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Yes, pandemic paranoia is a thing right now

February 23, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 17.5%. 1 min read.

The pandemic has brought on uncertainty and stress, even when it comes to topics having little to do with the deadly contagion. People seem more paranoid about other people's intentions. Here, experts share how to manage paranoid thoughts.

The symptoms of paranoia can range from the very subtle to completely overwhelming and can exist with or without other mental conditions, according to Lee and major medical associations.

People don't need to have diagnosable mental health disorders to have paranoid thoughts or feelings.

"Given the stress and uncertainty and the misinformation that is being provided by news outlets and different sources, it is difficult for people to feel a sense of calm, increasing people's anxiety, which can lead to paranoid thoughts," said Adam Borland, a Cleveland-based clinical psychologist who has seen an uptick in patients who are experiencing paranoid thoughts and feelings since Covid-19 became widespread.

Learning to identify your paranoia is the first step to mitigating it, Borland said.

And it's easy to water that, give it sunshine, even if the facts or information contradict that thought," Borland said.

The good news is that it's possible to combat paranoia, at least the kind that is not medically diagnosable or connected to other mental health issues, on your own.

You can start by acknowledging the paranoid thoughts and then work to create healthy daily routines, according to Borland.

If you observe a loved one experiencing paranoid thoughts, be careful about how you approach them, Borland said.

"In a paranoid state, one will not be amenable to logic or evidence," Lee said.

"Healthy paranoia or healthy anxiety can keep us aware and alert as a defense mechanism and protect ourselves from potential threats," Borland said.

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