By letting these intrusive thoughts come and go as they wish and not fighting them, you are not considering them as a threat. I did a lot of weightlifting (have to get back into it) and it really made my day excellent! These thoughts make me worried and scared and once I let them in, they totally take over my train of thought and put me in a downward spiral. By nature, water in a bowl is still. When i get the thoughts i just say, aye fuck off you fucking cunt. I have a playlist for when I have intrusive thoughts. Has something to do with separating the thought with yourself. Me too. To stop these unwanted or intrusive thoughts, we need to stop adding more stress into the mix. What happens now is that we start fighting or try to run away from these dreadful and intrusive thoughts. ... help Reddit App Reddit coins Reddit premium Reddit gifts. This effect is stronger for thoughts that have emotional content. The drop of this stone has energized the water, which now creates ripples to expend that excess energy so that it can come to stillness once again. Everyone has intrusive thoughts, but people with Pure OCD also have an anxiety disorder, so when they see uncomfortable images, they start … Anxiety and ocd go hand to hand with another. All that means is that there exists the presence of intrusive thoughts (the obsessional part) and the compulsive part tends to be more internal/mental actions v. external behaviors like hand-washing, etc. When this happens, the body learns to stop secreting additional adrenaline in your blood. This may provide some relief, but often, these thoughts almost always return. This is why we try to distract ourselves in myriad different ways or keep fighting such intrusive thoughts. It was rough. Press J to jump to the feed. Visual metaphors like these have been surprisingly helpful in calming my anxious mind. Often, the harder people try to rid themselves of these thoughts, the … This is an important point. I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. I recently got diagnosed with GAD and OCD after battling post-partum anxiety for two years. But we develop this strength not to fight. Let’s open up the can of worms and see what we can learn. Know that they are just excess mental energy and that they cannot do you any harm. If I have a thought that demeans me, I'll demean it back, and so on. ... help Reddit App Reddit coins Reddit premium Reddit gifts. It works sometimes. Let the thought play out in your mind. This excess adrenaline, when it reaches the brain, energizes the mind even more and the cycle thus perpetually continues. Sometimes, the thoughts won’t even make any sense. I think it does for primarily 2 reasons. You can journal to take the excess energy build up out of your mind. Stress-induced adrenaline is similar to dropping a stone in a bowl of still water. Thoughts that stay with us are first attracted to us by the attention we pay them and then stuck firmly in place by the level of emotional reaction we have to them. Do … Discussion and support for sufferers and loved ones of any anxiety disorder. Try journaling, I don't have anyone to speak my mind to so to speak but jotting them out on paper seems to help. Just don't let the fuckers win. Intrusive thoughts are the strange and often ridiculous things that pop into your head when you’re going about your life. Exactly! Most often an emotional release occurs and the thoughts and anxiety stop. I got that idea from a meditative yoga class when the teacher talked of the benefits of just "sitting with some emotion" to eventually release it. So idk if this works for everyone. Intrusive thoughts can be persistent and cause significant distress in some people. This is very helpful. Report comments that violate these rules. I don't know how my life would be without metaphors and analogies. My therapist also told me to try to reason with them, for example if theyre saying you're ugly or whatever i start reasoning with myself and say i might not be the prettiest but i have good qualities it tends to help a little bit. When intrusive thoughts do appear, don’t obsess over them nor try to to stop them. Accept it and don't try to stop the anxious thoughts and feelings, and it gets better, even a little bit. Doing so only produces additional stress. With more and more adrenaline being pumped in, our mind tries to spend this excess energy in the form of thoughts (just like the ripples on the water’s surface). If you’ve been dealing with this for a while, the prospect of […] I have been having an extremely hard time with obsessive thoughts so thank you for posting this. Rather than fighting with it (that just makes the thought stronger), distance yourself by merely stating, “I’m having the thought that…” Hip hop has been the only thing that drowns them well for me. Various techniques, such as meditation, mindfulness, as well as the acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) can help you with intrusive thoughts. If you’ve already been avoiding the problem for some time, you may also have co-occurrence disorder as a result of negative behaviors. I named him "Fucking Cunt". The mind feels energized and spends this excess energy by firing off many thoughts that are aimed to tackle the threat. I find whenever I'm not actually listening to music, I'm "listening to music" in my head. 10 comments. I've read similar articles recently, but I do think for me, it does bear repeating that these thoughts don't hurt me, despite what I may think in the moment. You are not alone. In order to get rid of intrusive thoughts OCD, the person may get involved in what therapists call “rituals”. To stop these unwanted or intrusive thoughts, we need to stop adding more stress into the mix. Next time, when you have such thoughts, try to face them. When we experience intrusive or unwanted OCD thoughts, our first instinct is to fight them or try to run away from them. My intrusive thoughts are connected to a disorder. Plus you can cherry pick songs that best match your situation or distract you entirely. ;). Now, when my brain produces an unsettling, disturbing thought, more often than not I … Most often, these are thoughts that can range from mildly unpleasant to utterly scary! Once you get stuck in a ruminating thought cycle, it can be hard to get out of it. Most of my writing comes from personal experience and also through the experience of my clients. It usually won’t happen overnight, but with patience and understanding, your mind will eventually learn to rest, and the intrusive thoughts will be extinguished. What seems to be so true when it lurks in your mind can seem so juvenile or harmless when it's put into words. When I was in the throes of anxiety, my mind would be beset by the same intrusive thoughts every day. I named him "Fucking Cunt". It's really tempting to see anxiety as the villain trying to destroy your life so you do everything to fight him. ), the adrenaline powered mind starts to fire off thoughts as a way to expend the excess mental energy. In most cases, that something we do is to find different ways to distract our attention away from such thoughts. hello, I am a therapist trained in Anxiety/OCD disorders and this sounds very much like what we call "Primarily-Obsessional OCD." I had thought they were basically the same thing and the OCD was just the intrusive thoughts and the strange coping mechanisms I'd developed. I counsel people who have anxiety and depersonalization/derealization disorder. And in other news, time to dust off my old copy of The Meditations and give it a read. Cookies help us deliver our Services. Can't stop fighting intrusive thoughts. By doing so, we add stress to the body and mind. And the more i repeat it, the less powerful these thoughts become or appear less often and just be replaced with what i should be doing. Whatever the thoughts are, they are bothering you for a reason because the content in the thoughts hit a nerve that deals with something in your life. I've found it helps if I put a song on and force myself to listen to every word. Even when we feel like we are resting for a few minutes, we are hyper vigilant in the background and scan for internal and external threats. Just a fusion of unrelated words and concepts traveling at lightning speed inside my head. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the technique? Accept and allow the thoughts into your mind. Most of my intrusive thoughts — the intense phase, anyway — have a lifespan of two or three days. I've found that the things that work best with mental health usually sound a bit silly. I named them after my mom because I realized they were just the things she used to say. Over time, the mind spends all of its excessive energy and returns to a place of stillness and stops producing these automatic unwanted thoughts. Also accepting that some days are worse than others and knowing that if I keep pushing then the bad days will produce good days. By understanding this mechanism we can now come to a solution. You got it right. Fighting either of them makes us tired and exhausted mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Our mind is similar, such that when we are healthy, it remains still and takes care of the essential functions of day to day activities. "I am having the thought that" and repeat whatever it is out loud. This creates additional stress, which produces more adrenaline. My perspective is to not see it as a fight. You do that by letting your body and mind know that these thoughts are not a threat. When there is excessive adrenaline, it starts to affect the way we think. Also if you tell people your intrusive thoughts, it’s a lot easier to laugh and disregard them. My therapist told me to name the intrusive thoughts. Thank you, just knowing others are going through something similar helps. I find the obsessions much more manageable when I compare them to … It seems so hard for me to not fight the thoughts though. I wanted to add a section in the article which talks exclusively about journaling and free association but did not because I wanted to keep this within 1200 words. Thanks for your cooperation and enjoy the discussion! It's so hard to focus on the song but it usually pushes me out the intrusive thought wave. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. hide. Posts that have few relevant answers within the first hour, and posts that are not appropriate for the [Serious] tag will be removed. CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Consider doing an AMA request instead. Avoid RUMINATING It’s not the intrusive thoughts in themselves that cause you distress. Intrusive thoughts usually fall into one (or more) of these categories, but they may be on an entirely different topic or in a different realm—the important thing that separates an intrusive thought from a run-of-the-mill thought is that it is distressing to you and that you’d probably rather not have the thought! How to stop OCD intrusive thoughts depends on the severity of the problem. Simply accept that they’re there. I sometimes get intrusive thoughts of really disgusting sexual things that I never want to think about. 2. In some cases, intrusive thoughts are the result of an underlying mental health condition, like OCD or PTSD. Do not expect these intrusive and unwanted thoughts to stop immediately. It works sometimes. This is similar to what happens in our head. Now I just need to get a handle on my depression, I don't know if the same thing applies to that. If you try to stop thinking of the intrusive thoughts, you’re most likely making it worse. When we fight or try to flee from the thoughts of our minds we are sending a signal to the body that we are facing a threat. How can you stop intrusive thoughts? Intrusive thoughts (and thought suppression) are also features of other clinical conditions such as PTSD and depression. But when there is no immediate outside threat, as it is mostly the case with the vast majority of people with anxiety (how often do we encounter a hungry lion on our daily commute? Then why do I think these things?" Kinda follow up to my last post about this, but I’ve been trying things to distract myself or comfort myself when i have intrusive thoughts about suicide, but they’re still as frequent as before. I’ve been working on a few methods to take control of my intrusive thoughts. Hey you, scrolling past this. Label these thoughts as “intrusive obsessive thoughts.” Remind yourself that these thoughts are automatic and you can safely ignore them. It takes weeks or even months for the adrenaline in your bloodstream to return to normal levels. "Intrusive thoughts become more distressing the more we try to make them stop," Dr. Klapow says. When you get distressed by an intrusive thought, this alerts your brain as something important. The distance and making it seem like a choice help. Here Are 5 Ways to Make It Stop. Treatment can be as simple as using intrusive thoughts self-help methods like mindfulness. Your water/stone analogy reminds me of a quote from The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius: "Be like the cliff against which waves continually break, yet stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.". As long as we keep dropping the stones or disturbing the water, there will always be ripples on its surface. Discover ways to manage the flow of PTSD intrusive thoughts , such as by using self-monitoring techniques and correcting errors in thinking, in this informative article. In 2005 I went though some serious PTSD and felt like I was in a black pit for almost a year — one album on the playlist was the only thing that made me feel anything positive. Press J to jump to the feed. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. This additional stress produces more adrenaline, which keeps these thoughts going. ), the adrenaline powered mind starts to fire off thoughts as a way to expend the excess mental energy. I haven't spoken to her in over a decade so I shouldn't keep listening to the echoes she left in my head. Recurrent intrusive thoughts can actually be a symptom of a repressed traumatic experience from the past. The easiest way to break this adrenaline-thought cycle is to stop the adrenaline from being secreted over and over again. They flow with such force that it seems unstoppable. Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Reddit LinkedInHow to Stop Intrusive Thoughts They’re there, they’re unwanted, they’re dreaded. Has something to do with separating the thought with yourself. Mundane thoughts leave, but intrusive thoughts last longer and often return. In both cases, the patient desperately tries to … We develop the inner strength to come out through the anxiety storm. When the stone is dropped into the water, you’ll start to see ripples on the surface of the water. I literally have hours long playlists I'll just imagine playing. But when there is no immediate outside threat, as it is mostly the case with the vast majority of people with anxiety (how often do we encounter a hungry lion on our daily commute? Anxiety is a state where our mind is never at rest. Parent comments that aren't from the target group will be removed, along with their child replies. P.S: If anyone's interested, look up 'morning pages', from the Artist's Way. We know that we can't fight with ourselves. Depression is similar too. My OCD got really bad a few months ago, but it's calmed down some. My intrusive thoughts are connected to a disorder. This leads to the eventual extinction of intrusive and unwanted OCD thoughts. It's tough to fight then both but it's possible to keep them on a leash. It’s this whole thought process that is being triggered immediately. See if it helps. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. I have gone to therapy since February but the tips she has given me have not worked well for me. Not a licensed therapist, but I do have adequate training to be a counselor. Remember, the amount of adrenaline secreted in your body is directly related to your stress level. Therapy helps a lot but it also helps in developing your own inner strength and resilience. On the other hand, when we stop fighting and instead of running away from such thoughts, remain internally steady, we send a signal to our body that the current situation is not a threat and that it can stop producing the excess adrenaline. It would be nonsensical. Try to relax, and as you do so, your mind will find something else to focus on and the thought will go away on its own. Intrusive thoughts come in without permission and without warning. When i get the thoughts i just say, aye fuck off you fucking cunt. So the content of your intrusive thoughts, horrible as they might be, are the opposite of who you are, and how you see yourself. Adrenaline agitates the mind. I'm curious to know which parts don't sound scientific to you. Once you understand why your mind is riddled with unwanted or intrusive thoughts, you’ll be able to make them go away. Thought suppression is a common feature of problems such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) where individuals attempt to suppress intrusive thoughts. Be aware of it without judging it. It gnaws deep in your brain, burrows through decisions and keeps replayng memories in your mind. How to Stop Intrusive Thoughts Face the intrusive thoughts. Thanks for the new one! We switch on the TV, put on our headphones and listen to music or keep checking our mobile phones regularly. Whether you have minor intrusive thoughts or experience them as OCD, you can stop them from hindering your life. If you are suffering from OCD thoughts, do not worry! For me, knowing that my intrusive thoughts weren’t things I wanted to act on really helped me cope. It is constantly fired up. I totally agree with you journaling works wonder. Jokes, puns, and off-topic comments are not permitted in any comment, parent or child. The only difference between an intrusive thought that pops into your head and then leaves, and an intrusive thought that is distressing, is how you respond to it. A thought–even negative intrusive thoughts–can only have an influence over you if you allow it to. I would constantly think “Am I going insane?” While another part of me would wonder “Will it always be like this?”. The more energy we apply to it, the bigger the ripples are. A cure always starts with an understanding. If I have an intrusive thought about someone hurting me or my family, I have to counter it by thinking of myself hurting the attacker. report. To finish answering why the thoughts are about bad things , you also need to attend to them. We need to break this adrenaline-thought cycle. Journalling really really helps with unwanted & intrusive thoughts. Our mind cannot hide from or fight itself. Working out and listening to podcasts has really helped me improve my overall mood where intrusive thoughts were less likely to bother me. I know it’s been like i think a few days, but i thought at least a little bit they would be less frequent. Intrusive thoughts can hurt you and ruin a perfect moment you are having. I've been told to do that too or think of your intrusive thoughts as an obnoxious 12 year old you're against in an online game. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. The nature of your mind is to return to stillness just like water. Thank you very much. Sometimes, it would play awful top 40 songs that I would never explicitly choose to listen to otherwise! I've been finding lately that trying to fight anxiety is the wrong thing to do. So idk if this works for everyone. r/AskReddit is the place to ask and answer thought-provoking questions. We need to break this adrenaline-thought cycle. 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