Archive for paranoia

Combatting Invasive Thoughts

I’m no stranger to nasty thoughts. I recognize when they’re present so innately that it’s safe to say it almost hurts. In my almost nine years of living with schizophrenia I’ve had to battle my fair share of these thoughts and I’ve gotten so good at it that I can almost see them coming from a mile away.

If it wasn’t the notion that people were making fun of me it was the idea that I’m more important than anyone else, i.e. grandiosity.

I’ve been subject to many nights where I just stared at the ceiling in the dark letting these little monsters run and play their tricks through all corners of my mind.

There are some that are one-off and then there are the ones that keep coming back no matter what you do. I’ve seen and been subject to all kinds. Some are intensely strange and some are more run-of-the-mill but persistent as all hell. Read More →

Riding Through The Blips

Living with schizophrenia is like driving across the country, there are meandering fields and prairies of months when you’re well that almost make you forget you have an illness. Then you come into the mountains and the roads get curvy and steep and the weather gets unpredictable. One minute you could be fine then the next it’s snowing and you can’t see ten feet in front of you.

I’ve coined a term for driving through the mountains of mental illness, I call these periods blips. It’s important to be able to recognize these blips before you find yourself in the hospital again. They may only last a few days or it could be something more serious at which point it’s probably a good idea to get your meds looked at and see if there’s anything you can change.

Right now, in my illness, I’m on the flatland and the ride is smooth and I’m thankful for that because I just got down out of a particularly rough ride through the mountains. Read More →

How to Ask For Help In A Crisis

I have lived with schizophrenia for eight years. In those eight years I have gone through cycles of wellness and while it primarily gets better with each passing day, there are still periods here and there where life becomes too overwhelming or where I push myself too hard and then I feel the intense crushing weight of existence on my shoulders.

In those times I tend to retreat, not only to my apartment but into myself. I lay there on my couch staring at the TV, emotions flowing through my spine and it’s all I can do not to keep myself from crying.

Sometimes the feeling lasts for only a day or two, other times it builds until there’s a tipping point where I make some declaration of exasperation and throw my family into a tizzy of worry.

Yes it’s been ten years, and yes I’m getting better at recognizing my moods and the way things are going but there are still nights where I would be ok if I didn’t wake up in the morning. Read More →

Separating Delusions from Reality

In the midst of my most intense psychotic episode I thought I was a prophet.

I thought it was my job and my job alone to bring peace to the world.

I was receiving hidden messages that only I could see when I listened to the radio or watched television and I thought there was great evil coming to the world.

The clincher is, though, that although I was thinking all of this stuff, there was never any concrete tangible evidence that any of it was real.

At every turn my delusions that things were happening were rebuffed by everyday life.

Just one example was the hidden meaning I’d see in street signs that told me something, or told me to go somewhere, once I acted on that meaning though I was still just as lost as ever. Read More →

How to Separate Your Delusions from Reality

I’ve come upon a situation recently where it was hard to tell if something I thought was happening was actually happening or if it was just my mind piecing together little pieces of coincidence into some grand, almost terrifying delusion.

Namely, and this is putting it lightly, I was under the impression that someone was spying on me, that they had put a tracker on my car and that they could read everything I was doing on my computer because they had somehow maliciously put some kind of malware on it that I didn’t know about.

Suffice it to say I was under the impression that this stuff was happening for a night or two before I recognized that it all may have just been a function of my paranoia.

In these kinds of situations it’s extremely hard to separate your delusions from the reality of the situation and I know this all too well. Read More →

What to Do About Persistent Delusions

I’m sure I’m not the only one who experiences this. I think most people with schizophrenia have that one delusion that they keep going back to that, no matter how hard they try to get rid of it, always sticks around. For me it’s the notion that people are making fun of me.

I don’t know why this is such a hang up for me as it really doesn’t matter either way but I’m constantly worried what people think of me and no matter how much therapy or how many antipsychotics I put into my body this delusion always remains.

It’s so persistent that there have been times I’ve succumbed to it and started to believe it as the truth. It’s caused me to be on my guard whenever any offshoot of the notion comes up and it’s caused me to be wary whenever I hear someone laughing or whenever I see someone whispering to their friend.

No matter what, I always think it’s about me and this is not a good thing. Read More →

How to Get Through a Moment of Paranoia

Throughout our lives we’re bombarded by moments and circumstances that can throw us off.

Whether it’s stress at work or paranoia, we’re all confronted from time to time by things have the potential to derail our progress in stability.

Having lived with schizophrenia for ten years there have been more times than I can count where, though it seems I’ve only been taking steps forward, I get thrown another curve ball and begin to fall into my pit again.

I only call it my pit because it’s become so familiar and as messed up as it sounds, there have been times where I’m more comfortable in the pit than I could ever be out of it. Read More →

How to Stop Fighting Your Illness

For years after my diagnosis I fought constantly against the the paranoia and the delusions my mind was supplying. It was churning them out at a feverish pace and it everything I could do to fight them tooth and nail.

As you can imagine, this left very little mental energy for me to actually live my life. I was constantly in fear of leaving my house, talking to other people or even just buying milk at the grocery store. It was a battle for me not to be completely consumed by every strange thought that I had, every notion that someone was doing or saying something that in reality they probably weren’t.

I was blinded and delirious from my paranoia and delusions for a long time until something happened. In a therapy session with a therapist that I saw for all of four times she told me to just accept it. This didn’t sink in until a few months down the line when I was no longer seeing her because I thought that she was judging me and conspiring against me. Read More →