Lately, I have found it to be extremely difficult to differentiate between the two. Personally, I think a little paranoia is always a good thing, however, when it gets to the point that it is debilitating, it is far from being a good thing.
I’ve never had an experience where my intuition has been wrong, therefore I have relied on my intuition in many situations, and still do. My intuition has saved myself from many sticky situations, and got me out of the wrong places at just the right time to avoid consequence. When I’ve ignored my intuition, I’ve ended up in some pretty bad places. This makes my paranoia all that more worse; it can be almost impossible to tell when I’m being intuitive, or just straight up paranoid.
The Differences between Paranoia and Intuition
Intuition is the ability to understand or foreshadow something instinctively, without the use of conscious reasoning. Whereas paranoia is unjustified suspicion, and the mistrust of other people.
Intuition tends to come from a non-emotional neutral position, and often inspires a person to take action. Intuition quite often will not make sense, however, it will feel right; or wrong, depending on the situation you are in. The feeling of intuition typically persists.
Paranoia often comes from a negative emotion such as fear, anger or sadness, which often instigates a reaction of the said person, rather than compelling them to take action about whatever it is they are currently worrying about. Paranoia can come in waves; you may be extremely paranoid one day, and see how ridiculous it was the next.
These are the greatest differences I have found between the two, however, this does not stop the line from being blurred; especially when you suffer from a mental disorder in which paranoia can become crippling so to speak. At times, every glance, every word you hear, will all hold some significant meaning, which will seem very real at the time. Hallucinations may also add to the paranoia, particularly auditory hallucinations. Hearing voices telling you that yes, these people are following you, can be absolutely terrifying.
Paranoia is intuitions ugly sister, and when she hits, she hits hard.