When I’m really stressed out I can have episodes of paranoia lasting days, weeks or longer. I remember at school I was getting so stressed out from exams and bullying that I used to think people were talking about me ALL the time, I used to think I heard my name in someone’s conversation but later find out that wasn’t the case. I used to worry about being hacked and watched through my laptop/phone so would always turn off the wifi after a while thinking that would help stop the hacking.
I also used to be paranoid about how I smelled, honestly my anxiety was so bad during high school and college that I was having severe stomach problems (I’ll let you decide what that means) because of this I would constantly worry about smelling bad so would take body spray and perfume everywhere as well as I wash myself two, three times a day but even then I would sweat and shake from anxiety which would, ironically, make my stomach issues worse and I fell into this cycle of constant worry.
When I was even younger at primary school we were learning about germs and the Plague. After being taught about the plague I was filled with so much horror that I had a nightmare on the same night. This triggered my anxiety and paranoia and I became a lot more cautious about germs and illness, getting so stressed and washing my hands so much that I developed eczema which is where areas of your skin (back of the hands for me) become dry and chapped. I remember it got so bad my hands started bleeding and my mum had to come into the school with some cream for it. I’ve started using moisturising soap which helps.
Now it’s manifest itself in an even stranger way, I feel like I’m being watched by people in pictures, it gets so bad sometimes that I want to hide every photo from my sight, I also worry about being watched by ghosts/spirits or that they are able to read my thoughts so I feel I have no privacy. I also worry when friends aren’t answering my messages, I think they’ve had enough of me and they’re talking to eachother about me instead of to me.
I am aware I’m being paranoid but it feels so intense and real at times that logic doesn’t stop it. These episodes didn’t really ease up until I started fluoxetine and I think it would be worse now without my medication as when I stopped taking it for a while I found that the anxiety/paranoia would invade so much of my mind that I could barely do anything but worry, its still there but less intense with my meds.
Two songs with this post because both have a theme of fighting your inner demons and I couldn’t choose between them;
Thank you for reading,