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Social anxiety/paranoia



Feb 14, 2020
I've never been on a forum like this before. It feels like a big step and not one I particularly wanted to take but I feel like I have to. I've briefly told one friend around a week ago how bad it can get and that's about it. Many people close to me know I have anxiety and depression and I first went to the doctor a few years ago, but so many people suffer from this and I feel like my recent problems are something much different and much worse.

I almost constantly think people are thinking about me, looking at me, talking about me. It happens often when I go out. I remember one time a couple of years ago when I approached the smoking area of a club and thought everyone outside was talking about me and I heard whispers in my head. It's been happening again over the past few weeks or so, but far more regularly. It happens mostly on my morning route to work. When I walk past someone, or even see someone across the road, I think they're looking. This often leads to me looking over at them, which then makes me wonder if they think I am looking over at them. It's not pre meditated, it's all happening before my brain can process it properly, it's automatic. One of the worst cases was when I was walking behind a group of people and one of them went on the phone and made a call and turned around, looking roughly in my direction. I thought they were calling someone about me and I've had it in my head ever since. It probably sounds silly and I'm not explaining it too well but it's a vicious cycle and my head isn't coping with it very well at all. It's not just when I'm out and about. More often than not, whatever I'm doing, I'm wondering if people thought I was acting strange today. Deep down I know this almost certainly isn't the case, but my brain doesn't want me to be happy or comfortable and tries to convince me otherwise.

I wanted to see if anyone on here has been having similar experiences.

Thank you


Well-known member
Jun 24, 2018
New Zealand
Hi Ryan2020.

I know exactly what you're talking about and explaining, believe me, as I'm basically cursed with this as well. Very, very much so. All of the situations and examples you've described and more, I have on a daily basis, too. I'm the same Ryan2020, sometimes I simply can't tell if it's in my mind or if it's real - but sometime's it is real - and that triggers my inherent social anxiety even further down into some very intense feelings of humiliation and hurt in me, anger too. It never used to be this bad, but it is now and it's awful. I must say though, I've come through the worst times with it, and can deal with it better now, but it's still pretty bad. I'm on meds.

For me, a psychiatrist diagnosed it as social anxiety - it became severe social anxiety. And my doctor has used the word 'paranoid'. I can't argue with either of them.

Seek help brother, in case it get's worse. That's all I can say. Hugs!


Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
I replied on the duplicate thread. :)


Feb 14, 2020
Thanks for your response and I’m glad you've got through the worst of it. I think I’m going to get help for it. Like you say, I don’t want it to get any worse. Hope you’re well.


New member
Feb 19, 2020
Southern ca
I feel the same way that everyone is looking at me or talking about me. I feel they probably think I look like a bitch because my face doesn’t show a ton of emotion. I’m always afraid people think that I think I’m better than them, when I think I’m worse actually. I read somewhere it could be called spotlight syndrome or something of the sort, where you think everyone’s heads turn and judge you. I wish I could get some help too. My problem is blushing, every little conversation I have I blush! Just over the fact that I have someone’s attention and I don’t want to sound stupid. So I tend to avoid any talking. Have you ever done therapy or any medications that work well? Curious what works for people. I’m new here. Hi:)


Well-known member
Jun 24, 2018
New Zealand
I feel the same way that everyone is looking at me or talking about me. I feel they probably think I look like a bitch because my face doesn’t show a ton of emotion. I’m always afraid people think that I think I’m better than them, when I think I’m worse actually. I read somewhere it could be called spotlight syndrome or something of the sort, where you think everyone’s heads turn and judge you. I wish I could get some help too. My problem is blushing, every little conversation I have I blush! Just over the fact that I have someone’s attention and I don’t want to sound stupid. So I tend to avoid any talking. Have you ever done therapy or any medications that work well? Curious what works for people. I’m new here. Hi:)
Hi Quietnall, thanks relating, I know what you mean, and welcome. I felt compelled to respond, thanks.

Regarding the question you asked, I'm probably not the best example of 'success' regarding dealing with these issues, because I still struggle with my SA (social anxiety) and meds have really only helped me x-amount of the way. I've no doubt people have overcome their issues but I'm just not one of them, I'm basically a recluse now, you see. Never thought it would've come to that. But it's for the best, really.

Yes, it's a pain in the butt all right, friend.


Well-known member
Oct 29, 2017
Melbourne, Australia
Hey Ryan, pretty much described my shitty twighlight zone episode I'm living in. Exactly the same stuff. I'm fighting it and getting some improvement in my life but it is hard


Well-known member
Feb 3, 2020
London, Uk
I FEEL YOU. AND I AM WITH YOU! I can not wait to open my new business to have a new commute route. I will avoid more people and put an end to the madness.

I smoke trees. I love to mind my own business. But. I am also alert of my surrounding environment. I come across all kinds of people. From all walks of life. At times I travel past really bad neighborhoods with junkies etc... Its a trip. I power through.. No worries. But it is frustrating at times.

Some of the crackheads don't like me! So. At times I have felt like all of them don't like me!!

I try to avoid them. I normally do successfully avoid them. But I have had moments where I felt exactly how you described. In my case. I think I am atleast 30% accurate. But our mental limitations may amplify that to make us believe its higher.

Its awkward to say... The crackheads don't like me!!! Lol. But it can happen under any circumstance.

For me. I recently moved to a new beautiful city. But there are some horrible parts in between. Lol..

My advice is to limit interaction. Use glasses and avoid those crazies... Lol. Listen to music on your phone at full blast to tune everyone out. Like I do. And read online. All at the same time!!! Just to block everything out!!!!

I even went as far as thinking. If all else fails. I will post on this forum to mind my own business while I am blocking everyone and everything out. Lol.

I can not wait!

My new business is across town..in a beautiful part. Much nicer. Great people from the church... Man. I love it...

Just to be able to avoid those crackheads... Once and for all!!!!

Don't worry. We will all overcome this together!

God bless!!!

May the force be with you!!!



Feb 24, 2020
Manchester, UK
I have had social anxiety and all the thoughts you have all my life...the paranoia is horrible and it can cause self esteem issues. I still struggle with it but I try to talk myself out of it. ' they aren't laughing at you...they are at the bus stop chatting and you just happened to walk by'. Your family laughed because you are funny...it wasn't meant mean or demeaning. In life we will meet people who are not nice or considerate and will blatantly be rude but it's about them...not you. If you feel like you need help then please do! We are here for you and we know the struggle. Accept yourself for who you are. Then what people think will matter less. Easier said than done, I'm trying to practice that now in my life. It's about getting out of your mind and breathing and assessing the situation and thoughts logically. And if you can't then breathe and focus on something in your immediate area like a flower, bus or whatever. Describe to yourself what it would feel like or what it looks like. Grounding basically..I know it's hard....huge hugs


Well-known member
Feb 3, 2020
London, Uk
I need constant input to disrupt outside influences. Be it from individuals or the environment. Maybe because technology is my life. My trade. My business model. My own unique way of filtering the outside world.

I have the power to choose what I allow access to in my brain. So. If the environment and its inhabitants create a shockwave of discomfort; the antidote is to personally secure that I select which inputs are allowed. Thus. I inject a motivational or inspirational speech into my music playlist. Here and there. In between a business course. Etc.

I am sorry. My brain is at the speed of light 24/7. When I fall asleep. I am doing endless math equations in my head. With full visuals with my eyes closed. My brain is like a super powerful quantum computer.


I purposely avoid these exchanges. I am non confrontational. Not verbally. Or other wise. I remain Bruce Bannon to avoid The Incredible Hulk. At all costs.

Kind of sucks. Because. You can not control everything. Yes some times. Triggers are unavoidable. But. Limiting moments like these. Create balance for us. Because it increases moments of peaceful existence.

Let me be the sub concious advocate here momentarily. I will give you a classic example. I am at the corporate level of business. So. I will provide you three examples. And my personal management of all three.

1. In the corporate office or on site in the businesses.

2. Golf game.

3. Charity event. Gala. Or foundation event to support any good cause.

I have multiple PHD's. Several diplomas in psychology. 98% of communication is non verbal. Body language is more advanced than Arabic , Japanese and Linux computer language combined.

The Doctor is in the building....

Everywhere I am. I am scanning everything. Like a radar system. By nature. My environment. And everything in it. At all times. Just out of my own human nature.

My childhood.

My upbringing in the rough 1980's of inner city New York.

Survival mode and tactics learned at a very young age; only sharpened with time- over the years.

Especially since September 11th, 2001. *Survivor. **Time Traveler.

Where ever I am. All around me reveal all processing in their brains through body language. I have to block it out actively. To have peace of mind and normal, day to day; socio-political stability.

Managing myself. Is a 24 /7 challenge.

Remember. Where things or variable inputs may create chaos or harm. I inject positivity.

In the corporate office. Or in site at my businesses. Things rise.

Small conflicts. Disagreements. Misunderstandings. Etc.


Here I come. Diffusing nuclear war heads to maintain the peace among my business partners. Our clients. Protecting the brand and enhancing customer base and experience.

Maintaining smooth sailing of all business proceedings. While remaining cool, calm and collected myself; neutral to the task at hand. But focusing on the long term growth of the company; which I worked so hard to build with $0.00! Help from nobody. Over years of heart aches. Let downs. Disappointments. Triumphs and failures.

I don't want to be receptive to all of those inputs. But I am a man of faith. I have a very loving heart. Thus. Family is extremely important to me. Love. Understanding. Happiness and quality of life.

Everybody's opinion is important to me. Each and every ones point of view.

At times. To my default. To my own detriment.

I manage by selectively and privately engaging and listening to all sides of the spectrum in order to find a resolution.

What is my strategy? Inject love and support and councel; a guidance for every one.

In this case. These are people whom I care about. Not like being in a bus stop with junkies... That I am uncomfortable with. Obviously..

Not passing judgement. Just aware that it is extremely uncomfortable for me.

Example 2: Golf game.

A gentlemen's sport. Decent. Well rooted and civilized.

Well. There is body language there. I have been in situations were my business partners were still in conflict. At... The... Neutral... Golf... Course!


Also in conflict internally; in and within themselves. I am minding my own business. I care about our company. Our brand. Our clients. Every one that works with me. But...the same...

Inputs. Reactions. Outputs. Influence... One bad apple spoils the bunch. I am right back were I started. Denuking nuclear war heads. Unless I inject a positive input; myself.

Or. Avoiding these exchanges altogether. No more business deals on the golf course.

You know who I golf with now? My children! Or by myself. With my neighbors. Etc. My parents.

If I am giving away free therapy. It will be for my offspring!

Example: 3 Charity events. Galas etc.

Sometimes people are there physically. Financially. But emotionally or mentally else where. Same thing occurs. Its playing hollywood squares.

Its a fight for supremacy. Status. Competition. All superficial bs... For what? Destruction!

If you donate out of guilt. Or out of a need for a tax write off. You might as well not bother to contribute in the first place. Nothing good will come from it.

If its to stroke the ego. Well that is vain and shallow and is only synthetic temporary happiness. Those seeds will never grow or flourish.

Pure waste of time and talent.

I quickly realize this. Start my own charity. And open it to the public so that all whom attend participate because its genuinely in their heart.


I have zero time for negativity. It is counter productive.

No negative inputs. No negative outcomes.

People places and things that cause you pain, harm or discomfort. Avoid like the plage.

You have the right to control yourself. Not the world. Your mannerisms and not other people.


You also have the power. The gift. And the right. To eliminate cancer, from all aspects of your life.

Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Financially etc.

You may not be able to avoid 100%. But 99.5% is possible.

Jim Rohn teaches.... "You are not a tree".

What does that mean?

You hate your job or career? Change it. Find another one you love. Simple.

You hate your neighborhood? Change it. Move.

For me. Moving my office down town to a nicer area. Yes $500.00 more per month but, $1,000,000.00 worth of peace and tranquility.

I decided to take control of my own mind. I am the C.E.O.

No more reacting to an outside atmosphere full of unknown variables.

Happiness. Quality of life is something you design.

Goals are important because they erase clutters of the wild mind. ...

I have dreaded my bus stop full of junkies far too long... Now. Its time to make our lives great again!

I vote me for President.

At any chaotic interval. Inject positivity.

Do not allow your mind to work against you. To not cooperate with building your hopes and dreams.

The mind is your financial advisor. Your lawyer. Your wingman. Your business partner. Your confidant. Your best friend. Even your Doctor.

Only by working together. Proactively. In a well formulated plan can you achieve success and free yourself.

Because you have the birth right to be happy. Complete and content.

Choose you.

You first. You second. And you third.

24 hours in a day.

"I need 25 for me"!

Meaning.. Anxiety. I have no time to waste.... I have these multi million dollar goals... Please come back when I am worth $900 Trillion dollars in pure gold and bitcoin!


Well-known member
Jul 8, 2019
I'm getting this too, people talking about me in the street


Well-known member
Feb 3, 2020
London, Uk
Another observation.

We all know that there are limits to certain things..

For example. A concentrated amount of energy each day; over each 24 hours.

This is why successful people are extremely organized.

Screw plan B!

Plan B is dangerous because it will always take away from plan A.

A: being you main focus or goal. Where your focus goes.... Your energy flows.....

Definition: We can be programmed. At birth or childhood to operate; or think a certain way.

Most of the time... Not in the best and most fulfilling way....

An education liberates us; enlightens us by waking us up from the slumbers...

It seems. That without careful adaptations... We fail to upgrade... And run on auto pilot.

To. Our. Doom!

Being active. Aware. Makes us a creator of our own destiny.

We may fail. Because we at times allow the auto pilot; self destructive programming to run with out our permission.

We must be careful not to leave in; or create crevices where negativity can filter in- like a cavity or cancer.

Eliminating negative inputs, is like doing body work, on a Classic Porsche you are restoring.

Hammer.. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap-tap.

Hand caress, gliding across its aluminium sheet metal. A little filler fiber glass or carbon fiber. Sand and smoothe..buff . Caress. Repeat.

Ahhh. Mirror finish! Ready for paint!

Concorse de eleguance..... In my french accent.

Same is true with our brains. The human mind.

We are tormented. Because we have allowed air pockets in our radiator and cooling systems... The car over heats... We blow another head gasket!

But. I put a new water pump! I just replaced the head gaskets... New timing belts.. Tensioner pulleys etc....

Ah ah ah... Attention to details...

Our brain. Is the same.

Now. This is why uber successful people have clearly defined goals! Eureka!

Ok. Ok. Numbers... I am a tech person... Pull out my scientific calculators.... Hold up?

Only 24 hours in a day? Yes.

+ unknown variables @ specific key points? Yes.

Where I need to be productive and positively balanced , in order to achieve , all of my clearly defined goals? Yes. That is correct...

That will inturn create a high propensity to achieve balance, completion and happiness; due to the positive results of me achieving all of these goals I myself have set forth, for myself? Absolutely..

Wait a minute???

Are you saying? That I am frustrated.... Because I have spend my time on the problem; instead of the solutions? Yes.

So... In a sense... This is a self inflicted wound? Yes.

Deeply rooted in a child hood insecurity? Yes.

That I accepted as truth? Yes.

That was nothing more than a negative thought, given to me by a negative person or experience? Yes.

That back then... I had no better judgement to reject? Given the long term damage it could potentially cause me years and years from that moment? Yes.

And that the answer is to inject positivity? Like when I finally restored my silver classic Porsche 550A spydrer? James Dean edition? Yes. That's right...

And... By writing all of my goals?

Clearly and precisely defining them?

I could focus my energy into completing all of those clearly written down goals; of my quantity and choosing of my own extent; is the antidote?

Precisely. ...

I get it. Ill place it on my dream board! Because visuals help the subconcious brain! Yes. Yes.

And if you don't have a dream board or space for one.... Use your smart phone, digital platform or computer and download your dream life!

What house? What cars? What careers? How much income per year? What furniture? What food? What age of retirement? How much in the trust fund? And where do you want to travel?

You choose.. How many Ferraris? How many Lambirghinis?
The sky is the limit!

By you injecting positivity... There are no limits. You are now creating your life!

No more survival mode... Reacting to variables...

Pro active. Selective. Subjective. You have the power..

Makes perfect sense right?

Our brains are super powerful. High frequency. Low frequency.

Computers are 1's and 0's.

We either think positively.

Or negatively.

So. The more good stuff we input..the more positive the results.

Like cooking. Clean. Kosher meat.

Versus... Days old bacteria frankenfoods...

If we don't upgrade our software to "2020 CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION OS"...

We stay stuck on "STRUGGLE 95"....

Having a successful mind state at all times.

If we don't upload our new life happiness program... The drama hard drive remains corrupted...

All of the things we could not control as defenseless children... If they are not optimal or positive.. Affect our judgement daily.

I grew up poor. Single parent house hold. Bad neighborhood. Etc.

Insecurities gallore. Survival mode at all times. Not trusting anyone. Ever. At all...


Then one day you realize... The world is not a drama or horror story...

I am Thor! I am Batman... Warren Buffet. Steve Jobs.. Richard Branson etc...

I can achieve any goal I set for myself!

I get to choose how many Rolls Royces?

I have the power? Claim. It. It is yours.

Do not. Let the brain dictate reality to you.

Monitor every program. Every input or output. Every negative thought!

See it as a little negative spec... Smaller than a snowflake... Making itself appear the size of mount everest..

Tell it... You are no Alexander... You are nothing !

I am Darth Vader to all negativity!

I am Luke when it comes to the positive Force!

Then. Run your own happiness processing system chip.

Upgrade to a new life.

Take control. Write dow your goals. Commit to them no matter what.
Lazer focused... I need 12 Ferraris.... Lol..

No matter how long it takes. No matter how many jobs. No matter how much I have to avoid eating at Red Lobster untill I am a multi millionare.

I will make it happen!

May The Force Always Be With You!


Feb 14, 2020
Hi everyone,

Sorry I've not been on here much. I find it difficult to talk about and try to avoid it when I'm going through a phase of feeling better.

How's everyone doing?

I'm self isolating at the moment, crazy times. I'm doing ok cause I quite like spending time on my own but with no gigs, sport etc on it's going to be tough. Need to keep busy. I don't agree with people going to pubs/restaurants cause you can spread the virus so I'm not doing that either. They'll be forced to close soon I think anyway.

Thanks for all the replies. The positive ones are great and I hope people struggling are doing better.



Mar 6, 2020
When I see a group of girls laughing near me, I always assume they're laughing at me and talking about me. That is the perfect example or social anxiety to me anyway. In any case I relate to everything you said, it's exhausting how my brain works, it really is. I usually avoid social situations all together, meaning it's affecting my life.
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