With everything that goes on in the world, it is common to experience paranoia. World news, family/friend troubles, work-related things and certain mental illnesses can be a cause of paranoia. You should know how to deal with it and try to figure out what’s causing it and why, or else you will live like a hermit for the rest of your life and miss out on the good things.

So what is paranoia exactly and what causes it? It is basically excessive worrying to an extreme level that takes over your whole mind. It is the brother of anxiety/worry and stress because they usually follow paranoia. You cannot relax no matter what you try and always have an uneasy feeling bubbling in your chest. Other emotions get mixed in along with it as well like doubt, self-esteem, anxiety, fear, and stress. All of those emotions mixed together cause paranoia.

 How you think about things and you have a hard time with coming to rational thoughts. Not having contact with other people for a long period of time can also cause paranoia, as you are left to your own thoughts way too much and can build up thoughts which can lead you down a spiral and you have no one to help you out of it. Having a bad past experience or childhood can also be a cause of paranoia as you only remember that and think everything will be just like that experience. More things like certain drugs and alcohol, not getting any sleep and having night terrors can also be a factor of paranoia. Other mental illnesses also is a big cause of paranoia and physical illness also follows that. Also, genetics can play a role in paranoia as well.

The effects of paranoia vary but the most common ones are isolation, over worrying/sadness and anxiety, and the stigma paranoia brings. You can feel isolated because the people around you judge you based on your mental illness and deem that you are incapable of doing certain things which drain confidence from you, you start to feel helpless and insecure around others. Anxiety can be a big cause of paranoia, having mood disorders can play a part as well. Finding other people who suffer from the same mental illness as you can help a great deal and you feel like you’re not fighting your illness alone.

What can you do to improve your mental state? Finding support plays a big role here, whether it comes from friends, family or complete strangers from online or in a support group getting connected with others and wanting to get help is a big step forward. Try to take care of your body (outside and inside) with healthy eating and exercise, and meditating. Meditation/relaxing music and yoga are excellent ways to balance yourself (body and mind). Finding other natural ways to help your body is a good idea too, like drinking calming teas and going to a nice calming setting (like the beach or a peaceful forest). You can try taking up creative writing or journaling, channelling your feelings and thoughts into something is always a good way to release negative emotions/thoughts.

How is it treated? There’s quite a few ways paranoia can be treated these days. You might have to try a few different ways to see which one works best for you. There’s always various therapy programs, medication, support groups and different types of counselling you can try. With the internet, help is always within reach and you never have to feel like you’re fighting alone.

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