I suffer from paranoia and it causes me to think things like people in cars are going to kill me just by the way they are driving as a recent example. It however is not considered paranoia if it has a basis in reality. I think an example is people mess with you, you suspect their friends are in on it is based in reality while you begin to suspect everyone in the building is in on it, including people they don't talk to, is no longer based in reality. Try to think of any evidence you have for and against any suspicious thoughts you have and use logic and scientific thinking to work through it.
Unlike watching for symptoms of mania or depression (such as with the mood tracker) checking for signs of paranoia is very difficult as the thoughts kind of take over you. Before my current recovery I had many delusions and despite reality testing I honestly could not be talked out of them. Other paranoid or otherwise delusional thoughts I did not believe in full and if asked I would say they were untrue but part of me believed them. It was really difficult to know what to do other than call my psychiatrist who would adjust my medication and especially to call right away if I started to lose judgment or had a loss in reality testing that would encourage me to do things that would create problems for me or other people. Also a lot of things were there but I overstated them at the time. Some people were hostile to me because of my disability but they were not "evil" or "out to get me" as I thought at the time. Also they might not have been commenting on me at all. Remarks and comments of many kinds are common as a person walks down a crowded street and what I believed did not match up with reality testing in part and also if I was paranoid it did attract unwelcome attention. But before starting medication at all a dog barked from a car and I got terrified thinking it was a person screaming for help so it was far worse. Most of it is a matter of adjusting treatment. Other aspects could be discussed with your psychiatrist.
I do know for myself that a couple of days ago my mood stabilizer which is the Catapres application came lose and (remember despite my recovery I require a mood stabilizer with the antipsychotic agent I take because I have schizoaffective disorder) and I had no idea what was going on and was disoriented and it was really frightening. I did notice that it was not attached properly and I took care of that and things returned to normal. Paranoia or psychosis is a lot harder to monitor than moodswings and its essential if you notice a loss in reality testing to speak to your psychiatrist right away.
This is an example of a typical experience: someone in my family told me lately that they 'loved me all that they could'. I started believing that they were subliminally telling me that I was unloveable and bad. This led to me suspecting another member of spying on me and trying to get me arrested so I would go to 'out of the way' so they would not have to see me, me although they have never done anything to trigger this thought. I phone this person up, but chicken out from confronting them, instead I wonder if my family who must be all in on it know what is going on in my head / life by other means, I feel I have no control of this and nothing I can do can stop it, it goes on and on and on, until I am too scared to go out, or make contact. The point is I can tell myself that this is unlikely, but it does nothing to make the powerful feelings of fear and suspicion go away. This means that I can't behave as if 'nothing' is going on..
Wow I did not know it was considered delusional thinking if you had thoughts like that but only part of you believed them even if you said they were untrue, I have that happen frequently due to my logical thinking exercises but my logic also gets distorted even while under treatment so it's not fool proof unfortunately. I know I probably make it sound like it works a lot but it actually only partially helps and it is difficult as you said. Delusional and paranoid thoughts frequently can seem logical at any rate.
I did not know about that either. That's why I would tell myself it can't be all that bad. I thought, that if you had some element of doubt however small, that it could not be a delusion. I guess it becomes a worry either way if you respond to your paranoid thoughts as if they are real, even if a part of you is in doubt.
Like yourself corlenbelspar I have to use a 'self-check' in my head frequently to nip these thoughts in the bud, but sometimes the reality becomes blurred and it becomes difficult to tell. I have learned a lot from you both, thankyou so much for responding so quickly.
I'm a big fan of counting. I've found that it helps. I count to 10 as I breath and then start over again. That brings me back to what I'M working right now in that moment and I find it easier to not worry over what's going on outside of me. But I too often find that the feeling is still there. At least this way I can keep the thoughts and therefor the behaviour under control. Hope that helps.
If i have thoughts that are unhelpful, ie my mum doesn't love me, my boyfriend is cheating on me, my boss is talking about me behind my back, etc, and there is no real cause for me to think these things but i do and i can't prove them and i believe them whole heartedly and tackle them about these things, does that mean that is paranoid thoughts and behaviours then? As i would have said that i was not paranoid but thinking about it, i maybe........?
I do have paranoia and it comes and goes. The worst of it was when I was having full blown paranoid delusions and even halucinations in my late teens. Even as a small child I had paranoid delusions, I've discovered, which caused a lot of my problems growing up.. But, I do struggle with the smaller paranoia issues off and on as well. I know from experiance that you can be right in the middle of the paranoia and no amount of logic or rationality can pry you from it for some reason. Even when I have no facts, I can get stuck in this crazy thinking and it ***** me down and gives me panic attacks.
Xila - Yeah, that's kind of where I am at the moment, and I'm so sorry to hear you have had to go through this too, does it usually go by itself or do you have to treat it with medication? Im on 300mg seroquel and don't really want to increase If I don't have to. At what point would one say enough and increase the meds?
buddica - I will try counting, and breathing exercises! Thankyou :) 1234....
dawsohs - Sounds like paranoia to me, but at least were not alone with this I guess.
I also usually try to never act out on suspicious thoughts until I have definite, concrete evidence but even this sometimes doesn't work.
Me too usually, I try and test people's reactions to see whether they are friendly and so on, and if they are sometimes this is enough to cancel out a suspicion, but other times it is all too easy to read between the lines and it ends up feeding it instead.