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Paranoia: The Symptoms and Treatment Options

Presented by BetterHelp. Do you ever feel like someone is following you? Or maybe you’ve felt completely convinced that...

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Paranoia: The Symptoms and Treatment Options 1

Presented by BetterHelp.

Do you ever feel like someone is following you? Or maybe you’ve felt completely convinced that your partner is cheating on you? These are the most common scenarios that come to mind when we hear ‘paranoia.’ However, there is much more to know and learn about paranoia. 

It is more complex than a simple mental slump during a breakup or a low point in life. By learning more about symptoms and treatment options for paranoia, you can receive help for yourself or others. 

What is Paranoia?

Paranoia is the idea or perception of feeling threatened. The person does not need any evidence to support their fears and suspicions. 

According to Mind.org, some paranoid thoughts can be described as delusions. Delusions, like paranoia, is the belief that something is happening without any proof that it is factual. For example, someone may be paranoid that their boss hates them, even if they’ve never had any conflict with their boss.

There are many reasons that someone may experience paranoia. Individuals with preexisting mental health concerns are more likely to experience paranoia than others. Mental health concerns include chronic stress, anxiety, or depression. People with psychiatric disorders such as paranoid personality disorder, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder may also live with paranoia. 

You can learn more about paranoia, its causes, and available assistance using BetterHelp’s evaluated articles. 

What are the Symptoms of Paranoia?

The most common symptoms of paranoia are distrust and suspicion. When a person doubts the word of others or themselves, this can be a form of paranoia. In its most extreme cases, paranoid people may exhibit aggressive and defensive behaviors. 

For instance, a young female teen may believe that their partner is cheating on her with no objective evidence to prove it. Her suspicions may lead her to lash out at her partner with anger, irritation, or accusatory remarks. These unprovoked actions can cause a deterioration in their relationship. 

What are the Treatment Options for Paranoia?

Therapy and Support

Therapy is a fantastic option for people who feel that they can not overcome their paranoia alone. Therapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy,  allows the therapist and patient to thoroughly explore their ideas and thoughts. By recognizing paranoid behaviors, the patient can learn to manage them with well-tested techniques and methods.

Medication

When a person’s paranoid thoughts dominate their life, it can feel like an unending losing battle. However, with the right combination of medication and therapy, people can combat their symptoms and calm their minds. Antipsychotics are the most common medication used because they can decrease the severity and occurrence of paranoid thoughts.

What Now?

Before choosing a treatment option, patients must first see their local doctor or licensed counselor. A mental health professional can help determine the best course of action for individuals living with paranoid tendencies.

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