Trying to understand more about Intrusive Thoughts. Please help...

30 January 2018 - 22:43

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Hello everyone,

I am trying to further my understanding on Intrusive Thoughts, essentially trying to learn as much as I possibly can.

I suffer from unwanted thoughts that plague my mind. They seem very specific to my experiences and don't fit into the typical categories. I have spoken (online only) to a therapist who agrees initially upon my own self assessment of my issue as a form of OCD.

But I wanted to learn about you. Please comment below with any information you have to share from your own experiences, how it affects you and your wellbeing. I will share briefly upon a few notes about my experience and would love to hear if you're similar.

1 - The thoughts can come from anywhere at any time. Whilst something can trigger them, it does not always seem to be the case, and they can 'strike' at random unexpected moments.

2 - The thoughts can vary from certain ideas or images but focus on something specific, a subject that you react negatively too.

3 - The thoughts can last days, weeks and sometimes months. Some days are better than others, whilst some seem unbearable. For lengthy periods of time the thoughts do not exist at all, or at least minimally, leaving you to almost forget they were ever a problem. Yet they return as always.

4 - You will try to reduce the level of anxiety associated with the thoughts by avoiding certain things, specific to your issue of course. You may even mentally try to reduce the thoughts by distracting yourself.

5 - Some nights it seems impossible to sleep as you constantly think about the unwanted thoughts.

6 - The thoughts cause considerable anxiety and sometimes depression too.

Would love to hear your experiences. Do you experience those six points also?

Thanks,

ThatUKGuy

30 January 2018 - 23:49

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Hi there, I listed my experience below I hope it helps

I pretty much experience the same but it is the first time I have had intrusive thoughts, has been about five months and it hasn’t ever gone away for more than a day since starting. I don’t really seem to forget the thoughts for more than a few hour or so I don’t think. Thoughts can be random but for me they are mostly event driven 

Sleep can be really on off, on bad days I can sleep so well as I’m so emotionally drained whilst on some good days my thoughts can come back to haunt me in my dream. The main impact has been severe anxiety but I also became quite depressed when things got really bad - my diagnosis when I finally had the courage to discuss with a psychiatrist was that I had a mix of obsessional thinking, severe anxiety and depression.

Have you considered going to see a professional? I haven’t managed to find a decent therapist yet but being put on sertraline seems to be slowly helping 

31 January 2018 - 17:31

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Thank you very much for your reply. I appreciate you giving me your opinion/experiences. It's a very horrible and draining issue.

I saw a therapist around 8 years ago when I was in school. It was very difficult for us to help one another. I am cautious about seeking further help because I am pessimistic about my chances, that regardless of any such service, I will still likely be the same. Plus I hear very mixed things, such as your experiences. All private help is extremely expensive and mostly unaffordable.

Anyone else have anything to share?

ThatUKGuy

31 January 2018 - 17:41

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Yes those six points are familiar to me. Although on the sleep thing sometimes all I want to do is sleep, sleep in, sleep early, I think its cause I want to escape the supposed reality of the thoughts and the overwhelming guilt my ruminations relate to.

I attend CBT and its been very helpful. Thats not to say Im fully free, for instance this week Im particularly distressed, but still have sessions to go to so not giving up.

I've (literally today) just started reading a book, 'Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts' (By Winston and Steif), recommended by my therapist. Seems to be a be a good insight into the basics of how it all works. It's about 180 pages and in a few hours I'm half way through.

 

31 January 2018 - 23:12

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Thank you for your reply. I am different to everyone else in my unwanted thoughts. I feel no shame since my thoughts are not centred around anything to be shameful of. Although they still cause me a ton of anxiety, especially since I don't truly understand why I am anxious and obsessing over such stupid thoughts, that would prove irrelevant to everyone else.

Appreciate the comment. Anyone else?

1 February 2018 - 17:37

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Would love to hear your thoughts...

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