Webster defines Cautious as ‘careful about avoiding danger or risk.’
Webster defines Paranoid as ‘having or showing an unreasonable feeling that people are trying to harm you, do not like you.’
So sometimes at night, when you are coming back to your home, you hear some sound, and you look back again and again until you reach your home. Is it paranoid or cautious?
There is such a fine line between being cautious and paranoid. When you check whether you have your house keys before leaving home is cautious. When you check for your house keys after leaving home, in the street corner, before boarding the bus, then you are becoming paranoid.
Setting aside these small cases of being paranoid, on the whole picture, the serious cases where one always stays on constant alert, looking behind one’s back wherever they are, constantly checking the surroundings they are in, those are the people who are on the verge on breakdown.
Researchers say that most people who tend to be more paranoid are those who had some bitter experiences in the past. The other kind of people who are paranoid are affected by the happenings around them. The news of various killings, kidnappings and other cheating cases are being telecasted around the clock. Some people tend to take these cases very seriously to their heart and cross the line from being cautious to being paranoid.
Also, over-thinking some facts again and again may lead to constant deliberation of a single episode which paves way for paranoia to peep in. When one enters the phase of paranoia, then it is very difficult to come out of it to lead a normal life.
To come out of paranoia, one has to stop obsessing over what if’s and try to bring in some positive thoughts in life. Also, getting some professional help is the best solution.
Being cautious is good. In fact it is best to be cautious in life. But over cautiousness may slowly trip the line for paranoid, which then will make the life, a living hell.