From our archives: Guest blogger, Paul Dooley, talks about his experience with anxiety. “Fear is without a doubt a world-class attention grabber. And in 1999 it had me glued to myself. After experiencing my first panic attack, I spent several months possessed by worry.”Read More
In our daily lives, many people have heard the phrase “stop being so paranoid.” Oftentimes, the word paranoia is used interchangeably for feeling worried, or to describe a person who may be overly concerned. Actually, paranoia is an intense, persistent mistrust of others, which frequently results from impairing, unfounded suspicion and a sense of anxiety and/or fear.
In the United States, movies, TV shows, and blogs usually distort and stigmatize people living with paranoia. Unfortunately, many people use the word “paranoid” without an adequate understanding of what this word means. So, what are some symptoms of paranoia? What does paranoid behavior actually look like? There may not be one correct answer to this question, but here are a few symptoms that are consistent with a person exhibiting paranoid behavior.
- Holding a unfounded, persistent, and strong concern that other people are attempting to harm them
- Difficulty maintaining or initiating relationships because of consistent mistrust and blaming of others
- A sense of hypersensitivity and hostility, coupled with accusatory remarks toward other people
- Intense suspicion of others, resulting in distant relationships and argumentative communication patterns
Like many personality disorders, paranoia can be difficult to treat. Many people who exhibit paranoid behaviors do not seek support because they don’t recognize how these behaviors may be diminishing their overall functioning and well-being. For this reason, paranoia can be particularly hard on friends and family members. However, one common treatment for paranoid thoughts is cognitive behavioral therapy.
If you know a person who may be struggling with paranoia, please search our database to contact support. Individualized attention from a psychologist may help you form a better understanding of how to best support your friend or loved one.
For more information, please consider the following resources:
Many people find the phrase “psychological assessment” intimidating or confusing. This is because these types of assessments, which are often called psychological tests or batteries, can take many shapes and forms. But what kinds of information do these tests provide? What types of assessments are there and what are they used for?Read More
This is the third in a three-part series of articles on what a psychologist says about guilt. In guilt dynamics, there are only two patterns of thinking or behaving—rectifying something you did not do or rectifying something you erroneously did do.Read More
This is the second of a three-part series of articles on what a psychologist has to say about guilt. Guilt is manipulative, and in this case more indirect, i.e., covert, but controlling. Here is a short example.Read More
Anxiety has been described as fear without an object; that is, we don’t always know what makes us uneasy. Guilt is a little like that. We don’t always have in our awareness the cause of what is bothering us. We just know “something is not right.”Read More
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), insomnia impacts approximately one-third of adults. Insomnia sufferers usually experience impacts to their daily functioning including but not limited to decreases in productivity, decreased quality of life, and depressed mood if the problem is chronic.Read More