What is Paranoia?
Paranoia is the experience of fear and anxiety related to an irrational mistrust or suspicion about others - including a fear of persecution. These feelings are unwanted, but are intense and can be overwhelming. Paranoia (and the anxiety that accompanies it) can disrupt one's daily life, relationships, and peace of mind. If you experience it, you may wonder if the paranoia will ever end, or if you can ever gain control again.
Where does Paranoia come from?
Paranoia is a condition of the mind and is related to our reasoning abilities and how we apply meaning to events. There is usually a relational component as well, and sometimes the cause can be linked to repressed feelings or projected emotions originating in personal, social, or family relationships. It may not always be clear where these paranoid feelings first came to be, but over time, they can build up far beyond any specific event or experience, and take on a life of their own.
Is there help for Paranoia?
Depending upon how severe the paranoia, common treatments include cognitive behavioural therapy as well as certain types of structured counselling and psychotherapy. In some instances a GP may prescribe medication and recommend CBT to accompany it. If you believe you have paranoia and it is disrupting your life, then consult your GP for a further assessment of your needs.
The most important aspect regarding the treatment of paranoia, is the establishment of trust and collaboration with the counsellor or psychotherapist. This helps to facilitate you with addressing your irrational fears, and helps to build up personal resources that will assist you in dealing with stress and adversity. There may also be a component where the counsellor can help you with developing social skills in order to gain confidence in yourself.
Get help now
Paranoia can affect your life negatively in many ways, such as distracting your mind and making you hypervigilent or preoccupied. It can also mean you might be unable to relax and you may avoid social situations for fear of others and your perceptions of them and their intentions.
Seeking help through your GP or a counsellor or psychotherapist, can help you find relief and a way forward to recovery from this disruptive and distressing condition.
Dirk Hansen is a counsellor and psychotherapist in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire and he can offer support for a variety of issues including paranoia, obsessions, anxiety, panic, depression, relationship breakdown, and stress. Contact Dirk now for a free telephone consultation.