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Always Suspecting Others Have Hidden Motives Can Be a Sign of Mental Illness

Always Suspecting Others Have Hidden Motives Can Be a Sign of Mental Illness

You may recognize this person: Always suspicious of the decisions, actions and motives of others.

This paranoid individual could be a friend of yours, or perhaps a relative. But one thing is for sure – they have a universal distrust of other people.

You may remember a grandparent who was always suspicious of everyone who walked past their house. They would constantly peek out their windows, and stare intently at anyone who walked by. If they saw anyone acting even a little unusually, their imaginations would run wild, and they would quickly become agitated or panicky.

Individuals such as the character above are likely to be suffering from a mental illness known as “paranoid personality disorder.” People with this disorder will nearly always be suspicious of others.[1] As well as paranoid behavior, they may also display odd or eccentric ways of thinking and acting.

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People with Paranoid Personality Disorder are difficult to get on with.

While it’s not unusual to have times in your life when you are suspicious (or even paranoid), when this becomes the norm, then something is definitely wrong.

Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) sufferers are so caught up in their world of defensiveness, that they can easily become incessant complainers, argumentative or even hostile. Their hyper-vigilant behavior often leads to a cold, guarded and lonely existence.

As you can imagine (or perhaps have experienced), PPD sufferers don’t tend to attract or hold onto harmonious friendships or relationships.

Family influence and childhood trauma are some potential causes of PPD.

At present, mental health researchers have been unable to determine the exact cause of PPD. However, they believe that a combination of environmental and biological factors could lead to the onset of the disorder.[2]

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For example, PPD is more likely to be present in families with a history of delusional disorders and schizophrenia. Another contributing factor could be early childhood trauma.

As researchers have been unable to pinpoint a specific cause of PPD, it’s probable that several intertwined factors could be responsible.[3]

Whatever the cause of PPD may be, it’s important to be able to identify someone suffering from this disorder.

These are some common symptoms of Paranoid Personality Disorder.

Tell-tale signs of PPD include the following:

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  • Detachment.
  • Weak self-image.
  • Relentless suspicion.
  • Social isolation.
  • Paranoia.
  • Inability to collaborate.
  • Expectation they will be exploited.
  • Hypersensitive to criticism.
  • Argumentative and defensive.

As mentioned earlier, PPD sufferers can come across as cold and calculating individuals due to their avoidance of closeness with others.

It may surprise you to learn that PPD occurs in about 0.5%–2.5% of the general population.[4] Men are also more likely than women to suffer from this disorder.[5]

But yes, Paranoid Personality Disorder sufferers can be helped.

If you know someone suffering from PPD (perhaps even yourself), then check out the list below of four techniques that can help:

  1. Learn about the disorder. The internet can be a powerful tool for good. PPD sufferers who wish to seek help with their problems, can find an abundance of freely available online resources. There is also an extensive range of self-help books available on sites such as AbeBooks and Amazon.
  2. Trust a professional therapist. To do this, a PPD sufferer must of course overcome their suspicion of doctors and mental health professionals. However, if they can do that, then a therapist is likely to be able to tackle and reduce the patient’s symptoms.
  3. Enlist family support. However distant a PPD sufferer may have become from their family, loved ones can be the best form of support. It may only take the care and attention of a parent or sibling to provide a valuable lifeline to a PPD sufferer. Instead of attempting to battle PPD on their own, a regular helping hand from a family member can make a valuable and significant difference.
  4. Consider medication. Combined with psychotherapy, medications can help to alleviate symptoms associated with PPD such as: anxiety, delusions and depression. Prescribed medications may include antidepressants and antipsychotics.

Paranoid personality disorder can be a debilitating and isolating condition.

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However, if a sufferer can recognize their problem, and find the will to change, then they will have taken their first steps on the road to mental wellness.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

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Craig J Todd

UK Writer who loves to use the power of words to inspire and motivate.

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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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