What is Paranoia?
Paranoia is an intense anxiety or fearful thoughts and feelings that are often related to persecution, conspiracy, or threat. Paranoia occurs with many mental disorders, but most often presents in psychotic disorders. Paranoia can develop into delusions; when irrational beliefs and thoughts become fixed so that nothing, even evidence, can convince a person that what they are thinking and feeling is not true.
The paranoia and delusions with no other symptoms, like seeing or hearing things that are not there, means you might have delusional disorder. A person with this disorder can function and work in everyday life but they may still be isolated or limited.
What are the Signs of Paranoia?
The symptoms of paranoia and delusional disorders are:
• Intense irrational suspicion or mistrust
• Fear, anger, and betrayal senses
• Difficulty forgiving
• Defensive attitude
• Hidden motives keeping you busy
• Fear of being taken advantage/inability to relax
What Causes Paranoia?
The cause of paranoia lies behind a breakdown of many mental and emotional functions that involve reasoning and assigned meanings. The reasons behind these breakdowns vary. Some symptoms relate to denied, projected, or repressed feelings. Paranoid thoughts and feelings are often related to relationships and events in a person’s life. This increases their isolation, and makes it more difficult to get help.
What is a Delusion?
A delusion is a peculiar belief that a person strongly insists exists despite evidence that it does not exist. Cultural beliefs that may seem odd, but are widely accepted, do not fit the criteria for being a delusion. The most common delusions are delusions of grandeur, or persecutory delusions.
How are Paranoia and Delusions Treated?
The treatment of paranoia is usually with medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. The most vital part of treating paranoia and delusional disorder is building a collaborative and trusting relationship to reduce the impact of irrational thoughts of fear, and making social skills better.
The symptoms may cause:
• Emotional guardedness
The progress with paranoid delusions and delusional disorders can be quite slow. Despite the speed of the process, recovery and reconnection is still possible.
Coping With Paranoia Disorder
People who exhibit these symptoms will benefit from speaking with a trained psychotherapist. The symptoms sometimes are a side effect to a medication or a different illness; a specialist can rule out all causes.
Paranoia syndrome is best treated with regular and ongoing therapy. Successful therapy can help you manage the symptoms and live a more fulfilling life.
As always, email or call if you think you have these symptoms, or know someone who does.
To your mental health,