- Mental Health
Where Does It Hurt ....When You're Paranoid?
Heart and Mind SERIES
Since Paranoia is a clinical mental/psychological state, this sounds like a funny question. Of course, when you’re paranoid, it does not affect one part of your body, it affects your whole life.
In our fast-paced stress-filled world, the term “paranoia” has been used to describe marijuana post-use effects, mood conditions, and running and free-floating states. People are conversant about this condition in various degrees. In modern parlance, “feeling paranoid” is understood by the hearer, and tends to immediately obtain sympathy. So, tell me, if you think you suffer from excessively paranoid tendencies…how and where does it hurt?”
It’s kind of a modern, but already old joke: “Just because you’re paranoid that doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you!”
It almost seems that this is a ubiquitous human condition. Apart from the serious clinical condition which calls for professional help, people have the feeling that paranoia can be caused by fatigue, certain drugs, extreme states of hunger and the universal bugaboo – stress. Whatever its cause, which is probably based in more in “nature and nurture” type issues, its pain is wide spread and real.
The Outwardly Unacknowledged but Quietly Self-Admitted Sufferer
The pain and suffering here is real, even if people won’t admit to it, or seek help for it. I write this article to stimulate the unacknowledged but quietly self-admitted sufferers so that we will seek help and treatment. This is one wild, uncaring, hair-raising, stress-filled world, or it can be when we lose control of our lives. I write this as an opening foray into your conscious dealing with this condition, which can grow for the individual from a “nagging mental state” into a “plague”. So with a plea for a dose of silent honesty, let’s examine this condition.
Feeling paranoid states below what we would think are “clinical states” still has a way of destroying jobs, friendships, love and sexual relationships and familial bonds.
“Paranoia”, if you break down the Greek origins, it literally means: beyond or around the mind, or self. When envisioning this problem, one can see a host of self-created circumstances, and or events or personalities which have been given importance by the sufferer, like a cloud of cackling birds flying around the sufferer. It acts like a kind of slow-moving tornado constantly giving you worries, suspicions, meanings, assigning importance and creating delusions which tends to reinforce the sick narrative you are writing.
1 - “Exaggerated self reference”
2 - “Suspicious of the motives of others”
3 - “Logically reasoned delusions which have a way of working their way to you”
4 - “Construing Independent Events with Your Own Personal Narrative”
Examine the above four elements. It can be said more easily: You put yourself in the middle of events. You make yourself the “star” when you should be the “audience”, the “critic”, or the “supporting role”. Because of this exaggeration, you begin to suspect everyone. Now that you have set this up, you design, with what you think is logic -- delusions. Once you are in this state, outside independent events get sucked in to your personal maelstrom. You start suspecting every one of thinking about you and the miserable outcomes you see continually coming at you.
Why it’s Deceptively Poisonous – “Logically reasoned delusions which turn into Beliefs”
You might have noticed in this world that when something arises to the level of “Belief” in the human, it takes on importance. You also might have noticed that sometimes your own mind is not your friend. When we say “logically reasoned delusions”, you see in the cold reality of this article that we use our mind to “logically” (in our own mind), “reasons” (makes sense to us), delusions, we are supplying strength and rationale for an idea that is subjectively and objectively not really real.
You will find that the process described happens in life, inside our heads, a great deal of the time. These are the weeds that sprout in the garden of our mental world. Many personal beliefs come to us by way of self-created delusions that ride on our own train of Logic and Reason.
Why Do You Think Your Boss Hates You?
One young man was sure of a woman’s (boss) hatred of him because he wasn’t listening to her use of humor in the office. It took him a year of listening before he understood that he was being overly touchy about a cutting sense of humor. I spoke with him, as the months went by; he came to some reasoned conclusions:
“I see what you are saying. It’s not that she is not cutting or insulting, she is. It’s not that she isn’t funny, she is. It’s not that she relents. She never quits. It’s just that she doesn’t mean her comments for me alone. And she has no personal thoughts about me that are special or unique. She treats everyone the same. I stopped thinking this way, and all of the suspicions I had started dropping to the ground.”
If this kind of mental state is leaving you hypersensitive, tense, argumentative, along with being accusatory and jealous, then you might want to assess how much you are suffering, and how you are bringing destructive conditions into your life.
Try to Make Others “Stars” in Your Life and Forget Motives
Life is funny - trying to “get better” is much harder than “staying healthy”. But when we find we are hurting, it is when we are in states of illness that we can envision becoming healthy again. Stop thinking about yourself so much that all of your roundabout circuits end up being about you. Make other people “stars”. See what happens to your head when you focus on other people and trying to elevate them. And about others motives? Forget them. Try for all your worth not to constantly worry about what others are really thinking. If you can change the characters you are focusing on, you can probably stop conjuring up those little “movies” that are always plaguing you. Once you have unplugged the screwy stories you are scribbling up, then maybe you won’t be trying to build a three act play over, why someone stopped talking just when you entered the room. And why those two who don’t like you are always laughing and pointing their fingers at you.
If You Had No Plot and No Stars, in Your Dreams or Plots, There Would Be No Dialogue or New Players Entering Stage Left
Ever sat bolt upright in bed just as you were about to get your head bitten off by a big green monster? You stop breathing hard. And you smile in relief. There’s no monster. No dream. No me as a star in the dream. None of the cast and crew of my mean little dream. Nothing is there. You start to breathe normally again. Ponder this. That play that you are the star of where everyone hates you? Not only is there not a play, but people are probably not even thinking about you! Darn. Your life is quieter and more at peace than you might know. Most of the motives we ascribe are not even there. Most of us don’t walk around nursing motives and feeding evil little manifestations. This should make you feel good, if you could possibly let yourself do so. They are probably not thinking about you - hardly at all. They have few if any motives about you. Your stories and delusions are just like the “green monster”. Since you have not designed all of this super structure in your head, you don’t have all those highways that errant little events can meander down to gain new roles and don new hateful purposes.
The Trouble with Paranoia
The Mean Little “P”, or the larger more clinical “P” have the same characteristics: No matter what happens, or what someone says - meaning is constantly construed. Until you permit yourself to address your condition your busy head will supply you with continuing evidence that your delusions are alive and well. No supporting actor in your play is going to show up and start talking everybody out of their previously held positions.
With the help of a professional, you can decide how much you are suffering. But at first, you are going to have to contemplate this all by yourself. This condition could be confined to a small degree, or a short term. It could be much more serious. Do yourself a favor and ask yourself, if your life could improve if you were able to positively address this condition.