If you think you are getting messages from outside public sources, like hearing voices, seeing signs and graffiti – but think there is a personal message to you that is concerning, you need to call a doctor as a psychotic break episode may be happening. Messages on signs or billboards or graffiti might seem to tell you to do something "personal," or that someone is following you, or someone is spying on you, or something else. Most anyone else would not see either the same message at all (your mind is making it up), nor would he or she take it personally. This is a definite red flag for counselors, psychiatrists, and such – when your brain is seeing or hearing messages and hearing voices that aren’t there or aren’t directed at you and may cause paranoia. It can point to a psychotic break and should be evaluated. A psychotic break is nothing to be ashamed of – it happens more than you think. The brain is overloaded and over-stressed, then goes into a different place, often causing paranoia. You just need to get the help that will heal the brain. Calls and texts might concern you – you might think you are being stalked or someone is playing a trick on you. You might be paranoid about someone out to get you, then assign the calls and texts to that someone and not reasonably understand they are just scams. You might try to show the texts to someone you trust to see if you should be concerned – as well as play messages from a phone call and show what phone number came up from any calls. If you are suspecting something, ask someone you trust to confirm for you. If they let you know it’s of no concern, call a doctor if you are paranoid.
You may be heading for or having a psychotic break, and the paranoia can be too much. Your overwhelmed brain is stretched. You need to talk to a professional before things go too much farther. You might need counseling, or medication, or a short visit to a mental ward to realign the thoughts. Please ask for help earlier than waiting until the treatment course becomes more involved. The time that much of this tends to happen is in young adult brains, as they are still developing and maturing. Some type of break from reality sets in and things go badly in the brain. You need to get help before the brain rewires and gets harder to fight. You might need medications and therapy to re-learn how thinking was prior to this and counteract the chemical imbalance in the brain which has resulted. Don’t be scared – but be brave and ask for help.
Paranoia can manifest in many scary ways and be hard for you to rein in, on your own. You should not live in fear nor worry about people being out to get you. It is far better to ask for professional help than try to help yourself because it’s already eating at you and rewiring your brain. You need help to bring yourself out of it, or rather, ask for help to bring you out of it. There is no shame to asking for help – your wellness and mental health are more important.