Intrusive Thoughts

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Cookido

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Intrusive Thoughts
« on: May 23, 2018, 12:48:28 PM »
One of the symptoms I struggle most with is intrusive thoughts. They are usually future conversations I might have, very repetitive and detailed. Sometimes they are about the past and I repeat or dwell over events. I think the thoughts are irritating to have and when I notice them I try and distract myself with music or likewise.

Anyway, today I thought about it and came up with a theory on why I have intrusive thoughts. Maybe the thoughts are a way to distract myself from the feelings I'm having in that moment.

The question I have is if someone else in the forum struggle with intrusive thoughts and if my theory seems reasonable? Or if someone can share their knowledge on the subject. Ways to cope with the thoughts, what helps, worsens or causes them. 

And also, thank you everyone on the forum. It's amazing to have a place to share these thoughts.

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Deep Blue

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Re: Intrusive Thoughts
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2018, 01:02:41 PM »
Hi Cookido,
Thanks for posting this.  I absolutely experience intrusive thoughts.  Mine are often from past events.  I wish mine were about the future but often my brain is stuck in the past.

Maybe yours are to distract you. One of the things I have noticed about mine is that when Iím having intrusive thoughts, itís likely something that is bubbling up to the surface of past trauma.  Sometimes mine hang around underneath it all and then show themselves for what they are.  I take them as an indicator that I need to do some innerwork around that particular trauma when it occurs.

If I shove the intrusive thoughts away, it seems to make them worse for me.  Itís like they build up strength and show up again with a vengeance. 

I wish I had a cure for them.  They can be unnerving for sure.  When I have them I try to ground and remind myself to breath as much as possible. 

I think our reason for having them can be different and therefore our cure for them may be different as well.

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Rainagain

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Re: Intrusive Thoughts
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2018, 05:27:44 PM »
I have these a lot.

They get worse when I'm stressed, the day after drinking alcohol and anytime I'm feeling particularly low or get knocked back in some way.

I am struggling today so can't post much else on the subject.

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Cookido

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Re: Intrusive Thoughts
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2018, 05:32:23 PM »
I don't think you should wish for intrusive thoughts about the future, they really bother me and makes me unable to live in the now. I'm not sure why I have them. I think maybe as a kid it was a way for me to prepare me for the worst, and reality wouldn't feel as bad. When I say "future" I mean when I'm on my way to a cafť to meet a friend for coffee. During that walk I will have thought of every possible conversation we might have, what I will answer, what she answers and etc. Usually it takes a negative turn and makes me feel bad and loss of energy. I don't feel like I have control over these thoughts, I have to think about it.

I understand you might have thought of something else when I said the future but I wanted to make it clear. It's not something to wish for.

I agree with what you say that they become worse if I ignore them. 2 years ago I went to CBT and the therapist had exercises to deal with thoughts of anxiety. However, it never helped with the intrusive thoughts. They seem harder to get rid of.

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Cookido

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Re: Intrusive Thoughts
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2018, 05:46:52 PM »
Deep Blue I hope I my answer wasn't too harsh. It made me a bit upset but I might just have misunderstood you.

Rainagain, I can relate to that too. The thoughts can ruin a whole day because they usually stick around, making me weaker mentally. I hope you have a better day soon.

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Deep Blue

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Re: Intrusive Thoughts
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2018, 11:47:36 PM »
Cookido,
I certainly didnít mean to upset you.  I was unclear about the types of intrusive thoughts you were talking about.  (I was thinking more daydreaming the way you described it). You are right, I shouldnít wish for any intrusive thoughts: past or future!

It is my understanding that CBT doesnít aim to stop the intrusive thoughts but challenge them as irrational.  I think the idea is that if you accept it as irrational it wont eat at you.  (I hope this makes some sort of sense)