HomeAnswersPsychiatryparanoidI am an 18-year-old and having paranoid delusions. What could be the cause?

What are the possible causes of having paranoid delusions?


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

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Published At October 27, 2023
Reviewed AtOctober 27, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I am 17 years old. Since last summer, I have noticed that I become paranoid whenever I am home alone. It sometimes gets to the point where I cannot comfortably finish a task within a time limit because I am constantly checking around me. Sometimes I feel as if someone is watching. Sometimes I feel like I see shadows, and when that happens, my whole mood changes, and I have to be completely aware of my surroundings before continuing with my activities. This has been happening for a while but has become more scary recently. Recently, I realized that I would have two thoughts before doing something. The last thing I worry about is morbid images. Often at normal moments, when I am thinking about something, the image will turn gruesome. I also only remember a few of my dreams. I used to think that I did not dream. But they are also often gruesome when I do, but I cope by turning the dreams into story ideas. My dreams involve a lot of death. I do not know if it was because of a new environment or if it is natural, but I wanted to mention that. I am unsure if these are normal or if there is a better way to deal with them. I would appreciate feedback.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

I have read the information you provided and can say that the symptoms are not related to any psychotic episode. You have complete insight into signs, and you function better when someone is at home or when others are awake at night. These symptoms point more toward some neurotic or anxiety-related issues. You feel that someone is watching you and feel as if you are watching shadows, which changes your mood. Though in the first instance, this appears to be due to some perceptual disturbance or hallucination, many individuals with anxiety or under stress show such symptoms. Feelings that this will be your last night are also related to severe anxiety. There are associated symptoms, like having ambivalent ideas. Though it is early to diagnose, the signs point toward obsessions. The inability to focus and make decisions due to these thoughts results in distress. Seeing images is also part of anxiety. Let us go by the definition of obsession. Obsessions are ideas, images, or impulses that are dominating, intrusive, and distressing and remain present in the mind even if the individual tries to suppress these because of their purposeless nature. These are distressing and cause significant impairment in functioning. But fortunately, these can be adequately treated with medicines and behavior therapy. Behavior therapy includes relaxation exercises, thought-stopping techniques, exposure, response prevention, etc. These can stop the thoughts effectively. Drugs like Fluoxetine can be used to suppress these thoughts. If taken regularly, these medicines help control these thoughts within four to six weeks. These are safe to use and free of severe side effects. So you can get an appointment with a psychiatrist and get yourself evaluated. Consult a specialist doctor and take medications with their consent.

I hope this information will help you.


Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Seikhoo Bishnui
Dr. Seikhoo Bishnui


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