All About Paranoia and How to Overcome it with Psychological Therapy & Counselling
What is Paranoia?
Paranoia is defined as thinking that people are somehow ‘out to get you’ or that innocuous events seem to be ‘directed’ towards you personally, usually with the intent of malice or harm.
It is most frequently associated with ‘paranoid schizophrenia’ although this is rarer than most people believe and is generally treated with anti-psychotic medication.
Here at Lee Psychology we help people with thoughts or feelings of paranoia that are NOT due to psychosis.
Paranoia is normally more prevalent in people who have a high sense of social anxiety and a feeling of a lack of ‘power’ over their own lives.
This can lead to the feeling that people are being highly critical of you or even somehow ‘after you’, often in the absence of any real evdence.
Paranoia can be a symptom of several mental health conditions, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder.
Some common symptoms of paranoia include:
Excessive suspicion: Believing that others are out to harm, deceive, or control you.
Hypervigilance: Constantly scanning the environment for signs of danger or threats.
Self-reference: Believing that everyday events or objects have personal significance or are directed at you.
Delusions: Believing in fixed and false ideas that are not based in reality.
Withdrawal: Avoiding social situations or relationships due to fear of being harmed or manipulated by others.
Hostility: Feeling angry or aggressive towards others, particularly those who are perceived as a threat.
Emotional instability: Experiencing intense emotions, such as fear, anger, or suspicion, that are difficult to control.
It’s important to note that some degree of suspicion or caution is normal, particularly in certain situations or contexts.
However, when paranoia becomes excessive or interferes with an individual’s ability to function or maintain relationships, it may be a sign of a mental health condition that requires professional help.
Paranoia & Paranoid Thinking Test
Try answering the following 10 questions which have been designed to illuminate Paranoia related thoughts and feelings.
The higher the number of YES responses the more likely you experience bouts of paranoia and paranoid behaviour.
- Do you frequently worry that people are somehow trying to ‘use’ you?
- Do you worry about being ‘let-down’ or ‘betrayed’?
- Do you find it difficult to forgive and forget people who have mistreated you?
- Do you worry that people don’t tell you the ‘whole story’ or are trying to ‘deceive’ you?
- Do you worry that your partner may be cheating on you?
- Do you analyse people’s remarks to see if they are insulting you in some way?
- Do you find it difficult to confide in people fearing they may tell everybody?
- Do you worry that people are laughing at you ‘behind you back’?
- If you catch somebody staring at you in the street or whilst shopping do you automatically think they must be thinking something negative about YOU?
- Do you worry that friends might be meeting up without you behind your back?
(Adapted from ‘The Paranoid Thinking Style’, the Thrive Programme, Rob Kelly, 2015)
Although answering YES to each of these statements may seem perfectly reasonable to you they do indicate that paranoia is a component part of your thinking.
This notion that they are reasonable and make sense is due to what is called ‘confirmation bias‘ which is how our minds ‘twist’ the facts so that they make sense to our beliefs.
Therapy & Counselling for Paranoia
We offer a number of different types of therapy and counselling for Paranoia and anxiety-related problems.
Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:
- How long you have had the problem.
- Your personal preferences.
- How your problem is affecting you today.
You can read more about the different types of therapy for Paranoia on the following links:
Although all therapies use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.
Research suggests that this therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.
Behaviour Change Framework – BCF
All of our counselling sessions and programmes for Paranoia are enhanced by applying the Behaviour Change Framework (BCF).
This scientifically proven protocol clearly defines the incremental stages of behaviour change that you need to go through in order to achieve long lasting and sustainable change.
Drawn from the Transtheoretical Model of Behaviour Change (TTM), the framework provides a roadmap that not only gauges the current stage of progression through the change process, but also indicates if more change is required before entering the next phase of therapy or coaching.
In this way, we are able to ensure that you get the best possible level of support in overcoming your problems as well as ensuring that we don’t terminate the change process prematurely.
You can read more about the Science of Change here.
Arrange your FREE initial consultation here.
During this consultation we will discuss your particular issues and the different types of mental health counselling we offer without you having to commit to any counselling going forward.
The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet with either Paul or Joan and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.
Links to More Information
These links take you to other resources on the web.
Applied Psychology Solutions
If you’d like to learn how to overcome paranoia problems but dislike the idea of having “therapy”, then why not learn how to change the way you make sense of your experiences with the CORE Programme.
If you believe that your problems are the result of what has happened to you and not because there is something wrong with you, then this is the solution you’ve been looking for.
Not Ready to Commit to Therapy Quite Yet?
Then why not see if you can solve your own problems using our comprehensive, Online Self-Help CBT course.
Written especially for people who prefer not to engage with a therapist before doing everything they can to overcome their problems.
Mirroring our in-house course of CBT, it contains everything that you need to know to tackle mental health challenges for only £149.
We offer counselling for paranoia problems for people living in:
- West Midlands
- South Staffordshire
You can also access our services around the World using online therapy with Paul.