#mentalhealthmonday – my paranoia story

I’ve mentioned my paranoia a couple times on the blog before, but I don’t think that I’ve ever sat down and really told you all what’s been going on, as I have done with my anxiety and depression. So today, that’s going to change!

It’s summer time. I’ve just graduated from university, and I’ve started doing an internship on campus. It’s going great – I’m getting experience doing marketing, my colleagues are lovely, and I’m really getting into the groove of things. But then – the thoughts start. I sometimes don’t have much to do at work, so I go on Facebook every now and again. But I’m convinced that there are cameras at work that are watching my every move. That they’re zooming up on my screen and watching me chat to my boyfriend on company time.

The interesting thing was that these thoughts didn’t bother me at all. I didn’t realise how irrational they were, until it started getting really bad. I started having delusions that the cameras were now in the flat that my boyfriend and I were sharing, and that I couldn’t get changed because the cameras were watching. My boyfriend managed to talk me out of some of these delusions, but there was a nagging thought in the back of my mind that I was playing ‘right into their hands’ by believing him that these thoughts weren’t real. Who ‘they’ are I couldn’t tell you then, and can’t tell you now.

I go to the doctor, and after a bit of faff (as my GP wasn’t qualified to give me the medication I needed, and had to consult a psychiatrist) I got some medication. I wasn’t too worried about starting it – I’m already on medication for my anxiety and depression. This would just be another pill to take in the mornings. And it is miraculous! For a couple of weeks, I was completely symptom free. I didn’t have any anxiety or depression either. It was like a little miracle pill.

I’ve been on them ever since the summer. But, over Christmas, I ran out of some of my meds. I wasn’t worried – I wasn’t having paranoid thoughts anymore. I thought that I could maybe go off them, see what happened. It’s not like I was doing anything really important, so if things went badly, uni work or anything important like that wouldn’t be affected. Things went wrong. I started getting really emotional. The most wonderful time of the year, and I’m crying uncontrollably all over the place. Thankfully, I found some more meds and I went back on them straight away.

I wish I had a concrete message for you (other than ‘don’t go off your meds’), but unfortunately I don’t think my story is quite over yet. Whilst I don’t have paranoid thoughts at the moment, I’m on the look-out now for them, as I know how easily they can creep up on me. I just thought my story would be worth sharing because there’s unfortunately still a lot of stigma about delusions and paranoid thoughts.

7 thoughts on “#mentalhealthmonday – my paranoia story

  1. RedRocketPanda says:

    I think it can be so, so hard to talk about delusions and paranoia so well done for posting your story!

    I’ve never had anything quite to the extent that you’ve spoken about, but I have struggled since secondary school with quite bad paranoia concerning social relationships and work. I’ve always been convinced that people don’t really like me, that they only pretend to be my friend, that they talk behind my back, etc and it can make me really cagey with people. In the past, it’s also caused a lot of tension in friendships as friends feel as though I don’t trust them and they have gotten upset. I don’t really talk about it openly anymore even though it’s still very much a problem for me because of reactions like that in the past, and I think bottling it up and not getting support for paranoia can just exacerbate it.

    Similarly, with my work, I find it so hard to just get on with work and not feel too paranoid about it. When I was writing my dissertation it was absolute hell because I was convinced that my supervisors knew that I shouldn’t be at university, that my writing was so terrible and everyone would laugh at me. In my second year it got so bad I had to suspend my studies halfway through the year because those thoughts were destroying me and I was unable to function anymore.

    Thoughts like those can be really easy for others to dismiss, but they’re the ones that can really get inside your head and take over. Before you know it, you can’t leave the house or speak to friends anymore. I think we definitely need to talk about delusions and paranoia more, the more people feel able to be open about their experiences, the more and reassurance they can get!

    Like

    1. whatthelog says:

      Thank you Avery 🙂

      YES, I absolutely get that too with relationships, whether they’re friendships or romantic relationships. I constantly worry that they secretly hate me/find me annoying/etc. I don’t know whether that is my paranoia or my anxiety talking, though. A bit of both, perhaps.

      I definitely agree we need to talk about this more 🙂 Hopefully someone has been inspired to speak out from my post. That’s the dream anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. colorfulbookreviews says:

    Wow. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m trying to think back because I’m sure that you’ve mentioned it on your blog, but are there any books other than Challenger Deep on this topic that you’d recommend? The only one I can recall reading is A Beautiful Mind (and watching the movie too). As always, I admire your bravery and openness.

    Like

    1. whatthelog says:

      Thank you 🙂
      I haven’t actually read A Beautiful Mind, I must add that to my TBR! And whilst I haven’t read them, I have heard good things about Made You Up and Freaks Like Us for their representation of delusions/hallucinations.

      Thank you ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sarah says:

    Thank you for sharing this story! I’ve dealt with paranoia to some extent before — I used to sleep in my closet if I was home alone because otherwise I would lie paralyzed in bed, positive that there were men sneaking up the stairs prepared to kill me — and have had friends deal with it as well.

    It’s horrible that it’s so stigmatized because I feel like it can make it harder to get help, and because people don’t know how to react to things they don’t understand. I hope that continuing to share our stories will do away with stigmas surrounding mental illness.

    I’m glad things are going better for you, and that you’ve found a medication to hep ❤

    Like

    1. whatthelog says:

      Yes, I absolutely know what that is like. Now that I’m looking back at myself, I can see how worrying that sort of behaviour is. But at the time it just felt so real.
      Thank you – I hope everything is going well for you too ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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