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Addressing Symptoms: Paranoia

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!

J. Peters

J. Peters

Max Guttman '08, MSW '12, is the owner of Recovery Now, a private mental health practice. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, therapist and disability rights advocate, Max fights for those without a voice in various New York City care systems. He received a 2020 Bearcats of the Last Decade 10 Under 10 award from the Binghamton University Alumni Association. Guttman treats clients with anxiety and depression, but specializes in issues related to psychosis or schizoaffective spectrum disorders. He frequently writes on his lived experiences with schizophrenia. "I knew my illness was so complex that I’d need a professional understanding of its treatment to gain any real momentum in recovery," Guttman says. "After undergraduate school and the onset of my illness, I evaluated different graduate programs that could serve as a career and mechanism to guide and direct my self-care. After experiencing the helping hand of my social worker and therapist right after my 'break,' I chose social work education because of its robust skill set and foundation of knowledge I needed to heal and help others." "In a world of increasing tragedy, we should help people learn from our lived experiences. My experience brings humility, authenticity and candidness to my practice. People genuinely appreciate candidness when it comes to their health and recovery. Humility provides space for mistakes and appraisal of progress. I thank my lived experience for contributing to a more egalitarian therapeutic experience for my clients."

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