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Author Topic: Irrational Thoughts Vs. Rational Thoughts  (Read 19088 times)

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Offline Kam07

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Irrational Thoughts Vs. Rational Thoughts
« on: August 13, 2008, 01:25:51 PM »
Ok so Irrational Thoughts is one of the things we deal with here. I wanted to get a discussion going on the types of thoughts we have HAD or have about our anxieties and what exactly causes us to have these "knee jerk reactions" as my therapist told me last night. I'm not trying to preach or coach because I'm going through the same thing everyone else is here, but if we could get a positive discussion going here I think it would be a nice tool for people to come back to and read and read and read to finally say "Well BLOODY HELL, I GOT IT!" well I would say bloody hell but you know what I mean :)

As we all know a lot of us seek constant reassurance even though you have gone through all the loops and bounds of the medical system, mri's, cat scans, this scan that scan even those bloody painful ones lumbar punches.  :spineyes: gaw. :sick0002:. One thing that struck me last night when I was speaking to my therapist was that she people with anxiety we develop "knee jerk reactions". We are afraid... well what are we afraid of?

I can say I'm afraid of having some disease and death, well that is something out of my control and that scares me. Even though I've been to the doctors and told I'm fine.. I have a hard time accepting it. Why? I don't know I'm figuring that out.. but what I do know is that STRESS doesn't help you or me. Stress and Anxiety are hungry beasts that feed off our fears and that is what fuels them.

A example of this is, I had a tension head ache and stiff neck, so what do I do.. I go online and google those sensations / symptoms see what I think is wrong. I'm not a doctor how would I know. Everything is so vague online.. it's absurd. I do this because in my mind I can say ah I know what it is.. it's a tumor. Seriously W T F ? talk about irrational...

But instead of me being more Psychological and saying "oh well I did just work in a office for 13+ hours sitting down I wasn't taking any breaks, I'm coding and yeah my boss is out for 6 weeks so I'm in charge.. not to mention someone thrashed my car now it's in the shop and I'm driving a shitty rental car."

But now I'm more Physiological about things and putting a mechanical, physical, and biochemical function on what I'm feeling. I need to think about THAT one thought and grab it and really think about how irrational that thought process is. I think a lot of us have trained our selves to do that because it's easy and we want an answer to be able to say "SEE I TOLD YOU SO" or "I knew I had this that or the other" We need to break that habit and refresh our minds and break away from this type of behavior. I've probably stated a lot things people have already stated but I do hope we can all find resolve with this inner battle.

Since May I've gone from liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, bile cancer, hiv, brain tumor, menegitus, all sorts of stupid crap but I can realize how anxiety can cause things to go from one thing to another. Absurd! I'm not recovered I'm still trying to figure out what's causing me to feel this way and worry and I can see that there is light at the end of the tunnel but there is a journey to get there.

I catch my self doing things all the time. I see my self going to google and starting to type something then going.. what the ? or sitting down and my leg shakes and that's nervous energy.. so I need to be able to break those habits to make me refresh my mind and step away from these habits.

I hope we can all find some resolve and have something positive to add!

Cheers!
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Offline ~Maria~

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Re: Irrational Thoughts Vs. Rational Thoughts
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2008, 01:42:33 PM »
wanna hear irrational? please don't laugh! but I'm scared to take my cough medicine even though i need it an when i spoke to the chest they said it was all natural, couldn't hurt me and wont effect my medication. but I'm still scared.
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Offline Kam07

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Re: Irrational Thoughts Vs. Rational Thoughts
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2008, 01:49:39 PM »
Irrational thoughts are what drive, anxiety into over drive.

Irrational Thought I have is : Lately I've been feeling disconnected and kind of out of it and I keep thinking it's a tumor pushing on my brain causing me to feel this way.

Rational Thought: Well I have since MAY spent 4 months worrying about my health, going from all sorts of random crap thinking what's wrong with me when I was told I'm healthy. Constant Worry + Stress with anxiety causes a burn out and mental exhaustion. DUH who would of known.. obviously not me.

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Offline Cercy

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Re: Irrational Thoughts Vs. Rational Thoughts
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2008, 01:54:28 PM »
I've been in overdrive all morning over my current worry- the mole I'm having removed in two weeks. I'm googling like mad even though I know I shouldn't. And I know the reason I feel so rotten is because I started Synthroid today and I may be a bit sick... but all the aches and pains and exhaustion makes me think I've got systemic cancer.  :spineyes: Hell, I'm so upset that I can't eat and I'm STARVING. How's that for irrational?

My husband said the other day that he thinks I focus on bad things because I'm afraid to be happy for fear that the good things in my life will go away. He said it in anger... but I have to wonder if there's some truth to it.
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Offline Kam07

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Re: Irrational Thoughts Vs. Rational Thoughts
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2008, 02:02:12 PM »
Cercy in your case your stressing over a mole being removed right? You were googling like a madwoman then you just stated "And I know the reason I feel so rotten is because I started Synthroid today and I may be a bit sick" everything is connected... that's a rational explanation right there.

I'm the same way, what causes me to be afraid? I'm afraid of losing the things I have and not being in control of that scares me then stressing me out.  I think we all need to divert this negative behavior such as googling since that is a negative action fueling anxiety.

Divert that nervous and anxious energy into something positive like being happy or enjoying the day not worrying. I'm sure you would feel completely different and better if you thought of the things that make you happy.. I dunno like baking a cake or something.. for me laughing has always made me happy I just haven't had the energy to laugh about anything. I'm starting to laugh more and more day by day.

There is truth what your husband said, him being mad is frustration just as my girlfriend has it as well. They want us to just feel better, but they don't understand how we feel so that's why it's not "EASY".

We all have to take steps towards the goal of being happy and not letting anxiety control our lives. Anxiety is fear and we can't let fear run our lives.

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Offline Xalatimo

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Re: Irrational Thoughts Vs. Rational Thoughts
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2008, 02:07:57 PM »
It's a choice.  Do you want to believe the irrational thoughts that are created by anxiety?  Or do you want to ignore these knowing how inaccurate they are and trust common sense?  The problem is when you have an anxiety disorder, irrational thoughts cause anxiety.  In turn, this anxiety creates the illusion that the thoughts might actually be valid.  Example:  Fear of cough medicine.  But the more you avoid situations that cause anxiety and give in to these irrational thoughts, the more the anxiety grows.  Soon you're going to be scared of walking on the sidewalk.  That's why it's important to face your fears and take your freedom back.  Scared?  Yes.  But it's something that must be done, like learning to walk.  You took the chance, and if you hadn't, you'd still be crawling to this day.  What's the worst that can happen if you face your fears?  Death?  Is that really bad?  I'd rather rest in peace than worry about living all my life.
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Offline Kam07

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Re: Irrational Thoughts Vs. Rational Thoughts
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2008, 02:12:19 PM »
It's a choice.  Do you want to believe the irrational thoughts that are created by anxiety?  Or do you want to ignore these knowing how inaccurate they are and trust common sense?  The problem is when you have an anxiety disorder, irrational thoughts cause anxiety.  In turn, this anxiety creates the illusion that the thoughts might actually be valid.  Example:  Fear of cough medicine.  But the more you avoid situations that cause anxiety and give in to these irrational thoughts, the more the anxiety grows.  Soon you're going to be scared of walking on the sidewalk.  That's why it's important to face your fears and take your freedom back.  Scared?  Yes.  But it's something that must be done, like learning to walk.  You took the chance, and if you hadn't, you'd still be crawling to this day.  What's the worst that can happen if you face your fears?  Death?  Is that really bad?  I'd rather rest in peace than worry about living all my life.

Everything I'm trying to say has been stated by Xali and Mike S and many others. I don't think I would be where I am in this tunnel trying to get to the end if it wasn't for everyone here, I think we need more positive thoughts coming across instead of us using a knee jerk type reaction by posting a thread thinking we are sick every time we feel something.

I read a thread on the G.A.D forum from a member saying he spent 29 years worrying every day is his last.. but hes still here 29 years later. Anxiety can rule our lives or we can Rule anxiety and kick it's ass.

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Offline Cercy

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Re: Irrational Thoughts Vs. Rational Thoughts
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2008, 02:13:55 PM »
I think, for me... that it all comes down to percentages. I am AFRAID to trust rational thoughts because there is always that small chance that what I put my trust in will let me down. For example, when I was pregnant a routine ultrasound found a minor defect in my daughter's kidneys that COULD indicate Downs Syndrome. So I panicked about that. I knew I would love her no matter what. But I wanted the best life for her she could have. I did not trust the 1 in 900 chance we were given. Even though my husband was completely unconcerned and accepted it at face value.

But really, it's absurd to live life afraid of that one chance in 900 over anything. And sometimes I am able to convince myself of this and be quite happy. What is it that makes me unable to do so one day and not the next?
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Offline ~Maria~

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Re: Irrational Thoughts Vs. Rational Thoughts
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2008, 02:24:08 PM »
I DID IT! i had 15mils of cough medicine! go me! and it's all because of this thread! thanx and guess what i didn't die and i don't think I'm going to.  i got so worked up about taking it that forgot that it was actually easy. it tasted gross but besides that i didn't choke or in hale it or anything bad! I'll let you know tomorrow if i die! someone i admire once told me to do one thing each day that scares me and today i can say i did. i just wish the rest of my anxieties were that easy to deal with, anyway i wanna stay positive so GO ME! ;D
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Offline Xalatimo

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Re: Irrational Thoughts Vs. Rational Thoughts
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2008, 02:31:07 PM »
Cercy,

There's a small chance that you could get into a car accident on the way to work.  Do you avoid driving?  We take risks every single day.  In fact, we are at risk every second of every day without even realizing it.  Who's to say that a plane won't crash into your house while you're watching television?  Hey, it's possible.  But wait.  What about a ground attack?  A drunk driver crashing into your house?  You're definitely going to need some sandbags.  What else?  A bomb shelter.  Machine guns on the side of your car.  Bulletproof vest.  OK.  You're good to go now.  Unless an asteroid falls on your house......

As you can see, worrying about everything will give you no peace of mind.  At some point you have to simply stop caring.  "Yes, there is a small chance of something bad happening.  But I don't care because I'd rather enjoy my life than worry about everything."  Me personally, I'd rather live a few quality years than many years and no peace of mind.  Again, it's a choice.
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Offline Cercy

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Re: Irrational Thoughts Vs. Rational Thoughts
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2008, 02:39:06 PM »
Xalatimo- I'm aware it's a choice. As I said it's a choice I'm able to make sometimes, and not others. It isn't an issue of belligerence and refusal to see reality for what it is. Which is why I am fully willing to own that this problem we have may be completely chemical, and we have to use the same powerful brains we use to convince ourselves we're sick to convince ourselves we're not.

When you're on the other side of HA, as you seem to be... it all seems clear how ridiculous it is for us down in the trenches. But comparing, say, my worry about something physically affecting me to being worried a plane might drop on my house seems rather insensitive to me. Which leads me to wonder why you're here. Is it to share what you learned to get over your own HA? Because that's noble and respectable and you've probably helped a lot of people. But we all have our own paths. And mine is to learn how to quantify my own worries rather than to learn to ignore them. Because ignoring them leads to my not having moles checked years before I should because they are 'probably nothing'.
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Offline Xalatimo

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Re: Irrational Thoughts Vs. Rational Thoughts
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2008, 03:00:17 PM »
Well, you'll always have people that read these posts and do something positive.  Take ~Maria~ for example.  Within a matter of minutes she took a fear of cough medicine and squished it.  Her day is made.  I'm happy. 

Then you'll always have people that get defensive and complain of insensitivity.  I am aware that overcoming health anxiety is not easy having gone through it myself.  I'm not saying to live like a robot and die on your couch.  That wouldn't be very wise.  But as long as you're having your check-ups, you can assume you're healthy.  I know everyone is different.  I am simply sharing what worked for me. 

Ignoring your worries could lead to something bad.  I'm aware of that too.  But how else do you expect to overcome this?  All I'm saying is that to overcome anxiety you have to take risks and let go of some control.  I don't feel that worrying about rare scenarios all our lives is very wise at all.  Waste years of life worrying about cancerous moles.  Or having a brain tumor.  What's the odds?  You're worried about ignoring your fears and ending up sorry for it.  I'm worried about worrying all my life and dying without even having a single disease.  It's a matter of opinion, I guess.  But all I know is that with my mindset my anxiety has been defeated.  And if I can help just one other person do the same, I'm happy, even if it means another person feels I am being insensitive.  Funny thing is, sometimes the best advice is the most direct.
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Offline Cercy

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Re: Irrational Thoughts Vs. Rational Thoughts
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2008, 03:05:02 PM »
I think the fact that I am participating in this dialog and attempting to work through my own issues is doing something positive. I'm sorry that I couldn't do it in the way that you would prefer me to. And that you perceived me as being defensive. THIS is me being defensive. I think you are trying to impose your own methods on people and have now decided to single me out as not working on my own issues. :) But I suspect that no matter what I say your mind will remain made up and I don't feel like having someone tell me that the way I'm trying to deal with my own anxiety is wrong, today, thanks.

Honestly, thank you for singling me out. Direct doesn't have to = rude. Why some people don't get the purpose of tact is beyond me.

This forum has ceased being a safe haven for me. I'm out.
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Offline Kam07

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Re: Irrational Thoughts Vs. Rational Thoughts
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2008, 03:05:46 PM »
I feel like I've been living my live in fear for 4 months now thinking EVERYTHING is wrong with me and today is my last day but I've had that re assurance from the doc saying I was golden.  

I've driven my GF mad and my parent's, but my brothers wife has dealt with this and she understands and I feel comfortable telling her and that's what is helping me as well.

I noticed the other day when I was driving and my mind was focused at the task at hand I never had a thought of fear.. I don't think about crashing my car and it doesn't even scare me.. why wouldn't that scare me? I'm not scared to drive.. probably because it goes back to not even thinking about it and just doing it. Same as us.. why think about things that we don't have.
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Offline Xalatimo

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Re: Irrational Thoughts Vs. Rational Thoughts
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2008, 03:23:12 PM »
Cercy,

Actually, everyone is different so I'm aware that everyone gets over anxiety in different ways.  If my advice helps someone, good.  I am simply returning the favor.  I used this forum when I needed help myself.  Now that I've overcome anxiety I feel the need to give back a little.  It might not last forever.  One day I might decide that I've done enough.  But I just think it helps to get the perspective of someone who has beaten anxiety.

What caught my attention is you throwing words like insensitive at me.  If taking time out of my day to help people who suffer from anxiety despite me being recovered is insensitive, then fine with me.  I'll get a tattoo of that on my chest -- as long as it's helping people.  And seriously, I'm not trying to single you out.  The thing is...when I was going through my MS worries I kept thinking, "But what if I ignore this and it ends up being MS, and I end up paralyzed one day?"  So I know where you're coming from.  But I let go.  Once I stopped worrying about it, the fears went away.  I am sharing this with you because although I don't know you and we might live in another country and be focused on different diseases, my experience with health anxiety is similar to yours, and if I overcame it so can you.  Sorry if my ways seem insensitive.  Anxiety makes you that way sometimes.  I got so used to facing my fears that maybe I give the impression that it's easy, and I know it's not.  Overcoming anxiety was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.  But you really have to have a strong mind to do it, and that's what I was trying to get at.
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