Paranoia: an unfounded or exaggerated distrust of others, sometimes reaching delusional proportions.
One evening a LONG time ago I indulged in far too much wacky tobaccy and was absolutely positive beyond anyone's ability to convince me otherwise that the frogs and crawdads across the creek were actually some sort of ultra-advanced surveillance out to get me because I could see the crawdads beady eyes looking at me and hear the frogs chirping signals to each other.
To this day friends who were with me laugh about how paranoid I was that night.
Although it was drug-induced, it shows how powerful the mind can become when you allow your thoughts, however ridiculous, to affect behavior. From the outside it looks as if you have gone completely nuts, but from the inside it is all too real.
Over the weekend I participated in a rally against Monsanto and GMO's and watched a Ted talk brought to my attention by a friend about how the U.S. government is collecting massive amounts of data on pretty much everyone worldwide.
While I don't believe my concerns about these issues have brought me anywhere close to the paranoid state I was in that evening many moons ago, I DO believe that if I continue to allow myself to fester about uncomfortable realities going on in the world they have the potential to escalate to the point where I worry about every single piece of food I put in my mouth or that big brother is watching me so close I want to just shut down and go hide in the woods.
I believe where the big issues are concerned it's important to be aware, educate yourself, and take a stand if need be to protect future generations, but it's also important to strike a balance and not allow said concerns to grow in your mind to a point they render you so fearful that you are incapable of functioning as a relatively normal and productive member of society.
The frogs and crawdads across the creek are NOT out to get me. They're nothing more than a beautiful part of the nature of the night.