I know it’s the paranoia talking – but how can I make it stop?
There’s no quick fix, says our elder. But I’d start by talking to a counselor.
I’ve been suffering with paranoia for a while and it’s gotten really bad. I have a really low self-esteem. I don’t necessarily not like myself, but I feel like everyone else hates me. I always feel like I’m too self-centered but when I talk to other people about them it always sounds really fake. I have a hard time holding conversations with most people, and even if I do, I’ll wonder if I said something wrong or if they don’t like me. Even if I’ve known people for years, I feel like I annoy them and they hate me. I have really bad anxiety and even though I know it doesn’t make sense, the smallest things will lead me to the conclusion that the person hates me (like leaving me on read, not responding to texts, removing me from a spam account on Insta etc). It’s gotten to a point where I feel like my friends hate me and even my family does too. I don’t know how to make this stop, but it’s making me depressed which makes me even less fun to be around. I need help.
It sounds like you are in a lot of pain! Despite that, you seem to have some good insight into the things that are bothering you. You are not blaming others, but are truly looking in yourself for answers. That is to be commended! It shows a certain level of maturity.
From your description of what is going on with you, I think you have hit the nail on the head. You have low self-esteem. You say you feel like everyone hates you. You say that this is making you feel depressed, and that you need help. Reaching out for help is also a sign of maturity. The fact that you don’t necessarily dislike yourself is a good thing. If you hated yourself and felt like everyone else did too, you would have a harder problem to deal with.
There is no easy answer or quick fix for what you are going through. This thought that everyone hates you seems to be pervasive, be it with your friends, or even your family. Probably the most helpful thing you could do is to talk with a counselor about the way you feel. Low self-esteem is very common and they know how to help people deal with the things you are struggling with. You mention anxiety and depression, which are both manageable, especially with some professional help.
If you are in school, perhaps there is a school or college counselor you could turn to. If that is not the case and you are living at home with your parents, could you ask your parents if you could see a counselor? If you are not comfortable with that, or if you are older, there may be a government run mental health center you could seek help from.
In the meantime, there are some things that might help.
Your own thoughts have tremendous power in the way you see yourself. Try redirecting your negative thoughts. It sounds like you spend a lot of time second guessing things that you have done and said. When you start doing that, tell yourself you don’t want to go there and instead think positively about yourself. For instance, when you think someone hates you because they have not responded to your text, think about other reasons they may have not responded.
When you are with family or friends, notice the things they say and do that affirm you. If they invite you to do something with them, remind yourself that they are doing so because they enjoy being with you. If they compliment you, accept the compliment and feel good about it!
Like I said, what you are going through sounds painful. But I think it is manageable for you. I hope you are able to find someone to talk with about this in person. Be good to yourself!
Article #: 407531