Paranoia

Paranoia

Paranoia can be so convincing it’s hard to know if you should trust your thoughts – and even harder if you’re on drugs. We’re here to explain what paranoia is and what you can do about it.

 

What is paranoia?

Paranoia is where you’re convinced people are ‘out to get you’ in some way. Whether that’s by spreading rumours about you, trying to physically hurt you, or by conning you out of money.

Examples of paranoid thoughts are:

  • ‘My housemates are always talking behind my back.’
  • ‘My teacher will give me low marks on my exam on purpose, because they don’t like me.’
  • ‘The Government is trying to kill me.’

What makes this ‘paranoia’ rather than ‘the truth’ is if these thoughts are based on no real facts or evidence. So if you do overhear your housemates talking about you behind your back, you’re not paranoid, they’re just horrid.

 

How do I know if I’m paranoid or justified? 

Again, do you have any hard evidence to back up your thoughts? This is a tricky one, because if you’re really paranoid you may twist what you’ve seen or heard to confirm your beliefs.

If you’re unsure and you’re worried, talk to someone you trust. Do they think you should be worried? If not, and if you have no evidence, then you may be suffering from some paranoia.

 

If I’m paranoid does that mean I’ve got a mental health problem?

Paranoia isn’t a mental health problem itself. However, serious paranoia is a symptom of some mental health problems, including schizophrenia and bipolar. So it’s really worth going to see your GP if you feel paranoid.

 

 

 

 

How can I help someone who’s paranoid?

Supporting someone with paranoia can be hard, especially if they don’t realise they have a problem and are convinced their suspicions are justified.

Start by trying to understand where they’re coming from. Just because someone’s fears seem unfounded doesn’t make them any less scary for them, so don’t dismiss how they’re feeling.

 

Do:

  • Listen carefully.
  • Ask questions, giving them the opportunity to tell you what their paranoid thoughts are.
  • Show that you understand that they’re scared.
  • Gently encourage them to see their GP and offer to go with them.
  • Give logical reasons why they don’t need to be afraid, for example: “why would so-and-so be trying to hurt you? You haven’t done anything wrong.”
  • Get support yourself from a trusted friend, or give SANEline a call for a chat.

Don’t:

  • Say things like “that’s definitely not true” as this can convince them even more.
  • Pretend you believe their paranoid thoughts.
  • Think that helping them is entirely your responsibility – it’s not.

 

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7 Ways To De-Stress

7 Ways To De-Stress

Stressing out can be really irritating to many people and many people stress over little things for no reason, people can have many reasons why they may stress themselves out, but the trick is to just distract yourself from the stress that you’re feeling, below are some useful ways to help you de-stress yourself, obviously these are just a handful of the ones I have chosen out of the ways I came up with.

 

Meditate
Meditation can be a great way to relax, especially if you are under a lot of stress. Research has shown that meditation can be helpful in lowering heart rate and blood pressure, and even improving cognitive performance.

 

Drink Green Tea
Green tea is very soothing—it contains theanine, an amino acid that gives flavor to green tea and also promotes relaxation. It is also thought that theanine is a caffeine antagonist, meaning it counters the stimulating effects of caffeine. So, drink green tea, and avoid caffeinated beverages, since caffeine can worsen the stress response.

 

Eat Mood-Boosting Foods
Many of us crave indulgent carbohydrates like cookies, candy, ice cream, pretzels, and other sweet and starchy foods when we’re stressed, anxious, or tense. These foods can have a soothing effect in some women, and it may have something to do with low serotonin levels during these mood states. Serotonin is a brain chemical responsible for feelings of calmness and relaxation.

 

Listen to Music
Listening to soothing music can be very relaxing—and slow tempos in particular can induce a calm state of mind. (It can also slow down breathing and heart rate, lower blood pressure, and relax tense muscles too). This can be particularly beneficial when you’re getting ready for a tough day at work, or if you’re in your car stuck in traffic, or, if you’re lying in bed trying to free your mind of stressful thoughts.

 

Get a Massage
Getting a massage is a great way to free yourself of tension and relax, and adding aromatherapy oils such as chamomile or lavender can be particularly beneficial: one recent study found that emergency room nurses experienced reduced stress levels with aromatherapy massage: The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, found that 54 percent of the emergency room staff in summer and 65 percent in winter suffered moderate to extreme anxiety.

 

Have a Hot Bath
Heat relaxes muscles—and taking a long bath can be soothing for the mind as well. Stock up on your favorite bath salts and soaps, get a bath pillow, and decorate the room with candles.

 

 

Exercise Daily
Exercise helps to boost endorphins and reduce stress—and research shows that 20 minutes each day is all that is needed to experience benefits.

 

I hope these ways will help you at least ease your mind and keep you less stressed, if you want more ways, I am sure there are loads on the internet, besides you can find anything on the internet these days!!

 

 

 

Understanding Depression

Understanding Depression

We all have moments when we feel unhappy; it’s a normal response to unpleasant events. Clinical depression tends to be more severe than simple unhappiness, and it lasts longer. Learn how to recognise depression and deal with it here.

Do I have depression or am I just sad?

It’s totally normal to get down and have days when you feel really rubbish, and that doesn’t necessarily mean you have depression. Depression is when these negative feelings won’t go away and affect your day to day life.

People with depression can feel hopelessly sad. Sometimes it is even possible to be depressed without having the usual ‘miserable’ feelings. There are lots of different signs which may point to clinical depression – the main ones are listed below. Most depressed people only suffer from a few of these feelings and bear in mind depression is different in everyone.

Signs of depression

You may have noticed a change in the way you’re responding or feeling about things. The following points can be indications that it could be depression:

  • Persistent sadness, lasting two weeks or more;
  • Loss of interest in your favourite things;
  • Finding no fun or enjoyment in life;Loss of self-confidence;
  • Feeling guilty, bad, unlikeable, or not good enough;
  • Feeling empty inside;
  • Feeling useless or unable to cope with life;
  • Feeling bored all the time;
  • Increased feelings of anxiety;
  • Can’t see a future for yourself;
  • Thinking everything is pointless;
  • Thinking life is not worth living;
  • Thoughts of death or suicide;
  • Wanting to go to sleep and never wake up again;
  • Especially low mood in the mornings;
  • Feeling more irritable, frustrated, or aggressive than usual;
  • Trouble concentrating on things, poor memory

Other signs

Other factors may include:

  • Loss of energy, tired all the time;
  • Changed sleep pattern – difficulty getting to sleep, bad nightmares, waking in the night, waking up too early, or sleeping much more than usual;
  • Spending less time socialising with friends or family;
  • Loss of sexual desire;
  • Changed eating pattern – loss of appetite and weight loss, or comfort eating;
  • Getting lower grades than usual at school, college, or university;Not going to school/college/work, or becoming disruptive;
  • Becoming a hypochondriac, worrying lots about illness;
  • More headaches, backaches or stomach aches than you normally get;
  • Turning to alcohol or drugs to try to make yourself feel better.

Where can I get help?

If you recognize some of these symptoms, or if you’re having feelings you can’t cope with, the best thing to do is contact your GP. If you’re worried about this, you could take a friend or family member with you for support.

If you just need someone to talk to, you can call Samaritans on 08457 909090 or SANEline on 0845 767 8000. They won’t judge, and your conversation will be confidential. You can also talk to other young people about any problems you have on our community boards.

Treatments

Depression is a treatable condition. Many people make a full recovery without treatment, but treatment makes recovery happen more quickly. Talk to your doctor about what is best for you.  Antidepressant drugs work by boosting natural brain chemicals levels which can take a nose-dive during depression. Give at least two weeks for antidepressants to kick in, but go back to your doctor if there’s no change after four to six weeks.Counselling can help you get to grips with the root of your depression. Your doctor can recommend a psychotherapist or self-help group.(link)Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) teaches you to question negative thoughts while developing a more realistic outlook on life. (link)Relaxation techniques can help beat the stress and anxiety often linked to depression. Try exercise, yoga, meditation or massage.A change of lifestyle can help. Reduce your workload, cut out ‘props’ like alcohol and drugs, and improve your exercise and nutrition habits.

Why am I depressed?

Depression can be caused by factors like bereavement, events in childhood, stress and relationship difficulties, or internal problems linked to hormone imbalance, changes in brain chemistry or blood sugar levels. Recreational drug use and binge drinking are also common triggers.

However, unlike feelings of grief or sadness, feelings of depression can often feel difficult to explain. “Because depression has no specific cause, it can lead to blaming yourself and feelings of failure” says Helen Cleather from SANE “but it’s not your fault.”

How To Manage Time

How To Manage Time

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It’s important that you develop effective strategies for managing your time to balance the conflicting demands of time for study, leisure, earning money and job hunting.

 

Why use time management skills?

  • Time management skills are valuable in jobhunting, but also in many other aspects of life: from revising for examinations to working in a vacation job. Sometimes it may seem that there isn’t enough time to do everything that you need to. This can lead to a build up of stress.
  • When revising for examinations, or during your final year when you have to combine the pressures of intensive study with finding time to apply for jobs good management of your time can be particularly important.
  • Once we have identified ways in which we can improve the management of our time, we can begin to adjust our routines and patterns of behaviour to reduce any time-related stress in our lives.

 

What skills are required for effective time management?

  • Some of these skills including setting clear goals, breaking your goals down into discreet steps, and reviewing your progress towards your goals are covered in Action Planning.
  • Other skills involved include prioritising – focusing on urgent and important tasks rather than those that are not important or don’t move you towards your goals; organising your work schedule; list making to remind you of what you need to do when; persevering when things are not working out and avoiding procrastination.

 

Using Lists

Keeping a to-do List You should have a reminder system to tell you of when you need to do what: don’t try to remember everything in your head as this is a recipe for disaster! Carry a pen and paper or organiser wherever you go.

 

Setting Goals

Set yourself specific and clearly defined goals, and make sure that these are realistic and achievable. To do this, you first need to examine your present situation and assess what goals are important to you and what action you need to take to achieve your target.

 

 

Prioritising

Efficiency and effectiveness are not the same. Someone who works hard and is well organised but spends all their time on unimportant tasks may be efficient but not effective. To be effective, you need to decide what tasks are urgent and important and to focus on these.

 

Breaking down tasks

Break goals down into their components so that you can accomplish them one step at a time. Write these steps down, and try to be as specific as you can when you do this. Try to complete one task before you go on to the next. Reward yourself for achieving these goals to maintain your enthusiasm.

 

Organising your time

Identify areas of your life where you are wasting time and try to reduce these. A good way to do this is to log everything you do for a week in meticulous detail and then examine your record to see how you use (or misuse!) your time.

 

These are just some of the simple ways to help you manage your time effectively, they may not work for everyone, but you never know until you try it.