Reddit: Why I started believing, and how I stopped


Senior Member.
This post made it onto the meme site I read regularly. It's very succinct.

Why I started believing and how I stopped​

There were a few reasons that made me want to believe this stuff:
  1. I felt like everyone around me was wiser than I was, so by believing the conspiracies and researching them tonnes, I could know more about the world than my family/friends.
  2. I couldn't come to terms with a break-up that I'd had. Believing that there are cannibals all around who are killing kids masked how I was really feeling about the break-up by providing something (seemingly) more important.
  3. I was desperate for there to be more to life than the boring life I was living. Believing that there was this satanic underworld that used to be hidden from me until I started reading conspiracy theories made life more...exciting. Weird, I know, but that's how I used to feel.
  4. I was smoking weed. I think I perhaps would have believed this stuff anyway based on the above but in the interest of giving a full picture I included this point. It definitely didn't help, that's for sure.
So how did I stop believing this stuff:
  1. I realised that despite everything I was reading, I hadn't actually seen any of this in the real world. It was like a convincing story that had no resemblance to real life. Nothing I was reading was helping my life get better.
  2. I noticed that all my real relationships with friends/family had suffered. Believing all that stuff wasn't worth it if I couldn't be happy with friends and family.
  3. I mused on the idea that all these conspiracies were really doing was getting people to vote for trump.
  4. Once I'd got a bit of 'breathing space' after thinking about the above ^ I began doing things that I actually enjoyed. I moved house, got a new job, a new hobby, formed new friendships. Things that were fun and took up time that I had previously devoted to the conspiracy theories.
  5. I got to know myself. I realised that these ideas were just that...ideas.
There's probably a whole lot more that was going round in my head at the time. The above is what I remember as being the most important for me.