We can experience being “paranoid” in our daily lives. It can show when we feel a sense of uncertainty or are threatened by a strange situation. For example, when you read too much into a friend’s message, thinking there’s a deeper meaning to it. When you clutch tightly to your bag in a crowded area. When you hear rumours in your workplace and wonder if you can trust your co-workers. That’s paranoia. That’s different from a paranoid personality disorder, which is also different to mistrust.
There’s an amount of mistrust that is understandable– maybe even healthy. It could be because you’ve experienced being robbed, betrayed, or simply learned from one too many cautionary tales. The same way we shouldn’t trust everything we read, we don’t have to trust everyone we meet. But when this mistrust starts to negatively affect your relationships and everyone you meet, it becomes a problem.