Paranoia and Schizoaffective Disorder
Answer to Reader Question from Allison- “How did you first become paranoid?” I can best describe how I became paranoid by saying I had a traumatic childhood.
Because of the abuse I took from my step father, my mental system of dealing with pressure began to erode. I became an empty shell of pain and doubt. I tried to hide from the imposed guilt, but my empty shell filled itself with despair and loneliness. I tried to fill my empty shell with love, but I failed greatly. The emotional and psychological effects from the abuse, led up to my first bout of paranoia. My science teacher saw me nod off in class one day and yelled, “Hey Sherry Standing, wake up.” I ran to the school’s lavatory and screamed at the top of my lungs, “I’m falling in a big hole and can’t stand it anymore.” I became paranoid at the fact that people were talking about me and that people were going to do me in. I thought it was a school conspiracy. I was sarcastic to everyone. I didn’t get help from a school nurse or doctor or friend because I was afraid and ashamed of myself . In a school meeting I shook like a tumultuous volcano as I disagreed with my higher up. I thought people were watching me all the time. I felt isolated, confused, and suspicious. Psychosis had set in and I was living in the unreal world where I thought that I had the power to change everything and everyone. Now paranoia comes and goes like a ship that passes in the night. Sometimes easy to get rid of and sometimes not so easy. When it’s not easy, I need a reality check from my husband, a friend, my counselor, or doctor. I work on finding out when I am going illogically off and admit when I am paranoid. I take medication for my paranoia. Three main questions that have been helpful to me in managing my paranoia are, “Why do I feel this way?” “What can I do about it?” and “How can I change it?’ Then I take inventory and ask myself, “How true is it that people are really out to get me?