Most people experience feelings of paranoia from time to time. Paranoia is a mental state where you are suspicious without reason. You may feel that people are trying to harm you in some way or that something dreadful is about to happen. Everyone can be suspicious at times, or feel fearful about the future, but if you are experiencing paranoia you may lose insight into the fact that perhaps your fears are groundless, and in extreme forms you may be unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy. Paranoia is a mental condition which often occurs as a symptom of a more serious illness such as schizophrenia or manic depression, or as a result of using illegal drugs, such as coke, pot, or pcp.
Paranoia can take many forms, and show as different symptoms. You may feel isolated and unable to trust anyone else. You might feel suspicious of other people’s actions and motivations, that everyone has a hidden agenda for you. You may become irrationally jealous, or suspect that a relative is trying to harm you. Feelings of being watched and followed are common, and in some cases you might think that your thoughts are being monitored or that your home is bugged.
Anyone can experience mild feelings of paranoia as a result of things going wrong in their life, however, extreme paranoia is usually seen in people with mental health issues, or users of street drugs. People may develop paranoia at any age, but young people tend to have the more grand delusions, for example, that ” aliens are controlling me.” Young men are affected slightly more than young women. People experiencing severe anxiety or depression can develop problems with paranoid feelings, but the most extreme forms of paranoia are usually seen in people diagnosed with schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder. These illnesses can cause people to lose touch with reality, a disorder known as phychosis.
The symptoms of paranoia are diverse. The most common is a distrust of people. Paranoid people always question others’ actions. They are easily offended and unable to just relax.. Paranoid people may also be uncomfortable and fearful in social settings or a public place. Other symptoms may include stubbornness, perfectionism and difficulty in expressing forgiveness.
Treatment for paranoia is usually bahavioral therapy. Behavior therapy teaches the sufferer how to be less sensitive to criticism. It also tries to make the paranoiac more sociable. The therapy may take a long time, as paranoia is very difficult to overcome due to the traits associated with the disorder.