Paranoia is an irrational way of thinking, but it’s not easy to recognize that you might be overly suspicious, and at the moment, you might feel justified in your way of thinking. Nonetheless, this article will share some indicators that you might be paranoid and what you can do to challenge these beliefs.
You Are Accusatory
People who have mental health issues that cause paranoia can become easily suspicious of other people, and sometimes this can cause them to lash out and accuse people of doing certain things. This can be with or without any evidence, and therefore, false accusations can be pretty common, and they can also be repetitive as well.
You Can’t Handle Any Criticism
Accepting criticism can be difficult for people with paranoia, even if it’s helpful and constructive criticism because they can take it too personally. Such critiques can be perceived as an attack on their personal character or that their competence is belittled.
You Misinterpret Other’s Intentions
Similar to the previous section, paranoia can cause individuals to assume the worst in just about anything, not just with criticism. For example, someone might feel that another individual looked at them the wrong way or that someone is trying to deceive them. Usually, in these types of situations, a person is paranoid that others have malicious intentions, even if there are no apparent signs to raise these suspicions.
You Are Hypervigilant
Another common feature of someone who may be struggling with paranoia is that they can constantly be on guard so that they can try to prevent any harm being done to them or their loved ones. Just like with the other sections, people are anticipating something bad happening and want to do what they can to protect themselves from these perceived threats.
You Can’t Trust & Confide In Others
Lastly, one of the most significant signs of paranoia is that you feel that you can’t trust other people, including your closest friends and your family, and this can make it hard to maintain relationships. It’s also possible for conflicts to start, especially if some of the other signs that were discussed in this article are also present.
What Causes Paranoia?
Paranoia is a symptom of different physical and mental health issues that can be chronic or temporary.
For example, paranoia can be caused by stress, especially traumatic events, as well as a lack of sleep and alcohol and drug abuse, and sometimes all of these can be intertwined with each other.
Long-term health conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease can also contribute to paranoid thoughts due to their effects on the brain.
When paranoia is mixed with delusions and hallucinations, schizophrenia is also a likely candidate as well, and it will need to be managed with the use of medication provided by a psychiatrist. However, even the most common mental health conditions like depression and anxiety can cause people to have paranoid thoughts that can be addressed through medication and by working with a therapist.
More Resources On Paranoia
Hostility and distrust are two of the primary themes for people who are experiencing paranoia, but if you’re interested in learning more about this particular issue, BetterHelp has additional articles like this one that are completely for free that can help answer your questions and provide advice on how to cope with paranoia.
If paranoia is causing problems in your life, like with your social relationships, it’s also important to reach out for assistance. In addition to the educational resources, you’ll also be able to find out how you can connect to a licensed mental health professional that you can always trust.
By working with someone who cares about what you’re going through, you can address the reasons why you’re feeling paranoid and learn how to manage stress and anxiety in your daily life by changing your current thought patterns.
It can be hard to tell if you’re being paranoid because your thoughts can seem realistic and justified, but in reality, they’re irrational and often baseless. If the signs of paranoia sound a lot like what you’re going through, one of the best things you can do is talk about it, and you can do so with a professional who has an unbiased opinion who can give you the tools you need to overcome your fears and suspicious thoughts and repair your relationships with other people.