Paranoia is when we have thoughts or feelings that we are in danger or under threat, even though there is little to no evidence that this is the case. We can all experience these types of thoughts sometimes, but for some they become extreme, affecting everyday life.
While paranoia itself is not a mental health condition, it is often a symptom of underlying mental health conditions. If your paranoia is severe, treatment may be needed to help you feel better and less afraid.
Common paranoid thoughts involve worrying that someone is out to hurt you or those close to you. These types of thoughts may pop up occasionally and not worry you much. In more extreme cases, you may experience them very regularly and be distressed by them. Paranoia can affect how you interact with the world around you and can have a huge effect on your quality of life.
It’s important to note here that we all feel suspicious sometimes, and indeed in some cases these suspicions are justified. The key is understanding the difference between a justified suspicious thought and a paranoid thought.
One of the more challenging aspects of treatment for paranoia is finding a therapist you can trust. The very nature of paranoia can make it difficult for you to put your trust in others, making talk therapy more difficult. It’s therefore important for you to take time choosing a therapist you feel comfortable with and if possible, be open with them about your concerns.