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What is the difference between paranoia and anxiety?

+1 vote
I am paranoid all the time, as I think that something bad will happen, and I may get hurt. This paranoia consumes all my time, and I can't do anything else...please help.
asked Apr 7, 2016 in General by Mark

1 Answer

0 votes
Best answer
I can see why you may confuse paranoia (paranoid delusions) and anxiety, as both can incite fear and cause one to avoid the feared stimulus. However, the difference is that paranoid delusions are fixed, false beliefs that are not based on reality, while anxiety is the fear and/or worry about some object or future event. The main difference is that paranoia is not based on reality, while people with anxiety have intact reality testing.

So if you think something bad will happen and that you may get hurt, then this sounds more like anxiety, rather than paranoid delusions. On the other hand, if you think you are under surveillance and that people are trying to kill you, then you may have paranoia.
answered Jun 7, 2016 by drcarlo (295,840 points)