Medical Questions > Mental Health > Schizophrenia Forum

Paranoia or skitsaphrenic?

I think that there is something wrong with me. I havent really noticed the paranoa until the past week properly.
You see i have been diagnosed with depression over the past year and have had psycotherapy and CBT and im on anti depressents. But what i have never told anyone really is how paranoid i am. I think my dad is able to watch me in the bathroom, i think he's got cameras all over the place or one of those mirrors you see in police stations where they can see you but you cant see them.
I have tried to killmyself before and still wish i could but im so worried about what if people find stuff out about me or get stuff wrong about me and then they will think about me when im dead.
I hate knowing that people ahve been talking or thinking about me. It scares me kind of or makes me angry sometimes.
I also have a problem where i think that other people are watching me and that they no what im thinking and what ive done in the past and that.
Im scared that my life is like something out of the "Truman show" where everyone is like constantly watching me and nos what im thinking and that. Like their all conspirering against me.
I have also exaggerated the truth to people but the thing is is that even though i know that its lieing it doesnt feel wrong and sometimes i believe it.
I also have mood swings and irrational thoughts where some days i can be understanding and apathetic and other days i cant see the "right" point. It sounds confusing i know.
The problem is is that i have used cannabis quie a lot over the past few years and i have heard that that brings mental conditions on worse.
Is there anything wrong with my mind?? Am i paranoid or slightly skitzaphrenic? Should i tell someone? Will they believe me or just think im another "attention seeker"? Please can someone help?
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replied July 19th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
You absolutely should talk to your doctor about this. Something more than depression is going on with you. Your doctor can do an evaluation to determine what is going on. Paranoia is not normal. This can be treated but you need to report it to your doctor.
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replied August 8th, 2008
You've described my symptoms exactly
duckabout,

I am so relieved to hear that there is someone else like me. That being said, I am sorry for you because I know exactly what you are going through. I have been diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic, and I take a small amount of Geodon which helps me sleep at night.

The things you said about the cameras, the mirrors, and especially the Truman Show, are exactly what I went through/am going through (that movie is evil I tell you).

I will spare you the exact details of my experience, but suffice it to say that I finally came to the definite belief that someone (my family or the FBI) had planted a camera in my contact lens and everyone had been and was watching everything through my point of view and was making fun of me. Luckily I have been around understanding people and have not become homeless as a result.

I still believe it is real about half the time, but the Geodon makes it so that I never panic, I am more just annoyed that I feel that way. The best advice I can give you is to try different meds (in small amounts) until you find something that takes off the edge so you can ignore it as much as possible. And the most important advice I can give you, even though it may seem impossible to do, is to laugh at yourself when things get bad. Doing so has saved me on more than one occassion (before I went on meds).

Again, I am sorry you too are going through this, but I am relieved to hear that I am not alone and I wish we could be friends because I KNOW we have a lot in common. By the way, I have a good job and house, etc., so having this disease is not the end, it just really really sucks sometimes.
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Users who thank tcm14 for this post: duckabout 

replied September 2nd, 2008
Thank you so much.
Thank you so much for your post, it really does mean so much to me. All today i have been contemplating suicide so seriously and your post has helped me that little bit more to hold on. Thank you so much! I just wish i could give you a huge hug! Please take care and let me know how things are going.

Duckabout
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replied November 17th, 2008
Truman show syndrome
I've had the exact same problem for the past ~12 years. Recently it has somewhat improved, as I feel that way less often. I have no close friends but I actually have a little fame on the internet because of what I do online, so it is indeed possible that people talk about me indirectly. That makes it very hard for me to distinguish what is reality and what is paranoia. Also I'm very sensitive to insinuations. I often suspect people are jealous of me because of my talents (perhaps ungrounded!). Also I constantly think people are poking fun of me because they know ALL my secrets, and then I get very upset. I perceived the US government as evil so that also contributed to it. Anyway I want to get in touch with someone with similar problems, share experiences, etc. Thanks!
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replied November 17th, 2008
Truman Show Syndrome
Cyber

I wish I had answers as to how not to feel that way. Just when I think it is gone, someone will make a strange offhand comment or something and I will immediately be right back into the paranoia. It's gotten to where I don't do or say (or post) anything that will make me be paranoid later, which essentially means I do or say little or nothing at all. So it's crippling me and ruining any possible enjoyment of life.

I know what you mean about people poking fun at your secrets. I basically don't even feel like I can have any secrets any more because the paranoia tells me that everyone knows about it anyway. I'm lucid about it now, but in the past people have said things that were similar to statements made during incriminating or embarassing moment from my past, and I am immediately sure that everyone knows about that particular incident and is laughing at me about it. And then it is so easy for it to spiral out of control from there. You think, "Well if they know about that incident, then obviously I've been being watched, so they must know about everything including this, that, and the other embarassing moment from my entire life" and so on and so on. Until I'm in a panic and re-living all my most private moments through the eyes of a judgmental and derisive general public. Yeah, it sucks.
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replied November 18th, 2008
Yeah, and there're also those uncanny coincidences that made me think I must have been watched because they simply could not happen by chance. Often there are things that I read/watch in the media that fit into the paranoia interpretation, but otherwise don't make much sense.

I agree the *fear* of being embarassed in public (in "my show") reinforces the idea that I was under surveillance, even though that idea isn't at all plausible when I really think about it.
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replied November 18th, 2008
Coincidences
Yeah, and that's where I really run into my problems, is the coincidences. There are things that have been said that, no matter how I try to look at it, these things HAVE to have come from me being watched. A lot of the time I can just not think about it, but if for some reason I consider these things that have been said, I get paranoid, because like I said these things are just blatantly TOO coincidental. I would be blind to ignore them. There have been things that were said that I just can't explain away.
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replied November 18th, 2008
It's funny that this is the first time I talk to someone who can understand it. I used to talk to a therapist and all he did was try to convince me to take certain drugs and I kept saying no because I think the problem is cognitive. He didn't help me analyse things and it got really boring so I quit.

The important thing is to understand that coincidences can happen and sometimes the "stronger" explanation (being watched) is FALSE but the "weaker" explanation (coincidence) is actually REAL.

I guess if you look close enough, you'll find that those coincidences CAN be explained away, afterall.

For example one time I downloaded a video clip to watch, it was not a particularly popular video, and it could have been produced many years ago, and I just randomly decided to watch it on that day. In the video was a woman (A) wearing a headband and green eyeshadow (and those were not particularly in vogue that year, as far as I could tell). I was smiling and thinking to myself "hey this woman is pretty, I like her". And then the very next day, a girl (B) whom I see almost every day and whom I was having some quarrel with, was wearing exactly that, and in the couple of years I've seen her before that point, she never wore a headband and she never wore eyeshadows. Just that ONE day. So I immediately relapsed and thought that she was one of those people "in the know" and she was mocking me for drooling over woman A.

Fact is, that girl B liked to experiment with new looks and she just happened to look like woman A by chance. Later, girl B would dye her hair blonde at one point and make dreadlocks at another point, both lasting only 1 day or so.

This puzzle was easy to explain, and I guess the other ones could be explained similarly, I was just too stressed and occupied with other things that I didn't take the time to do the analysis. When I first had the problem, it was a very emotionally traumatic time in my life.

Some of my close friends knew about my problem and they had expressed disbelief and ridiculed me at certain times. Strangely I just held on to the belief because I had trouble trusting people.

It's hard to talk about it, and in public life you have to put on a facade of infallibility. All I can say is that the human brain is fallible. I used to pride myself as a very good thinker.
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replied November 18th, 2008
Coincidences
Mine is almost exactly like the example you gave (being mocked or hated regarding sexuality or the involuntary desire for women). The thing you said that stood out to me was about the immediate relapse. That’s what happens to me. I’ll be going along doing fine and then something will happen. For example, I live right next to a busy road. One day I was reading in my living room and a car went slowly by outside and a female in that car loudly imitated the sound of a man having an orgasm. Judging from how well the sound carried, her face must have been pointed right at my sliding door, which is about 15 feet from the street. There was no one on the sidewalk, there were no other cars. There was no good reason for her to make that sound directly at my wall as the car went by. I don’t have any enemies or ex-girlfriends in the area who want to taunt me, either. It was a remarkably accurate impression too, I’ll just leave it at that.

I was fine for a few hours as my mind slowly realized the import of what had happened, but then I became overwhelmed with paranoia as I combined this incident with the other things that had also happened in the past (people at work seemingly quoting me to myself (of things I had said away from work), random people making orgasm sounds in my vicinity, etc.). It was like you said, immediate relapse. The weeks and months that had gone by without incident were erased. I was pretty much mentally incapacitated for awhile and if I hadn’t had medication on hand, I would never have slept and would almost certainly have required hospitalization.

Anyway, that is just one example. I could give others that might be more convincing, but they are detailed and would take too long to explain You are probably right that things can be explained away. My family knows about it all and they regularly explain it away. But when I give them an example like the one above that they can’t explain away, they say I hallucinated it. I may have a delusion, but I have never had a hallucination, either visual or auditory.

The other thing you said that I relate to is about priding yourself on being a good thinker. I have always been that way too. Of my circle of acquaintances, I was always the one who seemed to have a firm grasp on reality, who could make sense when things got out of hand. Well, so much for that attribute.
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replied November 19th, 2008
Re: Coincidences
tcm14 wrote:
Mine is almost exactly like the example you gave (being mocked or hated regarding sexuality or the involuntary desire for women). The thing you said that stood out to me was about the immediate relapse. That’s what happens to me. I’ll be going along doing fine and then something will happen. For example, I live right next to a busy road. One day I was reading in my living room and a car went slowly by outside and a female in that car loudly imitated the sound of a man having an orgasm. Judging from how well the sound carried, her face must have been pointed right at my sliding door, which is about 15 feet from the street. There was no one on the sidewalk, there were no other cars. There was no good reason for her to make that sound directly at my wall as the car went by. I don’t have any enemies or ex-girlfriends in the area who want to taunt me, either. It was a remarkably accurate impression too, I’ll just leave it at that.


That's just an exhibitionist woman getting a thrill. It happens all the time. I don't think it's directed towards you.

tcm14 wrote:
I was fine for a few hours as my mind slowly realized the import of what had happened, but then I became overwhelmed with paranoia as I combined this incident with the other things that had also happened in the past (people at work seemingly quoting me to myself (of things I had said away from work), random people making orgasm sounds in my vicinity, etc.). It was like you said, immediate relapse. The weeks and months that had gone by without incident were erased. I was pretty much mentally incapacitated for awhile and if I hadn’t had medication on hand, I would never have slept and would almost certainly have required hospitalization.


That exhibitionist woman is *unrelated* to those other things you mention. (I assume you know this now?)

Secondly, you said "people seemingly quoting you" and that's something that deeply affected me too. It's called the idea of reference. I was very perplexed when I say something somewhere and then it circles back to me from another completely unrelated source, often within a very short time. I guess the correct explanation is that the internet allows information to spread really quickly, so it is not impossible that sometimes the net bounces back information at you, in slightly modified form. This is just a fact of life in the information age.

tcm14 wrote:
Anyway, that is just one example. I could give others that might be more convincing, but they are detailed and would take too long to explain You are probably right that things can be explained away. My family knows about it all and they regularly explain it away. But when I give them an example like the one above that they can’t explain away, they say I hallucinated it. I may have a delusion, but I have never had a hallucination, either visual or auditory.


I guess the bottomline is to recognize that the "Truman Show hypothesis" is complete baloney and should never be used to explain things. The idea that the whole world, including ordinary folks, would conspire to deceive an relatively innocent person over a long time, is incompatible with normal human emotions. So, even when there are strange coincidences, we should explain them using other hypotheses. And sometimes we'd have to satisfy with the explanation that it's just coincidence.

Chatting with you helps me clarify these thoughts to myself... thanks!
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replied May 26th, 2009
doing a study
Hi all,

This sounds similar to the whole organized stalking/electronic harassment phenomenon that's going around.

I was wondering if anyone might be interested in sending me detailed experiences so that I can really understand what this entails.



Thanks much!

Gena
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replied January 15th, 2017
Gena,
I applaud you !!
As I was reading these, I thought, "Come on people, wake up!"
Learn how to trust yourself!!!!
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replied January 22nd, 2019
(online)
Thank you for asking at Ehealth forum!

I read your question and I understand your concern.
These symptoms are consistent with borderline personality trait. You would need psychotherapy sessions like CBT to combat this problem.
I hope it helps. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider for further guidance as our answers are just for education and counselling purposes and cannot be an alternative to actual visit to a doctor.
Take care
Khan
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