Intense Paranoia


About a week ago I got the flu and it kicked the shit right out of me. I had fevers, cold sweats, aching joints and muscles, and violent coughing fits. It really was dragging me through the mud. I went to the hospital, because my mom told me that I had better get checked out before it turned into pneumonia, and they told me that there was definitely something in my chest, but the airways were open and that I should come back if I get shortness of breath or other complications.

Well, I got the shortness of breath a few days later, and the other complications were a bit more severe than I would have liked, but they weren’t deadly, so that’s good, right? It’s really hard to describe the feeling of despair I had when I was at my worst. It was like I couldn’t control my own thoughts, and every time someone suggested something that either wasn’t true, or wasn’t even possible, my mind started turning it over and trying to figure out ways it could be happening.

For example, I have some Republican friends that are always sharing things to do with conspiracy theories. It’s almost as if it consumes them. I always have a look into them, but come up with my own conclusions, because although I see the possibilities, I just don’t see the probability in them.

Except when I was sick. Then I not only entertained the fact, I sat there with my teeth clenched, waiting for the CIA to take my friends away and shut them up for good. You have no idea how hard it was to not start crying about the inevitable loss of my friends, and the knowing that I did nothing to save them. This feeling was compounded every time I coughed, which was pretty constant throughout the day and night. I don’t know if it had something to do with the feeling of my chest being constricted, or if it was some neurological side effect of my asthma, but either way, it was all I could do to keep from calling them and yelling out, “I KNOW YOU ARE RIGHT! YOU NEED TO HIDE, BECAUSE THEY CAN’T LEAVE LOOSE ENDS LIKE YOU LAYING AROUND. WE WILL FIND YOU A SAFE PLACE HERE IN CANADA. DON’T TELL YOUR FAMILY OR FRIENDS.”


I know it seems crazy, and I can’t explain it any better than that, but it was a pretty freaky feeling to have for two days. I remember trying to think of ways to explain it to my wife without her getting worried, because I was so scared that she was going to leave me if she knew how crazy I was. I used words like insecure, uneasy, and closed in. I started crying uncontrollably whenever she did something nice like make me a smoothie for my shredded throat, or gently rubbed my back with her healing hands. I couldn’t believe that she still loved me, because I felt like such a useless piece of shit.

I know it was irrational, but it’s how I felt, and the worst part was constantly telling myself that this is just a side effect, and that I’m not really going nuts. Then in my next thought, second guessing whether I would even know whether or not I was falling off the deep end. I just kept on saying, “This isn’t real, your family loves you, and this sickness will pass.”, and it eventually did.

I’m pretty sure that if I was really going insane, I wouldn’t trust a word I said, therefore, I have to think that it was just some sort of anxiety associated with not being able to breathe properly. No matter what the reason behind it was, I hope that I never have to deal with that again. It was downright scary.

Have you ever seriously questioned your sanity for extended periods of time? I just wanted to hug Mrs. Birdman, and I did a few times, but was afraid that she’d think I was being too needy if I hugged her as much as I wanted to. The truth is that it was the only time I felt safe, but I was still too frightened to try and explain that to her. Every time I started, I would get scared and say something like, “I don’t know how to explain this. I feel kind of uneasy and closed-in.”

That sounds better than, “I think that if you don’t hug me until I fall asleep, that darkness will encompass me and my soul will turn black and give itself over to the Demon of the Underworld.

He's kind of like this, but with more shadows.

He’s kind of like this, but with more shadows.

Of course I don’t believe that that could actually happen, but when you are constantly second guessing all of your beliefs, anything seems possible. It was as if the world was out to get me, and every time I coughed, the feeling was multiplied briefly by ten.

The whole time it was happening, I kept thinking that I should be recording these intense feelings, and then reading them back with my rational mind. Every cough was kind of like when the little girl in the Skrillex video First Of The Year, would send the sound waves at the pedophile. I could see and feel the waves in the air.

Another thing it could be likened to would be a depth charge or other explosion underwater. When I would look out the window, it would be like sparklers going of intermittently with much more orange light. I think that might just be from changes in blood pressure after coughing so much. There were a few times that I blacked right out for a few seconds after having a coughing spell, and I think that’s a blood pressure thing.

Anyhow, that has all passed, and they gave me some steroids to get my lungs back to working condition. I feel like I’m back to normal mentally as well. I have read a little about it, and it seems as though anxiety and shortness of breath go hand in hand.

I guess I just need to recognise it sooner and do something about it. You shouldn’t go too long on decreased amounts of oxygen, so if you find yourself short of breath and feeling anxious or paranoid, get to a doctor or get someone to help you out, because it’s a horrible feeling, and you don’t have to have it. They can get your airways freed up in mere moments nowadays, so no one should have that feeling of despair.

Breathe, breathe in the air, don’t be afraid to care,


12 thoughts on “Intense Paranoia

  1. Well, call me “paranoid” but I question everything and know the truth. I was two grade levels above the rest of my class, always and my IQ is “through the roof” as I was once told.

    I would like to be wrong this time and hope that I am but I don’t listen to mainstream media anymore, especially since a CNN whistleblower came out and said they are paid to make stories “go a certain way.”

    In other words, “lie.” I don’t believe liars. I don’t let it “consume me” but it is aggravating that people think that someone who “questions” things should be burned at the stake.

    People from the CIA have come out and said that the WTC was an inside job. I don’t call it conspiracy theories as much as questioning what is going on around you.

    Good luck not questioning things.

    • I question everything. If I didn’t, I would be on quite a different path. I also don’t watch TV or read things from the mainstream media, unless someone shares something, or I am doing research. I don’t use CNN, the same as I don’t use Fox News as any sort of credible news source. I read what I want to read, if the mood strikes me.

      For the record, you aren’t the friends I’m talking about here. As far as I know, you haven’t publicly shared anything. Maybe you have, but I might not have noticed it.

  2. Hi I’m 21 years old and I’ve been a smoker since it was legal for me (18), until a month ago. I’ve been to the doctor three times since I quit, all for shortness of breath. Let me explain what I’m experiencing: I’m not wheezing or coughing or panting, it just feels like I’m not getting enough air or oxygen. I find myself taking deeper breaths or yawning just to feel satisfied. I’m supposedly physically alright, there was nothing wrong with my chest x-rays and nothing showed up on any blood tests except for a high white blood cell count on my second visit. That was when I had food poisoning and the next doctor (at the ER) found nothing like that. My oxygen level stays at 99-100 and the doctor couldn’t hear anything wrong with my breathing or heart. I went to the ER because of a bad case of “air hunger,” and because I was feeling lightheaded and nauseous from the drug Avelox (which I didn’t know at the time). I’ve been prescribed Avelox, z-pak, and aciphex (one doctor believed it might be caused by GERD), nothing seems to do the trick. I don’t think it’s an infection or something that responds to antibiotics. The problem is usually worse at night, sometimes it’s so bad I feel like I’m stretching out my chest muscles too much when I take a really deep breath and I can feel a dullish pain between my pecs and armpits on either side after awhile. And something else, I’m feeling lightheaded right now and I haven’t taken my avelox yet today (I decided to finish it just incase it was helping), can the drug still cause side-effects ~20 hours later? It’s to the point where I’m getting scared. To have something wrong with me already is making me depressed. I’m not sure what to do. I don’t know if it’s all in my head which all medical signs seem to point to, but if it is it’s very real to me! Does anyone have any advice/know what this could be? Or has anyone experienced anything like this before? .

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