Dr.O Why Am I always Nervous and Paranoid?

This complaint is more common than you think. Many people walk around daily fearing the unknown.  Sometimes you can share the old saying, “You have nothing to fear but fear itself.” However, when a person truly has paranoia, this usually doesn’t work. First off, we need some working definitions.

Fear- is an internal feeling that something unknown may or may not happen. You can usually function with this feeling and it is usually just transient (passes by after a few minutes or hours).

Paranoia- is a more intense feeling that someone or something is out to get you and this feeling can be debilitating and in the more intense cases, require hospitalization.  When one becomes delusional with a flavor of paranoia mixed in one may have to be very sure there is not a targeted person, place or thing.

Anxiety-Is usually a more clinical variant of fear. However, anxious persons may require thee attention of a medical professional. If not too intense, the primary care doctor can prescribe a little  Xanax as needed, but if the anxiety is longer lasting and more frequent a more novel agent, in particular an SSRI or SNRI, may be needed.

Most people that experience fear/anxiety realize that their feelings are unreasonable but the paranoid person can lose touch with reality. The more scared a person becomes, the more likely they will become a candidate for the dreaded paranoia. In either case, treatment by a licensed professional may become necessary.


Since we are having this brief discussion it is important to note that there are several types of anxiety disorders. Each of them have their own particular diagnostic criteria. PTSD, OCD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder are all considered to be anxiety disorders. They are all treatable and although you may not totally exonerate all of the signs/symptoms, you eventually will live  a better life with more control of your day-to-day thinking and behaviors.

Along with a detailed clinical interview, there are several bedside test that a good clinician can provide as a screening tool while you are even waiting to be seen. I employ a number of self-administered test to help me gain an initial understanding of how my patient just might be feeling. This is cardinal in the initial session. Most of our patients want help, moreover they want relief from their symptoms.

If you are afraid to get on elevators or leap tall buildings in a single bound, you might just have a phobia which is another form of anxiety disorder. At any rate, if you are always nervous, biting your fingers, pulling your hair out or afraid of your own shadow, you most probably should be evaluated by a physician.

Five reasons you should seek medical help for your anxiety.


1. It is getting worse with time.


2. You are no longer sleeping at night.


3. You can feel your heart racing several times during the day.


4. You no longer want to really leave the house.


5. You feel like your life is over and or about to end.


I hope this helps that person out there who is feeling anxious, fearful and scared. For more information on this and other mental health disorders, check out my blog at www.askdro.coom.


Thanks for stopping by,



Picture source: http://www.anxiety.net/natural-treatments.html



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