Paranoia no self confidence and low self esteem

by Jamie
(England)

I have just finished my first year at university and have got say its been one of the worst years of my life so far.

I suffer from pretty bad paranoia and have had a really hard time talking to new people as i always just assume they think I'm an idiot. I get extremely scared when i leave a room of people as i think they will instantly start talking about me behind my back.

I can't hold a conversation with other people I never know what to say and anything i do say always sounds like crap.

I always think people are looking and judging me no matter where i go.

Even if i can hold a conversation with a person i then spend the rest of the day checking and double checking what i said in my head to make sure i didn't mess up. Generally i find something and then spend the next few hours hating myself and assuming the person i just talked to also thinks i'm a tit.

I have been thinking about getting counselling or something for a while but cant seem to pluck up enough courage to actually meet someone face to face about it.

Writing this now i am sweating so badly. But its gotten to a point where i just cant take it anymore. So have finally decided to bite the bullet and ask for help. Thought Id start off on here.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Many thanks
Jamie

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Paranoia no self confidence and low self esteem

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We need to encourage ourselves
by: Another unexpected day

After reading several comments is that I realized that we don't judge other people as harshly as we judge ourselves...maybe not sometimes.

Today, often my stupid paranoia prevents me from enjoying my life. It's not like I have no evidence. Someone dislikes them and I can think of at least five reasons what I have done to make them dislike me.

Today, someone I like acted hostile to me...
I started having these thought..yes, my paranoia kicked in.
What if someone told bad stuff about me to that person?
What if the person knows something that I am ashamed of?
Am I just dislikeable?

Or I read too deeply into comments. I start defending myself



I know it all comes down to self-esteem.
Paranoia doesn't just happen normally.
I did so many things that I regret, things that would make people hate me.
This REGRET won't let myself love me.
I feel like I don't deserve love.

I was called ugly several times, by a small kid(kids are honest), by a group of girls who didn't know I was there, and by a boy.
I got rejected by my friends and I probably did some wrong things to make them dislike them.
I was called a devil by someone that I trusted, she told my mom that you don't know your own daughter.


One time cried in front of my mom, told her my true feelings that I feel like no-one can truly like me as a person. That even her, who is my mom might love me as a daughter but dislike me as a human. She told me all the things that I am good at as a person. She told me people who love me.
She told me to look forward not sideways.

I hate that time before you go to sleep, when all the regrets and paranoia catches up with you.
I want so badly to get rid of all this and just live my life fully. I want to be generous to myself but not repeat mistakes. I want to be a better person so that I can love myself.

I think the best way to get rid of Paranoia is to be a better person.

Does it ever end!!!
by: Anonymous

Im 46 and the paranoia just keeps getting stronger, I've had it my whole life, virtually no confidence.
My childhood was pretty sh*t but not no where near as bad as others. I'm married to a lovely man and have 2 kids. I've always felt like the child in any situation, never felt in control I feel useless and stupid, everyone else seems so strong and smart, even now I feel like I'm just babbling on and your all thinking wtf....
There is no one I feel confident with, I fake it a lot especially at work and the people I work with are lovely, but I've convinced myself that they are trying to get rid of me.
I hate gong out weddings, family get togethers etc I will avoid them when possible.
I have some good friends, I always pick people that talk a lot so I don't have to worry about making conversation, but I also feel inferior to them and sometimes shut my self away from them so they don't have to put up with me!!
I know this is all in my head and there are a lot of people out there who do love and care for me, but in my head I will find reasons to believe otherwise, I self destruct!!!!

No joy in life...
by: Sock Monkey

I have really low self esteem. I have thought of ending it all a couple times. And even cut my wrist once just to see how it felt. I had dreams of jumping out of moving cars smashing myself on the road. Yes it`s very gross, but it`s very real.
Once I took too many pills to see what would happen. Nothing did.
My esteem is shot. I have so many fears it`s amazing.
According to my brother I never go out with good looking guys. I go with "The Peoples Reject". It is kinda true. I went out with guys that belittle me, curse at me, blame me for all types of things, and don`t respect me.
I don`t have a job right now. Although I do have certificates and education and stuff. My dream is to be a nurse and be a normal 32 y/o female. That's my dream. But as you probably guessed, I have to many issues for this to come about.
I was feeling better about myself. Then I had an accident. Now I don`t know what to do with myself.
I am not happy. I have nothing wrong with me. Some even call me pretty. But for all the ones that say I am, there is the ones that say I am not and I believe them. I don`t know why I am writing this. I don`t know why I am here.

You're not alone
by: John

Jamie, I think you just summed up how I've been feeling my entire life. I am constantly worried that people don't like me, and I am worried about what they say about me when I am not there.

I have a tremendous fear of failure and I think that everyone believes me to be incompetent at my job, even though I have had pretty positive reviews all my working life. I feel like an imposter at my job and that it's just a matter of time before I am found out to be an idiot. I feel like people are constantly trying to catch me out at work and make me look stupid.

When travelling to and from work I feel like people who look at me do so in a strange way, as if there is something wrong with me. I am constantly worried about people making fun of me, even the slightest comment from a group of kids would me feel like crying inside. I am scared to walk past people on the street for fear that they might say something as I pass (like "d*ck head").

I know these are irrational thoughts but I can't help them either. I am 33, married with two children, good at my job, and am probably as normal as the next guy, but I can't help having these negative thoughts either.

I hope you found the help you need, if you found something that worked for you, let me know as maybe it's time I found some help too.

paranoia
by:

Thank you, I'm glad I'm not the only person that gets very paranoid of other people..
When I leave the house I start to feel like I'm not normal that I've got something wrong with me. I go light headed and a bit dizzy. I've noticed it's worse when I'm tired. I feel like people are watching me and judging me.

I've found that I'm completely fine when I'm with someone, but on my own I cant cope with the feeling. When I finish work I rush home and avoid eye contact with everyone I pass on the way. It's effecting everything.

I avoid situations and I cant socialise properly because of the paranoid feelings, but after reading the posts here I feel a lot better that I'm not the only one, and that there are other people that are worse off than me. It's awful feeling this way, not everyone understands just how much it can affect your life, but if you know that its not just you there are others like you in your situation it really helps. who are others to judge? What makes other people so special anyway? We are all the same at the end of the day, its society and what it's become we all feel that we have got to act a certain way to be 'normal' but just what is normal anyway???

I'm starting to feel better already, just say to your self when you start having these paranoid feelings, what is normal? Try to define normal in your head, and I've come to learn that people are too busy with their own lives their own insecurities to even judge you.

Paranoia can be very disabling, but we all just need to get into the right frame of mind and just go along with the feeling, so what if I don't act like everyone else I'm me, and that's fine.

Social anxiety and low self esteem
by: Anonymous

Hi, I'm a trainee CBT therapist. Just wanted to say that from what you have said it sounds like you have really bad social anxiety and low self-esteem, rather than a case of paranoia. Ask your GP to refer you for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. I think it will really help you.

This life has become torture
by: SW Wales, UK

Hi, since Jamie started this thread (and since I haven't read all of the replies, this, Jamie is mostly to you. I'm 36 and empathise a lot with whats been said here.

First of all, it was good for me to hear you say some things, like instantly being paranoid the minute you leave the room, about what people are thinking about you.

Ive been getting this increasingly over the past few years... I may have been unsure, awkward in the past, but for some reason I don't understand, its gotten quite acute lately.

I have no close friends.
(I find that hard to admit, but its true).
I am sure I used to have close friends.
Apart from work, I spend all my time alone.
I'm getting cut to ribbons by staff at work.
I've totally lost trust in people, and human nature. People I am in contact with seem very shallow, eager to judge, and quick to ridicule.

Im really trying hard to get my life back on track after some very bad events.
I, too, am very lonely.
I enjoy myself the most when I'm away from people, and alone in nature. That seems to be the only way I can get release. Another thing that's saving me right now, is exercise... the two are combined. And through exercise, I begin to feel better.

Its the pointless nights alone that get to me the most, though. I go stir crazy.
Apart from work, (3 days a week) sometimes I don't speak to another soul for days.

got too bad...
by: Little-miss-not-very-confident

I'm only 17 and I've started to get really bad with my problem of constantly being paranoid. I got that bad that I fell out with a lot of my friends. I couldn't go anywhere without thinking someone was saying something bad about me... it got that bad I ended up self-harming... that's when I knew I kinda needed help.

I have very little confidence and I care a lot about what people think about me, I hate it when I know someone has said something bad about me, I feel so crap and I have cried my self to sleep.

I always try to do the best by other people, I think of them before my self to make them happy, when really I should think of my self.

I am a very quiet person and I don't say much. When I meet new people I don't get involved in many conversations. I think that whatever I say or do I get judged for it.

I depend a lot on my friends, I hate feeling alone in a situation and I always do. I'm only 17 and I think that I'm just getting worse and worse day by day.

I always try to avoid subjects rather than sorting them out. For example, when I fell out with my friends, I didn't have the guts to go up to them and ask them what I had done, instead I left it and I got worse, more paranoid and more upset. I couldn't understand what I had done. Turns out it was crossed wires and I was thinking worse than what it actually was.

I am currently on a course to be able to work with children, I absolutely love working with children, but I think all the time, what do the staff, other college girls and teachers think about me.

Usually I am quite a happy, bubbly person, but that's how I know I've got worse, I would have never self harmed my self, but I was so paranoid and confused that, that's what it came to. I do really regret it and I know I wont do it again... it hurt too much.

I also lost a lot of weight, when I finished school I was a size 12 and weighed just under 10 stone... I'm now a size 8 dress and weigh only 8 stone.

I just need help, I need to care less about what other people think about me and more about my self, my confidence, the good things I have.

Thanks, little-miss-not-very-confident.

_______________________________________________

Your last paragraph holds the key to your success! You know exactly what you must do - change all that negative thinking about yourself into strong positive self-talk. Love and believe in yourself.

Once you concentrate on the thoughts you have about yourself and become determined to be strong you will bring about change in your life.

Only you can do this, and I know you understand you are the cause of your problems. Start right now - "I am confident" "I am strong" "Everyone loves me"

Good luck, stay positive, with the right attitude towards yourself you will change.

Love
Kay
x

thanks
by: Anonymous

Appreciate the post, nice to know there are other people in the world with the same kind of thing going on in my head. I was beginning to think I'm a total freak but this website has really helped me in knowing that I'm not the only one that picks apart what I say and puts myself down.

In the past when I have met new people it has never taken them long to see I have low self confidence. People have even asked why I am so unconfident. Well this is a start, since reading this post I have been more positive and am working on it. I think I may seek some counselling, will be easy to go to a counsellor with a print off of this page and say this is what I feel.

The only time I'm OK is when I'm drunk, relaxed and not worrying. When this happens I quite like my personality, it doesn't seem so dull. I expect the reason I feel so dull all the time is because I'm watching what I'm saying when sober, sometimes have nothing to say because I cant think of anything good to say, which makes me look like a tit, at least that's how I feel after, and then I'm really hard on myself, why am I so crap at speaking to people.

I suspect you didn't know there were others until now, at least I didn't, try take it as a positive. This page has really helped me.
Thanks

Low self esteem
by: Anne

What's the difference between getting help by purchasing books and reading on the internet? Either only works if you do the homework yourself. You can read every book on the market but when you don't make the effort to change yourself then money is wasted.

Many people can't afford to buy books and have no one to turn to for help so it is good to be able to look at these self help web sites for free and get help as and when needed.

Everyone with low self confidence or low self esteem knows there's no quick fix, that people suffer for years before they start to gain confidence but being able to find a self help website to boost confidence for a short while is a big help.

Buying books?
by: Anonymous

Buy actual books from an actual recommended therapist none of this online quick fix crap...just a warning there really is no quick fix in life...it takes work.

The secret
by: Chris

Hi my name is chris and i have felt the same way as you have my whole life...im only 22 now but its bothered me every day up until now!

I had no confidence at all and always felt anxious around strangers and never really had any friends...

The I found something that REALLY HELPS!!!
Its a book, and its called "THE SECRET".
Seriously buy it! it has changed my life! it teaches you about positive thinking and how to change your life by the way you think about situations and focus on what you want to happen not on what you dont.

I really hope you give this book a go, as it has helped me and hopefully it will do the same for you.
Chris

I understand so well
by: Anonymous

hi I feel exactly as you a lot of people say i have the deer in head lights look i always look like i dont know what im doing i think really fast sometimes i over do things sometimes i feel like a ghost like people can see right through me or im not worth anything to anyone just feel this never ending tunnel of hopelessness this is some kind of depression ive tried different ways to build my confidence like body language videos standing up straight my mom was really abusive to me since i can remember screaming yelling hitting she was on a lot of drugs blamed me for everything i read in phsycology book s that thats why i feel the way i do that i have true potential to become something in my life but i feel like i cant im always paranoid always caring so much about what people think it gets so overwhelming sometimes i cry at night my girlfreind dosent understand my 3 year old son is the only thing that bring me out of it makes me feel like darth vader when luke turns him good again i need to be confident again i struggle with quitting smoking ciggarets very hard quit for 8 months now back and forth for 5 years i worry so much about every word that i say i walk on egg shells in front of everyone than i feel ridiclous it does feel good to know others are out there my girlfreind thinks i need medication and therapy but she went with me to the therapists and phsycologist out here are messed they told me everything i did was my fault they blamed me for everything i only went one time and that horrible exp has shunned me from going back my parents always made me feel unwanted its something i cant get past parents split up dad has a new family i cant get past that feeling somedays i can some days i cant i just live with it i found my passion working on cars but i havent graduated highschool im working on my ged on and all i have left is the math test and i cant seem to pass it so thats left me so frusterated cause im stuck at my job cause i cant get an education its a domino effect of negativity for some of you out there i understand what you go through every day is a struggle to wake up to be here but always remember being here is better than not being here cherish your life try different things i know that hopeless feeling but learing about cars has helped me sometimes bury yourself in your work find a passion that you love my girlfreind hates when i talk about cars i have studied and read 6 books now on the internal combustion chamber and how an engine works i have learned how it proviedes torque down to through the motor thorugh the pressure plate through the torque converter through the transmission to the differential and finally to the wheels find something to love and be addicted to it and if you arent addicted to it then you dont love it enough find something fun something that makes you happy you can do it hang in there and i will talk to you next time

Also, ben there done that...
by: Anonymous

I was a man frightened by anything. Paranoid thoughts, I believed everybody was laughing at me behind their back, or saying what a freak I am. When a girl smiled at me and I felt shameful. Can't be true that someone likes me I was thinking.

I went crazy and felt I had had enough of everything and so I went to an excellent psychiatrist and started with psychotherapy. This has helped me more than anything has in my life EVER!

I go out and smile again. It is about ourselves.
Through psychotherapy I learned to respect myself, to recognize good things and finally to understand that I am a human being just like others.

Please, think about the possibility of psychotherapy, it really helps. Drugs suck but speaking with someone who feels and understands your state is crucial for being healed by positive energy over and over again. You will learn to see beyond paranoia and to see that most of this comes from our head and CAN BE FIXED!!!

Love and Hugs my fried. You are strong

I think so
by: New Zealand

Hi Jamie,
It was really comforting to know I'm not alone with those feeling/thoughts.

I am 29yrs old and from my teens to the late twenties, I have been paranoid about what people think of me. I also have a low self-esteem (ok that was weird saying that, never said it before) which is probably why I don't really have any close friends - depressing, especially when I need them.

I'm pretty much a loner and the only friends I have at the moment are people who want to be in a relationship or just a fling even though we started off as friends.

I think I try to hard to impress, so I back off. I always try and please to get people to like me.

I don't enjoy family times anymore getting together.

I'm more nasty now, I dont believe people, I have trust issues. I'm careful not to talk to much, people can be very judgemental.

I don't know what to say, but reading your story helps.

I'm really loney, I have no close friends, I try to hard to keep them when I get the chance, but I think I come on to strong and scare them away.

I'm 29, I have no real friends, I'm slightly feminine and I think that puts people off, but other then that, a normal acting guy. Even now I think that all I've typed is not making sense.

I wish I didn't feel like this, I really do. I wish I had good people to talk to and be myself. I don't think people have time to make new friends, and I've missed out. Is this karma? I don't know, I think I may have dissed some people back in school and this is payback? Karma?

I'm a good person, always have been, thinking about others feelings. Treated people how I would want to be treated, I know the feeling of being the target - my whole life...my whole life.

I tire myself out really.

thanks




Thank you all!
by: MeshaM

I found this site while I was seeking relief from my own paranoia and self abuse(aka reflection and damnation). I am grateful to read that I am not alone, that there are tools to use in helping myself and that there are people who have compassion for others during such painfully dark times.

I am writing notes from everyone's comments in my journal to create new paths. Thank you all!!

Mesha M~

not alone
by: lucy

I'm paranoid, have low self esteem and no confidence too, and cant talk to anyone. I am glad to know I'm not alone!

Similar Problem
by: Anonymous

I had the same problem and unfortunately I was not well adjusted to college so I came back home for college instead.

When I talk to people I'm overwhelmed with the fear of messing up or stumbling. This fear usually stops my train of thought so I'm pretty much speechless or speaking a few words to affirm a statement. I also experience physical ailments from this fear such as a stiff face, having a stony gaze, sometimes having shifty eyes because I fear that I'm spacing out too much (its ridiculous I know..being self conscious too much is just ugh..) This fear grows exponentially when the numbers increase especially with strangers.

I'm a good listener but unfortunately that is not good enough for some people. People tend to judge me as weird, shady, and sometimes even retarded but in my heart and mind I mean no malice to them and in reality I'm just a scared little boy. I'm 21 years of age and I still have this problem and I sometimes think people are talking behind my back but try to block off those thoughts b/c even if it is true these thoughts are purely irrational and unhealthy.

I'm planning to see a psychologist but beware of those psychiatrists >_>. They just provide you a pill but I think all we need is just talk and finding the root to the problem of this fear.

Lots of love from the US

I am experiencing these same issues
by: Anonymous

For years I've experienced different degrees of the exact symptoms that you've listed. Recently I found out that what I'm struggling with is co-dependency. Which may seem like an unexpected cause for such problems but it may be of help to you to read about the characteristics of co-dependency to at least rule it out nonetheless. My understanding or impression of what this condition was prior to researching it was very naive, an uneducated guess really. Classifying ourselves as "co-dependent" or anything else for that matter is not for the purpose of a label, classification, or to produce more shame, it is so that we can find our way out of this paper bag we've been fighting ourselves in for years. It starts with very simple steps from improving self-esteem, self-control, healthy detachment, etc.

Here is a quick questionaire as well as a link:


Questionnaire To Identify Signs Of Co-dependency

This condition appears to run in different degrees, whereby the intensity of symptoms are on a spectrum of severity, as opposed to an all or nothing scale. Please note that only a qualified professional can make a diagnosis of co-dependency; not everyone experiencing these symptoms suffers from co-dependency.

1. Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments?
2. Are you always worried about others? opinions of you?
3. Have you ever lived with someone with an alcohol or drug problem?
4. Have you ever lived with someone who hits or belittles you?
5. Are the opinions of others more important than your own?
6. Do you have difficulty adjusting to changes at work or home?
7. Do you feel rejected when significant others spend time with friends?
8. Do you doubt your ability to be who you want to be?
9. Are you uncomfortable expressing your true feelings to others?
10. Have you ever felt inadequate?
11. Do you feel like a ?bad person? when you make a mistake?
12. Do you have difficulty taking compliments or gifts?
13. Do you feel humiliation when your child or spouse makes a mistake?
14. Do you think people in your life would go downhill without your constant efforts?
15. Do you frequently wish someone could help you get things done?
16. Do you have difficulty talking to people in authority, such as the police or your boss?
17. Are you confused about who you are or where you are going with your life?
18. Do you have trouble saying ?no? when asked for help?
19. Do you have trouble asking for help?
20. Do you have so many things going at once that you can?t do justice to any of them?


Thanks for letting me share. My email is jessiedyer@gmail.com.


Go to your heart
by: Anonymous

Love yourself! In your moments of this crucial judgement you pass on yourself take a deep breath and close your eyes, Jamie, and go to your heart. Focus on your heart. Feel your love and give more love to who you are inside.

Most of the people that we meet and encounter through our lifetime, who are they really? Aquaintances if that. I myself, I have these phases or episodes and I completely break down. Two days ago in fact I broke down. And I had a realization why as I sit here writing you. It's because I break myself down to where I am on the floor with swollen eyes a sobbing heart taking advantage of all the beauty that is me.

You are beautiful and don't you know this Jamie? You must! Go look at yourself in the mirror. Look into your eyes examine your eyes don't judge who you are or what you look like or how smart - with every negative thought about what you think of yourself stop! and replace it with something positive about yourself. You owe this to yourself and you deserve it.

My name is Chelsie.This is my email. pa2671@aol.com You aren't the only one who has these kinds of thoughts. You're not alone when it comes to being hard on yourself. I do it to. If you ever want to write me and say hi I will say hi back.

Smile! Smile and feel your beauty of who you are. Smile and KNOW this and love your flaws (personally flaws that others have are sorta cute.) because we can't be perfect or know everything. In time with age comes wisdom and before than what do we do? We keep on, keep on growing up. Write me, bye

I have been there, done that.
by: Anonymous

Dear Jamie,
If you but knew it, a lot of other people who seem confident and sure of themselves often put other people down to make themselves look good. Underneath that bravado, there may be an insecure rather frightened person. The attitude is that I have to strike first, before the other person acts to knock me off my pedestal.
They are to be pitied often as they do not come over as nice people.
I was in nursing for many years, I met a lot of very fine and good people but unfortunately there were also a lot of bullies, many of them having been bullied themselves as student nurses. Some of these people engaged in some pretty underhand and nasty tactics towards the people they perceived as their victims.
It will take time to build up your self confidence and you will come across other people who feel as unsure of themselves as you do. It may be a chance remark which may open up communication. If this happens then you can work on it.
Just watch people around you, their expressions, body language and the way they come across when speaking. That can tell you a lot.
Don't try to be anything you are not, Just be yourself and remember that other people have weaknesses and failings too. Work on what you are good at doing. It may be music, it may be gardening, it may be writing short stories. when you have done something to your satisfaction, it will give you a lift.

prepare a bit more concrete
by: Ron C. de Weijze

Sometimes the problem can simply be a matter of mental preparation using new information in addition to what you already know about the people you will have important meetings with. Then it is recommendable to keep notes relating to those discussions to come, and reviewing them shortly before the meeting will take place, possibly relate them or sort them out first. It is just a bit more concrete than how we all normally prepare for these things. I have been doing this for a long time and it works!

Confidence Problems
by: Kay

Hello Jamie,


The first thing I want to do is congratulate you on writing for help. I understand it was not easy for you, so thank you.

You have horrible problems don't you, and I hope you will have a serious think about what it is that lies at the bottom of everything that is causing them.

Can you see that you think of yourself in a very negative way, everything you do is analysed and picked apart by you even though doing this is causing pain. Every time you do something you run yourself down or beat yourself up for not saying or doing things right.

Jamie no one is better than you are, no matter who or what they are. Each of us has different abilities, one may be better at maths, another better at English. Someone may be over confident, another shy, but not one of them is any better than you. I truly mean this Jamie, you are a unique, worthwhile person with much ability, but you don't see this as the truth.

I know it wont be easy to change how you see yourself, but it will help if you try not to focus on yourself in a negative manner. When thoughts are negative, they just grow bigger and bigger and get out of control until you feel as though you can't cope.

Take the focus off yourself by thinking about others. When you speak with someone ask them about themselves, people like talking about themselves, this will get your thoughts away from how you're doing.

Become a listener for a time, until you can speak more freely to people. Most people enjoy being in the company of a listener. Don't panic about not having too much to say, but don't be afraid of answering who is talking to you.

Jamie, if you can, try and say positive things to yourself. Can you see that it is your own thoughts that are causing the problems? Can you start feeding yourself some good, confident information about how confident you are, how special you are, how worthwhile. Having positive thoughts as often as you can will enable you to change.

You can see how the negative thoughts control the way you are, well positive thoughts will do exactly the same with wonderful uplifting effects.

Make the effort to stop analysing everything you say, this in itself is causing you even more problems. What's said is said and what's past is past, so analysing it just doesn't help you at all, and just makes you feel worse.

Counselling could be of great benefit to you. Cousellors are very understanding and will be able to advise and help you to feel better about yourself.

You have taken a great big step towards recovery by writing to Positive Personal Growth, now see if you can do it one more time and ring to make an appointment to chat with a counsellor. You can do it,

Good luck Jamie. Please feel free to contact me any time you want.

Love, Kay

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