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what is the difference between anxiety and paranoia?
i am new on this site and i found out that there is no forum for paranoia. well here is how i fell. i took HIV test(ELISA) few weeks ago and thanked god it was non reactive but i am not convinced with the result. something will come in my mind such as the medtech or the doctor has just mistaken diagnosing me or the machine they used is not functional that's why i am negative. those thoughts are involuntary. actually i don't want to think about that but it always comes. no matter what i do even i diverse my attention it always comes. now i have trouble concentrating because of that.

now here is my question. what do you call that disorder, anxiety or paranoia? what is the difference between the two?

thank you
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349780 tn?1309637558
A person who is paranoid might feel like people are out to get them. They can also be paranoid about certain things. Feel like people are looking at them. This is just my own opinion. There might be no trust with a paranoid person at all. I suffer from anxiety and I don't feel any of the above mentioned at all. Yes you may get some symptoms that are the same. That is the same with every condition. Like thinking ' what is the results of the tests were wrong '. You could both see that as a paranoid reaction and an anxious reaction. What I would class your condition is as hiv phobia. Or health phobia. Which, to me, is a form of anxiety. But others might have different views on the subject.
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Anxiety and paranoia to me are like cousins,the effects of anxiety makes your head do over time which makes me paranoid,i too always think the worst of things,if i got a headache it,s a tumor,if my legs ache its a clot,etc...but i always pull through these feelings and all tests are clear time after time,my sister tells me i stress over stress,which is true i have not had so much as a cold in the last twelve months,so it is all in my mind, hope this helps
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It's my understanding that paranoia is an unfounded fear of something happening to you, being wrong with you after it's been medically proven you are fine, or someone watching you, etc.  It does often accompany anxiety but other disorders as well.
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480448 tn?1426952138
Sounds as though you are suffering from a classic case of HIV Anxiety/Phobia...where, despite obvious proof to the contrary, you simply cannot convince yourself that you are negative.....you are questioning the results, and even having irrational thoughts about tests being wrong, equip not working, etc.  That is all very typical in these situations.

If you cannot begin trusting your test results, then it is time to get some help for the anxiety and obsessive type thinking.

Good luck!!!
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thank you guys for the answer. do you think psychological management done by a psychologist is as well as psychiatric management. i am under psychiatric management for years and i've been taking meds until now.

now i want to try something new. this time i would like to seek a help from a psychologist not a psychiatrist.

will it be effective?
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349780 tn?1309637558
I think psychologists like to listen more to what you have to say. They are more about getting inside your mind. I know a psychiatrist does similar. But they are the ones who can put you on medication. Not sure a psychologist can do that. They might be more about solving the problem using your own mind. I have seen both before. Found the psychologist had more time to spare. The sessions were longer. At that time I could not see any much more of a difference. Only one could put me on medication and had very little time to listen to me and the other had time and wanted to hear me talk. I ended up with a councilor. She was great. Had exercises lined up. Things she wanted me to try out. So, really it depends on the approach of the psychologist. Will they work with you. Have exercises for you to try out when you are not with them. That's when the real work is done. By you. They are there to guide you and assist you. But you are the one who has to do the real work. Here's hoping it works out well for you.
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I've seen both psychologists and psychiatrists, but it was a psychiatrist who helped me the most.  I had sessions of 50 minutes, but that time was spent well.  So, I feel it's different for everyone, and what works best for you.  A psychologist cannot prescribe medication.  I went to several until I found one who I felt truly cared, and that I was comfortable with, and it just happened to be a psychiatrist. He dug deep going back to my childhood, but turned out that I had dealt with all that just fine, and it was current situations causing my problems.  At this point everything was put in perspective for me and I did just fine.  Acceptance is very much needed, whether it's with medical tests results, or just yourself.  No amount of worry will change anything, and your life is passing you by.  Live for today, tomorrow will take care of itself.  
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thank you for the comment. for you who will help me more or theor level of helping is the same?
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thank you. for you what makes psychiatrist to be more helpful except prescribing medication(which a psychologist can't).
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349780 tn?1309637558
They both do the similar work. I think here in Ireland if you are going public you get less help from the psychiatrist. Simply because they have too many people to see and can spare you only five minutes. The real help comes if you go private here as far as the psychiatrists are concerned. But that's Ireland for you. Might be different in other countries. Psychologists just seem to have more time. As they are not dealing with medication they are are only dealing with you and your problems. But I can only speak of what it is like in Ireland. Public healthcare is a joke. You really have to shop around till you find the right person for you.
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It just happened to be a psychiatrist that I felt most comfortable talking with, if he had been a psychologist I still would have picked him.   We always spent 50 minutes talking, with my first visit being 2 hours. I know a lot of people who have gotten very good results with a Psychologists, I do think they are pretty much the same, and for me it was important that I felt comfortable with the person.  In looking up "paranoia" which is brought on by anxiety, they reference "psychologists" a lot, so I think I would go with that, plus I think more people see psychologists for therapy with anxiety. Take care...
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thank you guys.. is it OK if i both consult a psychiatrist and psychologist at the same time to hasten the treatment?
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