If you or someone you know has paranoid thoughts often and they are causing distress, then it’s important to seek professional help. A mental health assessment by a doctor or mental health professional can help determine the cause of the paranoia. An assessment involves detailed questions about the current problems, past and family history of mental health issues, general medical history and any medicines or drug and alcohol use.
A doctor may need to do a physical examination, blood tests or scans to rule out an underlying physical cause. They may need to refer to a psychiatrist if a diagnosis of mental illness or personality disorder is suspected. Finding out the cause or diagnosis is the first step towards effective treatment.
The cause of paranoia can be difficult to diagnose. People with paranoia may not be able to recognise that they have a problem, and may avoid doctors or hospitals due to a fear of being harmed. Paranoia can be due to a range of different mental disorders, substance abuse or other conditions.
Last reviewed: December 2018