Hello, I very often think that the whole world is a set and everybody I see are just actors. I’m paranoid that there are some people outside my house filming and watching me, and I’m also scared that they put cameras in my room. I sometimes talk to myself, in the sense that I ask a question to someone or a non-existing person, I then change character to that person and answer my own question. These can turn into huge conversations. I’m terrible at making friends, I bite my skin and nail and try to avoid crowded areas like parties or ever shopping malls. Please answer me, and if this isn’t anything strange, then sorry or using your time. Thank you, Serena.

A. You are very welcome, Serena. I’m glad that you took the time to write. The symptoms you have described are concerning. It is unusual to see the world “as actors.” Believing that individuals are filming your house and watching you are signs of paranoia. You also described talking to yourself and then “changing characters” to answer your own questions. Those are also unusual experiences.

You describe yourself as being “terrible” at making friends. It would’ve been helpful to know what you meant by the expression “terrible.” Are you awkward in social situations? Do you not know what to say? Have people ended relationships with you because of an awkward interaction?

Biting your skin and nails and avoiding crowded areas are signs of anxiety.

My recommendation would be to have an evaluation by a mental health professional. A mental health professional could gather details about your current symptoms and your psychosocial history and determine what might be wrong. The symptoms that you have described are treatable with both psychotherapy and medication.

Please don’t ignore your symptoms. They have the potential to become worse if left untreated. I hope that you will take my advice and seek professional help. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle