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Things To Remember When You Love Someone With Paranoid Personality Disorder

Things To Remember When You Love Someone With Paranoid Personality Disorder

When you think of paranoid people, you may think of some weird bearded hermit in the woods, muttering about how “they” are out to get him.

But paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is a real mental disorder which hits real people. As it afflicts between 2.3 percent to 4.4 percent of the general population, you have likely met someone with this disorder in your life. Perhaps you have tried to be their friend, or perhaps you are or want to be even closer than that.

Such a situation can be difficult. But it does not deserve sympathy, but understanding. Attempting to sympathize with someone with PPD is one of the worst things which you can do. The paranoid person will just grow suspicious at seeing someone be sympathetic towards him, and will just spiral deeper into further paranoia.

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What is PPD?

Psych Central states Paranoid Personality Disorder “…is characterized by a pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent.”

The most important thing to remember is that paranoia is not just that fear that “they” are out to get him. It is an inability to trust others and a willingness to believe the worst of others as well as their motives. All emotions are amplified, like having a constant cell phone booster attached to your head. A colleague’s slight ribbing can be interpreted as vicious mockery. And as noted above, sympathy can be viewed as a clever ploy which will be used to eventually deceive them.

Because of the fear of being called “paranoid” by society, those who suffer from this disability will it. But there are successful people who psychologists have good reason to believe suffered from this disorder.

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Perhaps the best example is Richard Nixon. Nixon had a difficult time trusting others throughout his career, and was always worried about being defeated or losing. It was this fear which caused him to order the Watergate break-in even though he was all but certain to win the  1972 election, and it was this fear which made him record everything in the White House – records which would eventually lead to his downfall.

But while Nixon’s name will be forever associated with the Watergate incident, we should not forget that he did many great things as President. He established relations between America and China. He established the Environmental Protection Agency, and desegregated Southern schools. Nixon is an example of how those with this disorder can be both great, intelligent individuals who are held back by their constant suspicious of others.

What does PPD mean to you?

Those outside the world of paranoid personality disorder may feel shocked or irritated when they are pushed by someone with this disorder. But they have to understand just how difficult it is to trust.

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We all have someone who we just do not like or trust at all. If that person came up to you, offered you a beer, and acted like he was your best friend in the world, would you feel happy? Perhaps. But most people would wonder, “Just what is he up to?”

For someone with paranoid personality disorder, everyone is that person. Some do not even realize that they are so suspicious but cannot help themselves. But that suspicion of ill intentions is always there, and it can hurt their work and their relationships.

Now, people with PPD can eventually trust others. But it is hard work, and can be lost easily if you are not careful. Those in a relationship need to understand this.

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How can you help?

If you think that someone you love has this disorder, just straight up suggesting counseling is not the best idea. Someone who is naturally suspicious will only grow more so upon such a suggestion, both of you as well as the very idea of counselling. If someone with PPD does not think he has a problem, then there is nothing you can do.

But this does not mean to just let them get away with everything they want. While some may think that people with PPD will go nuts if their relations do not do everything which they command, this is absolutely not the case. They can understand that everyone has their limits, especially because their limits are so low.

Setting boundaries is an important part of any relationship, both in establishing a strong relationship and repairing a broken one. It is even more crucial in these cases. If there are no boundaries, your partner may very well begin pushing you into areas you do not want to test your trust. Do not play those games, be firm, and respect yourself to respect him.

Understand that in the world of one with PPD, everyone is mistrustful. But trust is not impossible to gain. And if you can find a relationship with someone like that, understanding can help establish boundaries which can get through almost anything.

Featured photo credit: Yun Huang Yong via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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