always worried...can't focus!

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1766
   Posted 4/5/2009 9:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm always worrying about something and I can't stop! Just some thoughts that go through my head: not getting into graduate school, worrying about choosing the wrong career, not finding a job, future in general, worrying about being alone forever/not getting married and having kids, my frizzy hair and looks in general, what other people think of me, something bad happening, forgetting my keys, forgetting to lock the door, ulcerative colitis and when I'll flare again/what if I have to get surgery/what if I get surgery right before a cure comes out, etc etc.
And when I'm not worrying, my overactive imagination kicks in and I daydream about ridiculous things, which have a .000001% chance of coming true.
Help! I can never stay focused in the present. I'd be so much more productive and get more things done if I stayed in the moment. But I'm either worrying or escaping.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2004
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 4/5/2009 11:03 PM (GMT -6)   
bookworm21 - I could have written that myself. I feel you sister. 110%.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 4/6/2009 3:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't hav any advice unfortunately but I do I know exactly what you mean, AND I have ulcerative Colitis too so I can understand the worries there aswell!

22 year old female, from the UK.
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitis Jan '08, Proctosigmoiditis Jan '09.
Hospitalised Jan '09 for 3 days IV Hydrocortisone - had no effect!
Hospitalised Feb '09 for 7 days (5 days - IV Hydrocortisone)
Currently taking daily: 
10mg Prednisolone tablets (tapering from 40mg)
5mg Prednisolone suppository x 1 (Alternating each day with 1g Acetarsol suppository)
1g Mesalazine granules x 2
7.5g Zopiclone (taken every other night for sleeping)
10mg Citalopram (anti-anxiety/depression)
Vitamins A,C,D 

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 7348
   Posted 4/6/2009 7:20 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Bookworm

I can relate to all of what you wrote in your post and I know how frustrating it can be and I have spent a long time going round the anxiety cycle and often wonder if im ever going to get better.  Are you taking any medication to help?  I have not had much joy with meds but find that therapy really does help me out and hopefully I will be starting CBT soon which could be something you could look into?.  I would suggest that you go and speak with your doctor and tell them whats going on with you at the moment and im sure they will be able to give you some good advice on how to move forward.  We are always here to listen and support so please let us know how you are getting on.

Take Care


Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/6/2009 7:48 AM (GMT -6)   


Good Morning. 

It's really important for myself to be able to stay in the moment. I have found that by avoiding things like dwelling on past or worrying about the future I am usually able to get done what needs to get done when it needs to get done.

In the past when I find  myself not staying in the moment I experience what you have described.  I'll catch myself thinking about past situations that didn't go the way I wanted or things that I feel guilt about.

This usually starts a vicious cycle of me feeling bad about myself, avoiding doing something that I'm supposed to out of lack of confidence, and then dreading what the future will now hold because of my lack of action.

If you can learn to stay present in the moment then you can rapidly and gracefully change your life for the better! Our personal power is accessed in the present. We are creating our futures right this very second through the thoughts and energy that we are sending out. What future are you creating for yourself if your thoughts are filled with anxiety, anger, and fear? What would your future look like if you could send out love, joy and prosperity?

Practice staying present today. Take deep breaths often. Really feel what you are doing. When you are driving in the car really focus on what you are doing, seeing and hearing. Approach your work with focus and clarity. When you are with a loved one really listen to what they are saying to you.

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.

I wish you peace,



Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~* *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 4/6/2009 9:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bookworm,

I, too, can relate to what you are going through. It is SO easy to get on that fast train to heck and back, when one worry leads to another, and so on. You've had some really good advice here about making sure you have support, and trying to stay in the moment. When I have trouble getting my mind off my troubles, I try to find something to distract myself.....hopefully, something enjoyable like a special hobby or project, or maybe a good movie or book. I know that may sound quite basic and simple, but it helps me to switch gears if I am able to switch my focus! Getting busy with something can be surprisingly therapeutic.

It sounds like a lot of your thoughts are negative ones about yourself. We all 'go there' from time to time! I think it might be helpful to sit down and write a list of the things you like about yourself. My doc had me do an exercise like that once, and it has been helpful to me to look back on that during the tough times. Try to be your own best friend. Nobody knows how to care for you better than you. :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 678
   Posted 4/6/2009 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Great advice Kitt!

I feel just the way you do bookworm. Except I am married with 2 little girls, I'm scared to death of my Ulcerative Colitis making me too ill to care for them or dying from it. And if it's not UC I'm worrying about I'm sure that I have some other disease. So frustrating and sad. You're not alone.
31 yr old female currently breastfeeding (weaning so I can start 6mp)
Mild Pancolitis
I've had UC since 2000 but was in remission for most of those 8 years med free
Cannot tolerate mesalamine - starting 6mp soon

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1284
   Posted 4/6/2009 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
I have the same problem, Bookworm (I'm a bookworm, too)... Just substitute the frizzy hair for thinning hair (I'm only 20! What the heck?) and ulcerative colitis for Crohn's disease... (Although, I don't worry about not being married or not having children... These are non-issues to me.)

These days, it seems I can put off worrying about things like the future and such for at least a couple of weeks... I give it a sort of procrastination attitude... "The future is a long time away... I'll deal with it... later."

And then... It will hit me full force after those two weeks are up... And I start panicking... It's a work-in-progress. Eventually, I'll procrastinate all the way... Until then, it comes in cycles.

As for daydreaming... You'll find no help from me. I am a chronic daydreamer... I am never bored... I could spend hours a day daydreaming... It's crazy. If something catches my interest, though, I am able to focus and not drift off.
I think I am being picked on by life, sometimes. But's that okay. Life and I are good buddies... I know life doesn't mean no harm. It just is the way it is. I can accept that.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 4/6/2009 3:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been worrying a lot lately, too. We need to try and stay in the moment. Are you seeing a therapist and have you started a journal? Those two things will help and you'll know that you're doing something to help yourself. Relax and don't think about the future. It will fall into place whether you think about it or not. Feel better!
Anxiety Disorder/Mitral Valve Prolapse
40 mg Prozac, Toprol 75 mg and occasionally Ativan

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1766
   Posted 4/6/2009 7:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, thanks for the responses. I'm on Prozac, which has helped quite a bit with the depressive mood but not so much with the anxiety. I see a therapist every once in a while (trying to same some money!). I occasionally journal; I suppose I should be more diligent about that...
I've gotten better about not worrying about the past, but that's been replaced with worrying about the future (my current obsession is grad school). I know I need to stay in the moment, but I can't stop the thoughts from racing! I've always been a chronic worrier, but now it's stopping me from being productive in the present.
Celey, I'm 20 and along with frizzy hair I'm having thinning hair as well. I think it's all the meds!
Thanks again.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 268
   Posted 4/6/2009 8:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like me.  My mind is always racing.
I really think taking things one moment at a time is a good thing to practice.  
It's not easy to tell our minds to "shut up"!  lol
Meditation is an option.   I'm thinking about reading up about it.   It's good for the mind, body, and soul. yeah
~Take Life One Minute At A Time!
~What Does Not Kill Us Makes Us Stronger!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 4/7/2009 11:55 AM (GMT -6)   

Like many have mentioned, I could have written your post!  I am a constant worrier and have very strong obsessive thought cycles (OCD kicking in).  One of my biggest struggles is staying in the present moment.  It takes great effort for me to do are just couple of things that help me:

Relaxation and Meditation can definitely help - or just a simple repetitive phrase to clear your mind (in meditation they call it a "mantram").  When you find yourself worrying unneccesarily or unable to get a thought out of your head, try repeating whatever calming phrase suits you (it can be one word, like "peace", "calm", etc. or a phrase like "Lord give me strength" - whatever works for you).  I have to do this a LOT because I have difficulty pulling the plug on whatever is running obsessively through my brain!  Keep repeating it until your mind stops thinking about whatever you were worrying over.

I also try to put things in perspective.  When I begin to obsess over something relatively inconsequential like my looks, my house, or what other people think about this, that or the other...I stop and remind myself of all my blessings.  I think of women in other cultures or enviroments who don't have enough food to eat or freedoms to enjoy, friends who are struggling with a terminal illness, etc. - not to sound morbid or depressing, but I can more easily appreciate my own situation when I open myself up to the "real" hardships out there.

I always have to remember, "Today!", "Today!", "Today!", even literally saying it to myself sometimes...I tend to live in yesterday or tomorrow :)

Anyway, I am right there with you and it's hard work to stay in the present - but I am much happier when I do!


Panic Attacks (since age 10) & General Anxiety with a little OCD thrown in there
Biggest Challenge - Panic; Biggest Joy - my 3 cute kiddos (ages 1, 2 & 5)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 4/7/2009 1:35 PM (GMT -6)   
We've all got a lot on our plates nowadays. A lot of worries and like Kitt, life is handing some of us too much to deal with. Somehow we'll make it through. We'll make it through together and we'll learn from this time in our lives. Remember things will get better......
Anxiety Disorder/Mitral Valve Prolapse
40 mg Prozac, Toprol 75 mg and occasionally Ativan

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