Paranoia is a personality disorder exemplified by irrational suspicion and mistrust of people and their intentions. Paranoid individuals often suffer from the belief that others are trying to harm them. Hypochondriacs have paranoid thoughts about their health and often believe that they have ailments unconfirmed by doctors. Sometimes hypochondriacs fear that others are conspiring to malign their health and regularly interpret minor bodily sensations as evidence of major and sometimes even terminal illness. Regular testing and examination by physicians rarely squelches anxiety. Once identified, paranoia can be reduced through a variety of methods.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Visit a doctor and share your concerns about your paranoid thoughts. A physician may prescribe antidepressant or antianxiety medication. Researchers at the New York State Psychiatric Institute have proven that antidepressant drugs such as Prozac help to improve symptoms.
Get cognitive behavioural therapy. A therapist will help challenge negative belief systems that are causing paranoia and provide you with new beliefs that support a positive outlook for optimal health.
Exercise regularly. According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, physical activity will help to reduce stress, depression and anxiety symptoms.
Avoid drugs and alcohol. According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, alcohol and illegal drugs can make hypochondria symptoms worse.
Refrain from health-related research. Reading about diseases may activate your imagination and paranoid thinking. Limit this type of research as much as possible.
Join a support group in your area for hypochondria or anxiety disorders.
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- WebMD; Worried Sick? Help for Hypochondria; R. Morgan Griffin
- MedicineNet.com: Definition of hypochondriac
- Discovery Fit & Health; Disorders and Treatments Guide: Paranoia & Paranoid disorders; Maria Colenso
- MayoClinic: Hypochondria: Coping and Support
- Columbia University; Study: Hypochondriacs Need Treatment
- MayoClinic; Hypochondria: Lifestyle and home remedies