How do I stop feeling paranoid that people are laughing at me all the time?

I have been bullied since I was 8 years old, at least that's when I became self aware that other people were laughing and whispering about me. It's made me very self-conscious to open up to anyone when I'm alone, so I've always found it hard to make friends without the help of friends I already have. It's almost as if people just find my behaviour hilarious when I try hard to keep my head down and blend in, I always feel like people single me out as some pathetic creature to laugh at. I only feel ok in myself when people I care about are with me or I'm not around anyone. How do I move past this and attempt to feel accepted by other people?
Asked by MysteryOne


I am glad that you reached out. I am sorry to hear that you have been bullied and how much this has affected you. I encourage you to work on building your self-worth, with the help of professional support. You would need to meet with a therapist and have a thorough evaluation to know exactly what you are experiencing and to get the proper treatment. Therapy can be an effective treatment for a host of mental and emotional problems, including social anxiety and building confidence.Talking about your thoughts and feelings with a supportive person can often make you feel better. It can be very healing, in and of itself, to voice your worries or talk about something that’s weighing on your mind. And it feels good to be listened to—to know that someone else cares about you and wants to help.While it can be very helpful to talk about your problems to close friends and family members, sometimes you need help that the people around you aren’t able to provide. When you need extra support, an outside perspective, or some expert guidance, talking to a therapist or counselor can help. While the support of friends and family is important, therapy is different. Therapists are professionally-trained listeners who can help you get to the root of your problems, overcome emotional challenges, and make positive changes in your life.You don’t have to be diagnosed with a mental health problem to benefit from therapy. Many people in therapy seek help for everyday concerns: relationship problems, job stress, or self-doubt, for example. Others turn to therapy during difficult times, such as a divorce. But in order to reap its benefits, it’s important to choose the right therapist—someone you trust who makes you feel cared for and has the experience to help you make changes for the better in your life. A good therapist helps you become stronger and more self-aware. Finding the right therapist will probably take some time and work, but it’s worth the effort. The connection you have with your therapist is essential. You need someone who you can trust—someone you feel comfortable talking to about difficult subjects and intimate secrets, someone who will be a partner in your recovery. Therapy won’t be effective unless you have this bond, so take some time at the beginning to find the right person. It’s okay to shop around and ask questions when interviewing potential therapists. I wish you the best as you seek out proper treatment for your specific situation.