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436d

how do yall cope with paranoia? personally i struggle with random episodes of extreme paranoia and anxiety that someone is coming to get me. my heart will race and my eyes will water until i lock the doors and get to a safe place. the fear doesnt go away until i manage to completely distract myself via phone, tv, etc.

Top reply
    • ViikMal

      436d

      My paranoia manifests in the idea that people are watching me and have ill intent towards me and might want to try to harm or kill me. I deal with this the same way that I deal with my other anxiety based disorders. 1. Box Breathing to calm the body's heart rate and physical symptoms. In for 4, hold for 4, out for 4, hold for 4. Repeat at least 4 times, preferably 8 if I have the time. This resets and calms the body and the nervous system. 2. 5 senses task to ground me in the present and divert my focus to what's ACTUALLY going on around me. 5 things I see, 4 things I touch, 3 things I hear, 2 things I smell, 1 thing I taste. Repeat as necessary. 3. The mantra. Pay attention to the thought that you have. Say the mantra, 'That was a(n) [adjective i.e. scary, sad, angry] thought, I wonder what thought I will have next?' This validates the emotion that you're having, it validates the thought itself, and then it prompts the brain to think of another thought. It often takes around 5 to 10 repetitions to get the brain to start actually thinking about other things. Repeat until you have thoughts about other things at least 8 times in a row. 4. Weighted blanket, or piling blankets on top to simulate the weight. The pressure helps calm the nervous system, especially if you put it on top of the sternum. The big main thing here is that you're not going to want to try to avoid the thoughts, you're not going to want to try to bottle them up and push them away and not think about them because you're only going to make yourself think about them harder. Distraction is fine for a short period of time but it often comes back quicker when you only distract rather than actually validating the thought, looking at it, and then prompting yourself to think another thought.

    • IndyMonkee13647

      435d

      Commenting so I can see other replies because mine isn’t all too great for all situations, but the only thing I’ve found that helps is trying to make my mind think more rational on my paranoia (it’s fucking hard lol). I struggle a lot with the idea that people live in my house, or broke in and are going to hurt me or even people are watching me where I can’t find them. The best tool for me is my rescue dog that always sleeps by my side and yaps at everything. A lot of my thoughts come at night hours and having my dog sleep with me and not on high alert let’s me know I shouldn’t be on high alert and that I’m safe. If that doesn’t work, that’s when I try to rationalize more with it.

    • lulalalu

      436d

      I agree with the other commenter in that distracting or avoiding the thought doesn't tend to help; I forget the name of the effect but, essentially when we decide not to think about something our brain sort of 'splits'. One part is actually not thinking of the thing as much, but the other will 'check in' now and again to see if we're thinking about it - which makes us think about it. It's really annoying unfortunately but, it's better to use other means of dealing with the paranoid thoughts. I haven't found many ways to handle my own paranoia yet, though I do find that repeating some things out loud that comfort the anxious, paranoid part of me can help. "I am safe" "I am secure" "I am here and nothing is going to hurt me." Sometimes I have to fake it until I make it a bit, because the paranoia is telling me those things aren't true. But being gentle yet firm helps. Any anxiety calming techniques you prefer may help, like breathing exercises, grounding exercises. Once you start feeling calmer - even a little - that's when I'd move on to doing something else, so that there's less room in my mind for the paranoid thoughts to pop back up. I hope any part of this is helpful for you but everything varies by person so, if not, I hope you'll find things that work for you soon 💜

    • ViikMal

      436d

      My paranoia manifests in the idea that people are watching me and have ill intent towards me and might want to try to harm or kill me. I deal with this the same way that I deal with my other anxiety based disorders. 1. Box Breathing to calm the body's heart rate and physical symptoms. In for 4, hold for 4, out for 4, hold for 4. Repeat at least 4 times, preferably 8 if I have the time. This resets and calms the body and the nervous system. 2. 5 senses task to ground me in the present and divert my focus to what's ACTUALLY going on around me. 5 things I see, 4 things I touch, 3 things I hear, 2 things I smell, 1 thing I taste. Repeat as necessary. 3. The mantra. Pay attention to the thought that you have. Say the mantra, 'That was a(n) [adjective i.e. scary, sad, angry] thought, I wonder what thought I will have next?' This validates the emotion that you're having, it validates the thought itself, and then it prompts the brain to think of another thought. It often takes around 5 to 10 repetitions to get the brain to start actually thinking about other things. Repeat until you have thoughts about other things at least 8 times in a row. 4. Weighted blanket, or piling blankets on top to simulate the weight. The pressure helps calm the nervous system, especially if you put it on top of the sternum. The big main thing here is that you're not going to want to try to avoid the thoughts, you're not going to want to try to bottle them up and push them away and not think about them because you're only going to make yourself think about them harder. Distraction is fine for a short period of time but it often comes back quicker when you only distract rather than actually validating the thought, looking at it, and then prompting yourself to think another thought.

☝ This content is generated by our users and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision

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Some people cope with paranoia by debunking their thoughts with logic, grounding exercises, or using distractions like looking at their phone or watching TV. Others find comfort in having a trusted person nearby or on the phone, taking medications as prescribed, or carrying some form of protection like pepper spray (where legal). Additionally, practicing meditation and seeking professional help from a psychiatrist or therapist can also be beneficial in managing paranoia.

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