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Is paranoia a symptom of alcoholism?

Old 08-15-2011, 04:28 PM
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Is paranoia a symptom of alcoholism?

My AH who has been dishonest with me about his drinking and spending habits and many other things since the start of our marriage (I didn't know this until about a year ago though) has begun to accuse me of things that sound pretty reasonable (meaning his accusations are believable and based on things I've done that he twists into something sneaky when they're not).

He's currently convinced that I am somehow "tracking" him using an app on my iphone. He's also accused me of hiding money (this is something he has done), stealing checks from him and trying to break into his email.

None of these things are things I've a) ever entertained doing or b) done.

I realize that defending myself just fuels the fire and I haven't been but it's making me curious that he's become so paranoid (either that or he's doing some serious projection- or both) all of a sudden.

Just wondering, anyone else seen paranoia crop up in your A?
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:00 PM
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Is he also doing drugs?
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:01 PM
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I don't know. I don't think so but ????
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:11 PM
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My exabf, was a sometime alcoholic and full time drug addict. He used booze as a bandaid when he was trying to stay off of crack, pot, pills or?

I have many alcoholics in my family and I really have not seen paranoia in them,have seen alot of other crazy behavior.

In my exabf, yes, I have seen paranoia, all kinds of crazy thoughts and accusations.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:17 PM
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Alcoholism affects the brain. My late stepmother was convinced the neighbors had somehow bugged her home and were watching and listening to her every move. She was an alcoholic of many years. Yes, paranoia can come into play with an alcoholic.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:52 PM
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Alcohol effects people differently. It could lead to paranoia. One person called the cops swearing her dogs were stolen, only to find them under the covers on her bed...
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:54 PM
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He!! yah! Mine was convinced I was/am cheating on him, once accused me of being in porn video's, made up a story about me having sex at a party when he was right there, practically in the same room. He made up all kinds of things about me to put me down. Bad mother, bad wife, bad friends, awful person in general.

Many times, our A's accuse us of things they're doing themselves.
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:08 PM
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Yes the further alcoholism progresses the greater the paranoia without any other drugs.

And add some drugs, even a 'now and then' thing and alkies can and do go skitzo.

And yes what I just wrote is partly based on what happened to me and carried over into recovery for several months.

Love and hugs,
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:52 PM
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Yes I think they get more paranoid the worse they get. My AH thinks I'm always sneaking around or doing something sneaky. He will ask me questions that he already found answers to, just to see If I would tell him the truth. It is very frustrating to say the least. He takes things the wrong way that can lead to an argument. I think he likes to start fights when he's drinking. I have learned to detach from him from PM to PM while he down his 12 pack or more. Because I don't engage in conversation he thinks there must be someone else in my life. We are celebrating our 29 yr anniversary next week. I met him when I was 16 and he was 19, married 2 years later and had kids 10 years later. We basically grew up together. I can see a big change in him the last 2 years. It's so sad. I hope this helps to validates your concerns. For me, it just gets worse as time goes on. Good luck to you. If you find a good way to deal with this, please pass it on to me. I could sure use some coping skills on this one.
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:11 PM
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My husband thinks weird things sometimes. He just called me outside and asked me to look at the moon. He was freaked and thought he could see it moving. Maybe he did because he said he had been staring at it for a while. I reminded him that the moon does go accross the sky over just a small amount of time. It seemed like he was afraid the moon was acting out of the ordinary.
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:36 PM
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I do believe it is. My AH would try to provoke an argument when drinking. He would accuse me of cheating or hiding things. He had some sort of conspiracy thought up that I got everyone against him. He would say that if it weren't for me he would have lots of money. Riiight! It did progress through the years. He thought that the cops where hiding in the shadows around our house. I basically learned to detach during these times, and let him continue an argument with the wall.

Before it had gotten bad, I would let him rant in the living room. I would just go into the bedroom detached from the situation. I made the bedroom into my little sanctuary with candles and books. After awhile, though, that wouldn't be enough. He would come in there. At that point I left the home. Whenever he got that way I would stay at a family members home or I would go out and do something with friends or for myself.

With his last tirade, I think he mixed alcohol with Ativan, and he was actually seeing demons coming after him. He used a Mag Lite flashlight and was swinging at the garage door thinking he was hitting them. I was at work during this one.

Now he is in recovery doing good in an outpatient rehab.
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:38 PM
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Oh yes. I think it's part of the terminal uniqueness thing. Mine never thought aliens or the feds were listening to his thoughts, but he was convinced the clerk at the post office hated him and that the neighbors stared weirdly at him. I could never convince him that in most people's minds, he didn't even exist, that most people have way too much with just their own problems.

He must have read that news story about whatever basketball player it was who hid GPS locators in his exwives' cars... Like you'd care where he goes?
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:12 AM
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Thanks for the sanity check I guess and for all of your replies. I'm not going to engage in any ridiculous conversations about these accusations but I did start wondering if it was related to alcoholism or whether he's just completely insane (his brother, who is also an alcoholic is on permanent disability for, among other things, psychosis and some diagnosed paranoia-- not sure if it's schizphrenic paranoia or ???).

I'm finding it increasingly hard to have any contact at all with him even just about the girls (and I keep it as short as humanly possible) bc I am just irritated and fed up with everything about him.
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:16 AM
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he probably enjoys baiting you....and will do it every chance he can throughout the divorcing period...as he feels more desperate, it could escalate....do what you need to regading contact about your kids and let the rest slide through the ears.
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:03 AM
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I gotta say - to me, this sounds like a manipulation technique. By constantly forcing you to defend your actions, he is trying to deflect attention away from his behavior. If it were me, I wouldn't even justify it with a response. I think it would probably just feed into the chaos.

And if there were an IPhone app to track alkies, somebody would already be a millionaire by now
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:55 AM
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I think they do get more paranoid. My ex used to accuse me of trying to "hook up" with people with whom I played Words With Friends. Said I used the game to make arrangements with them. I would try to defend myself and finally just gave up. It made no sense.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:11 AM
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I can remember A coming to my home after an afternoon or evening of bar crawling, and trying to engage in conversation. Often his logic, thoughts, and demeanor were borderline delusional, and he too was paranoid.

It was so sad to witness this time and time again. He never could figure out that his " just going to have a beer with a couple of guys" was causing him all this internal animosity. The alcohol was intensifying what he was already feeling, a sense of loss, somebody cheated him out of his life, (lost his career, due to drinking) somebody was talking smack about him, a coworker was stealing his tips, somebody lied right to his face. Somebody was threatening him, I could go on and on.......... The dialogue inside his head was just magnified by alcohol. Needless to say it was not pretty.

In the end, he could not suck me in to his babbling bullsh*t, it no longer warranted a reply. Not to mention by the following morning he would not even remember having such a conversation. The disease was winning, his alcoholism was progressing. I do not believe he will ever hit bottom, he will die before he even gets the chance.
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by PurpleSquirrel View Post
I gotta say - to me, this sounds like a manipulation technique. By constantly forcing you to defend your actions, he is trying to deflect attention away from his behavior. If it were me, I wouldn't even justify it with a response. I think it would probably just feed into the chaos.

And if there were an IPhone app to track alkies, somebody would already be a millionaire by now
I think he's getting more pissed bc I haven't responded/defended and don't intend to start responding/defending.

I have been saying "okay" and "just because you say it doesn't make it true" (I guess that's defending a little, huh?)

I agree that he is trying to bait. I also just wonder if he really does believe some of the craziness he says. He of course doesn't see how rapidly downhill he's going, but just listening to him and hearing his "logic" makes me very alarmed.
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:29 AM
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Yes, they truly believe what they are saying, that is how they roll. They become so ugly, spiteful, crazy and hateful in their own skin, that they try to wipe it all off on the people that care for them the most!!!
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:38 AM
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I often wondered if it was a subconscious outlet for the anger...because the paranoia was simply irrational. Made me think at first that it was a mental illness, not alcoholism. And because addiction feeds on anger, there had to be something to be angry about all the time, right? If nothing really exists, let's make something up real quick, so I can go drink and feel sorry for myself.

Ignore...do not take the bait...do not respond to irrationality, especially with reason. Something I hear a lot that applies here...you will never win an argument with someone with dementia.

And arm yourself with some good responses, like "What?" or "Huh?" or "Hhmmm".

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