Paranoia can be a hard thing to get rid of. It can be caused by many factors and can be triggered by minor things. Paranoia goes beyond simple anxiety and rational thought and can often be debilitating to people who experience it. Similar to anxiety, you might not be able to get rid of it completely. It might always be present, even if its effects have lessened. But there are ways to help reassure yourself and assuage the fear, even if it’s just a little.
Sure, many times, our paranoid fears are completely irrational and are statistically unlikely to happen to the average person. But sometimes, verbal reassurance doesn’t do it for some people, and taking extra preventive measures might be one of the few ways to convince them. You’ll be doing both your mind and your body a favor by taking these feasible extra steps. And besides, even if nothing drastic or fatal happens, at least you’ll feel safer in the future.
1. Secure your house
If you’ve got the time and the money to spend, securing your house may not only keep your paranoia at bay but may also be helpful in the future. It’s beneficial to look at it as insurance since, unlike some other irrational, paranoid thoughts, a burglary is more likely to happen to the average person than a kidnapping. Basic security in the home is also a must for every homeowner out there. Aside from the doors, make sure that your windows are locked or can’t be opened from the outside. Make sure every possible entry point in the house is locked and taken care of every time you leave the house or go to bed.
If that still doesn’t reassure you, you can have custom-built security doors, grills, and window screens installed. In addition, you can set up an alarm system to reduce the risk of burglary. Having CCTV cameras outside your door helps you identify any suspicious figures lurking around your house. Having a good relationship with your neighbors also help, and making sure they hear you if you yell from inside your home might be reassuring. If that’s not enough, you can keep a bat or any stick within arm reach just in case, as well as keep your phone nearby.
2. Have a trusted loved one on speed dial
Always have the numbers of trusted friends and family on speed dial just in case something happens. Before you register their numbers in your phone, though, be sure to ask them for permission and let them know about your paranoia. Make sure it’s someone you trust, someone who you know will help you. Additionally, you want to make sure that you have a backup plan in case your internet goes down or something else prevents you from making a call or sending a quick message. Having a direct line to your neighbors might help. While you may or may not be close to them, they’re still the closest people in your area and your nearest helpline.
3. Get a pet
Having a pet or two in your home can not only improve your mental health significantly but can also potentially scare away any intruders. Big dogs, in particular, especially ones bred and trained to be guard dogs, might be enough to keep your house from even getting targeted. Their barking can also wake you up and give you time to prepare yourself. A cat might not be as helpful at detecting danger, but they can still offer some solace and comfort and help ease your worries a bit.
Other than that, a bird could be good for you. Birds that can be kept as pets, such as cockatiels and parrots, tend to make a lot of noise. Talking birds have been known to scare robbers away with their cackling and screaming, and if that doesn’t deter any would-be intruder, the birds act as your own little alert system as well. Pets are not only great for security, but they keep you happy and preoccupied as well, potentially keeping your mind off your paranoia.
4. Seek professional help
If you’ve taken every security measure known to man but still don’t see any improvement to your mentality, then it may be time to seek professional help. Mental health professionals know best how to help you. They might recommend therapy and some form of medications as part of your treatment. It’s essential to get rid of the stigma associated with mental health and seeing a therapist and just see it as an appointment to your regular doctor for any typical health issue, like a fever. The stigma that comes with mental health often keeps people from seeking help till the last minute.
Like other mental health issues, paranoia cannot be treated entirely. Still, you can help yourself lessen its effects on you and move on from it, no longer letting it rule your life.