We recommend reading Overcoming Paranoid and Suspicious Thoughts. This provides extensive information to help people understand exaggerated or unrealistic suspiciousness. Further, six practical steps are provided to help people cope with such fears.
However, people sometimes want to consider other sources of help - perhaps seeing a therapist or trying medication. Or sometimes people simply want to find out a bit more about the issues.
So how do we know when it's right to ask for professional help?
There's no cut and dried answer to this one, but basically it boils down to:
how much distress the thoughts are causing
how much disruption the thoughts are causing on work, relationships, activities, or quality of life
If the thoughts are making a person feel very anxious or down, or if they're stopping a person from functioning as they'd like to, then thinking about seeking professional help may be a good idea. This is definitely the case if the person is feeling very depressed or even suicidal.
If you do decide to seek professional help, it's crucial that you find the right person. If you think your GP doesn't understand paranoid thoughts and their treatment, ask to be referred to a specialist. It's relatively easy to get knowledgeable advice on medication, but harder to find someone with specialist psychological knowledge.
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