Paranoia is the feeling that you’re being threatened in some way, such as people watching you or acting against you, even though there’s no proof that it’s true. It happens to a lot of people at some point. Even when you know that your concerns aren’t based in reality, they can be troubling if they happen too often.
Clinical paranoia is more severe. It’s a rare mental health condition in which you believe that others are unfair, lying, or actively trying to harm you when there’s no proof. You don’t think you’re paranoid at all because you feel sure it’s true.
The symptoms of paranoia can include:
- Being defensive, hostile, and aggressive
- Being easily offended
- Believing you are always right and having trouble relaxing or letting your guard down
- Not being able to compromise, forgive, or accept criticism
- Not being able to trust or confide in other people
- Reading hidden meanings into people’s normal behaviors
Some of the causes of Paranoia are:
Too Little Sleep
A single restless night probably won’t cause paranoid thoughts. But if you often go without sleep, it can start to take a toll. You might not think as clearly, and you’re more likely to clash with others or have misunderstandings with them.
When the tension ratchets up in your life, you could start to feel more suspicious of other people. And the stress doesn’t have to be something negative like illness or job loss. Even a happy occasion, like a wedding, can create a kind of stress that brings out paranoid thoughts along with the joy.
To help ease paranoid thoughts, you can:
- Take time to relax and try to forget about what’s stressing you out
- Spend time with friends
- Find something to smile and laugh about
- Get plenty of exercise
- Meditate to clear your mind