How do you cope with "What If" thinking??!!

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Julie1014
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1245
   Posted 5/9/2008 2:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Good morning everyone!  As some of you are aware, I have Shingles.  I'm taking my medicine faithfully (because of all of your help!)  But, the Shingles are horrible.  It keeps getting worse.  I'm only on day 5, and I hear it can last a couple of weeks.  To top it off, my Crohn's is flaring.  I'm miserable.  It's hard enough to feel "normal" on good days, lol!  When I get sick, it really throws me off.  I've been having many anxiety attacks, especially because of "what if" thinking.
 
"What if the shingles gets worse?  How will I cope? What if I can't get my anxiety under control?  What if I can't make it to work on Monday?  How much work will I miss?  When will this get better?  What if it never goes away?"  Etc,,, Blah, Blah.....  It's like what I call a snowball effect.  I'll get myself so worked up.....
 
I could go on and on about my "what if" concerns, but I think you all know what I am talking about.  I've got myself worried about Monday, and it's only Friday morning, lol!
 
My question is, how do you deal with "what if" thinking, anticipatory anxiety, the "snowball effect?"  Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  It's so hard to not "think about" Shingles, when the pain is a constant reminder!  Thank you.  Blssings, Julie
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (Pancolitis) 10/25/05
New Diagnosis of Crohn's March 2006
Asacol 3 pills three times a day
Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks
Prednisone 12.5mg a day
Imuran just increased to 75mg
Acidophilus daily
Prevacid 30mg
Paxil 40mg daily (for Panic disorder)
Xanax .5mg as needed (for anxiety attacks)
 
 
 
 
 


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 5/9/2008 3:45 AM (GMT -7)   
For me it is better IF I do not go to the "what IF's" anymore
I have learned this thru CBT .........

I use to what if about ever lil thing going
Now I just live in the time ( moment ) I am in and work thru it
I am sure ther are oithers that will have some good advice for you on ways they have dealt with this anticipatory anxiety

Try to do things to keep your mind out of the " stinking thinking mode" if you possibly can

Luvs
LYN
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
 
Moderator @ Anxiety Panic..Alzheimer's..Co mod @ Crohns
                               FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE
 
   
 
                   
 


jordaNZone
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 752
   Posted 5/9/2008 5:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Julie..Well I must say I can really relate to the "What If?" prob...been there done that many times eyes
However, here's my solution - really seems to work for me..hope it may help you a little too...
 
How about trying this...instead of thinking 'What If?' and creating all sorts of negative scenarios...how about supplying positive solutions and choosing one of those :-)
 
And that's where I find keeping a daily journal to be such a good idea..it really keeps things in perspective for me..you will be suprised how you can turn your thought processes around by writing down positive things that have happened during the day..no matter how small they may be :-)
 
Keep us posted on your progress.
Maree
 
  •  'Raindrops on roses..'
  •  'Peace of mind will come to us when we are happy with 'not knowing'...
  •  'No more stinkin thinkin...'
  •  'It's not how we survive the storm..But how we Dance in the Rain..'
 
 
 
 
 
 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/9/2008 7:22 AM (GMT -7)   

Good Morning Julie,

I have the "what if" syndrome too eyes .  I will talk myself into a stew and than the anxiety climbs.

Talking usually helps. Share your feelings with friends, family, on here are all good ways to work through the anxiety.

Relaxation techniques: Try deep breathing, muscle relaxation, visualization (imagining peaceful scenes), and/or listening to soothing music.

Realistic self-talk: While we can't always control what happens to us, we can always control what we say to ourselves. It's important to keep things in perspective. Talk to yourself in reasonable ways. Ask yourself "how likely is my fear?" Remind yourself that you have coped before during other challenging times. Don't just dwell on the negative but consciously look for things you can appreciate every day

Keep posting as we know where your coming from and what your going through.
 
Hugs to you
Kitt
 
Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic 
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


panic queen
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 5/9/2008 8:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
 
Here is something different for you to try. My theripist had me do this for at least 3 weeks.
 Put a rubberband around your wrist, and when you started the "what if's" pull the rubberband and "snap" yourself hard. This is supposed to recondition your brainand it's thinking process. 
 When you start the "What if's" your brain will remember the pain you have when you think l" the what if"  and redirect itself.
 
Worth a shot.
It did work for me at times.
 
L.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/9/2008 9:14 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey Panic Queen,

Great suggestion, now I have tried this and it hurts...........do you know where I might buy some nice soft, gentle rubber bands.

Thanks :)
Kitt


 
Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic 
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


Julie1014
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1245
   Posted 5/9/2008 10:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all so much for the replies. Just knowing that there are people who understand is such a comfort to me. Blessings, Julie
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (Pancolitis) 10/25/05
New Diagnosis of Crohn's March 2006
Asacol 3 pills three times a day
Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks
Prednisone 12.5mg a day
Imuran just increased to 75mg
Acidophilus daily
Prevacid 30mg
Paxil 40mg daily (for Panic disorder)
Xanax .5mg as needed (for anxiety attacks)
 
 
 
 
 


jordaNZone
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 752
   Posted 5/9/2008 11:46 AM (GMT -7)   

Love the rubberband idea lol..just thinking about it makes me laugh - so it's gotta be therapeutic tongue -And Kitt - you are too funny lol

Maree


 
  •  'Raindrops on roses..'
  •  'Peace of mind will come to us when we are happy with 'not knowing'...
  •  'No more stinkin thinkin...'
  •  'It's not how we survive the storm..But how we Dance in the Rain..'
 
 
 
 
 
 


panic queen
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 5/9/2008 12:52 PM (GMT -7)   
hi everyone, :-)
I am glad to see that you tried it ! It smart's doesn't it?? No wonder why your brain retrains itself. ouch
 Just think, I saved all of you an office call fee, on that advice. ha ha
We are all so helpful for eachother that's for sure. ((hugs)) to all.
 I will be interested to see how everyone does with it, and if they noticed any difference. Remember to give yourself three weeks at least with this.
 Start "Snapp'n" ! tongue
 
L
 

percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 5/9/2008 12:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Julie!

I have a lot of health anxiety, and my therapist often reminds me to check in with my body or my surroundings to see whether what I'm fearing is physically real or not. For instance, I've gone through a long period where I feel short of breath even though I can actually breathe. So what my therapist has me do is pay attention to my fear - "I'm going to stop breathing!" - and also to the physical reality I'm experiencing - ("but my lungs are inflating, I'm not wheezing, my oxygen levels register as fine,etc."). The idea is that I can then recognize whether my fears are about something genuinely dangerous, so that I can act accordingly, or whether they're just fears of ... fear, so that I can think accordingly.

When I can't tell, I also do what Kitt suggested and ask myself how likely it is that my fear will really come to pass. The combination of distraction from feeling afraid to analyzing the setting and reassurance from recognizing how unlikely the thing I fear is usually help me calm down enough to try other things, like deep breathing, until I'm feeling in control of myself again.

I hope you get some relief, Julie!

percycat

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 5/10/2008 5:35 PM (GMT -7)   
THanks Julie
I think I will pass tried it yrs ago and it did hurt lol
I have so many things a hurting me now I dont need another but sounds like some are willing to give it a go ......yahooooooo and kudos to them
Thanks for posting your idea

LYN
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
 
Moderator @ Anxiety Panic..Alzheimer's..Co mod @ Crohns
                               FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE
 
   
 
                   
 

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