I don't think it is always a case of paranoia, I know that I can "over think" things a lot and when conversing by written word rather than spoken it can be difficult to know when someone is being witty, sarky etc Without the flow of continuous conversation the "feel" of mood/emotion is easily lost.
With regard to treading on eggshells, I do that more because throughout life I've been at the brunt of someone elses shifting moods.
Do I have paranoia, I own up that yes at times I do, it tends to be when I'm not feeling in control of a situation or if I get an unexpected response to something I've said or done.
I think that all people are guilty of being inconsistent but those with BP moreso. I know that I can respond one way to a situation one day and then respond completely differently in that same situation on a different day (or part of a day).
I try very hard to be sure that what I have written can't be misconstrued, but being human I don't always manage that, lol!
Good question though and I admit to "moderate paranoia" :-)
Perhaps I should have phrased some things differently. If you think I am sending this poll because of YOU (ANY of you!) well, isn't THAT a little paranoid? If writing things online and then fretting that those things will be misconstrued than I AM paranoid but in reality I'm just sometimes insensitive or ignorant and have a wicked sense of humor which is sometimes just that - wicked. I think everyone in the human race has a "paranoid" moment now or then and it makes sense that this symptom comes and goes according to the highs and lows of BP but I sometimes I wonder if I really am bipolar - the wild mood swings, paranoia, bursts of energy are all foreign to me. I'm trying to ascertain if others feel only some of the major symptoms listed at the top of the page apply to them too.
Hey! I used to really get paranoid - before the Lamictal started. I STILL get paranoid. My problem has always been like Helen said, "over thinking things". I used to share WAY to much and then think think think about what I said - and if I should have said what I said - blah blah.
I wouldn't worry and don't walk on eggshells. Just be yourself. Bipolar's are a bit different - if you don't believe it - wait a few days we may be REALLY different... UP / Down / UP / Down...... :)
We luv ya!
Off a mood stabilizer I would. Not now no. Regardless of efficacy the antipsychotic agent I take still requires a mood stabilizer (which now is Clonidine). Also some of the (FDA approved medications) treatments for my physical disability cause personality alterations (including paranoia) such as Zofran which is why I had to go off it. And physically during times of extreme spasmic activity I completely lose reasoning. Before recovery I did experience paranoia markedly though from things that were not at all threatening. They were clear delusions. Those are gone. I did notice and was informed by my psychiatrist that when I was on Lamictal that it had an antipsychotic effect but if someone needs an antipsychotic it can't replace it though. Most of the other mood stabilizers had little effect as regards paranoia except being that I have schizoaffective they are needed as adjuncts to antipsychotics. The only exception was Clozaril (which for me and many people did not require a mood stabilizer) but that's usually a last resort medication.
I get paranoid about the smallest things and worry that the worst case scenario is going to happen as a result of my actions although I guess I usually have a just reason for this but still I worry myself sick over it. If you could name off any type of paranoid fear, I've probably went through it at one point or another... and then there's the bizarre and unusual things I worry about that you probably should only worry about if you were in a science fiction or fantasy world... I guess.
I forget who said it, I think a late friend of mine who I didn't get to know for very long because he died not long after I met him, but whoever it was said that paranoia is a survival trait which I believe is true.
Well now, I DO get very anxious about how I've offended people, etc. but that's because I really HAVE offended many people - without any clue that I was doing so but y'all can't believe that, right? So I think that's anxiety not paranoia.