The word “paranoid” is often thrown around and used interchangeably with feeling worried — but it’s more than that. Paranoia is something many people with bipolar disorder experience. Paranoia can range from severe to mild. Some may fully believe the paranoid thoughts and delusions, while others know what they are and can manage them.
I began experiencing paranoia related to bipolar disorder in college. If I made eye contact with anyone walking around campus, I immediately thought they could see something wrong with me. I knew people couldn’t actually read my mind, but it still felt like they were.
Then there was the constant need for assurance. I would ask my friends repeatedly if they were mad at me. One time I insisted my friend text her parents we had just visited to make sure they weren’t mad at me, despite doing nothing wrong.