The alternative scenarios
Posted by Susanna
21st May 2011

I recently spoke to my CPN about some paranoid thoughts I have had over the last few weeks.

She brought forward the appointment to see the psychiatrist to the next day.

He said that the thoughts will start small and then grow much worse and it could end up with being back in hospital. He said I have a vulnerability and he set out a bleak future.

I went away feeling disheartened.

But I am grateful to him because he put an enormous fear into me and it has motivated me to tackle those small thoughts with what my therapist taught me to do, that I have been very lazy in doing.

I have tolerated small annoying paranoid thoughts in the background. When they popped up, I just accepted them and did not immediately get into gear to "sort" it. I did not think "this is the opportunity, here and now, to sort this out so it does not grow." Because this kind of thinking is like weeds in your garden, they start small and then they take hold and soon there are giant monsters everywhere.

So the next morning, I opened my front door and a small thought was there, as it has been for the last few weeks: "there's a camera in the lamp-post" - and I thought "oh, that's one of them - get it right now" and sat down with my pen and paper and checked out the:

event - thought - feeling - behaviour - Evidence For - Evidence Against (alternative explanations for the Evidence For)

The evidence for was just that I often think that, it's in detective stuff on TV and in the papers, somebody could do it who had an interest in me.

The evidence against was that maybe because it's in the media a lot, and the lamp-post is just in front of our front door, maybe I am linking two unconnected things, and also that it would cost a lot of money and am I that important anyway? Are my little concerns worth that much money / time / effort to others? Really?

And I saw it was a bit unrealistic and I was not as important as I thought, really.

But if I want to stay well and out of hospital, that is what I have to do, every time one of those happens, even a very small tiny one or one that I think about so often I don't really notice it. It is like weeding your garden, only it is weeding your mind.

The price of freedome is eternal vigilence.

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