The phrase, "are you paranoid if they're really out to get you?" might have been invented for Alby Starvation. Alby, the title character in Martin Millar's 1987 debut novel Milk, Sulphate, and Alby Starvation -- being re-issued by Soft Skull Press and distributed in Canada by Publishers Group Canada -- worries constantly about his health, the hit man the Milk Marketing Board has set on him, the Chinese gang leader trying to find him, and which of his friends and acquaintances are after his comic collection.
While those friends of Alby's who he's still talking to — well, not really friends but some folk he sells drugs to — tend to think that it's all in his head, the reality is that the Milk Marketing Board really have set a hit man on him and a mysterious Chinese gentleman is trying to get in touch with him. So he stays huddled in his apartment, with only his hamster and his comics to keep him company, watching himself in the mirror as his reflection looks gradually sicker and sicker. His doctor won't believe that there's anything wrong with Alby - but then again he's only waiting for Alby to die so he can scoop up his complete set of Silver Surfer comics.
It was Alby's health, and that bastard doctor, that was the cause of all his trouble to begin with. Gradually wasting away when he was unable to keep food in, and certain he was dying, he went to his doctor only to be told that it was nerves. It was only his buddy Stacey's suggestion that he might have food allergies that saved his life as far as Alby is concerned; unfortunately, it also signed his death warrant with the Milk Marketing Board. You see Alby turned out to be allergic to milk and once he stopped drinking milk he got instantly better.
That would have been fine and dandy, but he had to go and tell somebody else suffering from similar ailments and she got better instantly too. Which might have been okay as well except she had a friend who was also very sick and asked Alby to talk to him, and he turned out to be a reporter for the local community newspaper and wrote a little article about being allergic to milk. That's when things began to snowball, and Alby eventually found himself the head of an anti-milk campaign that galvanized all of Britain because it turned out there were millions of people across the country allergic to milk suffering horribly.