Social Question

abysmalbeauty's avatar

Where is the line between normal worry and crazy paranoia?

Asked by abysmalbeauty (2731 points ) November 12th, 2011

I worry a lot about strange things for example my s/o is out of town for 4 days so its just me and my son at home. I debated for about 45 minutes if I could step out into my yard to smoke a cigarette because I was worried I could be kidnapped and my son would be stuck inside the house without water and get severely dehydrated since no one would know to come find him. Then debated filling several cups of water and leaving them around the house just in case… (legit knots in my stomach fear about this scenario) So I texted my sister to come to my house to save my son if she didn’t hear from me in the morning.

I have these types of thoughts and irrational fears several times a day about random routine activities.

When is being paranoid beyond normal?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

16 Answers

chyna's avatar

That seems beyond the normal to me. Maybe you need to talk to someone, a counselor or psychologist perhaps.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

@chyna I was just thinking that I should bring this up at my next appointment especially because I have already taken my anti anxiety meds today that are supposed to stop my thoughts from racing…

augustlan's avatar

Yeah, that’s definitely beyond normal worrying. I worry about weird stuff, too, mostly at night when I’m lying in bed. But I can usually overcome the more absurd worries. Therapy and medication helped a lot. Good luck with getting your worries under control. Fingers crossed for you!

CWOTUS's avatar

There is absolutely nothing wrong with thinking of “all the things that can go wrong” from time to time, and taking whatever seems to be “reasonable precautions” against the ill effects of those things. However, there’s a point where those things start to take over your life, and that’s the point that you should resist giving in to all of the wild fears you can imagine.

Take your example of stepping outside the house for a smoke, for example. (I take it that your son is too young to get his own water, so we’ll expect that he’s incapable of many other things that minor children can do.) You’re more likely to lock yourself out of the house than you are to be kidnapped. More likely to start a fire in the dead leaves from a discarded match than to have your son die of dehydration, even if you were away for a day or two.

It’s an entirely reasonable precaution to ask your sister to check up on you daily when your partner is out of town. That makes absolutely perfect sense. There are any number of things that could happen to disable you: a fall down stairs, a slip in the shower, even carbon monoxide poisoning from a badly vented furnace. In that case, someone who calls once or twice a day could send help if you don’t answer (but you should let them know when you leave the house, too, so that they don’t unduly worry).

The thing is to recognize what are reasonable and likely risks, and what are not. I doubt that you live in a place where kidnappings are an everyday occurrence. In fact, in the USA, they are extremely rare. Muggings, on the other hand, are not so uncommon in some neighborhoods. Slipping on a wet floor or stepping on a misplaced toy on a stairway – those are all too common, as well as tripping on nearly anything in the dark.

And your son is more apt to pick up your smoking habit and die an early death from smoking related disease – as you are, too – from the absolutely dangerous habit you have. His risks of an early death from that are thousands of times more likely than the highly unlikely scenario you have been worrying about.

Worry about – and take steps to mitigate and reduce the chances – of real dangers.

plethora's avatar

Definitely beyond the norm. Would seem there is some medication for wildly racing and extreme thoughts.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

@CWOTUS I do understand that a lot of my fears are completely irrational but that doesn’t make them any less real somehow. I’m sure there are more rational things I should be afraid of and a lot I am as well I just feel like I worry all the time. As far as the checking in, one day I might have to live alone with my son and I worry that Ill still be as worry some as I am now. Do single parents usually have someone check in with them several times per day?

abysmalbeauty's avatar

@plethora I take one. It might be more effective if I took it in the morning as well as at night but i’m afraid i will make me too drowsy and Ill have a car accident so I just take it at night.

plethora's avatar

@abysmalbeauty No fault for the irrational fears. They happen and there is help available. But I can assure you they are having a major long term effect on your child and will continue to do so. Only reason for mentioning that is that you might consider it beneficial to do whatever is necessary, for his/her sake, to bring them under control. My best wishes for you.

chyna's avatar

“Do single parents usually have someone check in with them several times per day?” I don’t know if single parents do this, but I think it’s a good idea to check on anyone that lives alone at least once a day.

EmptyNest's avatar

You didn’t mention how old your son was. It sound like he’s pretty young. In that case, it’s normal. You’re just being a good mom. :-)

abysmalbeauty's avatar

@EmptyNest hes two, much too young to fend for himself

Bellatrix's avatar

I am not a psychologist but this level of concern would seem to fall into the Obsessive Compulsive area. I hope you do speak to your therapist because worrying like this must be exceedingly stressful for you and that isn’t good for you or your son. I hope you can come back and let us know how you are going.

bluejay's avatar

Do these thoughts only occur when you’re alone or know that you’ll be alone soon?

abysmalbeauty's avatar

@bluejay No they pop up at any time.

bluejay's avatar

I think it really would be in your best intrest to talk to a psychiatrist. That just doesn’t ssem right to me and no one should have to live threw that. Maybe there’s just to much activity in the part of your brain that controls fear.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

To give an update my therapist simply asked me why I told my sister to check on me in the morning instead of later that night. She gave no input regarding for number of irrational fears I have. She did make a good point it would have made more sense…

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther