Please note that this list is far from extensive. If you do not match any of the descriptions above, it does not mean that you are not in need of help.
Similarities Between Anxiety and Paranoia
As you can see, the two conditions are not totally similar, but they are not totally different, either. Anxiety is much for prevalent in modern society, with a predicted 40 million Americans suffering every year. However, both conditions can have overlapping signs and symptoms.
Both conditions can leave you feeling hopeless, restless, a reluctance to trust and reach out to others, and a sense of low self-worth. They also both have symptoms that can manifest in physical ways, such as with trouble breathing, a poor sleeping pattern, and even digestive health issues in more serious cases.
Regardless of which condition (or both) that you are struggling with, it is critical that you see a doctor right away. Just like with physical ailments, early detection and diagnosis can help improve outcomes and make the treatment process easier and faster.
If any of the above symptoms ring a bell, you might be overwhelmed with questions. Do you have anxiety or paranoia or both? Which diagnosis, if any, fits your situation? What treatment options are available? Can you take a medication? Should you be going to a therapist?
There are lots of questions needing to be answered, but fortunately, you have someone in your life who can help you know how to start treating your health issues: your doctor.
Book an appointment with your family doctor and discuss the symptoms you have been experiencing. It is important to be honest about your situation and not downplay any of your symptoms. This is especially true if you believe that you might have a delusional disorder or feel that you might be at risk of hurting yourself or others.
Your doctor might refer you to a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a social worker or another trained mental health professional. They might also recommend blood work and other physical tests. They should be able to speak with you about next steps to taking care of your health and discuss the possibility of using medication or therapy to help you recover.
Strategies to Cope with Paranoia and Anxiety
Medical treatments like anti-anxiety medications or counseling can help you get a handle on your condition, but there are also everyday things you can do to make your life easier. From spending a bit more time focusing on self-care to addressing any workplace issues that might arise from your symptoms, it is important to take actions to address your condition head-on. Here are just a few of the strategies that could help you cope on a day-to-day basis:
- Reach out to loved ones when you feel you need it
- Be forthcoming with employers and teachers when your mental health is affecting your performance. They can work with you to make the necessary accommodations
- Consider taking sick days or time off work if you feel unable to handle it without making your condition worse
- Get enough sleep at night
- Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet
- Leave yourself time every day to unwind and relax away from the stresses of school and work
- Consider dropping unnecessary or stressful commitments
- Treat any physical health problems that may be contributing to your paranoia or anxiety
- If possible, get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily
- Speak to your doctor about CBD, which has been shown to help with anxiety
Remember, if you ever feel at risk of seriously hurting yourself or those around you, this is a medical emergency. You should call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room to get help as immediately as possible.