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Intrusive thoughts

(23 Posts)
PioneersAndPirateShips Tue 11-Jun-13 22:36:22

Hi Kim, how are things going? I hope you are finding things a bit easier.

positivementalcatitude Fri 24-May-13 09:50:47

Hello.
I have OCD and used to have the most awful intrusive thoughts. Still do, now, but they are manageable. I have been put on an anti-psychotic called Aripiprazole and its been a lifesaver. I wonder if, as well as counselling, anti-p's would be worth a look?
xxxxx

PioneersAndPirateShips Wed 22-May-13 18:28:08

It's great that you've had some counselling, are you booked in for more sessions? My thoughts fluctuate, some days I'm barely affected, other days are pretty bad. I hope you are feeling better this week, have you had your interviews yet or are they later this week?

Mumlar Sun 19-May-13 22:28:25

Have a look on OCD UK's website, I think there is a section about Pure O which talks about OCD thoughts without an accompanying action. It's really helpful.

kim147 Thu 16-May-13 19:38:44

I had my first counselling session today which went well. It was really good to talk about stuff and how I felt about myself. Lots of issues going on that came out.

The thoughts have stopped for the moment - this is what happens. They come and go just like my mood. I was really low last week. Really low. I've got 2 job interviews next week and having a job is something I really need. It could be a good week or it could turn out crap and I can't see that helping me.

I was really pleased I got counselling so quick.

PioneersAndPirateShips Fri 10-May-13 23:30:38

I can see how waiting for a phonecall each morning would be difficult, but all it really means is that none of their teachers are off that day and it has no reflection on you.

I hope you have had a better day today

working9while5 Fri 10-May-13 09:31:43

Kim147, I bet what you just said about "I'm doing my "I've fucked my life up and no one seems to have noticed or asked me about it" routine" resonated with LOADS of people who read these boards, it certainly did for me!

It's really positive to see it as a routine actually - the Happiness Trap I mentioned above is based on "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy" and, briefly, it basically explains that human beings treat language as being real e.g. if I started talking to you about your favourite food, you would actually start salivating, and there's been research that if you imagine exercising, the same areas in your brain light up as if you were actually exercising.

One of the key things to do to help yourself in ACT is to start to realise that actually, your thoughts aren't really real. They're just a story about reality, not reality itself.

So.... you could:
** Sing "I'm a fuck up, I'm a fuck up, look at me I'm a fuck up" in lots of silly different voices (I like a Beyoncé type drawl myself).
** Say fuckupfuckupfuckupfuckupfuckup over and over (or at least for 45 seconds) until the words start to lose a bit of their dread
** Imagine silly character voices saying "Hey you, you're a FUCK UP!!" e.g. like Darth Vader, Bart Simpson, Mr. Tumble, Rod Stewart (sorry Rod)... anyone who could maybe get you to "defuse" from feeling that heavy weight and pain every time you think this thought about yourself. **If you can find a funny voice that makes you giggle, that's the best. Yoda is effective for me. Fuck up, you are!
**You can say "thanks, mind!" when you catch yourself going into "the fuck up" story and see it as a product of your mind but not actually real.
**You can visualise "The Fuck Up Story" say, on a dustjacket of a book or up on a screen. I like to imagine mine as being a title on an old fashioned cinema front that you see in the movies. You can mess about with the font/colour/size to make it look prettier.
**Imagine it as the opening titles of a terribly trashy 80's sitcom or drama... "The Fuck Up Story" starring: YOU and any one else you feel thinks you are a fuck up but imagine them like those stills in Charlie's Angels, tossing their heads and freezing, smiling at the camera with action shots thrown in. Really exaggerated, really comical. As you get good at this, you can actually slot in quite distressing fears or memories of the people you think believe you are a fuck up. Add a jingle. Try to have fun with it.

The aim is just to defuse from these thoughts - realise they are actually just thoughts. What usually happens when we are down is that we end up chasing the thoughts... and if what happens when you think that you are a "fuck up" is that the bit of the brain that makes you feel, well, fucked up lights up, then you really FEEL fucked up... and it becomes a vicious circle because then you act fucked up, and think about all the ways this supports the notion you are fucked up and before you know it a few years have passed where you have become a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy! Been there, done that.

The other thought I had about what you wrote is that there is a book called "The Reality Slap" based on responses to when, well, life gets fucked up when you didn't sign up for it. The author who wrote it (Russ Harris) talks candidly about his own experience with this when his son was diagnosed with autism and all the grief/fear/anxiety around that.

I totally understand your feelings. I did something really stupid at work and to be honest, the last five years have been characterised by me behaving like a bit of prat at work and digging ever deeper holes for myself. I've had to do a lot of work on accepting that I can't undo this and also developing a bit of balance about it. I've a friend who says she calls her deep feelings of shame and self-hatred about this her "Nazi Campguard" feeling.. I totally understand this because I will sometimes talk about a paperwork error I made at work (which was bad and did have serious consequences) as if I had murdered a few million people. It wasn't ideal but it didn't kill anyone!

Hope you are feeling okay today.

kim147 Fri 10-May-13 08:00:54

Thanks - I work as a supply teacher so am very dependant on others for work. Which means waiting for a phone call in the morning. As you can imagine, for someone whose self esteem is not the world's highest, this can really affect you when you don't get a phone call.

I know I should get out more - it's making myself get out and do it. I know I also have to try and see myself in a different light. It's just hard to motivate myself at times.

PioneersAndPirateShips Fri 10-May-13 04:24:06

How old is your DS?

Is there any way you can think of that you could start to slowly build up your confidence again? Maybe voluntary work experience in the area you want to work in? Or do you have any hobbies or interests you might like to pursue, just to give you some time to yourself. Sorry if these are things that aren't practical or you have already tried. I'm just trying to think of anything that might be useful, just tell me to shut up if it isn't helpful.

kim147 Thu 09-May-13 22:21:55

3 years ago - but we still talk about things and talk about DS as well. So we do still maintain a cordial relationship.

I've just had a few knockbacks recently which have really knocked all my confidence and I'm doing my "I've fucked my life up and no one seems to have noticed or asked me about it" routine. The last time I was this bad was 16 years ago when I had just come back from a major life mistake.

PioneersAndPirateShips Thu 09-May-13 22:16:52

It's a shame that mind have such a long list as well sad

It's good that there is at least one friend in RL you feel like you can talk to openly about this.

No need to answer if you don't want to, but was your split from your ex fairly recent or a while back? Do you still them often?

I'm sure you do matter to people, it just doesn't seem like it to you at the moment

kim147 Thu 09-May-13 22:09:31

Mind have a 3 month waiting list. sad

I have a couple of real life friends who know - my ex and another friend. Ex can't really talk to me about this stuff as a lot of stuff is related to our break up. If I knew myself properly back then, we might not have separated. I just thought I never mattered in the relationship and mattering to someone is all I've ever wanted.

Just looked at the mindfullness site - got a score of 33 / 40 for stress. Sounds about right.

PioneersAndPirateShips Thu 09-May-13 22:06:26

Ps working that book sounds very helpful, I might see if I can get hold of a copy myself

PioneersAndPirateShips Thu 09-May-13 22:05:30

Poor you, you sound like you are really struggling flowers

I'm not sure what to advise, but I would definitely get your name on the waiting list for counselling if it isn't already. Also maybe see if there is a local branch of mind, I've heard they can be very helpful.

I will be here if you want to chat about things though, either on the thread or by pm. Please don't feel like you don't matter. Do you have anyone in RL who knows how you feel?

working9while5 Thu 09-May-13 21:26:06

Hi

Another person with OCD here.

What helps me is realising pretty much everyone has these thoughts but those of us who are troubled by them chase them a bit more. Mindfulness (which is a sort of meditation where you watch your thoughts) has been very helpful for me in terms of handling this. Also recommend a book called "The Happiness Trap" which explains just how NORMAL it is to have self-esteem issues, think you don't matter, feel fear, think dark thoughts etc. It has been very useful for me.

It's okay to feel afraid! It's okay to worry. It's okay to doubt yourself and your sanity. Most human beings do. These have been lessons I have learned through therapy and now I can look my fears in the eye without flinching and see them as what they are, just fears.

kim147 Thu 09-May-13 21:18:39

Thanks. I've spent a lot of my life thinking I don't matter to people. I've been reading about self esteem issues and that's exactly how I feel. I've got a massive fear of rejection and a need to be liked. So much stuff going on in my head.

PioneersAndPirateShips Thu 09-May-13 16:22:59

Hi, I have just seen this so I hope you are still checking this thread.

I have these thoughts too, mine are to do with/caused by OCD. I have awful thoughts of harming myself, other people, driving into a wall or crashing deliberately when I am driving, climbing over barriers and jumping etc. I am seeing someone and it is helping, but the most helpful thing for me is to remember that they are just thoughts. I don't actually want to do these things and they don't make me dangerous. I have found them a lot less distressing since I realised that, although obviously they are still upsetting especially when they hit me out of nowhere. I did take ssris for a while and they were helpful, although I have stopped taking them now.

I don't know if telling you that helped but I know that I felt better knowing that other people have these thoughts too. Really lovely people who I liked and thought were amazing. And yet they felt as worthless as I did.

You do matter to people. I know that you don't feel it but you do.

thermalsinapril Tue 07-May-13 02:08:12

Has the GP offered you any medication? SSRIs can help with this sort of thought pattern.

kim147 Mon 06-May-13 22:04:32

I know what a happy place will be. It's just that I don't think I'll ever be in that happy place. I've had countless job rejections and just spend my time looking back at things with regret. I've been like this for years - at school, university and in my 20s and 30s.

My ex never truly understood me and what I needed. What I need. And I don't think I'll ever get what I need and this is what occupies my thoughts. I've had a crappy day today and am just so lonely. I just don't seem to matter to people and I just live from day to day.

I just can't turn my mind off. I just want to stop being me but I've been me for ages and hate waking up trying to get through another day. I don't think I'll ever be in a relationship with anyone and that really upsets me.

stripeybanana Mon 06-May-13 21:24:16

Is there any way that you could afford to start private counselling? I know there are therapists who charge what a person can afford i.e. sometimes as low as £8 for an hour.

Have you tried mindfulness meditation? It is where you concentrate on your breath. At first it is incredibly hard and the amount of traffic in your head is all the more evident as you try to turn it off. With practice it gets easier, like any skill, and then you realise that when the bad thoughts pop into your head you have a choice to continue thinking them. It basically builds up your ability to shift to something other than bad thoughts if that makes any sense.

kim147 Sun 05-May-13 19:17:52

It's been the past few years but has recently got more and more intense. GP recommended counselling but it's a 3 month wait.

I just want those thoughts to stop. I've got so much going on mentally at the moment and have very low thoughts about myself. Nothing seems to be going right and I can't see my future at the moment. There are times when I just want to stop being me - but that's not going to happen.

stripeybanana Sun 05-May-13 19:10:11

Hi, I don't know if I am qualified to give any helpful advice, I just did'nt want your message to go unanswered. It sounds like you are really struggling with very intrusive and destructive thoughts. You are obviously going through a difficult time at the moment - has something in particular triggered this? What did your GP say? Remember these are just thoughts and they will pass.

kim147 Sun 05-May-13 18:22:15

Like visualising wrist cutting or taking the steering wheel and driving off the side of the road. Or standing on a bridge and imagining jumping off.

I've been to the GP but I worry myself with these thoughts.

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