How Paranoid Schizophrenia Impacts My Diet

November 30, 2022 Rebecca Chamaa

Paranoid schizophrenia affects my diet. I have a complicated relationship with food, and thinking something looks good or sounds good is not enough to get me to try it. The reasons are that my most persistent symptom besides anxiety is paranoia and my paranoia frequently involves food.

Paranoid Schizophrenia Controls My Diet

Paranoid schizophrenia controls what I eat, and that includes very little variety. I'm not the woman to try all your new recipes on. I wish I were. When I go to a restaurant with my husband and taste a flavor that I'm not expecting or familiar with, I often won't eat the meal. My first thought is that the food is bad and likely to cause me to become ill from food poisoning, or I think someone intentionally poisoned it. I know that these thoughts are part of my illness and are unlikely to be accurate, but knowing that doesn't reduce the fear. Sometimes my husband can take a bite of the food and tell me it tastes okay, and that will be enough reassurance to allow me to overcome the paranoia. Still, at other times, nothing works, and we take the meal home, or my husband gives me what he ordered, and I eat that instead. 

To keep me from becoming awash in paranoid feelings, I have a list of foods and dishes I'm the most comfortable eating, and I eat them (switching them up occasionally) almost daily. I know that having this symptom involving food makes it seem like I would be thin, but because of the side effects (weight gain being one) of antipsychotic medication and my age, I'm of average size. I don't eat a variety of foods, but I eat enough to keep my body mass index (BMI) within the normal range. (Also, I'm a big fan of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.)

I Want to Expand My Diet Despite My Paranoid Schizophrenia

In a guided journal that claims to improve mental health that I use daily, I read a passage recently about trying new things to spark creativity and form new pathways in the brain. I don't know if it works, but I would love to challenge myself in many areas to get out of my comfort zone and have new experiences.

I think being too set in my routines (which I am) causes my world to get smaller and smaller. There are so many things that I would love to do but that I'm afraid to try. I wonder if adding one new food a week to my standard choices would help me open the door to doing more adventurous and exciting things. I don't know, but it's worth a try. Maybe, I'll add some of the cranberry jam my husband made this week, and then perhaps I'll take on bigger and more complex things.

How does paranoia or another symptom of schizophrenia affect your diet?

APA Reference
Chamaa, R. (2022, November 30). How Paranoid Schizophrenia Impacts My Diet, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 13 from

Author: Rebecca Chamaa

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