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Does anyone else suffer from "catastrophic thinking"? Is it fairly common anyway if you're a mother? And can you change it?

(17 Posts)
MrsFawlty Tue 13-Oct-09 16:06:11

Have recently realised that this is a big thing I do (I've always referred to it as worst case scenario-ism) and it's a really irritating thing.

For instance, I don't have headaches, I have brain tumours. If my children sleep quietly they have probably smothered themselves under the blankets and I have to go and check. I always worry if people are late that they have had an accident.

I am on anti-depressants at the moment for PND but I think I need to tackle this way of thinking with other more practical methods, like CAT/CBT.

How common is this? Do other people have it too, to some extent? Is it possible to change?

adelicatequestion Tue 13-Oct-09 17:28:45

I do it all the time when I am anxious.

Don't know if that helps much but you're not alone in this type of thinking.

TheGreenManIsFlashing Tue 13-Oct-09 17:29:15

No solutions, but you are most definitely not alone! 

Sagacious Tue 13-Oct-09 17:31:13

I did
And then something catastrophic happened (is happening).

When "the worst thing " happens you can't have any fear of it anymore.

(I realise this probably isn't helpful)

Littlefish Tue 13-Oct-09 17:33:37

I do it from time to time - or sometimes I imagine what it would feel like if the catastrophe actually did happen.

CarmelitaMiggs Tue 13-Oct-09 17:40:53

CBT really helped me with catastrophic thinking when I was going through a bad patch. It's not terribly complicated or mysterious. Some quite simple tricks. You learn to be quite strict with yourself and your unhelpful patterns of thinking, which can feel really rather fantastic and, yes, 'empowering'.

Your GP might be able to refer you to a therapist. It's not an endless sort of therapy, you should see a difference after 4 or 5 sessions. Might be worth paying to see someone if the NHS wait is very long.

eggshapedbanana Tue 13-Oct-09 17:42:42

I do it. Have to force myself to put the thoughts out of my mind and train my mind onto something else. I am quite capable of ending up in tears if I let my imagination wander too much.

TheGreenManIsFlashing Tue 13-Oct-09 18:09:08

Mine is definitely worse since having children. sad

MrsFawlty Wed 14-Oct-09 08:34:54

it's so good to hear that other people do this too. (well, obviously it's not a nice thing to have to live with, but it's reassuring that other people are in the same boat!) I think one of the hardest thing about having anxiety issues is that you tend to think it's just you on your own and there must be something "wrong" with you.

I have been referred for CAT and I have high hopes for it, it's just unfortunate that I'll probably have to wait another couple of month to actually get it. Can't afford to go private.

Do you know why some people are prone to thinking this way? What causes it?

(Doesn't help that yesterday I was trying not to do the worst case scenario thing when my son was ill, but then ended up having him ambulanced into hospital as I probably should have got him checked out sooner, but thought I was being over the top, IYSWIM. )

Tiredoffeelingsad Sat 17-Oct-09 10:59:55

So is mine. I was like this (a bit) pre kids but now I worry all the time about everything...I can barely drive the car with them in it as I'm obsessed with fatal car accidents. It's a horrible way to be. I wish I could be different. You have my sympathy although I have no practical advice.

CheeryCherry Sat 17-Oct-09 11:50:03

I do this quite often, imagining fatal car accidents when people are late, even going so far as thinking funerals/music choices. blush My DD is away this weekend and I have run through in my mind several hideous scenarios. Mad really, dunno why I do it, but I too can be in tears over it.sad Silly really, am normally quite a chipper person.grin

CheeryCherry Sat 17-Oct-09 11:50:04

I do this quite often, imagining fatal car accidents when people are late, even going so far as thinking funerals/music choices. blush My DD is away this weekend and I have run through in my mind several hideous scenarios. Mad really, dunno why I do it, but I too can be in tears over it.sad Silly really, am normally quite a chipper person.grin

CheeryCherry Sat 17-Oct-09 11:50:51

[dunno why that was sent twice]

PuppyMonkey Sat 17-Oct-09 11:55:54

I do this all the time too, I have always done it. Even when I was little, if my mum came home late from visiting my auntie or something, I would always convince myself that it was because she had been in an accident. If I had a stomache ache, it was because I had cancer. Etc etc.

I also have the thing that if I am, say, looking out of a window on an upper floor that I might, if I'm not very very strict with myself, jump out of it.

iwascyteenagewerewolf Mon 26-Oct-09 22:49:35

I've had the opposite experience to Sagacious. It was the catastrophic event that pushed me into worst-case-scenario overdrive, reinforced after something even more horrendous a few years ago. Having DS last year definitely intensified things.

BrandNewIggi Mon 26-Oct-09 23:13:48

I've had PND and seen a therapist for this - I thought it was all about the baby but quickly uncovered stuff in earlier life (a bereavement) that led me to always expect the worst. It's like if you concentrate all the time you can stop something bad happening. Of course, you can't, all you do is stop yourself enjoying the good stuff!

MmeGoblindt Mon 26-Oct-09 23:25:30

I have this, or a mild form of it. It definitely got worse after having the DC.

I read a thread about it on MN one time and one poster advised instead of trying to block the thought, try to alter it.

So, if the scenario is 'we are in the car on our way to Granny's house, what happens if a lorry runs into the back of the car...' then you think it through in oyur mind with a good ending.

Visualise getting into the car, the DC singing on the way, arriving at Granny's house, the expression on Granny's face when she sees the DC, the yummy scones that we will eat there...

It helped me.

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