The threat of the COVID-19 Pandemic still hovers largely across the globe. Home quarantine, lockdowns, social distancing and for some, the loss of a job or a loved one due to the Coronavirus, has taken a huge toll on mental health even to the extremes of paranoia.
If you or a loved one is experiencing paranoid thoughts in the COVID-19 era, this post will guide you on some simple medical tips to help yourself or a loved one cope with the situation alongside safe treatment.
Understand What Paranoia Means
In simple words, the term “paranoia” means a feeling or a thought that makes you feel threatened in a way with no or even little evidence that you are endangered by that threat. Some thoughts of paranoia can be attributed to “delusions” caused by any sort of worry or threat that scares you.
For instance, though you are taking WHO recommended precautions against the Coronavirus like wearing a face mask, washing your hands, maintaining social distancing etc., you still firmly believe you will fall prey to the infection soon.
You have a job and are working from home but you fear your boss calling you to say your services are no longer required in the organization you work in as people are losing their jobs due to the Pandemic.
Effects of Paranoia
- Paranoia can strip you of your confidence. You suddenly feel lonely and this can be frightening.
- You suffer from unnecessary panic with no valid justification
- Your behavior towards other people can be hostile and aggressive
- In severe cases of paranoia, you hallucinate, hear voices and aggravate the condition with schizophrenia
- An unsettling experience or confusion you fail to explain
- Low self-esteem and confidence that makes you feel overly anxious and stressed
- Expectations of others rejecting and criticizing you all the time
- Jumping to invalid conclusions quickly
- Conviction of isolation and social disconnectedness from everyone
- Experiencing intense fear (like contracting the coronavirus or a loved one falling prey to the virus) or personal trauma in the past.
5 Medical Tips to Counter Paranoia
If ignored, paranoia will snatch away peace and happiness from your life. However, with these 5 simple medical tips, you can curb paranoid thoughts during the COVID-19 Era to cope with it better-
1. Seek Medical Intervention
Consult a mental health specialist for obtaining anti- psychotic and prescription drugs for anxiety. At the same time, most patients of paranoia refuse to take their medicines as they are scared that these drugs will harm them. Do not harbor these destructive thoughts and follow the instructions of your doctor as prescribed.
2. Therapy Sessions
Talk Therapy with a psychologist or psychiatrist works wonders for patients of paranoia. You can let go of pent- up feelings like fright, stress and anxiety. Moreover, you need someone to listen to you without the fears of being judged or reprimanded for your negative thought patterns.
3. Lifestyle Changes
Eat a balanced diet, exercise daily and get lots of sleep. Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Drink plenty of water. Avoid substance abuse like drugs, alcohol and smoking to escape your paranoid thoughts. On the contrary, substance abuse makes them worse. Sleep and wake up at the same time daily.
4. Look for support in family and friends.
Talk to someone you love and trust. A friend or a family member will listen and question your paranoia thoughts often causing you to check them mindfully. The feelings of isolation and being alone will gradually subside with frequent conversation.
It is very important to look after yourself. Spending some time outdoors with nature will boost your mood. You can try out something creative like painting or playing a musical instrument. These simple things will boost your self-worth and keep paranoid thoughts at bay. Meditation and yoga helps to soothe the mind.
Last but not least, learn to let go of stress and relax. Mindfulness is a healthy way for you to arrest paranoid thoughts and curb worrying. The ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic has obviously changed lives however, there is help at hand. Trust these credible sources and allow them to assist you to cope with the regular thoughts of threats, fear and fright gradually over time with success.