Practical support for challenging paranoid thoughts.
Paranoia is the experience of feeling strongly suspicious or mistrustful about something, when others around us do not feel there is a good enough reason to feel that way. It can involve us believing that others are trying to harm us, are talking about us or laughing about us. The beliefs can be very strong, and people who are experiencing paranoia can feel that they are absolutely true, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Even if we have an awareness that our paranoia might not be entirely based in reality, the experience can be incredibly distressing, and can have a major impact on our quality of life.
This essential self-help guide, based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), gives clear advice for understanding, recognising and challenging the suspicious thoughts and beliefs that are getting in the way of your day to day life. It will help you find ways to practice good self-care, to rest and to ground yourself so that you aren't overwhelmed and isolated by suspicious thoughts.
Dr Katie Pownell is a principal clinical psychologist in acute inpatient mental health care for Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, and in private practice.
Dr May Sarsam is a consultant clinical psychologist in the NHS with over 20 years' experience supporting people in their recovery from complex mental health difficulties and trauma.