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Q. I get paranoid and scared when I am alone in a dark room. What should I do?


Hello doctor,

If my wife sleeps before me, I get paranoid and then cannot sleep till morning. I am generally paranoid when I am alone or in dark, otherwise. everything is normal with me. When I was a kid around 6 years old, I was attacked by a relative who was supposed to be possessed by a ghost. I was almost strangled to death by him, and after that, I never felt safe being alone. I am most paranoid while sleeping between 3 to 6 AM. Even the smallest noise scares me. I sleep 5 to 6 hours and on weekends, I sleep for 8 to 10 hours. I love sleeping, but the problem is I get paranoid and scared if my wife sleeps before me. I feel alone and scared. I only have half a teaspoon of coffee in the morning, so that I do not get too alert or paranoid at night, but some days, I am not able to sleep at night. I do sleep at 6 AM in the morning, and then get up late around 12 PM for my office. Caffeine seems to increase my paranoia. I can never sleep alone in a room, day or night. If I have to sleep, I need music or the TV on. Whenever I am alone in the dark, I keep thinking about dead people and ghosts. What should I do to turn off my paranoia?

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Dr. Aditya Gupta
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Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • The best option is to consult a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist in-person, for a detailed evaluation. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) can then be used for treatment.
  • Practice relaxation techniques like breathing exercises daily. PMR (progressive muscle relaxation) can also help. Imagine yourself in a scary situation and then try to relax using breathing exercises or relaxing. Once you are comfortable with it, put yourself in a real situation, that is, alone in a dark room and try to relax using above methods.
  • Engage yourself in a hobby when you are alone. Avoid caffeinated drinks, using TV, mobile, laptop, etc., half an hour before sleep.
  • Logging down your negative thoughts uncensored can also decrease related anxiety. Remember every problem has a solution you just need to solve it, and help is just a step away. Feel free to ask if you have any further queries.

For further queries consult a psychiatrist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/psychiatrist

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