Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Grothnor, May 3, 2015.

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  1. So, something happened to me the other day that kind of opened my eyes. I was mucking about on my laptop when I heard the doorbell. I headed over to answer the door, mildly anxious about talking to someone I would not know (since anyone coming over to our house usually give a heads up, and anyone who goes door to door can be a bit pushy), but my dad got there first, so I decided to head to the kitchen to pour myself a drink while I was up. Sure, this sounds completely innocent, but while I was pouring my iced tea, I consciously positioned myself next to knife drawer in case of any kind of incident arose between my dad and whoever was at the door and waited there until they left. Turns out they were just Jehovah's Witnesses: harmless, if a bit weird.

    Either way, this event made me realize I'm a little bit paranoid. I often assume the worst case scenario whenever confronted with the unknown. "I hear a thump from up/downstairs? Someone must have broken in and is assaulting my family." "That driver looks perfectly positioned to run me over with his car; I should keep an eye on him and find something to put between us that will stop a car." I immediately dismiss these thoughts as ridiculous, but I always hang onto them until the danger has 'passed' because, well, see my signature? It's kinda true, it made me feel like I was part of a massive social experiment, starring me. Or something, I have a rather vivid imagination.

    Partly inspired by this.... (open)

    So, here's where you guys come in: I'm curious to know your thoughts. Is this weird or is it normal, or is it just understandable? Do you think I should stop or should I continue to treat the probably innocuous as possibly dangerous?
    #1 Grothnor, May 3, 2015
    Last edited: May 3, 2015
  2. It's weird. Most people treat things that aren't overtly threatening as non-threats, because they're not currently a clear threat so there's no need for an "I'm in danger" kind of response. Some level of caution for sketchy situations is normal, like lots of people might get worried by hearing a noise in their house in the middle of the night, but getting paranoid about a knock on the door and then positioning yourself near a weapon until they were gone? Nah man, that's weird.

    As for whether or not you can stop, from the way you describe it it doesn't sound like you're quite in control of it. If you consciously dismiss the thoughts as nonsense but still keep hold of them and act under their influence, such as chilling by the knives because of the irrational thought that whoever was at the door might get into a fight with your father, then you've got some deeper issues than just a little paranoia. I'd say it's a thing you should definitely try to stop or at least lessen, and if you can't do it alone you might want to get some help in that regard by talking to a psychologist or therapist of some sort.
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  3. ^ This

    Some level of caution is normal and to be expected. Exact amount dependent on past experiences, area one lives in etc.
    But getting ready with a weapon anytime someone is at the door is a bit overkill.
    While trying to lessen it I'd suggest finding something that calms you, a game, a song, etc.
    Just go to that whenever you're at home and feeling a bit anxious, get your mind off it.
    And even eventually ween yourself off of that distraction, and overtime simply just not react to such situations in such a way later on.
  4. I'll agree with Gwazi and Jorick, and I'll also add that connecting your paranoia to this thought that you're some important figure that people are out to kill might not be a particularly healthy thought. At a more intense level, such delusions of grandeur where you're convinced that you're someone really important and that you have to be constantly on-your-toes because there are assassins waiting for you around every corner is rather symptomatic of schizophrenia. :/ I'm not saying you have schizophrenia -- just that connecting your paranoia to delusions of grandeur (even if you're mostly consciously aware that such fantasies aren't true) doesn't necessarily make that paranoia healthy. In fact, it might even make it less healthy.

    If these paranoid thoughts really are that common, you should probably talk to a therapist about it. Maybe these are nothing more than silly thoughts that you're sort of blowing out of proportion, but maybe it's a bit of a serious issue that you could probably benefit from some help with. Either way, I feel like you have nothing to lose from talking to a professional about it.
  5. Most people won't admit they're paranoid.

    I, on the hand, will admit that I am paranoid. To some degree.

    Where I live visitors are rare. I usually get a notification via phone from folks, friends or even the neighbors 6 miles yonder way if they're stopping by for a visit. Any other time I take measures before I open that door to see who it is and I have more than just a knife within reach. I leave that to the imagination.

    I do not consider that paranoia. Cautious is the word I use because it isn't about people "out to get me" it is the simple fact there are bad people amongst us. I do not dwell on it, it isn't in the form of voices inside my head. Call it pessimism or maybe I am just a misanthrope but generally I only think about these sort of things when the situation presents itself. Also communication isn't exactly my forte as some of you can already tell.

    The really paranoid people most of us perceive as those creeps who look outside their windows all the time wondering what their neighbors are doing; those are the ones who constantly think someone is out to get them. Chronic paranoid thoughts are unhealthy. Thinking about it otherwise as a happenstance of the current circumstances is something different.
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  6. With some of the responses I've received, I get the feeling I have given an incorrect impression. I feel the need to clarify that by no means do I actually believe I am part of some global conspiracy centered on me or that there are people out to get me. Whenever I do have these 'paranoid' thoughts (which is rather less often than I said previously), I treat them as I would a fantasy or a 'what if?' scenario/mental game/exercise (I have an overactive imagination), coupled with a healthy dose of 'it never hurts to be prepared'. Furthermore, I have never felt that my life was in danger in any way. The only thing that made this most recent case stand out was that I actually did something about it ('something' being I stood next to a drawer while I listened to two guys going on about 'the end is coming cuz the Bible says so').

    In short, I'm really not crazy, I just have an overactive imagination that I listen to perhaps too much, and I'm sorry my unintentionally poor phrasing choices misled you.

    Also, thank you all for your advice and input. I will be bringing this to the attention of my therapist anyway.
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  7. I actually do this myself to a certain degree. Mostly just with people at the door. However, I have something of a justification for it;

    So I have an estranged dad that I haven't seen in years. Me and my brother are quite happy with this, but naturally he isn't. About 5 or so years back, he basically laid siege to our house, demanding to be let in. We sat through a few hours of antics, ranging from him throwing things at the windows, pounding on the door, shouting things at us, and generally being an arse. Eventually, the police arrived and told him to leave (they then came back a few minutes later telling us they arrested him for something). That ended up being a once off event, but my mum swears she saw him at the door once some time after that day.

    So perhaps you can appreciate that I do worry a little that my creepy dad might be the person at the door when I answer it.
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  8. Some of us have reasons for it and other times some of us are just mentally unstable.
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