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A journal about paranoia.

It has been my constant companion from a very young age, and a most unwelcome one. But I don't think people really necessarily understand what I mean when I refer to it. Allow me to elucidate:

Paranoia is not a temporary trip to an unpleasant line of thought. It's a pre-set, a groove cut deep into your behavior and way of thinking that you will have to voluntarily remember not to trip over every single time you put spark to synapse.

Paranoia is a poison in your mind, that colors all proclamations of simple delights with belabored queries of "Unless..."

Paranoia is a venom to your friendships, ensuring that no matter how much trust they've placed in you, you will always be capable of suspecting the worst of them.

Paranoia means that no matter how intelligent you become, how discerning your thoughts, how refined your intellect, you will always eventually draw a conclusion that is stark raving nonsense, and believe it with zealous conviction.

Paranoia will help you focus your thoughts with laser-like accuracy, but only to tear everything that you care about down like old, peeling wallpaper.

Paranoia is there to trip you just when you get a little skip in your step. The moment you stop keeping it in check, start to feel comfortable, begin to believe that you've paid penance and can afford an iota of- not even pride, but dignity- it will humiliate you and force you to choose: guard your increasingly precious dignity and lose all credibility, or keep others' trust and give in to the self-image of an incompetent, capricious madman.


If I ever seem... self-effacing, or hard on myself, or appear to hold a terrible opinion of myself that seems out of place, rest assured it's not abuse... it's there to stop me from being the monster that comes out when I begin to believe that I absolutely can be trusted not to think the worst of everything and everyone. Humility is my only weapon against this... demon. Don't let me drink the kool-aid; yours, mine, anybody's. It's not okay.
Viewed: 288 times
Added: 6 years, 9 months ago
6 years, 9 months ago
It's not paranoia if they really ARE out to get you.  Lesson I learned in my own life. ^^;;;;;
6 years, 9 months ago
Caution is thinking someone might be out to get you.

Paranoia is believing everybody is out to get you.

Also, I've always found that phrase to be kind of dumb, because paranoia exists regardless of actual circumstances.
6 years, 9 months ago
As you say, humility is the best defense against these thoughts.  You can't possibly be important enough for EVERYone to have you as the target of their devious machinations.

That said, I feel you.  I have similar issues, though I doubt they're as severe as yours.
6 years, 9 months ago
Yeah, people remember that one line, but they forget its partner:

"Just because everyone *IS* out to get you doesn't mean you're NOT crazy."

There's nothing I can do to 'help you get over it,' nothing I can do FOR you, but with this information, I can filter your actions through this knowledge and try to tailor my responses so I don't accidentally make things worse for you.
6 years, 9 months ago
Understood, I greatly respect your resolve in dealing with that hardship.
6 years, 9 months ago
That sounds... unsettling. Have you talked with a doctor about this?
6 years, 9 months ago
Is it Paranoia when you KNOW your friends actually do care about you, and are really your friends, but you can't stop THINKING that they aren't really your friends, and are just being nice to you out of pity or to make themselves feel better?
6 years, 9 months ago
Pretty much..you know they care, but you can't help but question why...and find yourself assuming the worst without evidence.

Or even ignoring evidence to the contrary as 'merely a ruse'
6 years, 9 months ago
I know this feeling... This fear... All too well...
6 years, 9 months ago
One of the curses of high intelligence is that you're more at risk for paranoia; you can't help but think and overthink things.  Just -- try to take things as they are, is all I can suggest.
6 years, 9 months ago
" sedkitty wrote:
One of the curses of high intelligence is that you're more at risk for paranoia; you can't help but think and overthink things.

That combined with other things like low self-esteem can cause problems.  Certainly has for me.  One thing I keep having to remember is to always counter assuming the worst possible scenario when I come across something new or just doubt myself and balance it with the idea that "well it could go smoothly or be fine."

Humility is a good thing in my opinion.  Trust can be a very difficult and tricky thing.

Everything is harder if you don't believe in absolutes or guarantees too.
6 years, 9 months ago
It's a terrible thing to deal with. To use a trite meme phrase, "I know that feel." :c
6 years, 9 months ago
I find those line of thoughts creeping in to my own some, but I manage not to put a lot of stake into them, thankfully. I always feel like the problem with any sort of mental thing like this is not necessarily that something is wrong with the way you think, but that something is TOO right, crossing over from healthy levels of any particular trait and into something very ..inconvenient to day-to-day life. Makes it difficult to properly deal with, since it's to at least some extent, what the mind is supposed to be up to anyway.
6 years, 9 months ago
Yeah this is something I've been dealing with most of my life too. I don't know much about what I can do about it though, since I've always been burned when trying to ignore my paranoia.
6 years, 9 months ago
I've never seen a textbook describe it with such clarity.
May you continue to face your challenge with grace and courage.
6 years, 9 months ago
To some degree I can feel with you. I am well aware that my own paranoid tendencies are much milder than yours, but I know the same lines of thoughts, albeit weaker, from my self-observation. Problem is that this also means I can not give much meaningful advice. I try to utilize mine (as a source of inspiration and to use controlled descent into fanatism to circumvent my lack of initiative or discipline), but I am aware that I can only safely do that because it is weak.

So there is not much advice that I can offer you, aside from keeping a diary for self-observation, and writing suspicions down so your brain feels no need to keep them in your active memory, thus giving you more peace of mind.

All I can do is wish you luck, and a hug.
6 years, 9 months ago
I'm out to get you.

Gonna getcha.

Then I'm gonna tickle you til you wet yourself.

6 years, 9 months ago
That's the most eloquent description of paranoia I've ever seen. Well done. I have some experience myself, though not quite as intense perhaps. If you have four minutes, check this clip on the subject. A somewhat funny monologue on 'cool' and the experience of paranoia by a beatnik from fifty years ago. The last two minutes is paranoia specific.

6 years, 9 months ago
So, there's no treatment or conditioning regime that can alleviate the problem, not even meds?

I promise, I'll try to understand.
6 years, 9 months ago
Can't say I'm necessarily a victim of paranoia as much as simply having a lack of faith in humanity in general. I'm not above believing there are some genuinely good people out there, but as far as I'm concerned they're a very outspoken minority. Then again I'm basically a hermit who lives in a place where job requirements don't include remembering how to spell your own name, so what do I know? =~=;
6 years, 9 months ago
I have the opposite problem, I have the idea that nobody cares about or notices me, most of the time I feel alone even in crowds.
6 years, 9 months ago
I totally hear you. *hugs*
6 years, 9 months ago
It's ok. I understand. I've got paranoia myself, as far as I can tell. Usually I can get the better of it but sometimes I expect everyone around me to do their absolute worst and it makes it so hard, so very very hard, to connect to people. Because I know, as a fact, that the moment I expose that weak point they'll drill into it like someone playing a Gradius game. Even though I know that is factually wrong, and that they genuinely care for me, subconsciously this fundamental truth still holds sway. It's a pain, but so many things are wrong with my brain it'd be easier to list the ones that aren't annoying or detrimental than the ones that are.
6 years, 9 months ago
Nice to know I'm not the only one, but I am very sorry at the same time.
6 years, 9 months ago
i totaly get where your coming from on this. i get that way to. i know for me it helps when my freinds give me some positive reinforcement to to help shore up the crumbling walls of my self esteme so i shall do the same for you.

"ahem....hey you.... yeah you....you know whos awesome?....YOU ARE!" XD
6 years, 9 months ago
Your way with words.. this made me uncomfortable, but more in an informative way. I don't have any paranoia I'm aware of, and from the sounds of it I'm lucky. >_< I'm sorry it's something you have to deal with. You have my ear if you ever need it.
6 years, 9 months ago
You and I are in the same boat.
6 years, 9 months ago
While I can't exactly say I know how you're feeling... I believe I've had similar feelings of paranoia myself.
At best, I can try to relate my experiences to what you may be feeling in the hope that how I have reacted to these feelings may incite inspiration that could help you find a way to better endure what you're going through.

To me, paranoia is something that goes hand-in-hand with fear. I'm not particularly sure if what I experienced was paranoia, but for years I would express myself as a "worrisome person", worrying what others think would be the daily norm. I would worry that others would see me as a mooch, lazy, incompetent, ignorant, selfish, so many number of things that I did not want to be. I would go out of my way to avoid talking to people, to avoid even expressing myself, for a possibly paranoid fear that others would judge me in so many horrible ways. It even got to the point where I would think that others were thinking badly of me, that just looking at me someone would be thinking with a sneer-like thought what a contemptible person I was. Laughing.

In a way, I was only really calm when I kept to myself, kept alone, but eventually, I grew out of feeling that way...
I still have some thoughts, in stressful situations, never really feeling "Understood".

And yet, here I am, expressing my most inward, personal thoughts without a second thought of just closing this webpage.
I could just go on, not expose myself, despite the extrapolated thoughts of people reading what I'm saying. Going as far as to "hate" me, or consider me to be pretentious or self centered...

but I think therein lies the key - I still have these thoughts, they could be considered paranoia, and yet, I'm not letting them affect me, I am being me, expressing myself for who I truly am without letting them get in the way.

I believe that the two parts of the key to overcoming paranoia are based not in feeling as though these deep grooves cut into your behaviour are "bad" - fear and caution are parts of the human instinct to survive, and in our society, they've taken different forms that are difficult to really get a grasp on. We're not afraid of some wild creature waiting to rip our throats out the moment we step into darkness, we're afraid of intangible things, born of emotion and communication, and our developed perceptions of the worlds inside our own head.

The first part is strength. These paranoid grooves can bring us to some dark places, they can give us 'what if?' scenarios of so many -bad- things we have the capability to do. We're bound by invisible laws, things that say while you're carrying your books down the hall, you don't just drop them suddenly and start violently hitting that person next to you. You -know- these are things you would never do, things that aren't even of your character, but you're terrified that your mind is telling you the possibility exists.
The strength comes from knowing -who- you are. Decide who you want to be, and acknowledge that these little scenarios, these thoughts and judgements that are trying to tell you that you are not who you wish to be are just little insignificant "blips" that don't matter in the grand scheme of the person you are.

The second half of the key is courage, which stems from strength... even if you build up who you are, if you grow to trust in people, there will be moments that will test you. Some people may break your trust, or hurt you, there will be those who may target you when you leave your safety bubble, possibly even your own thoughts... but if you brave these, and keep stepping forward with the affirmation that you can shrug them off, that you will control your sense of self being rather than your fears, then that paranoia cannot touch you.

This is just how I see it, anyways... face ones fears by delving into oneself, facing who they are, faults and all, and learn to love yourself for who you are.

..I hope that didn't turn out to be rambling nonsense, I'm at the char lim
6 years, 9 months ago
Awareness, on all sides, is the best way to cope.  We know you're doing your best.
6 years, 9 months ago
Danng, I feel you, I have similar issues.
6 years, 9 months ago
That reminds me someone said having paranoia and an inferiority complex means you're always afraid that no one important is out to get you
6 years, 9 months ago
The day when mental illnesses like schizophrenia, ADD and Asperger's are finally cured can never come soon enough. I can really only vaguely imagine what it's like for you, but I have had moments when I hear someone laugh and (possibly) imagine them looking at me at the same time and I think to myself, "Are they laughing at me? What's so funny? Did I make some dumbass social faux pas and not realize it?!"
6 years, 9 months ago
I wish there were something I could do to make things easier for you Nori.
6 years, 9 months ago
"Even a Paranoid has enemies.", as said by Kissinger about his former boss President Richard Milhouse Nixon.

But that's not the point of this. It is only on the surface that lies beneath. As a Child, the weird child that I was, under the abusive mind fucking my step father gave me, I was afraid of everything though I used to be able to fight back. Thus growing up and going to school, I hated my K - 2 years, where in being afraid of everybody was being reinforced by the class bullies getting at me. It was not by the summer before the third grade my mother had started to push me in undoing what her second husband did to me, and she did it in the same way Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico learned how to swim a very long time ago...

The males were send down to the river and make a gate of sort human gate and make sure no one, no thing would get passed them. The female mothers took the children higher up river and would go in to show how it is done. Then they would go to shore and throw the kids in. This went on for a couple of weeks until all the kids learned how to swim. That was how I learned how to swim. And this was not tiny stream! It was at least 100 yards across and waist high on a man about 6ft tall. So similarly, my mother taught be to take on the bullies by having my friends and family to bully me until I fought back. And fight back I did with a very dirty style that scares most who remember those days.

But after that, the paranoia and fear started to go away. Maybe I was lucky in having mom. The things she did to defend her family... but that is another story. The ghosts of paranoia did not go away for me, just made them more aware that I could handle them. Dont know if that makes sense to any of you out there.
6 years, 9 months ago
On a certain level, I grasp the issue-  I'm a bit (shock) insecure over whether or not some people like me-  and sometimes when I doubt they do, it's not a far jump to wonder if they hate me and are plotting against me.
6 years, 8 months ago
Trust is paranoia's definitive enemy, and often it can be a gradual reduction in the times the synapse sparks to put you into that grooved way of thinking. I know little of you. I was just directed here by my roommate, who believes I'd appreciate your deep introspections. He's not entirely wrong there.

But that may be a good way to chip away at it. Like a child or small animal that has a base of safety to return to as they venture out into the world, trust in one solid individual could often help to combat instances of paranoia.

It strikes me from time to time, and I bounce ideas and what-ifs off my roommate. I can't say every time. But it helps.

Alanis Morissette has a song called Excuses which has lyrics that enlighten me from time to time, when I get like that.
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