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I am a 29 year old woman diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 1 and also suffer from general anxiety and panic attacks. I have only been recently diagnosed but have been ill since I was a teenager. I tend to have mixed-manic episodes, hence the name of my blog. I am a regular guest blogger for Black Dog Tribe. I am not a mental health professional. I am just writing from my own experiences with mental illness. If you wish to use any of my blog content please contact me at lababup@gmail.com. Visit me on twitter @lababup

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Feeling persecuted by others

A couple of days ago I had a strange paranoia episode similar to one I have had a couple of times before.

It started off with me being quite manic. I sat at the kitchen table with my legs up on another chair and watched my husband and Mum as they tidied up after dinner. I was watching them closely and was very wired up. I was loud and yelling everything in a sometimes excitable and sometimes angry way.  I was laughing a lot but also snapping at them. The mood quickly turned sour.

I started seeing their faces in a strange way. It was almost as if they were laughing at me rather than with me. I felt like they were mocking me. When they stopped smiling I felt like they were ignoring me. I started to feel like they were colluding against me in some way. My mind was saying to me that they had bad intentions somehow. I am not really sure how to best explain it because I don’t really understand what happened. These were some of the thoughts that were popping in to my mind:

‘These people are making fun of you’.
‘They are out to get me’.
‘They are ganging up against me’.
‘They have bad intentions’.

I completely believed these things on an emotional level. However somewhere deep inside I realised that I wasn’t well and I was probably being paranoid. However this intense feeling persisted and none of my more logical thoughts could overcome the deeply seated belief. I felt like I was being persecuted by the people I loved.

This feeling lasted maybe an hour or two during which I remained very hyped up and agitated. I would sometimes say mean things to my family for reasons I can’t explain. Perhaps because I felt they were being hostile and menacing, I became those things myself. The funny thing was, even though I believed my family was out to get me, I didn’t want them to leave me. I felt really scared and paranoid in general and so I wanted some company even if it meant being with people I thought were ganging up on me.

The episode gradually wore off as I calmed down and hung my head upside down for a while (this strange behaviour soothes me and I have no idea why!). It worried me that I can have this kind of deluded behaviour even if it only lasts a short period of time. It destroys your confidence and makes you feel like you are loosing your grip on reality. It makes me realise how difficult it must be for people who have more serious mental health conditions and experience paranoid delusions regularly or all the time. 

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