It all started after high school. I smoked a lot of marijuana, watched a lot of conspiracy, and was practically a shut in. I started to suspect there was conspiracy in my own life, things that people thought about me that I didn’t know. After a lot of confrontation that did more harm to my relationships than good, I stopped trying to figure it out.

Fast forward two years. I work at a sawmill with criminals, but the experience helped me discover I wasn’t as lazy as I thought I was. I enjoyed the refreshing hard work, it made me feel satisfied to be making my own money. I live at home with my parents, and desire to support myself while there to take the load off them whilst I try to figure out my future. I have taken on car insurance bills, living expenses such as food and hygiene items. But my mind still keeps trying to churn out answers to an incessant stream of fears that keep cropping up.

Here are some examples.

I fear that my shyness towards children will be taken as a sexual motive.

I fear that my shyness at making eye contact will make me seem to be a deviant.

I fear that my lack of a steady personality will make others weary of me, and more like to accuse me of things I did not do.

I fear my co-workers will attack me, because I do not fit in.

And most importantly to me, I’m afraid my parents will see my love as a fraud. That I am just a suck up trying to ride who they are to keep myself out of the spotlight.

I am afraid to leave home, however, as my parents have been incredibly unstable since I was old enough to remember. And my mom would always blame me because I would get emotional and cry and scream when they fought. Then my dad would leave in his tractor trailer and she would tell me It was my responsibility to make him come back.

I am NOT enjoying life, rather living in constant and perpetual fear. I love people and am very caring. I have done my share of yelling and name calling in the past but have elected to no longer live this way as my self esteem seems to be a back and forward affair. I want to meet a woman, fall in love, and raise a family. I don’t aspire fame, fame scares the hell out of me. I want peace now but something inside me is resistant to it.

I also have 3 sisters with children. They are my mother’s world and respect her for her role as grandma. I am shy around the children because I am turning out to be a very large guy and feel like i’ll look silly playing with them. I love them all to death but they DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH ME. I still cry quite often and I’m sure it’s very disturbing. I’ve tried visiting therapy on my own but always chicken out. Advice?

A: I appreciate you allowing me to respond to your questions. The short answer is to not just visit, but to make a series of appointments with the therapist. While there are many possibilities for these, thoughts the chronic use of marijuana and the absorbing conspiracy theories seem like they were fertile ground for the paranoid tendencies.

The fact that your own sensibilities recognize this pattern of thought and that you are able to articulate it is a good thing, as is the fact you see your reactions as being illogical or undesirable. It means you are able to monitor these elements and see that they are in need of change.

I would capitalize on this awareness and put it into action by seeing a therapist. The “Find Help” tab at the top of the page should help you locate someone in your area.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral