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Blowing things out of proportion! Why do I do it?

(40 Posts)
rattlesnake Wed 01-Feb-17 23:24:54

Does anyone else do this? I take an ordinary situation and turn it into a disaster....often. It can be anything as trivial as DS going swimming with his friends and other parents, or going on holiday. I will think about the situation and create a disaster in my mind. At the moment it a boat disaster! We are going away soon on an overnight ferry and then drive to Brittany. I should be looking forward to it but so far I have fallen overboard, so has DS, been shot by terrorists, broken down on a lonely road...I can shake myself out of it, never get to the point where I don't go...I can see how irrational I'm being...but it stops me looking forward to things, or relaxing. How can I kick this stupid habit sad

pishedoff Wed 01-Feb-17 23:33:33

Yes me! Except I blow it up so much that I avoid the situation sad

I can normally think that it's irrational but inside something convinces me otherwise so I panic. Very frustrating

I don't know what to suggest but would love to hear anyone's ideas.

Mrsglitterfairy Wed 01-Feb-17 23:35:45

I do it all of the time, it's down to my anxiety and OCD. If I'm not in full control of the situation I freak out and start imagining all sorts. No help from me though I'm afraid, i just worry until the event is over

melj1213 Wed 01-Feb-17 23:40:08

Catastrophizing is a very common issue - I used to suffer really badly with it, as part of my anxiety, and personally I found that the best way to deal with it is to recognize that I am doing it and try to acknowledge that. Just acknowledging what I am doing, sometimes lessens the stress

Then, I try to take each individual catastrophe and rationalise it - how likely is it that it would actually happen, justify that it is a genuine possibility but then turn it into a game of trying to think of as many solutions to fixing the catastrophe, starting with rational ones and ending up with the wildest, craziest solutions (like an alien spaceship was passing by enroute to an as yet undiscoved planet, happened to be flying overhead as I fell overboard off the boat and they used their tractor beam to beam me up into their ship before I hit the water and then produced a stellar map and asked my help to find their way) by which point ihave distracted myself enough that I feel a lot more relaxed about whatever I was stressing about and can acknowledge that I was overthinking.

rattlesnake Wed 01-Feb-17 23:40:18

sad Pishdoff....It's horrible isn't it? You feel so stupid too...after everything has gone ok. I drove to the park where my DS was playing with friends (he's 12) its 5 mins away from our house and always busy with other parents...I sat in the car for over 2 hours and watched him - like a proper weirdo! I'd convinced myself something bad was going to happen that day.

Mrsglitterfairy Wed 01-Feb-17 23:44:59

I've tried so many time to rationalise things melj but my 'crazy side' kicks in and I just can't do it. Even with counselling, although I dealt with a lot of my issues, catastrophising is something that I still can't regain control over

TheProblemOfSusan Thu 02-Feb-17 00:11:03

I do this. A lot. It affects my life really badly and so i try to treat it with counselling, etc.

It's not at all unusual - but if you think it's causing you problems there are treatment options for it.

Katielou75 Thu 02-Feb-17 00:17:43

I do exactly the same, and have done since my brother almost died just over 20 years ago. I can deal with it better than I used to, but I can't help but think about all of the 'worst case scenarios'. I don't ever like parting with anyone on a 'cross word' in case it's the last time I see them- it sounds silly but it goes through my head! I completely empathise.

rattlesnake Thu 02-Feb-17 11:03:38

I'm thinking about asking GP for advice. I hate to admit vulnerability to authorities though (especially as a Mum) :/ I've dealt with it a little better this time I think, regarding the holiday, by not googling rubbish and getting on with planning activities.. I know that when the day comes though, I will have to take a valium and pray smile

yummycake123 Thu 02-Feb-17 11:16:58

Are you me? I do this a lot, I put on a brave face most of the time, but inside I'm always imagining the worst. I want to stop this because it's exhausting, but not sure how....
If i take a plane, i imagine it's gonna crash/explode..
If I feel pain somewhere, I start thinking about my funeral...
I worry about everything. People tell me to relax but it's not easy. I also want to stop this but I really don't know how... Sorry, not much help, but I completely understand how you feel.

ChasedByBees Thu 02-Feb-17 11:18:31

This is a symptom of anxiety. The doctors will take you seriously (and not refer you to SS - it's a very common issue!)

CBT is available which can help.

ClopySow Thu 02-Feb-17 11:19:16

I suggest this on every thread...

Hypnotherapy. It changed my life. I can't recommend it enough.

allchattedout Thu 02-Feb-17 11:20:44

Kind of. It's more that I imagine arguments and others insulting me. I then get really upset about something that hasn't even happened. For example, if I am meeting with my line manager, I have an imaginary conversation in my head where I have to defend myself because I am criticised and falsely accused of things. I then feel emotionally drained. I then go to see my line manager in real life and he is lovely and says nothing but positive things. So I have wasted all that energy on something that never happened and probably never would happen. I also get paranoid that people secretly hate me and are talking about me behind my back.

If anyone has any solutions or tips on how to stop this sort of thing, they will be gratefully received

SingingInTheRainstorm Thu 02-Feb-17 11:22:57

I think it's part of having DC, we worry. It's another thing to castrophisize, maybe if it's troublesome you need to get help with it.
But general worrying is normal, when you have your first, it's like they're gold dust.

allchattedout Thu 02-Feb-17 11:23:12

Hypnotherapy. It changed my life. I can't recommend it enough

That's interesting. How did you go about finding your hypnotherapist? How many sessions did you have and what was the cost approximately? I had counselling a few years ago. I don't think it helped- I kept imagining that the counsellor was secretly thinking I was a loser etc. Not great. So I was selective about the information I revealed to her.

HarryPottersMagicWand Thu 02-Feb-17 11:23:32

I do this. We often walk to school and there are some twatty drivers around here. I'm convinced one day a car is going to mount the pavement and hit the DCs. I don't like them being too far from me when walking and I try and stick to the parked car side of the road.

At the moment they are too young to go anywhere alone but DS is getting to that age and I'm absolutely dreading it. Secondary school is going to be a nightmare for me.

corythatwas Thu 02-Feb-17 11:25:50

I find my life has got exponentially better since I realised that this was simply about underlying anxiety. I felt anxious, for hormonal/genetic/whatever reasons, and my brain then went round looking for likely scenarios to hang that anxiety on because brains want logical explanations. These days I am able to tell myself "this is just your anxiety, it's got nothing to do with any likelihood of anything going wrong".

ZigAZigAhh Thu 02-Feb-17 11:35:25

allchattedout - I'm exactly the same at work.

I think a lot of it stems from ongoing low-level anxiety (which seems to be getting better over time but does flare up every now and then) and a history of working in toxic workplaces where I often would be on the defensive! I've definitely noticed a huge improvement since shifting careers and working with genuinely lovely people (which happily enough has reduced my overall anxiety level in all other aspects of life too) but that nagging sense of "I'm in trouble! People don't like me!" still lurks.

ClopySow Thu 02-Feb-17 11:37:32


I can't remember, i think i just googled...

I went initially because i'd gone back to college and kept going to pieces before exams. I'd had an incredibly difficult couple of years and i think the stress of exams on top just tipped me. I had 4 sessions initially at £70 each. The impact on my life was huge. I didn't actually realise how anxious i had been until it stopped.

I went back the following year and had another 6 sessions because i felt there was still some anxiety and i was quite a negative thinker. I saw a different hypnotherapist within the same practice who was 'solution focussed' with a background in mental health nursing. She was brilliant.

Really, really changed me as a person. My friends and family all remark on how easy going and grounded i am now compared to how highly strung i was.

allchattedout Thu 02-Feb-17 11:44:09

Thank you so much Cloppy and Zig. I am going to look into hypnotherapy and also have a think about how I can reduce workplace stress.

Bluecandles Thu 02-Feb-17 11:52:47

I would recommend hypnotherapy too. I was having catastrophic thoughts, terrible anxiety and then started having panic attacks. I tried some anti anxiety medication from the gp but didn't get on with it. I've had 4 sessions so far and the catastrophic thoughts and anxiety have just stopped. It's changed my life. Although I would say you have to embrace it and of course, it probably depends on your hypnotherapist. Luckily I found a good one through my local alternative health centre.

pishedoff Thu 02-Feb-17 12:31:21

I've often wondered if I'd benefit from hypnotherapy, I might look into it!

MinnieMinchkin Thu 02-Feb-17 13:04:24

I did a CBT course online, so didn't have to confess anything to anyone. I had different anxiety issues that I didn't feel important enough to take to my GP and the course helped me find techniques to alter my thought processes such that I got through a difficult period.

ZigAZigAhh Thu 02-Feb-17 13:17:22

Minnie - do you remember which one it was? I have often thought I would like to do something like that just to see if it would make a difference but I never know where to start looking.

GeneralTFuckup Thu 02-Feb-17 13:20:45

Allchattedout you have just described exactly how I feel on a daily basis.

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