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For the past few weeks I have been experiencing a phobia of sorts.  I am anxious to get into cars for fear that I may be in an accident.  I am not sure if this anxiety is caused by actual anxiety disorder or if it is stemming from paranoia. Needless to say this has been wrecking my life, I have brought it up with my Dr, who took me off prozac and prescribed Vistaril. I seem to be getting a little better. My question is has anyone else ever experienced something where they couldn't tell if it was paranoia or anxiety? 

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This is most likely anxiety. If you were paranoid you would not be aware that you had a problem. Sounds like exposure therapy might help and an anti anxiety medication

Edited by CeremonyNewOrder

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I disagree with @CeremonyNewOrder, when I am paranoid before I get really deep into it, I do have full awareness that it is paranoia (even if that doesn’t make it stop). The difference for me is anxiety happens sometimes for me, I get anxious a bit if I’m alone in a park with no one around. As that turns into paranoia, I’d instead feel that the situation was not just worrisome, but that my very life is in danger RIGHT NOW and I’d start feeling terrified. I might believe I’m being secretly tailed or watched. Another one is I start thinking people are going to break in my house not occasionally as a vague fear, but all the time. I’d find myself checking windows and doors, or hiding prized possessions. I know I’m paranoid when my life starts to seem perpetually in danger and I know that’s the moment I need PRN doses to bring things down a notch. I am not just paranoid about my life of course, but that’s one big example. 

No one can tell you when it crosses over from anxiety into paranoia except for you and no one here can diagnose you as having an anxiety disorder or otherwise, but fearing for your life is definitely a symptom for me and it definitely interferes with my life hugely. 

Edited by saintalto
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The line between anxiety and mild paranoia is blurred for me, and I do have some insight that I'm being paranoid. My paranoid fears tend to be more immediate, specific (and sometimes bizarre) and harder to talk me out of. Anxiety for me is like "what if this scary thing happens?" and paranoia is like "it's happening - DANGER DANGER!" 

Edited by Juniper29

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Anxiety: you're worried about something happening even though you most likely can tell yourself it isn't but the anxiety will tell you that it will happen.

Paranoia: you're convinced without a doubt in the world that it's happening and nothing and no one will convince you otherwise.

That's how I differentiate between the two.

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paranoia is more intense its like not it is going/happening you cant conveince me otherwise 

and while anxiety isnt as intense and more like what if im in an accident i dont want to go 

I highly suggest talking to a therapist for the possibltily of taking medication if it gets really bad (to the point it interfers with your daily life) and if they suggets it then go to your gp and get perscirbed some dont forget that you have to consider if the tablets interfer with anything and your age also is added into it ether way talk to a terapist about it possibly get perscirbed some meds and keep going to therapy to overocome it i think you have bad anxiety (i suffer from it im agoraphobic and im on medication)

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