Exploring the Relationship Between Mental Health and Discreet Surveillance
We all get that feeling that someone’s watching us every now and then. That creeping paranoia that there might be imminent threat lurking around every corner, crouching behind every shadow. While many of us just take a look around and shrug it off, there are some for whom this paranoia is both ever-present and debilitating. The fight or flight reflex which so many of us learn to switch off without even thinking about it can, for some, become like a switch stuck in the ‘on’ position. This can have a potentially crippling effect on their personal and social lives, potentially affecting their ability to go outside, form positive relationships and even enjoy the time spent in their own homes.
Can discreet personal surveillance equipment provide people dealing with mental health disorders like anxiety, paranoia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders with a valuable lifeline? Could they help assuage feelings that they’re being watched or that individuals or entities are trying to persecute them?
Precedent leads us to believe that it can. A recent blog post by Online Spy Shop details some real life situations where surveillance measures have helped to provide comfort and reassurance to people who have sorely needed them.
Bugs in the line
The security company recalls an instance where a customer was convinced that following her split from her police officer partner her phone line was being tapped by MI6. The customer noticed that something was not quite right about her phone line and feared the worst. After purchasing a bug detector, however, it was revealed that there were no surveillance measures in her phone (or anywhere else in her home) and that the sound discrepancy was in fact caused by static on the phone line.
Explaining out of character behaviours
The blog post also recalls the story of another customer who had begun to notice erratic changes in his wife’s behaviour. She would start to behave differently around him and take off in her car for no reason. Without wanting to create friction between them, the customer used a car tracker and voice recorder to see if her whereabouts in the vehicle could shed some insight.
He soon realised that her change in behaviour was attributable to a change in medication. Believing that her new meds weren’t working, the customer’s wife had quit them altogether resulting in the behavioural shifts.
Things that go bump in the night
No matter how knowledgeable and urbane the conscious mind may be, all adherence to logic can fall away late at night when strange noises start to emanate from the walls or under the floor boards. One such surveillance equipment customer was plagued by supernatural scraping and scratching sounds coming from the floorboards which he took to be supernatural figures trying to communicate. Upon purchasing a Listen Through Wall device, it was revealed that the sound was attributable to rats which the customer had been breeding. These clever little characters had begun to burrow under the floorboards and into the cellar resulting in the spooky scratching noises.
Equipment and understanding
The post also mentions quite candidly the paranoias which can plague customers with a range of mental health conditions. Among the most common are paranoias that they have been abducted by extraterrestrials and are looking for a device to help them check for alien objects which have been planted on their person. One far more outlandish request was from a woman who wanted to buy a security camera because she believed that her husband was shedding his skin and turning into a dinosaur at night.
While the security and surveillance industries are no substitute for medical and psychiatric support, they can form an integral part of people’s support network when they are affected by mental health issues. They can lend important reassurance and help to dispel delusions and paranoid fantasies and help people to see the cold, hard truth.
While this cannot be expected to cure long standing mental health problems overnight, it can help users to condition themselves to dispel the elaborate tapestries of their imaginations. By adhering to facts and evidence as well as applying cognitive reframing devices like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), people can unshackle themselves from the mental health problems holding them back.
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