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Intrustive thoughts/ruminating


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I'm not even sure what the correct term for it is.

For the majority of the day I get these random intrusive thoughts. I've talked to my tdoc about the times when they become aggressive or suicidal and I have strategies for those but it's the smaller ones I'm struggling with.

For most of the day I endlessly play over social interactions, embarrassing or frightening incidences even the trivial ones that occurred in primary school. They are similar to flashbacks but not as intense or frightening.

Lately I notice myself swearing out loud and it stops them, but I do it without realising. A few times my family have overheard me and I had to concoct a story that made sense. The swearing isn't really a compulsion, I don't do it in an effort to neutralize the thought it's just automatic.

Does anybody else get this? What helps? It's driving me crazy(er).

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Oh, me too, but it mostly happens at night when I'm trying to sleep. I've tried a couple of tricks my tdoc taught me - like recognizing the thought, with something like "huh, that's an unpleasant thought" and then trying to move on to something else. But that only works when I'm not in a really bad place, and thoughts only get really bad when I'm in a bad place....so yeah, not so much help.

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theres a couple versions of this that Ive dealt with. The first is what I -think- is a 'control cheat' where I punish myself with memories of things that made me feel worthless. These memories will pop up out of the blue and my first instinct is to curse at them or push them down violently. I think its healthier to accept the memory, not react with anger but with something like 'why are you showing me this memory?' Because it is a part of yourself, in the unconscious, thats doing it. Youre not consciously bringing these memories up. If it is a control cheat, maybe some part of you feels helpless and is punishing you because then it has control of something.

The second is the PTSD type where Im constantly re-experiencing something from a trigger that set me off badly. Afraid someone is angry with me, that theyre going to hurt me, etc. Ive had some success also with accepting the memory and asking myself 'why am I being shown this over and over?' I try to figure out what Im being warned about and I do something to head it off, to make myself safe from what Im afraid of.

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Being the definition of sheer, epic FAIL despite all efforts to the contrary, I feel qualified to participate in this thread.

heh.

Yes, I get those intrusive thoughts, usually in the "if only...." format.

Then, I replace "if only..." with "next time, I'll..."

Therefore, if I ruminated: "If only I majored in business and not science and language in college", it would change to:

"Next time I go to college, I'm going to major in business." Which makes no sense at all since few people re-do their undergraduate degree 7 years after finishing their first two.

Then I realize how silly I am.

And then, if possible, plan a course of action, which, in my case, is attempting to get an MBA.

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Sometimes I get intrusive thoughts.. Like say I'm talking to someone or whatever, people are around anyway, I'll just have this mental image of me punching them or killing them, that or having sex with them. Either way it's obscene and awful and I don't know why those thoughts happen. I've never spoken of it before but it's happened as long as I remember. It's just like the last thing I want to imagine sometime just appears in my mind's eye.. I've kind of assumed it's some kind of almost OCD like thing. I don't have that disorder and would have thought the high dose Zoloft I take should suppress it anyway but no.

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tamagotchi, I think the theory is (and someone correct me if I am wrong) that everyone has those *kinds* of thoughts, but most people shrug them off as meaningless. But when they are repetitive, and/or are upsetting to you, they are intrusive.

Blue, I think you are talking about something more severe than what I have, since it sounds like something self-punitive. But my p-doc has pretty much told me to use mindfulness for intrusive thoughts, and doesn't feel it is separate from other generally disordered thoughts caused by my being bipolar. BP in my case includes a lot of anxiety. And I am not suggesting that mindfulness is definitely the solution for you, for all I know, you already practice it.

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I do the exact same thing. My pdoc says it's a tic disorder that's tied in to my OCD.

In response to intrusive thoughts? That doesn't sound very tic-like.

Apparently OCD and tic disorders are fairly closely related and commonly co-occur when there's an ASD involved as well.

Topamax has worked really well for the tics.

I'm tempted to move this whole thread to the OCD board.

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But when they are repetitive, and/or are upsetting to you, they are intrusive.

Yes that's what I thought everyone had. They have negative content, usually ashamed or self hating, or "if only..." thoughts, and won't go away. Just didn't know the word for them.

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But when they are repetitive, and/or are upsetting to you, they are intrusive.

Yes that's what I thought everyone had. They have negative content, usually ashamed or self hating, or "if only..." thoughts, and won't go away. Just didn't know the word for them.

I think thoughts are "intrusive", by the definition of intrusive thoughts, when they are negative. Either they take on that "if only..." tone, or the intrusive thoughts are outright delusional. That's what they taught us in Abnormal Psych 101 8 years ago, at least, heh.

I'm glad I'm not plagued by the delusional type... but yeah, those "if only..." questions come to my mind all too often. Then again, anybody who is going through the stress this world in 2011 is going through at the moment is going to get those thoughts more often then they want. It's really hard to tell when it's pathological, i.e. when it represents something wrong with your brain and/or personal social history. As someone who has not had gainful employment for... it will be 4 years next month... I don't know if my thoughts are all that pathological -- my pdoc has said that ruminating like this is natural for someone in my shoes.

I still don't think it's productive though...

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But when they are repetitive, and/or are upsetting to you, they are intrusive.

Yes that's what I thought everyone had. They have negative content, usually ashamed or self hating, or "if only..." thoughts, and won't go away. Just didn't know the word for them.

"What if" questions, repeated over and over are really at the heart of OCD. You might want to read up some more on it.

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Thanks for all the replies, at least it's not just me. I've used a little bit of mindfulness before but I think I need to do more so thanks for the tip crtclms.

I can see how they are similar to the pure-o form of OCD, especially the aggressive ones. I don't think it warrants it's own diagnosis, especially since now I can recognize that they are just thoughts (not indications I'm horrible) but they are still bloody annoying. Pdoc is unlikely to change meds at the moment but I'll tell her about them.

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I'm tempted to move this whole thread to the OCD board.

I constantly have these intrusive thoughts and have recently been putting them under a microscope. Some of them are definitely my depression talking and most of my life I've grouped those ruminations into one overall nasty bitchy voice which I've named. This helps tremendously. I'll ask hubby "Is that P. talking?" When I have to ask I know it is. Or he might say to me, "honey, that is P. talking, not you."

But lately I've noticed another background chatter that I think really has to do with OCD sprinkled with depression on top. These thoughts are always at my shoulder. Constantly remarking, commenting on whatever I am doing at the time. I was just downstairs cleaning the entry way floor. "You didn't do that right idiot! What if someone slips on the floor! You missed that little spot by the door. The tenants will not want you to move that rug, put it back! I should be cleaning our rug instead of this floor. Why aren't you using the mop"

And on and on and on. All day long. Whatever I am doing. They do go away if I am involved in a vigorous physical activity, talking with a good friend, video editing, and other situations where I am forced to be in the moment, engaged in my experiences.

This is a brand new realization for me. In fact I had never really acknowledged my OCD in the first place. So thank you Blue!! This is a great thread which I have been ruminating on replying to.

These thoughts are bloody annoying. I do not think my meds need adjusting. But I do think it helps me if I can distinguish my depression talking from this OCD voice. Though they are all related there is a big difference between "I cannot accomplish that. I am an awful artist, what is the point?" from "don't use that word, use this one and what if you did that then this would happen or maybe not maybe this would happen and then that which would be awful of course."

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I have these ad-nauseum. My pdoc says it's sort of a type od OCD and has finally convinced me to try Sertraline and recommended that I use the DBT skills that I'm currently in training for.

I must say, I have found some improvement

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