If you have just been diagnosed with a psychiatric condition, you may feel cheated by life. Yet, if you are to have a good quality of life, you must learn to handle your problems. If you have issues with paranoia, there are steps you can take to keep your thoughts under control.
First, follow your medication regimen for help with paranoia. It very well may not work immediately. That is the nature of medications: they work differently for different people. Keep this in mind when you work through adjustments to your medications with your psychiatrist. Just because things do not work out at first, it does not mean that they will not get better over time.
Second, look at counseling as a give and take proposition. When you discuss something, remember that you might be misunderstood. That is the nature of counseling, especially with a psychologist who deals with psychiatric patients. These counselors tend to take what you say literally unless you explain otherwise. So, if you said, “Everybody hates me,” the counselor might think that you actually believe that every person on the earth holds you in contempt. You may be that paranoid. If you are, you need help more than ever. But, suppose you are just saying it that way for dramatic effect to illustrate how unhappy you are. In that case, your exaggeration might cost you a measure of the believability you previously had. Say what you mean in counseling and it will do you more good.
Do fact-checking. When you begin to have paranoid thoughts, you can sometimes push them away by pretending you are a researcher. You can make up a page on your computer of all the paranoid ideas you are having. Write them down separately and then go back and write down what you would have to know in order to evaluate that statement. If you can check those facts, do so. You will feel better when you are sure of what is happening around you. You will probably find that after doing this exercise for awhile, you will begin to trust others more.
When there is no way of knowing about something in your life, assume the best until you know otherwise. This is a good practice if you are prone to paranoia because you can train yourself to think about positive possibilities. Just the existence of alternative ways of looking at things gives you options. This may be very hard for you to do, and it may take years for you to train yourself to think the best, but most people can do it.
Do not let people discount everything you say because you have at some time or another made some paranoid statements. Stay sharp so you can prove your points when you are right. Otherwise, you will not be able to tell the difference in real paranoia and cases of simple prejudice. Remember to talk patiently and reasonably to get your points across.Then, know when to quit. If your words are not accepted by anyone, consider that you might indeed be having a psychiatric problem. Ask your counselor if you get a chance, but only after you have explained the situation thoroughly.
Listen to what others say. There is no one as paranoid as the person who refuses to consider other opinions. Paranoia, if it is a problem for you, can be insidious and difficult to overcome. Yet if you can retain your objectivity at least until you have evaluated opposing viewpoints, you will have a better chance of taming paranoia.
If you are afflicted with a psychiatric condition such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, you have enough manage without having to deal with people who put you down. As much as you can, choose companions that enjoy you for who you are. You may not be able to completely conquer paranoia if you have a serious psychiatric condition. However, you can lessen its severity if you train yourself to think and act more positively. And remember: you are not just an illness on legs. You are a real and intelligent person. Remind people of that and you will think and feel better.