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Old 09-26-2009, 08:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Paranoia

I am and have been struggling with episodes of strong paranoia. Not sure how to get past it or make it go away. I wrote this one night when feeling "Weird"

Everything is about me. All conversations strangers have. Even friends. They are good at what they do. Wish I could learn that skill. The more I focus on having it the worse it gets. Would like to deflect them without a thought. Hard not to pay attention and turn in inwards. Shakes. Itís not even cold. Then I realize and try to shut it off. Turn the volume down. Hit mute. Button not working. What is the next step. Leave? Days of old, of course. Today, try to sit it out and fight the battle. Knowing I will lose. Do I still continue? I will at least give it a go. Yep, lose once again. Those thoughts are too powerful and feed on all the good ones until they are gone. Then I must throw the towel in, walk away, and sneak off to a quieter place where there are no hungry thoughts. If I travel too deep, I witness what no one else does. Just cause it is dark doesnít mean my thoughts arenít. Does the quiet and solitude really work. Sometimes. At least I only have to listen to my words which are not the kindness words, never the less I must do it to get back on track and appear to be ďokĒ. Now that is something I can do well sometimes. I cannot be the only one to experience this. Not possible. Would I even like to talk to another. They might think I have the skill too. How nice would it be to put a filter in my ears for the purpose of translating to help me understand better or at least know when the bad could eat the good. Do I make them feel weird? Probably, wish I could share with them to help them understand. Would it be understood. Would it be something worth being empathetic for? Are you understanding? Weak minded. Still got some work to do I guess.
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I obviously can't professionally diagnose you since it's only based on one bit of writing (and I'm not a doctor,) but I think you already know the answer. You are displaying classic symptoms of schizophrenia and need to go to a psychiatrist. This is going to be difficult for you because you're likely to feel he is "one of them" because he's going to recognize your symptoms and know a lot about what you're feeling before you even tell him. Just know that he's there to help. He's not one of the bad guys. He's going to help you feel normal so you can go out and enjoy life. This fear you have is internal. It's not your fault, it's probably a tendency inherited from one of your parents, but it's all in your head, as cliche as that sounds, and psychiatrists are there to help you.
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm not saying its not schizophrenia but those are hardly the classic symptoms of it (it was a little hard to read though, so I may have missed something). I should know, I have a family member with it that's of the variety you're thinking of.

I have paranoia too, doesn't sound as strong as yours but here's what I do to help with it. I let myself do the little things that make me feel safe and save my willpower for the stronger urges that aren't healthy. Like I let myself patrol the house, or wash an already clean cup, or dumb the contents of some drink (because it might be poisoned.) The other thing I do is turn what I can into a game. Even though I know the thought of myself being followed is irrational, I just go with it and in my head roleplay a reason for it. I glance at my rear view mirror and take note of the car behind me, then check again in a few minutes, etc. And then use my willpower to prevent myself from circling the block when I get home. That kind of thing. Hope that helped.

You may want to consider seeing a psychiatrist though.

Last edited by Zeraph; 09-28-2009 at 09:46 AM..
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have considered see a psychiatrist, not sure what is stopping me. The only thing I can think of is I am a little fearful of it. I am closer to actually doing it since I have struggled with this for about 10 years and it's not gotten any better, but progressively worse. Somedays are better than others. Sometimes I wonder if I am just incredibly insecure.
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It sounds like the worst situation for you is anything social, where you meet people (from one-to-one to one-to-lots). I have always felt that people will 'find me out' and that they know so much about me an I know nothing about them.

What I have found helpful is to always be interested in others. Even in the local shop or post office, use your brief conversation be be about the people serving you. Avoid talking about yourself if you can (though avoid 'fine' as a response to the 'how are you' question as most councillors consider this an indication of being anything but!) This doesn't solve your paranoia, but it changes how you see the relationships as then it is about other people, not you.

Now, it is possible that you may believe that people are still talking about you, and they might be (am I aloud to say that!) but you would be surprised how highly people think of someone who is interested in them (most people like to talk about themselves and their lives - being interested in them is always flattering.)

Finally, I would echo the other comments here in that professional help is always worth thinking about. It might be that, rather than a psychologist, a local support group (or faith based organisation you have contact with) might be willing to offer some counselling. Go with an idea of what you want out of it and set small goals - don't expect a resolution. (How about 'Understanding what is wrong', 'help with dealing with social situations', 'developing some self esteem and personal worth'?)

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Old 10-12-2009, 10:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've had these kinds of thoughts before and written things that are similar. Doesn't mean your schiz, not saying your def not, but there would be other symptoms too.

For me becoming more social helped moderate this line of thinking and just becoming more comfortable with myself. It seems your someone frustrated by human nature, which hey most of us are. I learned to accept that people are not what they ought to be, and even though being ethically sound is more emotionally challenging it simply is who I am and I can't change that. The way you see the world can also be an enormous strength. I've found solace in laughing at the naivety of people instead of being angry/conflicted about it. Be patient and reward yourself everyday.

Therapy/seeing a psychiatrist for an opinion wouldn't be a terrible idea to help you clear it up a little bit. The problem isn't the thoughts really, its the madness they bring to you.
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeraph View Post
I'm not saying its not schizophrenia but those are hardly the classic symptoms of it (it was a little hard to read though, so I may have missed something). I should know, I have a family member with it that's of the variety you're thinking of.
This:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriarty View Post
Everything is about me. All conversations strangers have. Even friends. They are good at what they do. Wish I could learn that skill. The more I focus on having it the worse it gets.
reminds me a lot of an old video from a news site about what someone with paranoid schizophrenia might experience while off their medication
http://one.revver.com/watch/298771

Usually, schizophrenics feel that people are plotting to harm them, but the feeling that everyone is talking about you and getting worse when you think about it is definitely in line with symptoms. That's delusion. The sample of writing from an episode of paranoia exhibits disorganized thoughts characteristic of a formal thought disorder. The DSM-IV requires two out of four symptoms to be present within a one-month period for formal diagnosis, and two appear to be present.

It affects social relationships, which is qualifies as affecting "one or more major area of functioning."

It's been happening for ten years , and diagnosis requires that it persist for at least 6 months. As I always say, I'm just some guy on the Internet, not a professional, so a visit to a professional is necessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriarty View Post
I have considered see a psychiatrist, not sure what is stopping me. The only thing I can think of is I am a little fearful of it. I am closer to actually doing it since I have struggled with this for about 10 years and it's not gotten any better, but progressively worse. Somedays are better than others. Sometimes I wonder if I am just incredibly insecure.
What's stopping you is the deeply ingrained stigma that our society attaches to mental illness. If you tell a bunch of people that you were out of work last week because you had the flu and a high fever, they're going to be sympathetic; if you tell them that you were out because you had a major depressive episode and tried to kill yourself, they're going to freak out and distance themselves from you. Both are serious medical conditions and neither is your fault, but it's a lot easier to get sympathy after you happen to inhale some germs than if a neurological chemical imbalance inherited from your parents shifts your thinking outside of the "normal" spectrum.

Not to blame the victim, but the way some people act due to mental illness that they're afraid to address only serves to reinforce widespread stereotypes, and being afraid to seek help is a downward spiral. If any other part of your body feels abnormal, you would at least think about going to a doctor. If your mental or emotional health is off, the answer is not to be afraid to address it, it's to go to a doctor like you would for any other illness. Don't be afraid of what they might tell you, you already know that something is not right and there are established and proven ways to help people who have these problems.
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