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Solution searching. Thursday March 23, 2017

When my paranoia really takes hold it's difficult for me to see what's real unless I have 100 per cent proof to the contrary! This can be exhausting for my friends. It also feels confusing for me as I've always had very good intuition. Therefore I have to try to solve the mystery of what is true, as my intuition has proved right many times, and what is not, as my paranoia has been proved wrong many times!

I've spent the last 4 years 'working' on my paranoia in addition to my anxiety, bouts of depression and extreme sensitivity. I'm often led to believe that being too sensitive is a fault of mine.

Now I've begun to wonder if not thinking altogether is the solution. To just try and focus on the here and now at every opportunity. To try not to hide behind endless work and study and general busyness.

Or is there ultimately not a solution? Do I just need to accept the way I am and maybe even feel proud? This is the first time I've publicly admitted to having paranoia. I've never had a diagnosis.

Do you feel proud of who you are? Or like me do you continue to try and find 'solutions?'

Jane SG
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Tychi's Mum Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 3:20am

Good morning Jane, thank you for being brave enough to write this blog. It's certainly food for thought.
Also, well done for admitting that you feel paranoid....that's a huge, scary, leap. It sounds as if you've already found good coping mechanisms and that you are very self aware. So...good on you. Perhaps if you feel able to speak to a health professional about the paranoia there may other avenues to explore.
Also, have you read the recent comments about the idea of being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)?'s definitely something I'm going to read up on .I think the recommended author was Elaine N Aron and she has written a series of books on the subject. There's also an online test to see if you "qualify" as a HSP.I did!
In response to your question...I think trying not to think can help for periods of time but I personally struggle to achieve that.
I practice mindfulness which has an element of being aware of your thoughts. Both strategies help me at different times of my deppresive cycle.
I personally can't accept the "me" with depression. I fight against it and truly hate the illness. Perhaps with time, and if my illness continues, I'll learn to be more accepting of it.
I am currently slightly high following a deep bout of depression. Therefore, I can't sleep. Hence the ridiculous hour of the comment.
Sorry if I've rambled on....sleep deprivation makes it very difficult to concentrate and to be succint!
Wishing all of you lovely Moodscopers a positive day and well done to you Jane.Great blog.
Tychi's Mum x

Jane SG Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 6:46am

Thanks Tychi's Mum. I meant to order the Elaine Aron book and forgot again!!!! I must do so this week. Mindfulness is something I would I would like to improve on. Wishing you a good day also, love Jane. X

Mary Wednesday Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 7:20am

I did! Both your serious comment and your leather bikini armour one! Sword at the ready- here I come.

Mary Wednesday Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 7:21am

Oops... that comment was for Tychi's Mum, below!

Tychi's Mum Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 3:28am

Mary, I have posted a comment about your blog yesterday x

Mary Wednesday Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 7:18am

Thank you. I was so busy yesterday I was almost meeting myself coming back, but I have now replied to some of the comments. Not sure if I replied to you... I will check...

Jane SG Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 6:49am

Hi all, just to let you know that I'm the same Jane whose brother passed away before Christmas. I've changed my blog name to Jane SG to avoid confusion with another Jane! Xxx

Mary Wednesday Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 7:23am

Paranoia v Intuition... interesting.And definitely worth further study. I don't have suggestions, but surely *someone* must have written a book on the subject....

Jane SG Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 4:39pm

Hi Mary, I must confess I've not thought to look so now I will! X

Orangeblossom Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 7:47am

Hi all, I have found practising mindfulness meditation immensely beneficial. I use the Headspace app as I find Andy's voice very easy to listen to. You can try 10 days free before fully subscribing to the various packages. Also, if you are Facebook, there is a presence of Headspace.

Jane SG Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 4:39pm

Thanks Orangeblossom, I will try the app x

Leah Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 7:47am

What a moving and revealing blog. I have no answers probably only more questions. Do what works for you and if it doesn't work try something elsexx

Jane SG Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 4:41pm

Thanks Leah. It does seem to vary sometimes, what works, but I do have some books like 'feel the fear and do it anyway' which helps when I dip into it xxx

Jul Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 8:18am

Hello JaneSG. Coincidentally I was thinking only last night that perhaps I should start accepting how I am most days as OK and not continually strive and hope for the elusive day when I will feel on top of the world. I suggested this to my OH and he said that's a good idea (him not really wanting to enter in a discussion about this, he said very little) But I asked him why was it a good idea and he said very simply because you will stop worrying about it. Now that wasn't many words but I stopped there as actually it made a lot of sense. Every day I wonder when my next good night's sleep will be and hoping it will happen the night before something important will be happening the next day. We are having visitors here in Spain on Saturday and I have spent weeks hoping against hope I will have at least one bright cheerful confident day while they are here. But I have decided well the chances are this just won't happen so I might as well give up hoping it will! Does it really matter? No! I manage most days and I will manage when the visitors arrive. I have decided to have no expectations and to not constantly think and worry about when the next good day will be.Let's see how our re framing works out Jane. Just accept and be proud of who you are. That's my advice to you and me! A lovely blog Jane. Thank you. Julxx

The Gardener Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 10:58am

Jul, sad that changing countries does not help mood. We are not anti-British, but whenever we crossed the channel a load lifted - light the log fire, up to the breadshop, get local paper - dawdle down looking at the Mt St Michel - then the priest would be on doorstop - some 'do' did not matter what, footer club, school funds, Old Comrades. You WILL come, won't you - dig out dress, wind up French, prepared stomach for huge meal, repel the more drunken dancers etc etc - Have some tapas for me, and Buenas dias - enjoy xxx

Jul Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 11:14am

Buenas Dias Gardener. Thank you for your concern. Being in Spain has lifted my mood. It's just that we are having visitors and I get in a tizz about how I am going to be and feel. It's a build up of worry. Part of Jane's blog today made me think about my conversation (if you can call it that!!)with my OH last night. I'll be thinking of you again soon when we have our Spanish lunch. Julxxx

The Gardener Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 12:27pm

Hola again - I think a 'tizz' is often the adrenalin which is unavoidable when embarking on anything demanding - from a frustrated gardener - it's wet and gloomy

Jane SG Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 5:14pm

Hi Jul, it was so nice to see your reply. I think it's good advice to try and take pressure of yourself and stop worrying. It's easier said than done though sometimes isn't it! I do feel that maybe you could try to take every min as it comes, one minute at a time. And don't try too hard. Good luck!!! Xxx

Tutti Frutti Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 8:57am

Jane I guess it's different things that work for different people. I do accept my bipolar and that I can never cure it but i am battling it as best I can so as to minimise its impact on me. Id do the same with a chronic physical health condition. For example i have a family history of type 2 diabetes so I knew I had to lose the 2.5 stone i put on with meds/frame of mind last time I went manic. It may have taken 3 years to get in the right frame of mind to do this but I am back at a healthy weight now.
Love TF x

Mary I have replied to you on yesterday's blog.

Jane SG Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 5:15pm

Hi TF, well done for finding the right mindset for this. I find some days easier than others xxx

Tim Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 9:40am

One of the best things to get, in response to how we "present", is when a good friend tells you "We love you just the way you are". Eventually, we start to believe it. Solutions are sometimes no more complex (or worth seeking) than that.

Sally Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 10:25am

I like that, Tim " We love you just the way you are", thanks for the reminder. Sally

Jane SG Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 5:18pm

Thanks for this Tim. I've found myself trusting one or two people a little bit more recently, being authentic with them where possible and exposing what I consider to be the 'silly Jane.' And supprisingly they do seem to still care! Very reasurring

Sally Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 10:23am

I think you are very brave, Jane SG to open up about your paranoia as I believe that trust is a vital part of that condition, or should I say, lack of trust when paranoia sets in. I have known 2 friends suffer from it, and I know that there is medication out there that works for some people. Paranoia is a much misunderstood illness or state in mental health, and Mary Wednesday mentioned intuition/ paranoia. There have been studies, and mental health charities produce a fact sheet on it which I found helpful when I knew nothing about it back in the Millenium and was trying to help someone... intuition can be a factor, not to be dismissed.
I think the rebuilding of trust is a core element to getting better, and that help of the right kind must be an already depleted service, not easy to get, I know.
But. To get back to you, Jane SG , thank you for writing about this very much taboo subject...anything helpful I can learn about it is/ would be helpful . Take care, you are valued on Moodscope.

Jane SG Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 5:21pm

Thanks so much Sally. It's very hard to explain but when I am in the grip of something I believe to be true it's very difficult to convince me otherwise. I search for proof either way! Afterwards, when I see more clearly, I ask myself 'why do you do this when most of the time you are wrong!!!' But I still do it. I have worked very hard at managing it over the past 2-3 years though and I have improved! Xxx

The Gardener Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 11:08am

Hello Jane SG. Never managed to control my thoughts - no matter what is going on a train of thought like a goods train will form in my mind. Never really understood 'paranoia' medical dictionary says unfounded belief that the person is being persecuted by something or something - often allied to other mental illnesses. Mr G has had an awful downturn - cannot be left alone at all - causing acute management problems in the house - is this actual paranoia arising from Alzheimers? Is agoraphobia paranoia? Fear of the dark, I think, is not - scary stories, the fact that evil elements will use the dark to operate are plausible. Does paranoia cross over with obsessions? Like people who incessantly wash their hands? Check everything 10 times? Very grey area. Referring to Sally - I did not think it was a 'taboo' subject

Sally Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 9:53pm

TG, what I meant by taboo subject was that nobody likes to mention it for fear of shocking. There seems to be a huge amount of shame in my experience around the topic. Surely that's why the word is often used flippantly - we often don't know enough about it, & it scares us.

The Gardener Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 11:30am

My brain has 'jumped' again. Favourite humurous author, Alan Coren. I recalled a piece - found it 'Hotel for Phobics' - item about it in the Daily Telegraph - it was opened in Skegness. Hilariously funny unless you suffer from any of the phobias described therin. One 'a man who sleeps in the middle of the lawn with his foot roped to a sundial in the event of gravity suddenly stopping and him falling off into space'.

Jane SG Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 5:25pm

Hello Gardener. The Hotel does sound very interesting to say the least! I must look up the article. I used to have to touch everything four times when I was a child. Thankfully no more, it was exhausting! My Mum is starting to swear a bit more now with her Alzheimer's, she never did before. I really have no idea how you manage every day I admire you so much

Michael Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 12:01pm

Jane I'm also constantly searching for solutions and am frequently left feeling disparaged as there goes something else that doesn't work (even though frustratingly it seems to help lots of other people). Also frustratingly some things appear to work for a time only for the results to gradually fade away.

But surely it is only human to not give up and keep looking for an answer(s)?

I cannot believe (in general how quickly people post reviews "Ive had this for a day or a week and now I feel amazing"....utterly ridiculous. (unless of course you are reviewing something like heroin or cocaine).

Something has to consistently help me for many months before I acknowledge that it may have some benefit. This is because our system is always trying to "revert to the norm" anyway (homeostasis) it can be tricky ascribing cause and effect. The number of times I have had an appointment for say a bad back and scheduled a chiropractic appointment or massage, only to have to cancel it at the last moment. I may have had the pain for months. Then the day after the cancelled appointment. Pain gone and may be gone for weeks. If I had attended the appointment, then it would be so tempting and human to ascribe the improvement to that modality.

I don't want to be a bigger downer, but good luck with the "not thinking at all solution". You are of course totally correct, it would make all the difference in the world. But trying to stop thinking is like trying to stop a river flowing with your hands (I have found after 40 years of meditation, mindfulness etc etc).

I don't know if it will be helpful, but the little bit you have described about yourself appears to indicate you may have "atypical depression"...a key feature of which is hypersensitivity.

This by the way is "NOT YOUR FAULT". It is a feature of an illness you have, not the result of lazy thinking etc etc

To switch to a more positive spin Jane. It sounds to me (like many others of us on this site) that you are being very honest and authentic about who you are and how you are affected by this illness...rather than burying your head in the sand, trying to rationalise things, hanging onto fantasy notions or just being plain unrealistic.

The problem is those of us with these types of illnesses are often seeing the world "unblinkered" for what it really is. That can be incredibly tough as there are fewer and fewer places to seek refuge from "reality".

Leah Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 12:18pm

It is good to see your comment again.
Do you think we live in an age of instant gratification instant results- I know this is a cliche but it is true in many instances.
The more I try not to think, try mindfulness the more I think. I would not know how to think.
I agree that people on moodscope who allow themselves to be vulnerable and honest show far more insight than many others.
Jane you have certainly stirred us and made us think!! Thanks.

Michael Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 12:38pm

Hi Leah. Functional MRI studies have indicated that for severe depression mindfulness can actually increase the distress registered in certain parts of our brain and thus be counterproductive. Tends to be more effective in mild to moderate depression. Which just goes to indicate how complicated it all gets and why things that work for one person may not help another or even make their situation worse. AND this is why we should always try and default to being KIND TO OURSELVES (at least tip proven otherwise). That thing we tried and did not work for us, more than likely is not because we are a screw up, lazy etc etc This is where intuition can be our ally, because it is a bespoke service for the individual in all their unique glory and imperfection. Of course even this is not straightforward as paranoia can highjack being able to trust our own judgement/intuition. And lets face it when one is really ill, vulnerable and worn out, it is at these times we just want someone else to take up the reins for us. But this is where TRUSTing a professional comes in. This trust can only develop gradually over time and this is where reality kicks in. How often have we invested months or years getting to know and trust our Dr or therapist, only for them to leave, be moved on or replaced. That initial hour of the "first" appointment never happens again. The new consultant or locum now just gets 15 minutes with you!!!

Jane SG Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 5:31pm

Thanks again Leah, it's been so interesting reading all the replies xx

A View from the Far Side Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 7:49pm

Michael, that's fascinating about MRI studies. My late husband was given mindfulness and it certainly didn't help him. I find it useful on and off, but I am not consistent in my practice, but have learnt enough for it to be helpful. I don't feel bad about my inconsistency, I tell myself I have a cyclical not linear personality and so I do things as and when I need them. I think that's why I prefer the Buddhify to the Headspace app. You just find which suits you best I guess.

Michael Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 12:25pm

Jane just to add. There is a world of difference between paranoia and paranoid. The former is a state we found useful as cavepeople for survival. Healthy paranoia (suspicion/wariness) means we are on alert when we get, for instance, a cold caller whose motive is to defraud us. Paranoia means we are not so easily sucked in.

Paranoid on the other hand is a serious symptom of mental illness. A delusional state, which means that despite strong evidence to the contrary, we do not budge an inch and are 100% sure our view is correct.

Jane SG Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 5:30pm

Dear Michael, thank you for taking the time to post these replies. They are really interesting and helpful. I am particularly interested in your descriptions of paranoid and paranoia. I'm afraid I have the latter. Not so severe that I hear voices or imagine that people are out to 'get me' but I do get incredibly suspicious and believe people don't like me or are excluding me. It's not an easy thing to admit to. It's not a 'pretty' trait. I find it hard not to believe it's my fault. It's interesting also what you said about atypical depression. I'm going to look into that a bit more. Thanks for the encouragement and your kind words x

Molly Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 7:49pm

Thanks for clarifying which Jane you are :-) I'm not really in the mood to write or read much today but I can relate with the paranoia and often think everyone are talking about me but then remember they have their own lives. Like you, I do not know when I am wrong or right. I'm also intuitive and this can be a blessing but does this get out of hand, like when we start believing in our own minds, things that are not true? Very comforting to know that others feel the same, I liked your blog Jane xx

Leah Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 9:57pm

Hi Molly, It is interesting how you describe your feelings as I suppose I would not have seen that as paranoia but maybe being anxious. I think it really helps other being so honest. Take care xx

Jane SG Fri, Mar 24th 2017 @ 2:58am

Hi Molly, thank you so much for taking the time to comment when you say you weren't in the mood much to write. I'm really glad you did and I'm glad you liked the blog. Yes it's really difficult to control thoughts sometimes and not believe the negative ones when sometimes our intuition is right. So confusing! Xx

A View from the Far Side Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 7:51pm

Jane SG, yep definitely feel proud. :-) And read the Elaine Aron if you can. I hope it helps. Your sensitivity is a gift.

Molly Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 9:53pm

I have ordered this book, looking forward to reading it. Mind you I have read many books and whilst they might help soothe, they will never be life changing. We are the way we are.

Jane SG Fri, Mar 24th 2017 @ 3:00am

Hi AVFTFS. Thank you! I'm working on the feeling proud and whole self esteem. I'm also trying to set some healthier boundsrires wjth people so that I don't feel taken for granted. Thank you! Xx

Jane SG Fri, Mar 24th 2017 @ 3:02am

Will try the book! I havingvsome 'tools' like some books helps me to manage my thoughts sometimes x

Valerie Fri, Mar 24th 2017 @ 9:05am

I can really relate to this.I have always picked up on other people's moods,and am considered to be psychic and intuitive.It can be hard to decide if you are really onto something,or just having a paranoid feeling.Anxiety and depression,plus childhood and family background, all contribute in my case. Real examples of people doing bad things behind my back,problems with trust,being stabbed in the back by those I should have felt safe with.Add a strong creative imagination,and you have the perfect environment for seeing plots everywhere.It is obviously something Moodscopers have related to-look at all these replies! xx

Jane SG Fri, Mar 24th 2017 @ 12:10pm

Thanks Valerie. You have summed it up for me beautifully. This is exactly what my daily battle is. Have a good day xxx

LP Fri, Mar 24th 2017 @ 6:48pm

Hi Jane SG,
I just wanted to thank you for writing such an interesting blog.
I have worried alot about what people think of me and have had a tendency to assume the worst. Perhaps there has been some paranoia.
I have in the last year been able to be more open straight forward and honest with people, leaving less room for paranoia.
So I guess I'm saying, I dint think you have to accept that is who you are if it feels uncomfortable.
I have tried to change the things that I do that I know are not good for me. I hope that it's helpful for you too. LPxx

Jane SG Sat, Mar 25th 2017 @ 8:39am

Hi LP, thanks so much for taking the time to comment. This is helpful. I have been 'braver' lately about being more authentic with some people and saying how I feel but not every time and not with everyone. I feel like I still need to make some changes as I'm giving too much to others and not enough to myself. I feel that one person in particular, who I have loved unconditionally for some time, is taking me for granted. Sometimes it helps my overthinking just to pull back from people and take some space and rest. Love Jane xxxx

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