Monday, 30 October 2017

My Experience with... Paranoia


*Before you read this I would like you to remember that what I am discussing affects me daily and whilst it is an entirely irrational series of thoughts, it is very real to me and is to be taken seriously should any comments be made. I am aware that I sound insane when making the points you’re about to read.*

Out of all the things I haven’t talked about, paranoia is one of them. Not because I don’t want to talk about it but because there’s not really much to say about it. I am extremely paranoid whenever I go out and, at the risk of sounding completely insane, it got so bad when I was 15/16 that I had to take down all of my posters.
I know this started back when I was in school just like a lot of my disorders/illnesses but I can’t quite pinpoint when it started. I know I was at least 15/16 when it got really bad, as pointed out previously, but it’s one of those things that I’ve always felt. I know it started because when I was in Primary School people used to laugh and point at me, and they would make up rumours (childish ones like “she’s so weird”). When I got to high school the pointing, staring, laughing and whispering got even worse that even now I’m convinced that anytime someone is looking at me or when a conversation stops when I walk into a room/past others it’s because of something negative about me – my hair is a mess, I’m too ugly, too fat etc. etc. This is why I had to remove the posters because, no matter where you were in the room, eyes were on you (even though they couldn’t actually see you). I can’t even have my favourite bands/artists as a background on my laptop as it would be there on start-up and shut down and all dvd and CD cases are either in cupboards or boxes because I find them disturbing – and that’s just because the person on the cover was looking directly at the camera.
I’m aware that I sound completely bat-shit crazy but that is how insane paranoia makes you. It’s not rational – as I said I know whoever is on a magazine or CD cover isn’t actually looking at me because there is no way a two-dimensional object can possess the power of sight – but it is something that takes over my daily life. I don’t even like getting changed in front of the Netflix or YouTube home screens because of it, I have every camera (web cams, phone cameras) in my room at is covered and my curtains either don’t get opened or are drawn most of the day when I’m feeling at my worst. Thankfully my paranoia doesn’t extend to other people’s belongings but I do hide when the cameras come out.
I can’t eat in front of others as it makes me extremely uncomfortable. This began in Primary School as I was either being teased about what I had (tuna pasta isn’t “cool”, apparently) or shamed for eating at all because I’m “big enough as it is”. Often this would result in me finding my snack had been stolen and my lunch tampered with. In high school this developed into people throwing their lunch or home economics (cookery class) creations at me. Thanks, peers. You really saved me from those pre-existing medical conditions and medications that made me gain weight and made it impossible for me to lose weight. It was clearly what I ate that brought it on. *insert eye roll emoticon”.
Paranoia also controls whether or not I go out or do certain things in front of others (for example: eating as mentioned above or going to the gym). And I find that I need my distraction techniques whenever I dare to venture outside to stop me from completely breaking down in public.


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