It may seem like everyone is your enemy, but that is very unlikely. Do you continually suspect that your significant other is cheating on you? Does it seem like he or she is just using you for something or maybe they are just pretending to like you as a game? Are you worried that your partner doesn’t like you at all? Maybe you just started dating and you really care about them a lot, but they just don’t act like they are on the same page as you. Could it be just low self-esteem or are you really paranoid?
If it is just that you are worried about your partner because you are in a new relationship, it is probably not paranoia. After all, we all have doubts about new relationships once in a while. No relationship is perfect. You may be suspicious of your new love interest because you have been cheated on or lied to before. Or maybe your parents went through a lot of marital troubles when you were young. These are all pretty normal reactions to new relationships and especially if you have been wronged in the past. A relationship counselor can help you with that easily. However, if you think everyone is talking about you or looking at you, following you, or is against you, these can be signs of paranoia.
Is it Anxiety or Paranoia?
First of all, everyone is a little bit paranoid once in a while. Nobody is 100% sure of themselves all of the time. We all experience worry and anxiety over things all the time. In fact, a little anxiety and fear about new things is good. That is what is stopping us all from doing dangerous things. Anxiety happens occasionally when you feel worried or stressed out about a situation or person. Maybe you have to give a big presentation in front of a crowd. Or you are meeting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time. It is normal to be anxious about these things. Paranoia would be if you think the whole audience is laughing at you or plotting against you. See the difference?
Maybe Everyone Really Is Against Me
This may sound strange, but sometimes we find that someone really is plotting against us and has convinced others to back them up. While it may seem like it is the whole world against you when that happens, it is probably just one person trying to get revenge for something that you may not even know that you did. It could be nothing. The point is, you need to talk to a professional to determine if it is a mental condition causing the paranoia or if it could be something else.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a serious mental condition that can cause you to feel paranoid, stressed, and anxious because of something that happened to you in the past. This typically happens to someone who has been abused, was in a natural disaster such as a tornado or earthquake, or has been in a war. It is also common in first responders like firefighters, EMTs, police officers, and medical personnel. Some other signs of PTSD besides paranoia include:
- Nightmares or day terrors
- Isolating yourself from others
- Fear of leaving the house
- Feeling lost, afraid, and alone
- Hearing things or having flashbacks
- Lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Feeling on edge all the time
- Panic attacks (fast heart rate, dizziness, nausea, feeling of impending doom, chest pain)
Talking About Your Fears
If you have any of these symptoms or feel you may have PTSD or another mental disorder, it is important that you reach out to a counselor or therapist for help. You can do it online with your phone or other electronic devices, so you do not even have to leave your home. And you will not need an appointment either. Online therapy is an excellent choice for those with anxiety disorders and paranoia because you can do it from the safety of your own home. Going out in public or talking to a stranger face to face is not required. In fact, you can remain anonymous. You do not have to give them your name.
Get the Help That You Need
A therapist can also help you figure out how to stop being paranoid, even if you really are diagnosed with paranoia. There are treatments, medications, and therapy regimens that are very helpful in these situations. The first thing you have to do is talk to a professional to find out if you are suffering from paranoia. They can determine whether it is part of an underlying condition like PTSD or social anxiety. Some medical conditions or medications can cause paranoia as well so you will need to let them know your health history. They can work with your physician to determine what the best course of treatment would be.
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