Paranoia

Paranoia is defined by thinking that people are somehow ‘out to get you’ or that otherwise seemingly random or innocuous events are ‘directed’ towards you personally, usually with the intent of malice or harm.

As with all problematic unhelpful thinking styles or limiting beliefs, the degree of ‘severity’ lies along a spectrum, at one end being mild thoughts and associated feelings and at the other end, severe paranoia making functioning extremely difficult.

Paranoia is most frequently associated with ‘paranoid schizophrenia’ although this is rarer than most people believe and when it is present, is generally treated with anti-psychotics.

Here at Tranceform Psychology we help people with thoughts or feelings of paranoia that are considered NOT to be as the result of psychosis.

If you think that you might be experiencing paranoia as the result of schizophrenia then we urge you to consult your GP or Psychiatrist for a formal diagnosis.

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 (also known as an external locus of control) which gives rise to thinking that people are being highly critical of them or even somehow ‘after them’ – this is often made worse by also have a catastrophic thinking style.

Associated Symptoms & Behaviours

People may also experience a number of symptoms and behaviours that may not seem to be directly related to XX including:

Within the Power Threat Meaning Framework, these associated or secondary symptoms may be better thought of as threat responses and coping strategies that have been adopted in order to cope with the immediate problem.

Unfortunately, when faced with threats not everybody adopts threat responses that are ‘adaptive’ to the situation and may frequently choose approaches that end up being more harmful to mental and physical health in the longer term.

Despite this obvious paradox, it is important to recognise that nobody deliberately chooses ‘maladaptive’ coping mechanisms that result in more harm than good.

At some level, the choice of threat response made complete sense (was coherent) at the time the threat was originally experienced, and this may have been in early childhood at a time when fewer mental resources were available.

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.

  1. Do you frequently worry that people are somehow trying to ‘use’ you?
  2. Do you worry about being ‘let-down’ or ‘betrayed’?
  3. Do you find it difficult to forgive and forget people who have mistreated you?
  4. Do you worry that people don’t tell you the ‘whole story’ or are trying to ‘deceive’ you?
  5. Do you worry that your partner may be cheating on you?
  6. Do you analyse people’s remarks to see if they are insulting you in some way?
  7. Do you find it difficult to confide in people fearing they may tell everybody?
  8. Do you worry that people are laughing at you ‘behind you back’?
  9. 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?
  10. 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.

Core CBT for XX on PC Screen

The CORE CBT Programme for XX

The CORE CBT Programme was devised and written by Paul in 2020 and combines all the best elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with additional knowledge drawn from research in Personal Construct Theory, Attribution Theory, Self-Determination Theory and Social Constructivism.

It is particularly well-suited to XX related problems due to the prevalence of cognitive ideation in the creation of XX responses.

It is a 10 module course normally taken over a 10 week period with weekly hour long counselling sessions (either face-to-face or using Zoom), but can also be followed as a ‘teach yourself’ course for those with more manageable levels of anxiety.

Free Initial Consultations for XX Banner

Want to Find Out More?

If you’d like to find out more about overcoming or recovering from XX using a psychosocial approach, then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.

During this consultation we will discuss your particular problem, what it means to you and the potential solutions that are available.

We provide a safe, confidential and non-judgemental environment without any obligation for you to commit to any psychotherapy programmes or sessions going forward.

This initial consultation will give you the opportunity to consider the merits of the psychosocial perspective as well as the chance to find out what Paul or Joan are like as individuals.

Contact Paul

You can contact Paul on:

07434 776125

or by e-mail at:

paul@leepsychology.com

Contact Joan

You can contact Joan on:

07434 776504

or by e-mail at:

joan@leepsychology.com

Joan

Hypnotherapist Joan Lee D. Hyp. MIAEBP

Location Map

Lee Psychology, Maypole House, Yew Tree Court, Wombourne, South Staffordshire, WV5 9JB.

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