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Linda D.
Linda D., Psychotherapist, LMSW, CASAC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 706
Experience:  LMSW, CASAC
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I'm not too sure whether or not or whether it's a normal

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Hey, I'm not too sure whether to follow up or not or whether it's a normal experience for people, but I'm having worsened paranoia. Overwhelming feel that people are talking about me and have a tendency to snap when drunk for example. Only cause I hear what seem like legit conversations about me, only to find out that apparently it was nothing at all. There's been several occasions now.
JA: How is your mood? Are you experiencing regular sleep disturbances (e.g. trouble falling asleep, waking up early)?
Customer: Like it's always there, but I completely lose a grip of it when I start drinking lots
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the Psychologist should know?
Customer: Im already on escitelopram for my anxiety
JA: How long have you been dealing with this? Is there anything in particular that seems to make the symptoms better or worse?
Customer: It's gotten worse over the past couple years.

Welcome to JA. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in NYS. I am preparing my reply and will post in one moment.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

Hello, there has been research released recently that states that we have somewhere around 55,000 separate thoughts throughout the day and 75% of these thoughts are negative. Unfortunately negative self talk is far to common but we can use cognitive behavioral techniques to manage them. Learn to reign in your negative thoughts. One of the reasons you're paranoid is probably that you tend to assume the worst in any situation, and focus on the worst thing that can happen instead of being realistic about the possible outcome. You may think that everyone hates you or is talking about you, that everyone hates your new haircut, that your new boss is out to get you -- however, it's very likely that none of this is true. The next time you have a very negative thought, stop and do the following: Ask yourself how likely it is that the negative thought you're having is actually likely to come true. When you're expecting the worst, consider all of the possible outcomes of a situation, not just the most negative ones. Then you'll see that there are many other possibilities besides the worst one. Try to combat each negative thought you have with two positive thoughts. For example, if you're worried that everyone thinks your new shoes look terrible, remind yourself how great your hair and outfit look. Stop obsessing over every little thing. Part of being paranoid means not just considering that everyone is against you or out to get you, but it also means thinking about this constantly. The more you think about the same negative thing, the more you indulge your paranoid thoughts, and the more you become convinced that they are likely to be accurate. Though it's impossible to stop obsessing completely, there are a few tricks that can help you minimize your obsessive thoughts: Give yourself a designated "worry time." Tell yourself that you're going to freak out about whether or not your best friend secretly hates you or if your boyfriend is cheating on you from 5-5:30 every evening. Spend this time sitting down with your paranoid thoughts, evaluating them, and trying to minimize them. If a worry comes up during a different part of the day, just try to mentally move it to your "worry time." Remember Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind. When faced with a difficult problem, she says, "I'll think about that tomorrow." Tell yourself the same thing when a thought keeps nagging at you -- tell yourself that it may be a cause for concern, but that you don't have time to stop and obsess over it. Keep a journal that tracks your paranoid thoughts. Reread it weekly. This can help you not only get out some of your paranoid feelings in a more introspective fashion, but it can also help you see that some of your paranoid fears were completely unfounded when you read back over what you've written.Confide in a close friend. Having someone you can talk to about your paranoid feelings can help you get your worries out in the open and get some perspective. Even the act of vocalizing some of your fears can make you see that they are probably untrue. Your friend may be able to provide rational and concrete examples that prove you wrong. Just make sure you pick one of your more rational and even-keeled friends. You don't want someone who might encourage your paranoid behavior and make you feel worse. Stay too busy to be paranoid. Another way to avoid being paranoid is to not give yourself a lot of time to wallow or sit around thinking about what everyone else is thinking about you, or worrying that the world is going to end. Though staying busy can't help you escape your problems, it can help you focus your energies on more productive outlets, such as pursuing your interests or attaining your personal goals. If you spend even a few hours a week pursuing something that your really love you're guaranteed to be less absorbed in your paranoid thoughts. Make sure you leave some room in your schedule for reflection. Just don't leave your schedule wide open or you'll have too much time to be paranoid.Seek professional help if it's necessary. There's a difference between worrying that all of your friends are always talking about you and letting this thought completely consume you. There's also a difference between knowing that your thoughts are irrational on some level and suffering from serious delusions that everyone is really out to hurt you or just out to "get you." If you feel like your paranoid feelings are taking over your life and preventing you from enjoying your everyday interactions or socializing at all, then talk to a psychotherapist to get help for your condition. I have gi8ven you a lot of suggestions, I hope some or all of them are able to help.

Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help. I wish you all the best. Thank you for using Just Answer, i would appreciate you taking a moment to rate my service to you. Sincerely, ***** ***** LMSW, CASAC

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
You've made some good legitimate points of what and how to deal with. And I don't know if I'm just a victim of my own mind or If I have actually kinda cooked something in my brain because of my history over a couple years ago with drugs. I've never considered myself a mentally weak dude but it's gotten considerably worse when I actually hear fluent conversations about myself from people so close to me that I know wouldn't say those things. I don't mean to rehash myself but my final question being if it could be a symptom of a mental illness, such as schizophrenia
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Disorder/illness whatever the proper term.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
no longer a user of illicit drugs) just if you're thinking that it may be due to side affects or a comedown etc.

Thank you for waiting for my response, I was working with a client in my practice for the last hour. To answer your question, paranoid schizophrenia is the most common type of schizophrenia in most parts of the world. The clinical picture is dominated by relatively consistent, often paranoid, delusions, usually accompanied by hallucinations, particularly of the auditory variety, and perceptual disturbances. so yes, technically paranoia can be a symptom of schizophrenia but the presentation of the symptoms are much more intense than what you described here. Your description o fy9ur experiences sound more anxiety based to me. Does this make sense? Linda D.

Linda D. and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Yep always thought it fell under the branch of anxiety. Really wasn't sure of where to take it so I thought I'd give this a bash, Was out of sheer curiousity really.
Ps. Your vocabulary makes me feel like a kindergartener lmao you smart. Thanks for the response, you made me feel less cooked ��

;^) good! Thank you for the positive rating..............I wish you all the best. Linda D.