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Author Topic: How to cope with intrusive thoughts?  (Read 341 times)

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Offline Goose14

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How to cope with intrusive thoughts?
« on: March 13, 2014, 03:08:49 AM »
Hey, I've been obsessing about my mental health, life,the universe, pretty much anything that will get me anxious, I will obsess over. I also have horrible intrusive thoughts, images that my mind cannot just drop, so I figure I belong in the OCD category of anxiety, but who knows. I recently posted in the GAD forum as my doctor said I 'probably' had General Anxiety Disorder, and prescribed me a low dose of lexapro, ensuring me their would be no side effects.   I'm a younger guy in college, and instantly I noticed shortly after taking the medication I had NO sexual desire, and could not reach climax which freaked me out.  I stopped taking the pill and never returned to the doctor, as he really was of no help as he was just a 'drop in' clinic doctor whom I had no prior relationship with.  I have noticed being around people, and getting involved in activities I enjoy really help with my anxiety, to the point where it won't even be on my mind.  However when I am at home alone, or walking down the street I notice a lot of scary thoughts about death, hurting someone, even suicidal images, and things that really don't relate to my character or who I want to be in this world.  I get anxious about all kinds of stuff generally about the unsolved mysteries of the universe, and reality but these intrusive violent disgusting thoughts are by far the most debilitating part of this 'anxious' experience in which I am trapped inside. I cannot focus on my school, my relationship is being ruined, I question and worry about everything. I just don't know how I am going to achieve any of my goals, led alone be productive at all in daily life if I am always in this state of mind. I would also like to say, I really appreciate this forum, as I understand a lot of people are struggling with similar mental illness stigmas, and this supportive troll free community is really great and helpful for a lot of people. Any and all comments, and feedback are honestly SO appreciated.

Thanks for reading!  :happy0180:
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Offline bluecanary

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Re: How to cope with intrusive thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2014, 11:37:58 AM »
Not being a doctor, of course, I can't diagnose you, but I'd say that what you're describing sounds very much like OCD. It's not surprising that the doctor would have diagnosed you with GAD, since anxiety disorders tend to overlap with each other (I think most of us OCDers have other types of anxiety - GAD, social anxiety, health anxiety, etc., also).

One of the very worst things about OCD is the intrusive thoughts - the things that you fear the most start appearing before your very eyes. I've had many harmful thoughts involving myself or people around me - they don't reflect my desires at all, which is why they disturb me so much. Personally, my OCD always made me feel so alone. My constant thought was, "Nobody else has these thoughts. Why do I have these thoughts? I must be crazy. I must be some brand of insane they haven't even defined yet." But in truth, we don't know what's going on in other people's heads. I think everyone, even the most "normal" people we know, has these thoughts pop into their head, unbidden, from time to time. The main difference between that person and a person who's got OCD is that we obsess over it. Because we're afflicted with anxiety, our natural reaction is to worry over these things, over and over, and assign a significance to them that they don't really have.

It's so much easier said than done, but the best thing you can do for yourself when you have this kind of thought is to recognize it for what it is. Tell yourself that as frightening as a thought is, it's only a thought, a product of your anxiety, and it has no power over you. Then just file it away and focus your thoughts on something else. This is not a simple process, and like most anything else, you'll have to do it over and over again before you really get the hang of it. Many folks here swear by CBT, and it's one of those things that I've really been meaning to get myself into some one of these days soon. If you can, find a therapist. One who specializes in OCD and anxiety disorders would be especially helpful. In the meantime, you'll definitely find a good support network here.  :action-smiley-065:
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Offline Goose14

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Re: How to cope with intrusive thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2014, 10:47:47 PM »
Wow, thank you for that in-depth response! Very helpful, I really appreciate it!
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