Addressing Symptoms: Paranoia

Without a lot of clinical jargon this post targets reducing the impact of specific symptoms common with mental health issues: paranoia. Paranoia is disabling. It limits us by cutting off our world and making us feel uncomfortable to explore and live our lives without fear. There is no reason to live with paranoia. Paranoia is fear and fear stops us from celebrating every moment of our existence. So, how do we stop it? Eliminate it?

The most important place to start is assessing what you are afraid of and categorizing it into three domains of fear. The categories include: 1) letting our small critical thoughts snowball into major fears , 2) eclipsing hopes and limiting our future oriented thinking, 3) combining our fears or apocalyptic projections

We are critical because we care. We want to manage our lives effectively and precisely. But these small critical thoughts can snowball into major crippling fears that stop us from getting out of bed or being social and making new friends. Why let that happen? Check in with yourself. Self monitor and find a balance internally with your thoughts.

Ever look forward to something? Future oriented thinking keeps us motivated and happy about time elapsing. In plain language, of experiencing every moment of every day. Paranoia stops us from experiencing our days because we are so pained we stop and detach. Do anything to stop the internal fear from strangling other aspects of our lives.

The worst thing you can do to make paranoia worse is to combine fears. A hurricane is bad news but flooding due high winds and water is even worse. See what I mean? Don’t do it!

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Max E. Guttman LCSW

Max Guttman is the owner of Recovery Now in New York. Max provides psychotherapy, complex case management, community consultation, and self-management skill-building groups. His approach is based on evidenced-based practices (EBP). Max earned a master’s degree in Social Work from Binghamton University. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and a field instructor for both postgraduate and undergraduate students at Lehman College. He is also a social work supervisor and psychotherapist at Courtlandt Avenue Clinic in the South Bronx where he teaches students social work praxis in New York City. In addition to this responsibilities, he manages Mental Health Affairs, a mental health blog.

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