Do you always feel like the world is against you? Do you have trouble trusting people and assume they want to hurt you? Do you constantly hold grudges and fail to see any good in anyone? If so, then you might be living with paranoia.
People living with paranoia believe that the people around them are always out to get them. They often believe that they are being threatened or targeted by others and assume that their loved ones will cheat or lie.
As a result, those who live with paranoia are often angry, untrusting, defensive, and even hostile. This makes it difficult for them to develop healthy relationships or gain much momentum in any part of their life.
If any of the above information seems familiar, then you may be experiencing paranoia. This article will show you how paranoia affects your life and what you can do to reduce your paranoid thoughts.
How Paranoia Affects Your Relationships
If you’re living with paranoia, then you aren’t likely to trust people. When you believe that people are out to hurt you, you won’t bother to develop many deep relationships.
When you form friendships or relationships, you immediately push them away since your thoughts target them as a threat. You are likely to be defensive, act hostile, and push your loved ones out of your life under the belief that they are trying to hurt you.
You also may have difficulty confiding in anyone because you don’t want to develop any close connections. You may even believe that your loved ones will use the information you give them against you in some way. Since you can’t trust anyone, there is no one you can talk to, and therefore you are at risk of isolating yourself.
Those living with paranoia rarely keep friends for long and quickly push potential partners out of their lives. As you may have guessed, or are experiencing yourself, paranoia can lead to a very lonely life.
How Paranoia Affects Your Work
Though employees with paranoia can still perform well at their jobs, they often have difficulty interacting with their coworkers and superiors.
If you live with paranoia, you probably don’t talk with your colleagues much. Your thoughts will keep you from developing relationships with your coworkers or working well on team projects. You may even believe that these colleagues are working against you or trying to sabotage your career. As with your personal relationships, you are probably coming off as defensive, irritable, or even hostile to the rest of your team.
You’re probably very sensitive to criticism as well, making it difficult for your supervisor to help you improve your job performance.
If your job requires constant feedback or teamwork, you will have a very difficult time at work. Not responding well to criticism or working well with others can halt or derail your career entirely.
How Paranoia Affects Your Mental Health
The most obvious effect that paranoia has on your mental health is anxiety. Constantly worrying about being attacked or sabotaged will have its toll on your well-being. People living with paranoia are often riddled with worry and anxiety, which never goes away because they can never trust people.
You may also experience extreme loneliness. As touched on in the last few sections, you can’t form deep connections with others if you can’t trust them. You’re bound to push away everyone who wants to connect with you and are very likely to end up isolated.
How to Reduce Paranoia
The good news is that living with paranoia doesn’t necessarily mean you have a disorder or that you can’t rewire your thinking. Some people reduce their thoughts by practicing mindfulness or making positive lifestyle changes.
Taking care of yourself is an excellent way to reduce paranoia, especially if it isn’t severe. It is believed that too little sleep and a significant amount of stress may contribute to paranoid thoughts. Therefore, getting enough sleep and reducing your stress will ease your paranoia. Furthermore, eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly may also reduce paranoid thoughts and improve your mental health overall.
Many people experience paranoid thoughts from time to time. But if your paranoia is taking over your life, then you need to talk to a licensed therapist or medical professional. In some cases, paranoia can be a sign of a psychological disorder. If this is the case, you and your therapist will be able to develop a strategy and tools to help reduce your paranoia so that you can start living a fulfilling life filled with deep, trusting connections.
Author Bio: Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.