Lesser-Known Symptoms of Paranoia


When most people hear the term “paranoia,” they generally think of conspiracy theories and the like. But did you know there are lesser-known symptoms that show up as well? Here’s the bottom line.

Merriam-Webster Online defines paranoia as “a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others.” When most people think about paranoia, they glom onto that suspiciousness as a key symptom. But did you know that there are other, lesser-known symptoms that characterize the condition? At Aura Psychiatry, PLLC, board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner Farheen Makani, PMHNP-BC, and her team treat all manner of mental health conditions at their office in Allen, Texas, including those conditions that cause paranoid symptoms. If you or a loved one is displaying these symptoms, here’s what you need to know about them and what treatments can help. More about paranoia Paranoia involves intense anxiety or fear, with entrenched thoughts connected with persecution, perceived threat, or conspiracy. Though it can occur with many mental health conditions, it’s most often present in schizophrenia and psychotic disorders. Psychosis is a brain-based condition with a set of symptoms that results in a disconnect with reality, characterized by strange or bizarre thinking, perceptions (visual and/or auditory hallucinations), behaviors, and emotions. It’s often made better or worse by environmental factors such as drug use and stress. Some 3.5% of the population experiences psychosis in some form. The key to paranoia is that you have thoughts of a threat or conspiracy despite there being no evidence, or very little evidence, that it’s real. Perceptions of threat where there’s evidence to support feeling frightened are not considered paranoid. Common types of paranoid thoughts include the belief that:
You’re being talked about behind your back
You’re being watched by people or organizations
You’re at risk of being physically harmed or killed
Others are deliberately trying to upset or irritate you
Others are trying to take your money or possessions
Others are interfering with your actions or thoughts
You’re being controlled, or the government is targeting you in some way
Thoughts are more likely to be paranoid instead of justified if:
No one else shares them
There’s no definite evidence they exist
There is evidence that directly contradicts them
It’s unlikely you would be singled out
You still have them despite reassurance from others
Your suspicions are based only on feelings and ambiguous events
In most cases, the thoughts describe a “they” versus “me” mentality, where “they” isn’t and can’t be clearly defined. Lesser-known symptoms of paranoia Many of the lesser-known symptoms of paranoia show up at the onset of the mental health condition that’s triggering them. They may include:
Being argumentative
Difficulty forgiving
Being unable to relax
Being hypervigilant about everything
Not trusting others
Being unable to cope with criticism
Being unable to compromise
Finding relationships difficult
If you notice any of the symptoms of paranoia in yourself or a loved one, your next stop should be Aura Psychiatry, PLLC for an evaluation and treatment. To get started, call our office at 469-599-2872, or book online with us today.

Book Now