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    Paranoid much !

    Dear Arkesie, 

    I have always been quite an anxious person, but I am finding myself questioning people’s motives and treating them with suspicion all the time. I generally mistrust other people and have lost almost all of my friends in doing this. It feels like the world is against me. I am sure that people at work are trying to push me out and get me to either resign or get fired, my boss hates me and they are all just waiting for me to screw everything up so that I can leave and they can get on with their lives. I worry that my doctor is being paid by pharmaceutical companies to prescribe me medication and I think that anyone standing behind me in a queue is trying to get my credit card pin number. I am so sick of questioning everything and feeling uncomfortable. I don’t even like it when people ask me what I do for a job because it feels like they are just trying to get information out of me so they will find out where I live, work and try to follow me. It is hard to trust anyone and I feel like I am losing my mind. Why am I feeling this way?

    From Jenni K

    Dear Jenni

    First of all, it takes great courage to actually put your innermost anxious thoughts onto a public forum for someone to read and respond. You should praise yourself for doing so as I can imagine it must have been hard to do that. Through stepping forward with your difficulties, you are not only shedding light on a very real struggle but are actively seeking help and support to move forwards. 

    I can hear through your writing that you are living with a constant fear of others and are dealing with the symptoms of anxiety on an almost continuous basis. That must be difficult and be highly stressful. These high levels of stress can have a direct impact on your physical health too, as well as your personal life and own inner anxiety levels. 

    I think that it would be highly beneficial for you to speak to a psychotherapist about the feelings of suspicion that you are experiencing. I would recommend that you try to keep a journal of how often you are feeling this way with a short note explaining why those feelings have arisen in those moments. You don’t have to buy an actual book for this (I am sure you would feel anxious that someone would see you doing this and try to read it), you can always use the ‘notes’ section of your mobile phone and just write a few words each time. This will give you a platform to find triggers and possible links between scenarios that will help to help you manage your worries.

    The fight or flight response will of course feel heightened if you feel as though you cannot trust the people around you and no doubt losing close friends would only reaffirm your belief that you are right to feel skeptical too. Through talking to a therapist, I am confident that you will begin to build relationships through talking through your feelings with a licensed therapist. Trust issues often stem from situations that may have happened in the past, so it may be a case of working through those moments too. 

    With consistent reflection and guidance, you will start to find the balance that you seek. Keep going, you have already started your journey by putting your anxieties forward for support. 

    Best of luck, 

    Jimi D Katsis

    Consultant Psychotherapist @ Arkesie