10 Effective Ways to Deal With Paranoid Personality Disorder
You might be aware of the symptoms of paranoid personality disorder and can find information pertaining to the same on various online sources. However, with little or no information available about ways to deal with paranoid personality disorder it becomes important to learn about some effective measures to help us with the same.
This write-up broadly covers ways in which one can deal with a paranoid personality himself and how you can be there for someone with a paranoid personality disorder.
But, before learning about these ways first let us look inside the life of a person suffering from a paranoid personality disorder. As it is important to move beyond symptoms of paranoid personality disorder and learn about the other side of the story in order to deal with the same.
Here is a case study of a Male, Age 35 (identity not disclosed due to ethical concerns)
“Mr.X has PPD or Paranoid Personality Disorder. He lived with 3 siblings, mom, dad, and when Mr. X was 11 his grandmother came to live with them because she could not take care of herself. They lived in a lower-middle-class neighborhood. In school, Mr. X did exceptionally well getting the highest grades possible, and even correcting his teachers. Although Joe did well in school he was rude. Mr. X made fun of those who could not get an A in a class, and when he corrected his teachers he would laugh and mock them. Mr. X is considered very arrogant, and always thought he was better than everyone else. Mr. X had troubles with relationships in his life because he felt like they were taking his ideas, and couldn’t form a trust with anyone. Therefore he avoided crowds of people. Despite his struggles with people Mr. X eventually got a girlfriend but she later left him.
Later in life, Mr. X got another girlfriend who eventually became his wife. In this relationship, Mr. X got his first job. He was employed at a drug company. While working he showed such hostility towards his coworkers that he was asked to resign 3 years in. His second job Mr. X would work at a university but got fired because he accused the school of trying to kill him with radiation in the laboratory. During this event, Mr. X thought his wife was out to steal his ideas, and they divorced. They also had one daughter. Later on, Mr. X started getting panic attacks, and he went to a doctor who directed him to a psychiatrist. “The treatment did not work because Joe didn’t believe he had a mental disorder.” These panic attacks continued, and Mr. X got his third job as a taxi driver. 15 years down the road Mr. X still believes that his wife betrayed him, and he never went back to a psychiatrist to get more treatment. Mr. X had all of the signs of PPD, and possibly more. This is possible because according to Sevencountries.org “Oftentimes, a person can be diagnosed with more than just one personality disorder. Research has shown that there is a tendency for personality disorders within the same cluster to co-occur (Skodol, 2005).”
Hope this gives you an idea of what paranoid personality disorder is and an insight into the thoughts and feelings of an individual diagnosed with the same.
Mr.X wouldn’t have been through this rough patch if he knew how to deal with a paranoid personality disorder or his loved ones knew the same.
It is an important step to elevate the symptoms of paranoid personality disorder and escalate the outputs of the treatment approach. So, why wait any more? Let us learn how we can deal with a paranoid personality disorder.
How to deal with paranoid personality disorder on your own:
Dealing with a paranoid personality disorder can be a little overwhelming but remember nothing is unachievable in life if you are determined for the same. Here are 10 ways to deal with paranoid personality disorder symptoms that you can incorporate in your life:
Stress is likely to accompany the symptoms of paranoid personality disorder so let us begin by reducing our stress levels. One such measure topping the charts is breathing! You can either practice deep breathing exercises alone or can go for breathing focused meditations. Either way, you are going to benefit from it.
The next measure on the list is to exercise. The reason is the same as mentioned above, exercise reduces your level of stress and other symptoms as good hormones flow in our body. Now, it is up to you if you wish to go for an energetic form of exercise like running, gym, to name a few or relaxing exercises like yoga. Just do it and make it a routine.
3. Follow a Sleep Routine
Research findings support the notion that sleep and symptoms of paranoid personality are inversely proportional. To put it in simpler words, the less you sleep the more intense your symptoms get and vice-versa. To ensure that you get enough sleep and be able to keep your symptoms in control, sleep is a must. So, try to stick to a sleep-routine and avoid food items that can hinder your routine.
4. Try to question yourself, but don’t he harsh on self
Having an insight into your condition will not only empower you as a person but will also help in the treatment approach. It can be uncomfortable when others ask about your thoughts and feelings but, you can do it for yourself. Being self-educated about the inner self will give you more power and clarity. Ask WHY’s and try to justify them if possible. Along with this do question yourself how this is impacting your mental well-being. Think of it as a way to reflect on yourself.
5. Have a Healthy Lifestyle
Your lifestyle has a big impact on your physical and mental health. Make sure you only put good food on your plate and into your body. Apart from eating a well-balanced diet avoid substances that can hinder your treatment approach and make your symptoms worse. This may include- alcohol, tobacco, drugs, etc.
6. Enjoy things you Love Doing & Stay Distracted
Giving your thoughts a pause is important to get some time for yourself and get into a clearer state of mind. There is no better way to achieve it then distracting yourself with activities that you simply enjoy doing. It will open a positive outlet for you inspiring positive feelings to flow in.
Love singing? How about a karaoke night? Colors make you happy? How about painting your heart out? Don’t think twice just do it and enjoy it.
7. Consume Empowering Information
So far you have learned about ways to feed your body and soul with the positive and right things. Now, let us quickly feed our brain with uplifting and positive content. Consider watching, reading and talking about how you can reduce the intensity of the symptoms or lifestyle changes that will open the door for positive vibes.
8. Be Aware of Your Triggers
There might be certain situations, people, days, or events when you might find yourself more absorbed with the symptoms of paranoid personality than others. These are the triggers in fact which you should be aware of. Like in the case of Mr.X (case study) every time something competitive came up his signs intensified. However, being aware of these triggers will allow you to be prepared for the situation beforehand so that you can deal with them efficiently. Also, it can help you with the treatment process.
9. Seek Professional Help
Ever heard of the phrase- “two heads are better than one?” Applying the same on your current condition can boost up your ability to manage your mental health condition or paranoid personality. It is suggested to seek professional help and get the two heads working on controlling the symptoms of paranoid personality disorder.
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How to Deal with Paranoid Personality Disorder in a Loved One:
Living with someone who is diagnosed with paranoid personality disorder requires compassion, empathy, patience, and understanding. Here are 10 ways to deal with a paranoid personality disorder in your loved ones that will make this journey and your relationship with them easy:
1. Take Them Seriously
While reading an article on living with paranoid personality disorder I came across a line by someone experiencing it-
“The most helpful thing for me is to be taken seriously”
So this is the first measure to undertake in order to help your loved one. Even if you feel their thoughts are not real or are irrational do remember that some real-life anxieties are underlying the same. Don’t overlook that reality.
2. Be Sensitive to their Feelings
You definitely wish to offer your loved ones some level of comfort by being there for them. While you are being with them you can also slowly learn to identify their triggers. This will serve two main purposes viz., help you focus on their feelings and acknowledge the same, and lower down their level of distress.
3. Support Them
Apart from being supportive of their thoughts and feelings, you should also support them with their journey of treatment. If you read the case study presented above Mr.X thoughts of mistrust led to his unwillingness to take treatment. Therefore, being by their side and encouraging them to follow the treatment is an important part of supporting them.
4. Respect Them
You definitely might be aware of the sound choices to make under a given situation but this doesn’t mean that you will take decisions on their part. It is important to respect their wishes and let them make decisions. As said earlier, support them but do respect them as well.
5. Consider their Thoughts
You may often disregard their thoughts thinking of them as paranoid or disagree with them as they don’t match your expectations and experiences. But sometimes you have to pause, think, review and move forward. Consider if their thoughts hold any belief or are justified in any manner.
6. Be Accepting and yet Firm
Instead of arguing with their thoughts and feelings be empathetic towards them. As their thought might not be real for you, but it is real for them. Here you can try to communicate and reassure them that you respect what they believe instead of giving a reality-test.
7. Tell them Their Strengths
We all have the inner assets that give us the power to fight the challenges of life. But, mental health conditions often overshadow these assets. If you are a support system for someone to remove this fog from their life and tell them about their strengths. Apart from it you too should be aware of the fact that they are more than their symptoms and focus on their positives.
8. Anticipating the Triggers
There might be certain situations in which an individual with a paranoid personality disorder will experience a rise in their symptoms. You can not only check for such situations in advance but also prepare them for it by imparting sufficient information.
9. Educate Yourself
Of course, you are by their side and are well aware of the symptoms and their conditions. But, that’s not it! You have to take a step ahead and educate yourself beyond symptoms. Strive to read about the lifestyle that can strike positivity, consult their mental health expert and ask for relevant information about their ongoing treatment (don’t interfere but be aware).
10. Take Care of YOURSELF
Whether you are dealing with a paranoid personality disorder or your loved one is just don’t forget to take care of yourself in this journey of defeating it. A strong you is the prerequisite for winning over the paranoid personality disorder.
Remember you are not alone and there is a better future waiting ahead of you.
More power to you…