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Explains paranoia, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.
If you have a relative or friend who may be experiencing paranoid thoughts, it can be difficult to know how to help. You might feel unsure of how to react, particularly if you don't agree with the beliefs they are expressing.
"The most helpful thing for me is to be taken seriously. On some level I know my beliefs can't be real, yet to me they are utterly terrifying. Treating the fear as very real, even if you can't go along with my reasons for the fear, is so important."
"[It helps to] deal with the agitation by focusing on the feelings... [and] giving general comforting phrases such as 'All is well, there is nothing to worry about, you are safe.' Providing distraction activities can also help to break the cycle of paranoia."
"Looking after someone with paranoia is incredibly draining… having the same conversations day in day out. I learnt to be very clear and concise in my conversations with my father, to be very boundaried and always do what I said I was going to do, leaving no room for misinterpretation."
This information was published in November 2016. We will revise it in 2019.
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