Paranoid Personality Disorder

Questions To Ask During Paranoia

Imagine feeling suspiciousness, mistrust and discomfort for most of the time! You believe your neighbor has tapped your home, your boss is conspiring to have you fired and the IRS is watching you; you wholeheartedly believe these things despite any evidence. This is paranoia.

Are people really out to get me? Paranoid people believe that others have hidden motives and are out to harm them. You have to be very gentle with a paranoid person and answer this question very lightly; otherwise, they may start to believe that you are out to get them as well. The answer is, “I don’t think they are, but tell me more about why you feel this way.”

Why are people disloyal to me? Paranoid people question the loyalty of those around them, misinterpreting innocent comments and gestures. You have to be able to explain to a paranoid person that no one is being disloyal and to redirect their thought process into something positive; a mindset that will allow others the chance to express their loyalty.

Why am I hypersensitive to criticism? Because of their suspicious nature, paranoid people misinterpret comments, jokes and positive criticism; they see them as threats. If you are very close to a paranoid person, maybe you can try gently teasing them and then quickly explaining that you just wanted to make a point; stop being hypersensitive to innocent comments!

Why do I have trouble working with others? Again, because of their suspiciousness, paranoid people have difficulty working with others because they believe that they are out to get them or set them up for failure. Explaining to a paranoid person the importance of working well with others and how their career and well-being depend on it, may help him or her come to better terms with the idea.

Why am I quick to become angry and hostile? Becoming angry is a defense mechanism; it fuels the sympathetic system into “fight or flight;” in this case, most likely fight! One of the main reasons it is so hard to treat a paranoid person is because they view your attempt to help as suspicious. You have to earn a paranoid person’s trust and this takes time and energy, accompanied by a gentle approach.

Why am I detached or socially isolated? If you believed that others were out to get you, wouldn’t you stay in the comfort of your home and not talk to others? No one likes to isolate themselves; it promotes loneliness, sadness and a feeling of not being wanted. Part of the treatment for a paranoid person is motivating them to become involved in activities that will force them to interact with others. The more time they spend around other people and see that nothing bad happens, the sooner they will become more comfortable and help their paranoia slowly diminish!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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