Paranoid or Just Anxious?

Ok I'm a 15 year old male and I think I suffer from a paranoia disorder. I have searched anxiety/paranoia disorders on the internet but none of them match mine. I am not a paranoid person at all, but when there is a situation when I am, It's extremely intense. It first started in middle school when I wanted to physically fight this kid for being cruel to another kid who was my kind of my friend. When I was supposed to fight him, the second I saw his face my whole body felt like it melted into paranoia, I started breathing hard and my heart was racing and I felt my muscles were very weak when there was no real reason to since I was stronger, luckily teachers came and the situation never happened again. I know everybody have these but I feel as if mine are way more intense, like my brain pumps twice the adrenaline as needed. These experiences don't happen very often but when they do it is extremely painful and it makes me feel suicidal. I have proof that it is different than others because when I am with friends and they are in the exact situation as me but I do not see them in the same paranoia that I feel. Other times when this happens is when I am trying to keep a lie from parents and they question me, when I hear noises in the house, or... when I do stuff with friends I shouldn't be doing. The paranoia I get makes me feel like stabbing myself, its extremely painful and I definitely know it unnecessarily intense. Is there a word for this and do you suggest I tough it out or get help for this?

Ben's Answer:

I think a good therapist would be extremely helpful for this issue. But this does not sound like "paranoia" to me. What you are describing sounds like anxiety. We can be anxious about all sorts of things that we are not even aware of - things we think we are not afraid of, may actually trigger a lot of anxiety in us. The racing heart, rapid breathing, and weak feeling in your muscles are all signs of anxiety. The paranoid feeling could just be your own self-doubt, guilt, or fear of being criticized or blamed. Talking to someone about this would probably be a huge relief.

If you ever are in a situation where you feel so overwhelmed that you have an impulse to hurt yourself, please talk to an adult, teacher, counselor or parent immediately. You can also use a 24 hr confidential hotline anytime you just need to talk to someone (1-800-SUICIDE).

Take Care,

Click here to post comments

Return to Ask a Therapist.

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.