Are You Feeling Paranoid?

I have never been the person who continually dreads that something terrible will happen to me or that I will pass away. In fact, I have gone through most of my life without worrying about my health or eventual demise. On the other hand, my wife has always worried about matters about her health and the health of the people she cares about the most. I suppose some people would characterize her as overly paranoid concerning health matters.

Before I met my wife, I had never seen someone who was so overly concerned about their health. When my mother would urge me to go to the doctor at the first hint of a cough or cold, it took me a few years to properly comprehend where she was coming from in making that recommendation. My anger with her and her frequent obsessions over our lives and health throughout the first few years of our marriage was palpable.

My wife decided to start seeing a counselor who discusses her difficulties of having irrational fears about being sick, dying, and health in general. She kindly invited me to accompany her, and I enthusiastically agreed. I wanted to make the most of every opportunity I had to get to know my wife better, figure out how I could be a better collaborator with her, and get a better handle on her peace of mind. Before we left her first counseling appointment a few years ago, neither she nor I knew how severely she suffered from paranoia over illness and death.

According to her therapist, the sudden death of her mother when she was a child was the catalyst for her excessively compulsive behavior. Naturally, the two of us had considered the possibility that those things were connected; however, neither of us had ever given such careful thought to the ramifications of a young child being separated from her mother without warning.

Naturally, experiencing a parent’s sudden and unexpected death would set the stage for developing possible paranoid thoughts and feelings about one’s own mortality. Why wouldn’t you be worried about your own mortality if you knew that your mother had been perfectly healthy right up to the moment she passed away, which was completely unexpected? My wife’s paranoid thoughts and sentiments were being explained to her and me in ways neither of us had previously considered.

You or anybody you know who struggles with paranoid thoughts must seek professional assistance as soon as possible, and I cannot emphasize this enough. She has been able to find almost total freedom from her paranoid thoughts of death and dying due to her realization that her mother’s passing was not her fault and that illness and death can sometimes get the best of us. This realization made her conclude that her mother’s passing was not her fault.

Leave a Reply