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Coping With The Anxiety And Paranoia Around People

Discussion in 'Anxiety & Panic Attacks' started by wolfie205, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. wolfie205

    wolfie205 Member

    Just started therapy for PTSD, or at least that's what they think it is for now... Haven't talked about the trauma at all, just working on some coping strategies to get me through the anxiety.

    I am trying to "normalise" myself, like do things that other people can do without getting too anxious but I'm really finding it hard to be around people. Like I don't know when the anxiety is going to cause me to start trembling or shaking, I don't know when I'll get so anxious that I just want to get out of there. I can't trust most of the people around me, even complete strangers I see on the streets.

    Its getting hard to cope when I'm sitting in class and thinking that everyone is talking about me and they're all trying to do horrible things to me. I don't know if it's even true. I feel like I'm hearing it, like certain words stick out and when I hear them, my brain just goes "Oh they're talking about me, they know this and that about me, they're trying to gang up against me". I don't know if I'm being paranoid or if they're really out to get me.

    I find it so difficult to trust that people are really sincere, even when they are being nice to me, I think they're just pretending. I don't know how much to share with my therapist because despite how nice shes been, I don't know if I can trust her and I don't know if I ever will. Sitting in waiting rooms drives me insane because people walking in and out, the looks they gave me, the comments they make, make me feel as if they all think I'm crazy and they must be laughing at me. Do other people with ptsd experience this? How do you guys cope with it? I don't want to seem like I'm complaining or making a big deal out of nothing. I'm just trying to well, survive and actually enjoy certain areas of my life...
     
  2. WillyKat

    WillyKat I'm a VIP Premium Member

    I often struggle with some of the same issues. It's really hard to trust people after a traumatic experience where trust was violated.

    It's highly unlikely that people are talking about you or plotting against you. This is the trauma messing with your head and, again, if your trust was violated, meaning you trusted someone that abused the trust, it's very hard to not think that everyone else will do the same. But it's not the case.

    It doesn't help that PTSD sufferers are hyper-aware of dangers. Whether it's the combat veteran diving for cover when a balloon pops or when a rape victim freezes at an accidental touch, little things can set us into a spin.

    And just because I can talk about it analytically doesn't mean I don't suffer from it.

    Trusting your therapist is huge; otherwise it won't work. Research her credentials, check her bio. If she's got a license, you can look it up on the Internet and check her out. My guess is that she *is* legitimate and someone you can safely trust.

    Yes, the waiting room can be uncomfortable. But you do understand that if others are in it, then they're probably in therapy too. It's even possible that they wonder if *you* think *they're* crazy.

    My advice is to tell your therapist about everything you said in your post. She needs to know that you're feeling this way.

    Hang in there; you're at the beginning of a process that is very difficult at first.

    And, welcome to the forum!
     
    therisa likes this.
  3. therisa

    therisa I'm a VIP

    Wolfie, you're not alone, as WillyKat mentioned. I have experienced similar feeling and have mentioned to my counsellor, at the time, and we worked through it.
    Although, a not combat veteran or a rape victim, I am very hyper-sensitive of being touched by anyone, including my cats, at times and any loud noise, has triggered flashbacks, for me, as a childhood abuse victim.

    Welcome to the forum, Wolfie and hang in, here. There is a lot of good advice and support to found here
     
    lost.coast likes this.
  4. BradAnderson

    BradAnderson New Member

    With me, it's feeling inferior; I'm constantly terrified that other people are smarter, better-looking, more popular, happier-- i.e. "normal" etc. than I am, and it's like a thousand humiliations every day. And I also feel like people are putting me down and making fun of me; and if anyone says anything negative, it's like it scars me for life.

    I've pretty much felt this way my whole life, from a very young age; I learned to hide it after I was sent to a juvenile hospital/prison, where my feelings were devalued and denied, but that only made it worse since I couldn't walk away from a painful situation, but just had to hide it. School was agony after that, because I'd be too terrified to learn anything, and the hospital compelled me to be "social" even when bullied and unwanted, saying that I had to hide my feelings to avoid encouraging bullies, and other mind-games.

    I also don't like to be around other people because I feel like I'm not worthy of them, being painfully aware of my situation. I'm just tired of pretending, and now I just stay alone by myself for the most part.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2014
  5. BradAnderson

    BradAnderson New Member

    Yes, you should tell your therapist everything-- even in an e-mail, if that makes it easier; the more information they have, they more they can help.
     

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