Paranoia of Photos/Images staring at you/can hear you - Social Anxiety Forum
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
SAS Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
Unhappy

Paranoia of Photos/Images staring at you/can hear you


I apologize in advance for the crazy text overload!
First timer around here- seems like a friendly community- I'll give this a shot :')

I've joked about this to friends before, but I've never met anybody who is experiencing it on the same level- nor do internet searches bring up anything at all. Most searches refers to Iconophobia, but that pertains more to the 'fear' of images, or religious/iconic images- which is not the issue I'm having.

I've been told it's my creative brain at work (which sort of makes sense? I've always been an artist- maybe my brain is confused?). Though it is a pain in the butt to live with.

Bathrooms- when I walk into one (usually a friends house or a restaurant) and there are photos of people/magazines in there. My heart sinks- I go into awkward mode and have to like, breathe. I act nonchalant, like "Just have to pee, I definitely know I'm alone in here!" It's like I do it convince the images in the room that I'm not bothered by them. I went into one restroom at this food joint and the ENTIRE room was a collage of newspaper clippings and stuff- I freaked OUUUUT. I always like, pull my pants down as fast as I can and try to get my shirt to cover as much as I can- and then- well, the rest of the job- I just try to be a ninja. "The pictures, they are totally watching me squat, and they can hear EVERYTHING OH MAN." It's just awful.
I have to take magazines OUT of the room. Dude, even with the cover flipped over, no face showing- I know there are pictures inside too- and they can still hear me.

I've noticed that it's really just character and celebrity images that affect me. When you take live action characters- it's the worst possible combination. THE WORST. Which sucks, I'ma huuuuge movie/entertainment fan- I adore tons of characters- quite frustrating. Walking into a movie theater- all the posters...*shiver* As much as I truly enjoy them, I'm so uncomfortable, oh my goodness. Video Rental stores/anywhere with aisles of movies are baaaad- in my head I'm thinking- "Am I walking weird?? What should I do with my mouth- open or closed?? THEY ARE ALL STARING." I'm hyper aware of myself, and I'm screaming on the inside, lol.

Everywhere I go there is something- I get caught off guard like CRAZY. Went to the grocery store and there was a huge freaking print of Bilbo Baggins in electronics section- and I felt like...an idiot. LOL. Pushing my cart. "Gotta get away from this thingggg...."
Like, no joke- JUST TODAY- I finally had to take down my Hobbit calendar that was in my office and shove it in the attic (I didn't even get to the end of the year! Fail). I bought it 1) The Hobbit is amazing, obviously. 2) subconsciously thought I could use it to desensitize myself. Now, ok, I have the hots for Bilbo Baggins- say what you want- that guy is adorable- but it's AWFUL when that thing is on my wall, just staring at me. So weird. I"ll be talking to people and I KNOW that calendar can hear every single word I say. Now, technically, I know that's bull- but my paranoia beats out my realistic views any ol' day, unfortunately (constant battle).

As far as my bedroom is concerned- I've learned to keep EVERYTHING out of there. I had some Avengers cards IN A DRAWER- and I knew, dammit- I knew all of them could hear me sniffle, fart in my sleep, snore- what have you. It affected my sleep significantly- and taking everything out of my room with images like that on them out- REALLY HELPED. I feel at peace, and I can act naturally.

I seriously act weird, talk different- I'm insanely aware of everything I'm doing- when there are pictures in the room.

You know when you have a crush on somebody? You tend to act differently, in case they see you/hear you? Even if you're trying to get their attention- It's JUST like that. Even when it's a picture of like...I don't know. Katniss from Hunger Games on the TV Guide book- she's a badass- but man, she stares... I just act weird around it...OH GOD HARRY POTTER STUFF IS BAD TOO. I love HP, but man, every character- I just can't, lol. Too intense.

Now- okay, it's not just any photo of somebody- I do get a sense of "they can see me...!" when I look at them, but it's not nearly that bad. Especially models on things (generic smiling family in the store adds, whatever, no biggie)- basically if I don't know who they are, It doesn't seem to bother me.

Sometimes I'll be in my car, singing loud and terribly- having a good ol' time- and then I'll realize something is in the car (magazine or whatever) and I'll go totally flush with embarrassment. I just FREEZE up.

Even the computer! OH It's dumb- I can't Google actors I like- because the wall of images appear and there's like 40 of them looking at you. Again- I go into nonchalant/freak out mode- "Act natural girl..." and I find myself doing weird crap in those situations. Even if you minimize the window- it's still there! Listening :I

I've had this problem since I was a kid- and it has just persisted into my adult years (doesn't help that I'm a giant child)- I will just assume it's sticking around.
I'm just SO stinkin' curious if it's something others deal with? Why does nobody ever talk about it?? Maybe people are too shy to bring it up- but it's more funny than anything- albeit insanely frustrating...I just really want to know WHAT it is and who else deals with it!
amw45 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 01:43 PM
♎Mackinac Island Fanatic
 
tehuti88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: At the bottom of Lake Algonquin (Michigan)
Language: English
Gender: Female
Age: 43
Posts: 27,108
My Mood: Crappy


First off...even though it's nowhere near as serious for me, I think I know the feeling you're talking about. It's not so bad for me now, but I used to have issues with the feeling of my stuffed toys staring at me. o_o; I used to like to pretend scenes from my stories while listening to music, but I was so paranoid of my toys staring at me (even though I KNEW they weren't) that I had to do it in the dark. Not just dark, but TOTAL darkness. If I saw so much as a tiny bit of dim light coming through the window it freaked me out and I went to great lengths to cover up every crack so no light could get in. As a result I could only do this late at night when the moon wasn't out and such. That's how paranoid I got, like both my toys and God somehow (what else could it have been??) were watching me, and as long as I was in total darkness nobody could see. I know, I know...sounds utterly insane.

I don't have this issue so much anymore because 1. most of my stuffed toys are now gone and 2. I dropped that habit of pretending to my music long ago...but if I took it up again I just KNOW I'd still have that overwhelming paranoid feeling of being watched, by what, I don't even know. But it's there. I can't even excercise in the house because I feel like I'm being watched by something invisible that's judging me...I can't even blame it on a poster on the wall because I have none!

Anyway...obviously, some details differ for me and it's not as serious as your case, but like I said, I think I know that feeling you're talking about.

Secondly...don't freak out, and please take this with a huge grain of salt because I'm just some stranger on the Internet and am not a professional, but maybe have a look at this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizot...ality_disorder
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002493/
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sch...sorder/DS00830

I've been offered this as a possible diagnosis but it's not official. However, it could explain some borderline "strange/bizarre" thoughts that aren't delusions, since you KNOW on some level they're irrational, but you still feel them anyway. I doubt you really believe all those pictures are staring at you or overhearing you yet you feel LIKE they are anyway and it affects how you go about your life. It's the same with me...I know I'm being irrational, yet the feeling is there anyway. In short, you're not crazy, but you sometimes get thoughts that you recognize as seeming crazy. You still know what's real or not but you can't help but feel AS IF weird things are going on.

Only a professional could say for sure, but if this is something that's been going on a long time, maybe this is the answer? At the very least, you're not the only one.

If I don't reply to you, it's NOTHING PERSONAL. It's my ANXIETY.

***

(Devetko's boyfriend Stan Brooks & Det. Reichert are horsing around.)

Det. Kristeva: "If it were legal you'd marry me, right?"
Det. Devetko: "Definitely."

(It's legal now!! But Kristeva's already married. ;_; )

***

"No canoes...no maple sugar...this place is horribly uncivilized."--Manabozho, Escape From Manitou Island
tehuti88 is offline  
post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
SAS Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
Quote:
Not just dark, but TOTAL darkness. If I saw so much as a tiny bit of dim light coming through the window it freaked me out and I went to great lengths to cover up every crack so no light could get in. As a result I could only do this late at night when the moon wasn't out and such. That's how paranoid I got, like both my toys and God somehow (what else could it have been??) were watching me, and as long as I was in total darkness nobody could see.
Oh my gosh- I'm the same way! More-so when I was younger, but covering up any crack in the window to get the room pitch dark- it was comforting, in that nobody (God, ghosts, what have you) could somehow see you. It especially helped detour any discomfort from images in the room for me, like it did with your stuffed animals- though it's like..you still knew they were there XD

Also, no worries about those links- I checked them out, thanks for sharing. Though my relationships with other people aren't bizarre or troubled. I think I'm a pretty standard person, it's just this blaring oddity in my life that confuses me :'D Finding a specific diagnosis has been tough! That's for sure. I've been meaning to get in touch with somebody for professional assistance- wouldn't hurt to figure it out!
Thanks gain for the reply! I appreciate it :3
amw45 is offline  
 
post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-21-2013, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
SAS Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
Hey! Thanks for replying :'D
It's nice to have people share some similarities on some level. Haha- oh gosh- yea, getting dressed is always an awkward thing- I can imagine the window minimizing urges. When I used to have my computer in my room things like that were quite common!
amw45 is offline  
post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 12:12 PM
Nowhere
 
Nessie91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: London
Gender: Female
Age: 28
Posts: 589
My Mood: Brooding
I remember going through something similar when I was younger.

I thought pictures could see me, that people in the TV could see me, even at times I wondered if people could read my mind. I also thought there was cameras in my house.. Thank God I grew out of all that. So, i sorta know how you feel.

Maybe you should read up on Schizophrenia? I'm NOT saying that you do have schizophrenia, I'm not a professional obviously but you do have some eccentric ways of thinking. Since you're aware that your thoughts are irrational then there's nothing particularly wrong.
Just keep telling yourself that your thoughts are irrational. The images aren't watching you, they're just pieces of paper xD

"Sometimes I give myself the creeps, Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me, It all keeps adding up, I think I'm cracking up, Am I just paranoid?. Am I just stoned?" - Green Day (Basket Case)
Nessie91 is offline  
post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
SAS Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
Talking

I'm glad you were able to get over it! :0
Thanks for sharing! I really appreciate it!
I think it would be good to get further assistance on this! I'm still surprised there isn't more of a response!I guess I was hoping it was something a lot of people experienced. Shoot! XD
amw45 is offline  
post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 01:05 AM
SAS Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 1

Photographs watching you


Ever since I was quite young I've always felt like photos were watching me. I remember it starting when I was about 7-8, when I was hugely obsessed with wild cats I had a rather large poster of a jaguar on my wall. Only it's eyes were making eye contact with me, and no matter where I would go in the room, it's eyes were locked onto mine, as if it was staring into your soul. Becaus of this I started to get weird around photos, with the eyes.. It never bothered me when it was a photo of someone and they're looking off in a different direction than the camera. A few years later I would progress, puting up posters of my favourite bands. My walls, we're covered. It got to the point where I couldn't change my clothing in front of them all. Just staring at me. I would either avoid changing in front of them all together, or I would change in front of them, but as if I were changing in front of someone I had only just met. Very stealth like, pulling my bra out of my shirt first then quickly making the switch, then the shirt would cover my bottom while I changed ever so quickly. And it was even worse if there were photos of family n the room, it was even weirder. I'm like yo, my uncle is watching me change.. This is too weird.. Eventually it became easier, family photos no longer bother me, although I never really have them in my room, only throughout the home, but still, the photos of my fam do.. Like for me, it's The Doctor... Huge whovian.. And it's weird again, just existing. It's like you said. You're acting in a certain way so that you don't come across as a knob to them.. Even though, you can rationalize that they obviously can't see you. But it's those eyes. Something's just not right.. But maybe that's in all actuality a good thing. Because we are more aware of ourselves and how others might perceive us. But that could be holding us back from our true potentials, not being truly yourself when you're alone with yourself. Maybe it somehow stems from certain insecurities. Glad I'm not the only one though, who deals with it. And it's weird how little I've questioned the behaviour. It's become such a huge part of my life, I hardly noticed it was there. In fact, I don't even know what transpired me to searching it online, finding this forum..
RiiverSong is offline  
post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 01:12 AM
LEFT SAS
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,791
Sounds like extreme paranoia that you've associated pictures to. It's like you've taken your Social Anxiety (which is bad enough) and added it to inanimate objects. So now you have SA when you're with people and when you're alone-the perfect nightmare!

You should check into therapy.
slowlyimproving is offline  
post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-17-2015, 02:00 PM
SAS Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1

Interesting topic - in my case it's not fear, just uncomfortable


It's good to know that other folks experience different effects with pictures that "stare at you". In my case, it doesn't matter who the picture is of (spouse, family, celebrity, etc), but if it's a picture with the person looking into the lens of the camera, it gives that "staring at you" feeling. It doesn't affect me that much, but I do notice that if I have a company newsletter open on my screen and I'm working on something else in another window, and there is a "face shot" looking at me, I'll get irritable and finally either close the window or scroll it so that the person's face is off-screen. I also don't have pictures of family at my desk, or my apartment because I just get a low-grade "uncomfortable" feeling. While I know it's ridiculous, the feeling is still there. Pictures of animals don't have any effect at all.
timbo61 is offline  
post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-17-2015, 02:35 PM
SAS Member
 
LazyMaisy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Nowhere
Age: 26
Posts: 25
I was like this like 7 years ago. I couldn't have any picture of anyone (celebrity, family, cartoon character) because I felt like they were watching me. I don't get this way anymore except with dolls or stuffed animals. I'm not scared of them, it just feels like they are watching me and judging what I'm doing haha. But I'm slowly getting over that as well by doing what I did to get rid of the same feeling I had with the pictures. Okay so this was a while ago, I was really into the Jonas Brothers and I wanted a poster for my wall and I've never actually had a poster or photos on my wall before. I got it and put it up and I just couldn't go about my day normally because it was as if they were actually there watching me. BUT I loved them so much that I found another poster I liked and put it up. Pretty soon I had every inch of wall covered Jonas Brothers posters and about a hundred dozen eyes looking at me. And a few months later I was completely okay with all these "people" staring at me in my room and it's as if they went from being really there to just a flat lifeless images. I'm currently working on that with porcelain dolls. I love them, but it's even worse than posters because they are physically here and not just on a flat surface lol ALSO, I don't know if this helps, but I'm pretty sure I have a mild case of Avoidant Personality Disorder. I've read every symptom and watched so many videos and I think I might have, but I'm to scared to visit the doctor lol. It was worse especially when I was younger and I think maybe this contributed to what I was feeling with the images and dolls: http://psychcentral.com/disorders/av...rder-symptoms/
Your experience sounds more severe than mine, but I think if you could just start off with the tiniest little photo on your wall, just the tiniest you can find and put it up there, then every month put another small one up until you have a large poster sized space, then you can take those down and put one medium sized photo for a while and do the same, then eventually put one giant poster. Maybe it would also help if it was someone that is not very attractive to you, also maybe put it in a room that you go in often because you won't get anywhere if you don't immerse yourself in your fear. Just remember and even say out loud to the person on the image "YOU ARE NOT REAL AND YOU CANNOT SEE ME!". Sounds silly, but you should give it a try.
LazyMaisy is offline  
post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 10:21 AM
SAS Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Sweden
Gender: Male
Posts: 426
I know I've read about this somewhere, I just don't remember where it was. But it turns out it's a lot more common than we think it is. If I remember it correctly, it's something most people have a slight "issue" with. Images of eyes and faces make us feel like we're being watched. This reaction is kind of built into us. Like if I sit down on the toilet and I see a magazine with a face on it, my instinctive reaction is to turn it upside down, even though I know the person can't possibly see me. It seems silly, but it's just one of those natural responses that are kind of hard to control. And as long as it doesn't go to the extreme and you can separate your feelings from reality, I don't think it's anything to worry about. I'm guessing the reason why it isn't talked about more often is because it's a bit embarrassing and people think it makes them sound crazy? But surprisingly many things we think of as silly and crazy are actually quite normal. So it's not a sign of a disorder or anything, it's a perfectly normal human reaction.
Quatermass is offline  
post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-02-2017, 08:37 PM
Fantasy Prone Personality
 
Nihilist00's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Gender: Female
Posts: 9
My Mood: Fine
Oh hello!

I used to have this when I was young. It would drive me crazy and I cound't tell anyone about it. I used to think people in pictures were watching and hearing me. Eventually it went away without me realising it. I do believe though, that it relates with fantasy prone personality. Like having thoughts, or imagining things even when you know they are not real but still somehow to believe in it. I'm not sure since I'm not a specialist. :/

I hope you're doing well!
Nihilist00 is offline  
post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 03:42 AM
W/ a Gun Against My Head
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA
Gender: Female
Age: 20
Posts: 558
My Mood: Brooding
I know this thread started a long time ago, but I just want to say something. Since you realize that your thoughts are irrational, I think your problem is some form of OCD. You also mentioned it happens more often with characters/people you know/like, and as someone with OCD, my own OCD is triggered in relation to things I have strong feelings about (whether it be liking or hating something).

"Could you do me a favor? Could you kill me?" - Adrian Monk
Brawk Shady is offline  
post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 02:02 PM
SAS Member
 
Clivy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Living on the planet of Giant Retarded Opossums
Gender: Female
Posts: 526
My Mood: Bored
I have a similar problem, but it has more to do with people, especially the government and strangers, listening to my thoughts and stalking me. There have been many times when I avoid doing or thinking of certain things to keep them from laughing at me, or from using that information to black mail me. It am also scared of there being a lunatic under my bed, ready to grab me, and of people in general, trying to kill, stalk, or hurt me. I am a pretty paranoid person. I even have a fear of flushing the toilet late at night, because I think that a murderer or bugler might hear me(I have had this fear since I was only 3 years old).

"According to Astronomy, when you wish upon a star, you're actually a few million years too late.

That star is dead. Just like your dreams."-Unknown
Clivy is offline  
post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 09:25 AM
.
 
Kaneda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Gender: Other
Posts: 21
I'm sorry for reviving such an old thread, but I do the exact same thing! I've been doing it since I was eight years old, back then I would speak to pictures as a coping mechanism for my loneliness, but it's gotten more severe as time passed. Now I think I'm being watched by everything: cartoon characters, photos of people (my boyfriend or singers for example), DVDs, stuff at the store, etc. I know that they can't listen to or see me, yet I can't stop.
At least I feel like less of a lunatic knowing that other people go through this too.
Kaneda is offline  
post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 10:22 AM
'functioning' psycho
 
Persephone The Dread's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: I've come to burn your kingdom down one ****post at a time
Language: Eng (UK,) 下手な日本語
Posts: 38,322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaneda View Post
I'm sorry for reviving such an old thread, but I do the exact same thing! I've been doing it since I was eight years old, back then I would speak to pictures as a coping mechanism for my loneliness, but it's gotten more severe as time passed. Now I think I'm being watched by everything: cartoon characters, photos of people (my boyfriend or singers for example), DVDs, stuff at the store, etc. I know that they can't listen to or see me, yet I can't stop.
At least I feel like less of a lunatic knowing that other people go through this too.
I only have it mildly but I just assumed it was linked to the schizophrenia spectrum. If you have relatives with schizophrenia or schizotypal PD (or other spectrum disorders) it's more likely you'll have weird quirks like that. And social anxiety is related to that spectrum too. It's like an abundance/over-extension of empathy probably and also heightened self consciousness.

For me it's just fluctuated over time but is mostly limited to images of people I like not all images of random people also I don't speak to the images. I've just on/off talked to myself. When I was a kid I'd talk to myself in the toilet, I think I'd get bored easily.

Lucy's bitten
Neck is bleeding bad
The teeth have long departed
Yet the desire burns strong
On in desire for destruction
One on which she'll depend
One that ceases to deepen
Too near bitter end


Black through the mountains
She turns her loosening ring
Guardian angel sings
"I think you've lost your wings, but you're still yours
You're still yours, you're still yours"

Persephone The Dread is offline  
post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 10:27 AM
Not A Low Calorie Food
 
WillYouStopDave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: United States
Gender: Male
Age: 46
Posts: 29,564
My Mood: Relaxed
I can't say I ever had anything like this. I would say this is a case where the term "paranoia" is apt. Many people misuse it (IMO) to describe anything you worry about (whether it's rational/reasonable or not).

/WYSD
WillYouStopDave is offline  
post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 10:30 AM
.
 
Kaneda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Gender: Other
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Persephone The Dread View Post
I only have it mildly but I just assumed it was linked to the schizophrenia spectrum. If you have relatives with schizophrenia or schizotypal PD (or other spectrum disorders) it's more likely you'll have weird quirks like that. And social anxiety is related to that spectrum too. It's like an abundance/over-extension of empathy probably.
Yeah, come to think of it, I do have quite a few family members who developed schizophrenia and such into their late childhood and teenage years. I lack a lot of symptoms at the moment though.
Kaneda is offline  
post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-09-2020, 01:03 PM
Self-absorbed but it's ok
 
SorryForMyEnglish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Language: Bad English
Gender: Agender
Posts: 1,265
My Mood: Dead
I had this with pictures and tv when I was younger

Sorry not sorry
SorryForMyEnglish is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Does anyone else have a staring problem, like staring out of corner of your eyes?DX shybutterfly94 Coping With Social Anxiety 1 02-10-2013 12:08 PM
Images MF Doom Board Help and Feedback 5 04-29-2012 12:59 PM
How do you react to people staring at you? Paranoia? AliciaH Coping With Social Anxiety 35 10-03-2007 06:06 AM
Images of nothing Roberto Member Photo Albums 14 02-03-2006 09:47 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome