Am I paranoid and going crazy?


I feel like I am always getting pursued by a competitor or being spied on. I got so paranoid, I recently cut off all of the contacts on my cell, facebook, IM and so on (Except for my clients). I even changed my cell phone number.

Is this normal or should I see a shrink?

Oh yes, this is a one man army startup. I couldn't find a co-founder because no one around me possessed Technical_knowledge && my_trust. All the time it was technical_knowledge || my_trust.


asked Oct 21 '09 at 17:25
227 points

3 Answers


Don't take this the wrong way, but your behavior is indicative of mental health problems. Worse, depending on the underlying cause and if left unchecked, this could develop into some serious mental health issues like schizophrenia.

Obviously, there's little to go on (and, obviously, IANAL P), but the "i got so paranoid, i recently cut off all of the contacts" is the troubling part. A close friend of mine exhibited some similar "need to go off the grid" behavior, and it caused some very major disruptions in his life and downstream problems.

The good news is, this isn't a huge deal (now) and can be easily remedied. There are plenty of treatments avaiable and, chances are, it's not anything major. It could just be an anxiety disorder caused by the stress of a startup, in which case the occasional dose of diazepam will bring you back to normal.

But either way, you need to get it checked out. If you have health insurance, you're probably covered, and if not, a few visits won't cost too much.

And separate bit of advice on a shrink: see someone who can perscribe meds (i.e. a psychiatrist instead of a psychologist)... I'm a fan of pharmaceuticals and think they can treat mental health issues better than therapy, and psychologists might be biased to think otherwise. I have some serious anxiety issues with the dentist, and given the choice of long sessions or Zanax, I chose the latter. Works wonders!

answered Oct 22 '09 at 00:45
Alex Papadimoulis
5,901 points


From description, i think you are being paranoid.

My experience taught me, people are busy with their own lives. They are not going to spy or pursue you, unless you are very important people (president etc?).

That might even be overestimate. Look at today's photo from my friend. Our Australia's ex-prime minister is walking freely on the street during lunch time. No one care.

If people are not spying on ex-prime minister, what's your chance (and mine)?

answered Oct 21 '09 at 18:14
Hendro Wijaya
1,408 points
  • I think you've proven the point, here's a guy walking down the street just minding his own business, and somebody snaps a covert picture of him! ;-) Spies!! ;-) – Chris W. Rea 14 years ago
  • But I agree the OP may just be a little too paranoid. – Chris W. Rea 14 years ago
  • Yeah, i was thinking about that as well, but, then, i looked at the photos and most people didn't mind him at all. He is ex-PM! So, 1 photo is not count. =) – Hendro Wijaya 14 years ago


While you do sound on the edge and extreme, I do think it's important in general for people driving startups to have a constant sense of urgency, never get too comfortable, always push hard and fast, always watch your competition. You should also always be careful about what you disclose and to whom, because that "prospect" on the phone might actually be a competitor.

But yes, you're a bit over the top.

answered Oct 22 '09 at 01:26
4,214 points

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