Paranoia is a state of mind where the patient becomes suspicious without any substantial reason. It is a feeling where the person presumes somebody is going to harm him, or something dreadful is going to occur. Seldom will you find any human who is not suspicious or fearful for a temporary period. However a person suffering from paranoia does not realize that his fears and perceptions are baseless, there is no reality in his being fearful or being suspicious.
This symptom can be a part of more dreadful psychiatric disorder called schizophrenia and manic depression.People who consume illegal drugs also fall sequele to this condition. Paranoia can have an impact in a person’s social life.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Paranoia?
Unlike schizophrenia, in paranoia the patient has permanent delusion. This delusional phase in paranoia develops gradually. The patient tends to be sentimental, irritable and suspicious. There is an element of obstinacy, jealousy and depression. As a result the patient becomes isolated, he trusts no one.
- Patient is always suspicious of other people’s actions towards him. He believes there is a hidden agenda for every action by other person. For example, the patient feels suspicious about relative or a friend who is trying to harm him.
- There is an irrational fear and suspicion that someone is following him or he is being watched all the time. Even patient has a feeling that the thoughts are monitored by someone or his room is bugged.
- Patient suspects fidelity of his or her spouse, or anyone else who he is attached to.
- Patient is reluctant to share or confide in others, for there is a fear that the information may be used against him or her.
Paranoia can be distinctly categorized in various types:
- Grandeur delusion: he believes himself to be a big personality, even if he is not.
- Persecutory paranoia: These types of personalities believe that everybody around him are his enemies and may do some harm or another to him. Patient having this delusion and if his temperament is angry, he may go to such a level of killing somebody.
Erotic paranoia, religious paranoia, hypochondrical paranoia are some of the other paranoias that people may suffer from.
How To Deal With Paranoia?
Curing paranoia is a difficult task for the psychiatrist. The results are promising if the symptoms are detected early and treatment is begun in the initial period. Once the symptoms grow out of proportion the result is guarded.
Generally psychiatrists apply these methods in curing the condition.
- Behavioral therapy: It is not easy for the attendants and the doctor to treat the patient with behavior therapy because the patient is always suspicious. He usually does not easily cooperate with the doctor. However, with certain techniques patient is made to understand what he is and what the reality is. He is advised to become less sensitive to criticism.
- Patient is also made to understand that his doubts and suspicions are not true and advised to become more sociable.
- The prognosis of paranoia disorder is difficult to know. The disorder can prolong for lifetime if there is an underlying associated condition such as schizophrenia. There is a period of remission, with behavioral therapy, medications etc.
- If in case paranoia is caused due to substance abuse or due to certain drugs, then stopping the intake of this drug will result in improvement of paranoia.