You may be able to tell when someone is
paranoid. The person may accuse others of trying to
harm him or her or may look around fearfully. The person may talk about
protecting himself or herself from attack.
Here are ways to help
the person who is paranoid:
Don't argue. Ask questions about the person's
fears, and talk to the person about the paranoia if the person wants to listen
to you. If someone is threatening you, you should call for
Use simple directions, if needed. Tell the person that no
harm will come to him or her and that you can help. For example, "Sit down, and
let's talk about it."
Give the person enough personal space so that he or she does not
feel trapped or surrounded. Stay with the person but at a distance that is
comfortable for him or her and you. Stay more than an arm's reach
Call for help if you think anyone is in
Move the person away from the cause of the fear or from
noise and activity, if possible. Ask the person to tell you what is causing the
fear. Make a direct statement that you are not afraid.
person on what is real.
Tell the person everything you are going to do before you do it.
For example, "I'm going take out my cell phone."
To help with situations that may cause paranoia:
Help the person avoid things he or she fears. For
example, if the person is afraid of dogs, avoid them.
turned on if the person tells you that this makes him or her less
Talk about the person's fears when he or she is not
paranoid, and make a plan for handling the fears when they
Help the person make a list of his or her fears. At the end,
consider asking the person to write, "These things are not going to hurt me.
These fears are symptoms of my illness. They will go away if I seek help."
Don't insist that the person does this. Doing so may make the person include
you as part of the paranoid belief.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.