anxiety · bipolar · bpd · depression · help · mental health · paranoia · schizophrenia · stigma · suicide

What a difference a day makes.

Suffering from mental health challenges can sometimes mean one day makes all the difference. One day life is full of hope and possibilities, next it’s a struggle to even get out of bed let alone through the whole day. relatedmedia

One moment you don’t have a care in the world, then in a matter of seconds these thoughts and memories creep into your head! Plaguing your mind and causing you to question the very meaning of life, or to remember every wrong thing you’ve ever done.

A film starts to play of all the worse moments of your life again and again on repeat. Your mind searching for a reason to justify this sudden overwhelming and suffocating emotional pain. Anger and adrenaline swells up from nowhere causing you to be mentally and physically exhausted without having done a thing.

Then the next day all gone… you’re just left having confused everyone including yourself. Consumed on and off with irrational thoughts and emotions often not knowing why or how. Constantly trying to think of reasons why you feel this way, or if feeling desperate even creating them.

An exhausting roller-coaster of not knowing what kind of day you’re going to have.

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There’s a massive frustration that no matter how hard you try to be happy when this cloud envelopes your mind it’s so hard talking, moving, even getting out of bed can feel daunting. 
Did I do this to myself? Am I incapable of happiness? Questions that spin around and a feeling of guilt that while others battle these emotions due to events and life circumstances I battle it for none.

Why do you feel depressed? What has happened? What triggered this?
All questions that cannot be answered.

It’s just a waiting game.

So be patient with those who are trying to explain their mental health is getting them down as there is no telling what kind of day they are having.

anxiety · charity · depression · mental health · paranoia · schizophrenia · stigma

Paranoia

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Paranoia to me is similar to anxiety in the sense that the ‘fight of flight’ feeling can take over. There may be no physical threat but your body and mind start racing which can lead to panic attacks or misplaced & even misdirected emotions.

“Paranoia is a thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of delusion and irrationality. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory, or beliefs of conspiracy concerning a perceived threat towards oneself”

People can be paranoid about different things, but here are some examples of common types of paranoid thoughts…

You might think that:

  • you are being talked about behind your back or watched by people or organisations (either on or offline)
  • other people are trying to make you look bad or exclude you
  • you are at risk of being physically harmed or killed
  • people are using hints and double meanings to secretly threaten you or make you feel bad
  • other people are deliberately trying to upset or irritate you
  • people are trying to take your money or possessions
  • your actions or thoughts are being interfered with by others
  • you are being controlled or that the government is targeting you

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Paranoia can be hard to define at times, when does a thought or feeling become paranoid?

Suspicious thoughts are more likely to be paranoid if:

  • no one else shares the suspicious thought
  • there’s no definite evidence for the suspicious thought
  • there is evidence against the suspicious thought
  • it’s unlikely you would be singled out
  • you still have the suspicious thought despite reassurance from others
  • your suspicions are based on feelings and ambiguous events

It’s also good to realise that not all suspicions are necessarily paranoid. We all have good reason to be suspicious sometimes. Justified suspicions are suspicions that you have evidence for. For example, if lots of people have been mugged on your street, it is not paranoid to think that you might be mugged too and take care when walking through your area. Justified suspicions can help keep you safe.

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So is paranoia a mental health issue or when does it become one?

Paranoia is a symptom of some mental health problems and not a diagnosis itself.

Paranoid thoughts can be anything from very mild to very severe and these experiences can be quite different. This depends on how much:

  • you believe the paranoid thoughts
  • you think about the paranoid thoughts
  • the paranoid thoughts upset you
  • the paranoid thoughts interfere with your everyday life

Lots of people experience mild paranoia at some point in their lives – maybe up to a third of us. This is usually called non-clinical paranoia. These kind of paranoid thoughts often change over time – so you might realise that they are not justified or just stop having those particular thoughts.

Paranoia can be one symptom of these mental health problems:

  • paranoid schizophrenia– a type of schizophrenia where you experience extreme paranoid thoughts
  • delusional disorder(persecutory type) – a type of psychosis where you have one main delusion related to being harmed by others
  • paranoid personality disorder

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depression · mental health · paranoia · poetry · schizophrenia · stigma

Schizophrenia

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This diagnosis has had many baffled before, I myself did not know much about it assuming it meant that you had a ‘split personality’ or maybe a ‘multiple split personality’, but schizophrenia causes a range of different psychological symptoms.
Doctors often describe schizophrenia as a type of psychosis. This means the person may not always be able to distinguish their own thoughts and ideas from reality.

‘Schizophrenia changes how a person thinks and behaves’

Symptoms

You may be diagnosed with schizophrenia if you experience some of the following symptoms:

  • a lack of interest in things
  • feeling disconnected from your feelings
  • difficulty concentrating
  • wanting to avoid people
  • hallucinations
  • hearing voices
  • delusions
  • feeling like you need to be protected.
  • hallucinations – hearing or seeing things that don’t exist
  • delusions – unusual beliefs not based on reality 
  • muddled thoughts based on hallucinations or delusions
  • changes in behaviour

 

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To discover more on schizophrenia click here

Schizophrenia and stigma

There is more media misinformation about schizophrenia than about any other type of mental health problem!
A diagnosis of schizophrenia does not mean ‘split personality’, or indicate that someone will swing wildly from being calm to being out of control.

Sensational stories in the press tend to present people with schizophrenia as dangerous, even though most people diagnosed with schizophrenia don’t commit violent crimes.

Poem I wrote…

Help

Something is trying to kill me,

It doesn’t want me alive.

It fills me with confusion,

Burying a deep sadness down inside.

I wish I could describe this feeling without sounding insane.

About the battle going on within me,

Of the demon picking away at my brain.

If my life had any meaning he’s drained me of it somehow,

No space for any logic or reason, it’s too late for me now.

As while he has control of messing with my mind,

Though supportive suggestions are given to me

No peace will I find.

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