Tips to Help Someone With Paranoia

Someone who is paranoid will often see the world differently, which can make helping them more challenging. You have to be understanding and be aware that suggesting they get treatment can be offensive and taken negatively by someone with paranoia. While you want to be there for them you might not know just how to help someone with paranoia. Assisting them to develop the coping skills needed to help manage their paranoia as well as encouraging them to seek professional help can be vital.

11 Ways to Help Someone with Paranoia

1. Don't argue with them

One of the fastest ways you can lose the trust of someone who is paranoid is to argue that what they perceive is false. Avoid arguing with them or playing along with their perception. You want them to feel like they are understood and that you are empathetic to what they are feeling.

2. Understand them through questions

You want to get a better idea of what they are experiencing and help them realize that maybe what they are perceiving isn't reality. Asking questions will allow you to better reassure them that they are safe. Ask them why they think certain things are occurring or simply if they want to tell you more about what they are experiencing.

3. Make them feel safe and comfortable

Most paranoia occurs because of something in the person's environment, so it could be easy to take them to a place where they just feel safer. You want them to know that you are there for them and that you are not afraid or that you won't let anything happen to them. Offer them food, water, medication if they are on any or anything else that may help them feel more relaxed and comfortable.

4. Help them develop healthy habits

Mental health can be worsened by a poor or unhealthy lifestyle. How to help someone with paranoia could be done by simple lifestyle changes. Getting enough sleep and exercise are two ways that can reduce stress and strengthen brain functioning. Try to encourage your friend to be physically active each day and to get to develop a bedtime routine that will allow them to get the proper amount of sleep each night.

5. Help them make a plan

When your friend or family member is not in a paranoid state, you want to help them make a plan to handle their fears. Discuss what their fears are and then how they can avoid the things that will trigger their fears or how they can feel less scared when the paranoia returns. This could be as simple as turning on the lights or calling a professional.

6. Use affirmations

One of the best ways you can help your friend or family member have a more positive mindset is through affirmations or mantras. These simple phrases can be a quick and easy reminder that the person is safe. Have your friend write down an affirmation like “I am not in danger even though I feel scared” to keep on them so they can look at it and calm themselves down faster when paranoia begins to overcome them.

7. Remain positive

Having a positive attitude when you are around someone who suffers from paranoia can help them remain positive and calm too. Being a model of positive can help establish more positive behavior from your friend. How to help someone with paranoia? Remind them of their realities in a positive way.

8. Encourage relaxation techniques

Being able to remain calm when someone is feeling paranoid can seem impossible. However, helping your friend or family member establish healthy relaxation techniques will allow them to remain calm and realistic when they start to feel paranoid. Affirmations, meditation, and yoga are all ideal ways for someone with paranoia to calm themselves down and focus on what is really happening.

9. Encourage them to seek help

Those who suffer from paranoia may not have a diagnosis or be seeking the proper help because they may not be aware of the problem. Encouraging your friend or family member to get professional can be a challenge. You don't want to diagnosis them yourself, but instead, help them find the help they can greatly benefit from. Make an appointment for them to seek professional help and offer to go along with them.

10. Educate yourself

There can be a slight difference between someone who is in a paranoid state of mind and someone who is just feeling anxious. Understanding the difference between these two states of mind will allow you to better help them handle situations. Those who have anxiety issues will often worry more or be on higher alert to dangers while someone who is paranoid already believes the worst case scenario is happening.

11. Know when to call for help

You can make every attempt possible to help your friend with paranoia, but how to help someone with paranoia effectively may ask for calling for professional help. Some individuals have severe delusion of them or others in dangerous situations; in these instances, you will need to call for emergency help. Sometimes the safest place for a person to be with paranoia is in the hospital or under medical supervision.