experiencing paranoia. This condition can be a symptom or side effect of several mental illnesses, as well as intoxication or drug abuse.

Few more symptoms they may display:

  • Difficulty believing or trusting others
  • Acting defensively
  • Inability to compromise
  • Assuming that people around them dislike them, even if they say or do things to the contrary
  • Believing others are lying to them or scheming against them
  • Constantly feeling threatened by strangers and/or loved ones
  • Trying to harm or stalk them

Although many people experience mild paranoia at some point in their lives – maybe up to a third of us. This is usually referred to as non-clinical paranoia. These kinds of paranoid thoughts often change over time – so you might realize that they are not justified, or that they just stop having those particular thoughts.

Very severe paranoia also called clinical paranoia or persecutory illusions is present at the other end of the spectrum. If your paranoia is more severe, you are more likely to need treatment.

Paranoia can be one symptom of these mental health problems:

  • Paranoid personality disorder
    A paranoid personality disorder is the mildest form of paranoia, an individual with this condition may fear and hate the world around them, but they are still able to function in relationships, maintain employment and participate in social activities.
  • Delusional paranoid disorder
    A person with this condition has one major false belief or delusion, usually without any other sign of mental illness. For example, a person with persecution delusions will believe that others talk about them behind their backs, spy on them, and actively plot to harm them. People with hypochondria believe that they have a mysterious illness or illness and need immediate medical attention.
  • Paranoid schizophrenia
    This is the most severe type of paranoia, and it involves strange, baseless delusions, such as the belief that thoughts are being spied on by a government agency. Hallucinations are common with this form of schizophrenia. People struggling with this condition do not function well in society and need consistent treatment.

Seek Professional Help

Online counseling is a great place to talk about and troubleshoot your paranoia feelings. Your counselor will understand that you are in distress, and will support you while you express your paranoid ideas. Don’t be afraid that your thoughts do not make any sense. An online counselor is there to listen to you without judgment, and addressing your experiences will help you to work through them in therapy. Paranoia can be treated when you talk to a therapist, and online counseling is the perfect place to do that. Search for an extensive network of HopeQure online counselors and find someone who seems to be an excellent fit for you. Also ready for anxiety counseling.

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