Convince me to stop being so damn paranoid

My first post to this board was a question about whether or not I could contract Mad Cow Disease from my LEATHER CHAIR. This should give you some indication of how paranoid of a person I am - very paranoid, that’s how. I worry way too much, I’ve always been a hypochondriac, and I’m always convinced that behind everything in life lurks somethng that’s going to kill me.

My most recent paranoia is over Mad Cow Disease, or BSE, or CJD, or whatever the hell you want to call it. I was worried as all hell over this when it first made the news a few years ago, gradually forgot about it, and then now that it’s back on the news, I’m all worked up over it again. The more I read on the internet about it, the more horrified I get and convinced that I am going to get it. It seems like every single site about this disease on the internet is some kind of scaremongering propaganda intended to make people become vegans, and I fall for it hook line and sinker. Unlike a reasonable person, who would say, **“people have been eating beef, even with the unsafe, cannibalistic feeding practices, for decades, and so far only about 150 people worldwide have gotten Mad Cow Disease, and even then they don’t REALLY know if they got it from eating the meat, so I should probably worry about more pertinent risks to my well-being.” **

But I’m not a reasonable person. Instead, I became a nervous wreck, worrying about what I ate constantly, swearing off any and all products derived from any bovine source whatsoever, buying new toothpaste and soap that are free of glycerine (potentially a bovine product,) worrying that the chicken I ate could have been fed protein from infected cows, even worrying that the vegetables I was eating could have been fertilized with manure from infected cows, even worrying that the plate that my food came on at a restaurant could have held a hamburger the day before. It’s INSANE! But I can’t help it. I’ve been talking about this in the past tense but I still do everything I’ve just described.

Online resources about mad cow disease offer no reassurance whatsoever. With each article I read, I hear more and more stuff that reinforces my insane paranoia instead of diminishing it (the mad cow proteins are **indestructible **and can survive anything, there is an incubation period of anywhere from 1 to 30 years, ground up cows are used in every goddamn thing, even feed for other animals, so that eating animals besides beef still carries the risk, etc etc etc) All this seems like propaganda disseminated by militant vegans and PETA people, but I eat it all up anyway because I don’t have the common sense I wish I did.

I just want someone reasonable and knowledgeable to say “don’t worry! This is one of the rarest diseases on the planet! If it was so dangerous, the whole world would have it already!” Because despite the fact that I can SAY what I just said, I can’t really believe it, because I’m too goddamn paranoid.

Don’t worry!

The odds of you tripping over your leather chair and breaking your neck are probably higher.

Mostly Harmless

I don’t know if this will work for you, but perhaps it’s worth a try. When I start getting obsessive about something for which nothing positive is accomplished by my thoughts, I make up a list of things that I will force myself to do or think about whenever the obsessive thoughts start up. Such a list could include things like [list=0]
[li]turn on some music and sing along with it[/li][li]mentally plan your next vacation[/li][li]think about cute things your son / niece / some child you love has said and done[/li][li]call someone and talk about their problems[/li][li] count to a thousand[/list][/li]If you force yourself to do this, eventually whatever is driving the obsession will lose its strength and will start to disappear.

Consider this. The thing most likely to go wrong, is something that will blindside you on some Tuesday afternoon, and you will never see it coming.

Sleep tight.

What** laina** said – keep busy. Idle time just leaves opportunity for your mind to fixate on potentially scary things, and there’s nothing good down that path for you. Remember that you can’t control everything, and that’s okay. Take reasonable precautions against reasonable dangers and you’ll be just fine.

If these thoughts are disrupting your daily life, I’d strongly recommend talking to a professional in the mental health field about it. There’s no reason for you to be miserable because your mind won’t put these worries in the appropriate box.

“Considering how dangerous everything is, nothing is really very frightening.” - Gertrude Stein

Get a good night’s sleep, Argent.

Oh, thank you for correcting me. I didn’t think Mad Cow had crossed over that interspecies barrier. :confused: :confused: :confused: