Paranoia is a form of fear.
It is a feeling that makes us believe that others are willfully harming us in order to meet their own desires or needs, with no regard to anyone else.
When we feel like we are being willfully harmed, it can feel like like pure terrorism, especially if the person whom we suspect is harming us is someone near and dear.
Paranoia usually begins with a betrayal. Once we are betrayed, the wound is so deep, that before it is able to heal, even a harmless action splits the wound wide open again and causes profuse emotional bleeding, which makes a mess everywhere. We spin out of control…try to hide our madness…and we feel like the person experiencing this craziness must be someone else other than ourselves.
We don’t want to feel the pain of betrayal again, so we try to head it off, by being at our sharpest mentally…catching and proving infractions that aren’t even there at times. The problem is, if the person who betrayed us has stopped the betrayals, and even if we have forgiven the person…our continued paranoia can drive everyone involved to a point of insanity. Paranoia is a powerful force, and to try to conquer this phenomenon is going to take some real strength and basic courage.
The less experienced person may deal with paranoia by cutting themselves off from the person they suspect to be the cause. In order to survive, all moral compasses are thrown out the window, and in survival mode, the person becomes wild and unruly, cutting off emotions completely from the other person, because attempting to stay close to the person while in a state of paranoia creates too much suffering and madness.
The more experienced person deals with paranoia by forgiving the person and attempting to trust again, making it clear to the person that the trust given is not easily turned over, and if the trust is broken again, there is no chance for a third chance because third chances diminish a human being. And if someone who is close continues to harm your soul again, then your life could be compromised so much that you remain in a state of semi-misery that you must leave behind you in order to heal. And, the person who has damaged you will have no choice except to accept his or her responsibility in the end.
Spiritually, what do we know about paranoia? I thought I would have a look and am once again surprised at how reading the Bible text is incredibly comforting.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
King David struggled with paranoia and fear, and his poetry dealing with the subject is some of the greatest ever written: