Anxiety and Paranoia - The Mind Map
By Anxiety and Paranoia

Anxiety and Paranoia

There are times in life when it becomes difficult to recognise your own feelings.

Published 05/01/2021

Is Paranoia a side effect of Anxiety?

There are times in life when it becomes difficult to recognise your own feelings.

Sometimes we can confuse our anxious feeling with paranoia.

When the brain sends you negative messages during that stage you can be quick to judge yourself to have both paranoia and anxiety.

Anxiety is a mental health condition which covers extremely large range of feelings and circumstances. Therefore, you might believe that if you have anxiety you will be a paranoid person or vice versa.

Anxiety is often identified as objective anxiety or neurotic anxiety. In our day to day life, we often get anxious in situations like sitting for exams, a job interview for example.

In such circumstances, you might experience:

  • heart rate increase
  • sweating
  • vertigo
  • many other psychological and behavioural events

According to the NHS this is mild anxiety and is a common experience. However, mild anxiety can lead to panic attacks and severe anxiety.

Paranoia is where you become delusional. This is a constant fear, possibly feeling left out, not good enough or a feeling of being an outcast. Additionally, there is a possibility of hearing voices in some cases.

In terms of mental health, one illness could trigger another but this does not necessarily mean anxiety and paranoia go hand in hand.

There are several ways to help ease mild anxiety. These could include:

  •  Paying attention to your breathing, slowing it down and taking long deep breaths
  • divert your mind to something else, concentrating or imaging a place where you feel peaceful
  • The 5,4,3,2,1 technique (Naming 5 colours you can see, 4 things that you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste)

Lifestyle Changes to ease mild anxiety include:

  • cutting down caffeine
  • listening to soothing music
  • getting enough sleep
  • building a support network

Supporting someone with Anxiety

If you are part of a support network to a person who is anxious, try considering mindful listening. Take your time and give the person some space when it is needed along with ensuring you are literally there whenever the person is trying to reach out.

Avoid pushing the triggering button if you are aware of the reasons of the person’s anxiety. Validate their feeling, make them understand you are not judging them. Pay attention rather than starting to prepare questions in your head. Encourage them to speak to a GP or to seek counselling.

Supporting someone with Paranoia

In addition to the support you would offer someone with anxiety, for someone with paranoia you could:

  • avoid arguing with them and try not to dismiss their fears
  • Provide the person personal space
  • show compassion and support
  • Help the person to move away from his/her fear place or activity.
  • Help them acknowledge the current beauty in life.

And of course support them in seeking professional help from the GP and a counsellor.