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I feel being spied on


MorbidOrchid
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So this is like really weird, recently I have been feeling like someone is watching over me, spying my phone and computer, reading my thoughts or stalking me, at first I thought this is just me being paranoid but thing is just getting worse because I can't seem to trust anyone like I'm suspicious of my family and even my friends of doing this. Even when someone randomly mentions something that I might be related to, I get this ridiculous all panicked feeling that they are spying on me rather than just thinking it might be a coincidence. It's getting terrible day by day and I don't feel safe anywhere. I don't even want to tell my parents about this fear of mine. Can someone please help me how to overcome this.

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Hello, MO, welcome! :)

I can see this has to feel scary :( ... The good thing is that you're able to recognize that something's wrong with you, so you can still maintain a certain rational distance and see your emotions and suspicions as potentially inadequate, not based on external reality. Nobody here could diagnose you or suggest you any concrete treatment - we're not professionals and we know too little about you. But we can tell you that seeing professional help would be probably the best option (although it also depends on the help that is available to you where you live :( ). Can you see a doctor or a psychologist without your parents? If not, it would be necessary to tell them about your symptoms. But I imagine it could help to find out a bit more serious info about paranoia, so that you would understand yourself and "what's happening to you" better and also to be prepared to explain your family some things they may not know or understand, or refer them to some websites / literature. Don't forget to reassure them that rationally you know they are not spying on you, you just can't help but have those feelings / anxieties, ... so that they won't feel "accused" or "suspected" (and then unjustly angry at you).

That's at least how I imagine it - perhaps you can tell then right now, without first reading about paranoia.

I recently replied to another member who, in her case, struggles with psychosis. I know it's very different from your situation, yet I suppose perhaps seeing what I suggested her would be interesting for you, too. Because you may feel "weird and alone in this", but... there are so many people struggling with different mental delusions (hear voices, have hallucinations, feel that somebody is watching them, ...) and many of those can find the right attitude and/or help and peer-support for themselves and live their lives without (much or any) distress caused by this condition.

Here is the link to that post - no need to read it, I post it just in case if you're interested:

http://www.mentalsupportcommunity.net/index.php?/topic/10226-feel-empty-and-lost/#comment-124423

 

Good luck! And keep posting! :) 

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Thank you LaLa.

The first thing I did after reading your advice is finding information about my situation like you suggested and this has confirmed one thing so far, that I'm being paranoid and delusional. I tried to do some tests available online and I've found that I might be suffering from Borderline personality disorder as well, however I don't know if it is true or not because I have a strong feeling that my inputs could have been wrong because of my delusions. You see how weird it is? I can't even trust myself. I too think seeking a professional would be best option before it gets out of hand. However I am still stuck on the part where I have to tell my parents about this, I'm not really close to them and I can't find the courage to explain this situation. I have previously tried to tell my mother about my problems in a subtle way but she is too dismissive of it. I also have a habit of lying or concealing the truth about little things so nobody really believes me when I say something. Although in this case I'm being hundred percent truthful and I need the help, I just don't know how to tell them so they won't think I'm making this up.

Thanks again for your help.

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Hello, Morbidorchid. I would also like to welcome you to our community. :)

I'm sorry that you've been struggling. :( It's good to reach out for help if you need to. I hear you that it's very difficult to approach your family with your concerns, especially if they have been dismissive in the past. Do you have any siblings that you could talk with first? If so maybe they could be with you when you talk to your parents if that might be helpful. Or possibly you might reach out to a counselor at school?

I hope that your parents are supportive and help you in this. Take care, Orchid.

 

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Hi MorbidOrchid, I don't know enough about your parents to suggest how to approach them, but I can tell you about my situation.  I had depression and suicidal ideation (making plans but not following through on them) since I was 8 years old, possibly earlier.  My parents (well Mom, really, Dad left us alone after the divorce) didn't want to believe that I had issues. I didn't know how to talk to my mom about it, and back then I had an attitude anyway which would have prevented me from receiving help even if it were offered. So I just escaped. It wasn't a conscious decision; I was desperate to change the way I felt, and I found that certain activities did so.  This got me through until I was old enough to take care of myself, at which point I started to realize I needed professional help.  I was in college at the time, and went to the University student services to get help finding a therapist etc. They even had students who were learning that did therapy under supervision, for a reduced fee. Eventually I started to get better, but it took many years of trying different therapists and different treatments.

That is what actually happened. However, looking back, it would possibly have been better if I got help earlier. Using my now adult understanding, I think if I had written a letter out telling my mom exactly what was going on, then that might have gotten through to her.  I'm even thinking of writing a letter to her now, with the hopes of explaining some of my current behavior that is the outcome of having a persistent mental health problem. I think written communication can help with serious matters such as this because we can organize our thoughts as we write, and delete stuff that comes out wrong. So even writing a letter that you don't send can help.

That is what works in my situation, but my point is to keep trying different ways to communicate until you get through to them. If nothing else they will eventually notice that you are trying to tell them something, and possibly approach you to talk about it. If they are flat out not receptive to anything, then it may be possible to find ways to cope until you are able to get help on your own. That would not be the ideal path, but it beats doing nothing and letting the illness take over by default.

Trying something new, whether it works or not, can increase our feeling of self efficacy. Self efficacy is the opposite of feeling powerless, and at least in my case paranoia about what others are thinking about me is usually caused by my feelings that I am powerless and others are powerful, therefore they have control over me. So anything that reduces this reduces thoughts and feelings that eventually add up to paranoia.

I also noticed that you said you think people are spying on you along with the fact that you have a history of concealing the truth about little things. Is it possible the two are related? If so, maybe deciding to be fully truthful going forward, even if it means bad consequences, would help lift the feeling that others are watching you. This could be tried out as a thought experiment; just see how it feels to try on a commitment to tell the truth without making a full commitment. Or, you could try telling the truth in a circumstance where you might conceal things, and see how that feels.

I know this is a lot to read, so thanks if you did get through it. If not, just focus on the last two paragraphs above. I hope you can find something useful there. Also you could keep reaching out on the forums here. Who knows, maybe someone will say something or you will pick something up at random that points you to a solution. It may take a long time, but I believe it is always possible to get better as long as we are willing to try something new.

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Thank you IJ and Ralph.

I have a younger sibling who I don't get along with so there's no point telling him, infact he is a major reason why I get paranoid because he likes to scare me telling me he knows things about me and on many occasions I have found him looking through my things and reading my journal which ultimately led me to stop writing them altogether. It may not be as extreme as I think but still I'm a very private person and it really bothers me a lot when someone does that. I know I'm not a bad person but somehow it feel like whatever I'm doing or thinking is wrong. I have a very disapproving mother who has issues of her own.  Ever since I was child I have been fighting to gain acceptance until I totally cut her off. I feel as if I'm unwanted. As for my Dad, he carries lot of stress around so I just want to keep him out of this.

I'll try to tell my parents but I still don't know when.
If I fail to do so, I'm going to see a professional on my own, that I have decided. I'm going to be 18 in few months so maybe I won't need a guardian by that time and it would be okay to approach a doctor without needing them.
 
Like you Ralph, I have been trying to escape too, I usually engage myself in activities that help me to get my mind off these problems. Not a best idea, but it is working for now.

I know I can't avoid this forever that's why I turned up here because I have to tell this to someone after all. Talking to you all is helping me to open up a bit. and frankly I find it easier to talk to strangers rather than my family or friends.

I'm really grateful for your support. Thank you.

 

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