If your stream of thoughts feel more like a flood of worries that are drowning you, that is anxiety.
Paranoia will undoubtedly ruin even the most pleasurable of moments in your life, like trying to figure out your life during a movie, or pondering whether or not the gas oven was turned off, though you never use it.
Paranoia and anxiety cause problems beyond emotional ones. Once you know how anxiety and paranoid thoughts are ruining your life, you can work to stop the crippling effects. Now, I do not want to trigger anyone, but these are the thoughts that often spin me into a panic attack. I think these are important to list, because it does two things: defines how something simple can be over-analyzed, and how these thoughts trigger intense bouts of fear and terror.
Biggest Paranoid Thoughts That Are Ruining Your Life
1. “I just want to go home” or “I can’t face these people”
Social anxiety is quite common, but some people will dread stepping out in front of others for weeks or months until the day of. Then, even if they do get through the public moment, they are deeply uncomfortable with it long after all is said and done. The fear of being negatively judged is too much to bear.
This can destroy people, leading to other phobias such as walking out in busy places, or serious bouts of stage fright. You stop seeing those you care about, participating in community or work-related events, and never date because you do not want to be criticized.
2. “Did I do all the things on the to-do list? Did I remember to…?”
Ever stay awake well into the night because you can’t turn of the excessive amount of worries racing through your mind? That is a key sign of paranoia. You think about all the things you should have or could have done. If someone snaps at you, you spend the rest of the day thinking about it.
If something terrible happened in the past, it comes back to haunt you. There are no breaks, and your health begins to crumble. Headaches, backaches, no sleep, depression, trembling, and being constantly on edge have become the everyday condition.
3. “I need to get into that school (and only that one) to succeed”
… or “I need to get that job (and only that job) to get somewhere in life.” Rigid thinking does you in one thought at a time by twisting your good-natured thoughts and transforming them into a lethal poison. You begin to see only a single path in the world, and you cannot break from it.
Rigid thinking goes in line with perfectionism, making you adhere to strict regimens to fulfill a certain level of expectation without yourself. If you fail, you cannot accept it, and you may even hurt yourself because of it.
4. “Am I loved as much as they say I am?” or “Am I really good enough?”
The question of self-worth and approval from others is always something that haunts the anxious person forever. They begin to become more and more paranoid about those around them. That later you heard in the mall? Your paranoia makes you think it was aimed at you.
Those glances in your direction? Something is obviously wrong with your face. And when you do finally fall in love, you question every single moment with that person. Why did they choose you? Why do they like you so much? There is an ulterior motive somewhere, you think. All the while, your paranoia is stripping you of enjoyment and the comfort of being in your own skin.
Paranoid thoughts are not always interlaced with anxiety, but the two do share extreme similarities. If your paranoia is controlling your mind, it also has control of your life. However, you have already taken an important step in figuring out how to stop these thoughts from ruining your life. You know there is a problem. Now, you can make the steps needed to fix it.