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I would interested to know if anyone has any coping mechanisms for bouts of paranoia? I find the irrational thoughts so destructive and pointless but when an episode occurs, feel i have to just go along with it. For me it is the nastiest side effect of depression there is.

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  • Posted

    Hi Megan

    Sounds like you have a tough time with depression and paranoia!

    I'm not a doctor but I'm going to guess the paranoia is a product of over-stimulation of your adrenal gland - it's the way you cope with fight or flight. Others, like me, stop short of paranoia and go with anxiety. Still the pits!

    Coping strategies? Treating yourself lovingly and gently, accepting the way you feel whilst knowing it is nothing more than too much adrenalin, try to stay calm - watch movies, go for a walk and look for roses, talk to family and friends. In other words, distract yourself from your thoughts - just stopping them for a minute helps calm you. Give yourself time to recover.

    How long have you been taking Flu? You just have to survive the first few weeks as best you can - it's a rough ride. Seven months in, I feel great and happy.

    • Posted

      Hi Carl

      Apologies about my misleading name but i am actually a bloke. I have been on flu for 6 years and 3 months - a very long time but circumstance hasn't been good to me with one upset after another. My doc diagnosed me with reactive depression which i think is pretty accurate as when i get a bad shock, my brain no longer copes with it. I have always put others 1st and this is not something i can change. However, i do hold back a percentage for self preservation now. It's like, when the pressure gets too much, the barriers go up.

      I started on 20mg (liquid flu) and after 9 weeks this was upped to 40mg. Last year, via the doc, i weaned myself down through 30mg to 20mg but have just informed him that i have had to increase back to 30mg.

      As a glutton for punishment, a lady has come back into my life who i knew when we worked together 15 years ago. Contact is only possible on Facebook at the moment and the written word is so open to misinterpretation. She is coming out of a very mentally abusive marriage. She knows about the depression as i'm not ashamed of this illness and don't hide away from it. The paranoia is far worse now than before she came back into my life. It's almost like i've taken on more than i can chew but i can't cast her into the wilderness now.

      Thank you for your advice. I shall try some of your ideas and thank you for replying.

      Best wishes

    • Posted

      Hi Not-Megan

      You remind me so much of me! I've not heard it called reactive depression before but that is exactly how it is for me - big emotional problem (usually loss) and I head for the pits of depression to hide away. Last time I sought help for the first time - got onto Flu and a few sessions of counselling - a process I have long since trusted. I discovered what I believe to be the source of depression for me - an early childhood experience that I was not allowed to talk about, to cry about, so I internalised it and made myself responsible for my parents behaviour. I had long since known about this in my head but had never connected with it in my heart - got the usual dropping away of weight sensation when it clicked. I have yet to see what effect this new found emotional knowledge does for me but I am hopeful it will give me tools for the next episodes.

      I tell you this story because I am a firm believer in finding the times and places things were written on the emotional blank page that is a new-born child.I wonder what you are reacting to all these years after the original incident.

      By the by, when it comes to one's own mental health, I always cite the safety talk given before a plane takes off. If the oxygen masks drop, they tell us, put your own mask on before attempting to help the person next to you.

  • Posted

    Id be very interested in some coping ways too. What bothers me the most is that in theory i know and see everything with perspective and understand when im being paranoid or obsessive i can rationalise everything but cant always apply it to myself. Once im there i cant break the cycle no matter how much i tell myself im not doing me any favours.

    Have just started back on fluoxetine (8 days ago) so am trying to stay positive and give myself time.

    Ive recently done moodgym and other online cbt training programs and they do give you some good pointers in how to view and react to things differently, how to change your thinking patterns (easier said than done) but some have actually helped and i following through the actual exercises they give you on paper helps a lot more than just running them through your mind.

    • Posted

      Hi Ana

      I know what you mean about seeing everything with perspective. I only get that after the episode is over and i realise that what i was thinking was total nonsense but at the time it is hard to break the thoughts. In fact your 1st paragraph sums it up perfectly.

      I can also feel when the thoughts are creeping up on me now which i never had before - like an early warning system - so the flu must be doing something right.

      I do try and stay positive and don't surround myself with any negativity from others. I remember Moodgym from my early days of this illness so thanks for the reminder on that.

      I'm seeing a counsellor on a weekly basis at the moment and she has known me for over 5 years. It is an excellent way of releasing everything that is going on in my life as i can no longer store problems to deal with later.

      I'm fortunate in that i don't work but unfortunate in that i also have chronic physical problems too. Thank you for your useful information and coming back to me so quickly. I'll let you know if i can at least reduce the symptoms of this horrible side effect to depression. 

    • Posted

      Im in the process of arranging some counselling but knowing the nhs it might be a while.. therapy has been helpful in the past and i know it would help me heaps at the moment.

      Like you, I also realise when the thoughts are creeping up on me but still am choosing to go with them on many occasions (but a lot less often than before if i say so myself)

      So progress is progress and we'll keep progressing!


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