what to do about thoughts?

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angelwings
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 7/29/2007 5:00 PM (GMT -7)   
My anxiety has changed form.  When it started 6 years ago my biggest fear was dying.  Now my biggest fear is going crazy.  I'm not sure which is worse at this point.  Anyway, my mind is constantly going and thinking.  My doc has been on vacation for a month and I finally go back tomorrow.  So this whole month its been tough dealing with these thoughts of going crazy.  I hate being alone and I hate night time.  I take my meds but I was wondering what everyone does when they start to get negative thoughts.  I usually try to focus my mind elsewhere and think about something else but I read somewhere that that is like avoiding the problem.  So I'm now trying to tell myself that they are just thoughts and sometimes they may make me uncomfortable, all they are are just thoughts.  But when I'm with my boyfriend or someone else and I start talking about my anxiety and thoughts and I start getting myself upset they always tell me to stop thinking like that and start focusing on something else.  I mean I read alot about people working on their breathing which I'm horrible at.  Anyway just looking for some feedback

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/29/2007 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Angelswings

Have you learned the CBT method for dealing with anxiety. Therapy is what many people do or they read the self help books.

http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=9&m=104206

Just click on this and it will take you right to our resources listed by administration. I think you may find some very help materials listed.



Please know we all understand what your going through.

Gentle Hugs.

CBTgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 7/30/2007 11:39 AM (GMT -7)   
As you can probably guess by my moniker I recommend CBT also. CBT is one of the most effective therapies for anxiety, panic and agoraphobia as well as depression and OCD. Try reading some books on CBT. I like the ones by Sam Obitz, David Burns and Claire Weekes, they are very good and if you work at the tea form and other thought countering exercises you are sure to gain relief.

eveie
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 7/30/2007 3:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Another suggestion is EFT (Emotional Feeling Therapy) or tapping. It works great. I am a recovering Agoraphobic and have Panic Disorder and am now taking my life back from it.
eve
The true joy of life is in the journey


StBarney
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/30/2007 9:24 PM (GMT -7)   

I joined this community for another problem but I just thought I would look at this topic  (Panic Disorders) because I have some experience with it.  I am 70 now and have not had a panic attack since I was 28 but I can sympathize with the progression you describe. I can not tell you how to deal with your problem.  All I can do is give a testimony of what happened to me.  I started having panic attacks when I was 15.  I was afraid I was going to die. At that time there were no drugs for panic or any other emotional problem.  I won't go into the details but I somehow managed to work thru the worst of it by the time I graduated from high school and settled into a state of heightened anxiety but not outright panic.  As time went on I felt almost normal although I had some severe emotional problems like I was 25 and had never been on a date.  I had however managed to do well at college and had a Masters in Engineering and was working on a Doctorate.  Without any warning the panic attacks returned and this time I was afraid I was going crazy.  The next three years were hell.  I had severe agoraphobia and panic.  Although I though of myself as a Christian I knew I had a problem with my belief and I read a lot on religion.  C.S.Lewis and others.  In Nov of 1965 I managed to drag myself out one evening to an organ recital.  The last piece on the program was Bach's triple fugue on St Anne.  In the middle of the piece everything I had been reading suddenly made sense and I truly became a Christian.  I would use the term Born Again but that seems to bother a lot of people.  All I can say is my agoraphobia and panic were gone.  A few months later I started dating and about a year later met the women to whom I have been married for 40 years.  I am writing this just to say that your life  can change suddenly and dramatically so don't give up hope.  

 

StBarney (Our late Cocker Spaniel)


StBarney
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/30/2007 9:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Just a quick postscript. As I remember dealing with panic, thinking about your thoughts is not good. When you start to examine your thoughts your mind can do strange things. It is better to think about something or someone. I don't know if that makes sense but thats kind of what I remember.

StBarney

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 7/31/2007 3:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I also believe that dweling on the negative thoughts can and will cause many problems

Keep your mind occupied with some GOOD thoughts like how you will finallybeat this and the fight to come ...........

Doing self help techniques are great for me and I know if you look in resources at side you should find something to help as well the members here are very supportive and caring and do know what you are or have gone thru
Talk to us and let us help you where we can please

STAY with us plz and get the support you need

Those books are great you are reading aalso IMHO

Take care and be good to self plz

LYN

janetlee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 7/31/2007 3:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Angel,
I never had ongoing fear of dying or going crazy...I know a lot of PA folks do though. In my case, I was so very miserable with the anxiety that sometimes I would wish that I could die so I could escape the misery of being scared all the time! I felt the same way about going "crazy". I reasoned that if I was truly crazy, I wouldn't have the awareness of being crazy and so would actually be happier in "Lala Land"!!!
Thru the years, I've dealt with anxiety, panic, and depression to greater and lesser degrees. It is never pleasant. However, with meds, I have been helped a great deal. Nonetheless, I came to a point last year while in the grips of a comeback of GAD (generalized anxiety disorder, which had been in remission for years) that I realized I needed to do something more than just look to meds during my hard spells of anxiety. I bought a book by Dr. Claire Weekes (someone mentioned her in a previous post to you) called "Hope and Help For Your Nerves" off of ebay. Until I read that book, no other book on self-help had really reached me. Somehow, I hadn't make the connection with other such books like so many other folks here had done. Anyway, I found her approach simple and understandable. It was not full of exercises that I didn't seem to be able to grasp. She just basically taught anxiety-ridden folks to 1) Face 2) Accept 3) Float thru anxiety 4) Let time pass.
So first, I realized that I had to FACE the fact that I had anxiety and couldn't run from it. I couldn't ignore it. No matter what, I was just going to have to live with it and deal with it for the time being. When I did that, it brought me to the second step, ACCEPTANCE. By facing it I had to accept it. I knew that there was no magical way to make the fear in my belly and mind evaporate just becuse I wanted it too, so I responded to doing the things I needed to do everyday and didn't hide from them. I just let the anxiety sit in my belly and "FLOATED" thru my pain. When I'd feel exceedingly anxious, I'd tell myself that I have to face and accept this and tell myself to just "go with the flow" (that's what I personally equate "Floating" with) and that after I'd flowed/floated thru it that I'd made another stride in facing and accepting. As I did this day after day, I was actually doing the last step-I was letting time pass. And as time passed each step became more easily for me. If I awoke with the anxiety in the pit of my stomach, I'd say "Okay Janet. Here we go again. You just face it girl. Accept it. You'll get thru it today like you did every other day. Just breathe and let time pass as you go with the flow of the day. And the anxiety would gradually lessen and lessen. I had previously done what many of us tend to do: I would "awfulize" the anxiety. I'd let thoughts like "OMG! I'm anxious! It's going to be awful, miserable, terrible! I'll never make it thru this day! What am I going to do?!! HEaven help me!" And the more we tell ourselves these negative things, the more we make a self-fulfilling prophecy! We convince ourselves of how "awful" it all is that it becomes more and more ingrained into our minds! With Dr. Weekes metod, you are actually doing the opposite! It doesn't mean that you won't have thoughts like "This is uncomfortable", but you'll be able to face the discomfort because you must. Discomfort we can bear. I went for days being very very very uncomfortable, but I'd just keep on shrugging it away as best as I could and when my thoughts would turn dark, I'd start the self-talk again! It really helped me a lot. Distraction is a good thing too. You've probably had to work while you had a headache. Even though the headache might've been present, by getting your mind on your work, you couldn't dwell on it as much. It's similar to this.
There may be times when the anxiety flares up again though. Dr. Weekes never said that there wouldn't be setbacks. She admitted that there probably would be and to just do what she'd taught all over again. That really helped me because I finally felt like I had a tool to work with after all those years! I still take my meds faithfully and am not anti-drugs for anxiety, but it sure feels good to be able to give myself some credit for overcoming the anxiety myself somewhat and not relying only on drugs! :-)
I know I've been rather longwinded and apologize for that and I know that no two people are the same, so I'm not comparing myself with you exactly. I just want you to see that there are things you can try to do to help you deal with this difficult time.
Keep in touch and I'm sending lotsa hugs!!! yeah
janet

Danxiety
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 322
   Posted 8/1/2007 7:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I like a few things I've read from various books, and i really like Janets response. So a couple things. People who think they're are going crazy never do. No this and always remember it. It's the people that don't know they're going crazy that do. I don't know if that makes sense or not, but if you think you're going crazy you're not. I, a long with so many people with panic have had those EXACT thoughts!

One thing i try and do, and this is tough and i cant always do it is to tell myself a few things in a kind voice: " Everything i feel and am thinking is ok. The thought I am having are normal and over time i will feel better. Every thought that I have is ok to have. I'm not going crazy, i'm having a panic attack and thats just the panic talking. I'm scared so my mind is searching for answers. I'm not going to look for the answers. I'm going to embrace the panic and just allow it to happen. I'm now that i am safe and that I will get through this, but for now i'm just going to accept it."

So, I dunno know if that is helpful at all, but i find that just coming to terms with panic and anxiety help me a lot. Now, this is to not say that i'm not experiencing panic and anxiety. In fact i'm in the midst of relapsing into it. But, i'm really trying to except it all and be patient. Its very hard for me, but it's helping!

A lot of people have favorite books. Janet mentioned one that sounds very interesting. If you want another suggestion, i'm reading "Embracing The Fear -- Learning to manage anxiety & panic attacks" I find it helpful, and i'm sure there are tons of books out there that will help you, along with you doctor.

I thought i was going crazy too and i think most of us with panic have! Specially when the panic is set on out of the blue.

I hope you the best.
Dan

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 8/3/2007 4:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Just wondering how you are doing and hoping you see the caring and support you have right here ...........

NO you are not going crazy at all

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/3/2007 6:33 AM (GMT -7)   
St. Barney

Welcome to Healing Well and thank you for sharing your story. Please stay with us and keep posting.

Most of you know how I feel.............

I know that going over and over something in my mind after it's happened doesn't do any good. It just makes it worse. I can actually inflate an event after the fact and then it causes me more anxiety than the actual event did.

Stay in the moment and let go of what it was that caused your anxiety yesterday, don't anticipate your next attack and please love yourself.



We are here for you and support you.



Gentle Hugs.

CBTgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 8/7/2007 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Just to clarify, CBT teaches you how to counter and eliminate the anxiety producing thoughts. Thinking about or dwelling on your thoughts is counterproductive.

sue22
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/9/2007 2:39 AM (GMT -7)   
i have had anxiety for over 30 yrs now. it gets easier with age. i have learned to become friends with my anxiety. i try not to fear it anymore. i know it is a part of me and i have accepted it.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/9/2007 5:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Sue

Welcome to Healing Well. We are a group of people that know where you coming from and what you are going through. Please browse our A & P forum and start your own thread whenever you are comfortable to introduce yourself as we love to greet new members.

Again a warm welcome to you.

Kitt

CBTgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 8/20/2007 2:10 PM (GMT -7)   
sue22 said...
i have had anxiety for over 30 yrs now. it gets easier with age. i have learned to become friends with my anxiety. i try not to fear it anymore. i know it is a part of me and i have accepted it.


Welcome Sue. Facing our fears is a crucial part of fighting anxiety along with countering our thoughts.

CBTgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 9/21/2007 12:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Angel, are you still posting? Did you give CBT a try yet? I hope you did and are feeling better now :-)

rolltide
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 11/21/2007 4:46 PM (GMT -7)   
CBT is the best route, for those who haven't tried it.

CBTgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 11/27/2007 1:44 PM (GMT -7)   
rolltide said...
CBT is the best route, for those who haven't tried it.


I happily and wholeheartedly agree yeah

rolltide
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 2/1/2008 10:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the backup CBT girl.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/1/2008 11:31 PM (GMT -7)   
rolltide
Hello and how are you. We are all supporters of CBT here :)
Come and join us when you feel like it.

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 2/2/2008 5:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome
I for one was the BIGGEST skeptic of CBT til I worked on it and I have now been an advocate for CBT for the longest time

I do hope you will stay with us and find the caring and support here as well as become part of the " family"

LYN
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum, Anxiety/ Panic and Other Disorders
         Mod for Alzheimer's, Anxiety and Panic and Co Mod for Crohns
    www.healingwell.com Donate today to keep HW helping others
 
                     
 


Panike
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 2/2/2008 9:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I just want ot say hello to all the new members and to let Angel know she is not alone in fact i just posted a thread about a similiar subject.I agree with what everyone is saying!! I mean you hear all this different feed back but utilizing it is easier said than done!! I really agree with sue i"ve also embraced my P/A although i still have my rough times,but i agree the older you get and the more you experience it the more you learn to handle it.I am going on my 11th year with this and i have better times than others and sometimes i can tell my self,"oh its just a feeling" but sometimes it gets the best of me, but only temporary though because like some of the others have said I've learned to channel my energy elsewhere!! I hate to admit it but sometimes i feel like my P/A is my friend as well because when i dont have P/A i feel lost and dont know what to do with myself.My biggest hope is that one day i will be able to start back travling everything else i can deal with.I just feel like there are so many things to see and so many places to go and i'm missing out on so much!!!

Panike
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 2/2/2008 9:40 AM (GMT -7)   
PS i too hate night time it seems like night time brings about a whole lot more symtomsand i feel so scared and alone!!!!

bigbear
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 2/5/2008 4:42 PM (GMT -7)   
As far as CBT and the TEA forms go it is my experience that practice may not make perfect but it does makje me fell a helluva lot better yeah

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/5/2008 4:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Bigbear, I am glad you are doing so well with the CBT. could you elaborate a bit on how CBT works for you? did you go to therapy or do the online version?
Thanks
Kitt
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