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putting this in NOS since it has multiple possible causes (PTSD and OCD are the most obvious to me, but I don't know if there are others).  obviously game for it being moved if appropriate.

 

So....how do you handle intrusive thoughts or memories?  I'm walking along a park just fine when all of a sudden something I've said/done/experienced just flies in my mind and causes a shockwave.  Sometimes I react verbally and sometimes I just think a reaction.  They can be about anything.  A fair number are trauma related, but not all. 

 

What can be done with these things?  I'd prefer non-medication routes if possible, but it would still probably be good to know all options. . 

Edited by dancesintherain
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What about grounding techniques. Such as 3 things you see, 3 things you hear, 3 things you feel (with your hands or feet), 3 things you 3 things you taste if you can, and 3 things you smell. That’s one my tdoc taught me. 

Or 4 7 8 breathing. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breathe for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. My old case manager taught me that one. 

Carrying around a stone or some kind of small object that fits in your pocket that you can reach for and feel and just take time in your mind to really describe all the elements about that stone or whatever you want to carry around. Some do cotton balls I think. But if you focus your attention solely on the object it kind of grounds you and helps you focus on being in the moment and away from those thoughts. You can say or think, “this stone is smooth on the first side, and somewhat smooth on the back side. There is one scuff on the top of it and that feels rough to my touch. The stone is gray in color.” Etc etc etc. My current tdoc gave me a grounding stone and let me tell you I honestly think it works magic at times! I don’t use it all the time but when I do it helps. 

Some people respond to holding like an ice cube. It kind of is the same principle as the stone but you would probably have to do it at home. But that sharp feel of the bitter cold ice cube against your hands sometimes helps a person to get grounded and away from those darn intrusive thoughts. This is another one my current tdoc taught me. 

distracting myself and self talk have greatly helped my symptoms. “Things will be ok. I’m fine” I’ll go do something else to take my mind off everything  

If you can there are many guided meditation videos on YouTube. I haven’t done one in years but my old pdoc swore by them. If you can get your mind to a place where you can listen to the video, I think that might be helpful too. But I think this one might be more challenging to do when the mind is full of bad thoughts. 

That’s all I can think of for now. If I think of anything else I will post again. I hope at least one of these helps you. Thinking of you dances <3

Edited by Wonderful.Cheese
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Thank you both for the thoughts and ideas.  sbdivemaster, I'm sorry that you're dealing with this also, but what you describe definitely matches.  Interesting that gabapentin helped.  I've been on it before and it didn't do much, but I was also at a low dose.  Cheese, I think I'll be trying some of your ideas first because I'd really hate to add another drug.  One of the benefits of the most recent hospitalization was that I was taken off of a fair number.  I'd hate to go on something just for this.  I manage to control my reactions to the thoughts if I'm around people, but if I'm for a walk or in my house or something like that, that's when the verbal reaction happens.  Or going to bed.  I'll create a notecard that has the various ideas and see what happens.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/11/2018 at 6:27 AM, dancesintherain said:

putting this in NOS since it has multiple possible causes (PTSD and OCD are the most obvious to me, but I don't know if there are others).  obviously game for it being moved if appropriate.

 

So....how do you handle intrusive thoughts or memories?  I'm walking along a park just fine when all of a sudden something I've said/done/experienced just flies in my mind and causes a shockwave.  Sometimes I react verbally and sometimes I just think a reaction.  They can be about anything.  A fair number are trauma related, but not all. 

 

What can be done with these things?  I'd prefer non-medication routes if possible, but it would still probably be good to know all options. . 

Bit late to the party, haven’t been in a posting mood,  but I get the exact same thing that you and sbdivemaster are describing.

for me it is a combination of both meds and mindfulness. Each alone would not be sufficient. Mindfulness was actually completely ineffective and damn near impossible to do prior to meds.

My experience with gabapentin is identical to his, almost word for word, though I’m at a much lower dose. Makes me wonder sometimes if perhaps I only have a minor anxiety issue? I don’t really worry much or panic, so maybe not? Yay apathy?

Anyways, the gabapentin significantly decreases intrusive thoughts and virtually eliminates ruminations. What does breakthrough isn’t significant enough to impact my mood as much and can be placed aside with acknowledging the thought and accepting it via mindfulness. The thought itself may briefly linger but it would be on the sidelines, not in focus and gradually fade away.

to that end of course, I also don’t do drugs or drink. Regular exercise no matter what. No smoking. Eat well, or at the very least eat crap in small portions. Regular bedtimes. Use blue light filters, etc.

my own approach to whatever the hell I have is to try and maximize non medication options while accepting that it is a synergistic rather than added benefit for each.

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Thank argh.  I appreciate the thoughts on med and non med options (though it’s good to know the same drug works for both of you).  I really, really don’t want to add another med to the mix.  I’ll resort to it if I have to.  For now, it’ll be a combo of the other suggestions.  

My therapist also suggested asking myself “what is this doing for me right now” when they come up to try to get rid of the power and make them go away/not turn into rumination.  I’ll see whether that gets me anywhere also.  My concern is more the keeping them from happening.

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