Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Schizophrenia: Helping Someone Who Is Paranoid

Schizophrenia: Helping Someone Who Is Paranoid

Topic Overview

You may be able to tell when someone is paranoid. The person may accuse others of trying to harm him or her or may look around fearfully. The person may talk about protecting himself or herself from attack.

Here are ways to help the person who is paranoid:

  • Don't argue. Ask questions about the person's fears, and talk to the person about the paranoia if the person wants to listen to you. If someone is threatening you, you should call for help.
  • Use simple directions, if needed. Tell the person that no harm will come to him or her and that you can help. For example, "Sit down, and let's talk about it."
  • Give the person enough personal space so that he or she does not feel trapped or surrounded. Stay with the person but at a distance that is comfortable for him or her and you. Stay more than an arm's reach away.
  • Call for help if you think anyone is in danger.
  • Move the person away from the cause of the fear or from noise and activity, if possible. Ask the person to tell you what is causing the fear. Make a direct statement that you are not afraid.
  • Focus the person on what is real.
  • Tell the person everything you are going to do before you do it. For example, "I'm going take out my cell phone."

To help with situations that may cause paranoia:

  • Help the person avoid things he or she fears. For example, if the person is afraid of dogs, avoid them.
  • Keep lights turned on if the person tells you that this makes him or her less scared.
  • Talk about the person's fears when he or she is not paranoid, and make a plan for handling the fears when they occur.
  • Help the person make a list of his or her fears. At the end, consider asking the person to write, "These things are not going to hurt me. These fears are symptoms of my illness. They will go away if I seek help." Don't insist that the person does this. Doing so may make the person include you as part of the paranoid belief.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Schizophrenia

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details