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  1. #1
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    I Don't Know What's Going on

    Hi, this is my first time on psychlinks. I'm posting this under OCD because one of the most recent issue that I had, which was 2 years ago, caused me to think that I may have some obsessive thought issues. I don't have any compulsions, just the random intrusive thoughts. I tried to condense everything, so I apologize if it isn't coherent. I just feel like I need to talk to someone about this since I don't really have many people that i can talk to as of now.

    My anxiety issues began 2 years ago. The first episode only lasted for about 2 weeks and so I didn't think that It was an anxiety disorder because based on information I searched up, an episode would have to last for more than 6 months to qualify as an anxiety disorder. I was able to drag myself out of it by telling myself that the source of the trigger of that episode was unlikely to happen. That episode also interfered with my life in that I felt that the anxiety was overwhelming, and that was what I had felt most of the time during that period. But since I was able to get over it by myself without a therapist, I just moved on with my life and assumed that the anxiety issue was just a part of my personality that I had to work on and nothing more than that. I didn't see it as a mental illness or anything like that, I just thought it was probably a typical teenage phase, since I am a teenager, or a weaker part of my personality, or that it was caused by a period in which my overall physical health was weaker, resulting in anxiety.. I didn't dwell on it and everything was fine until two months later, which made me rethink a lot about myself.

    I was listening to a song I really liked, my mood was quite euphoric, and one night a part of that song kept looping in my head so much that I couldn't sleep at all. I have had songs stuck in my head before, like everyone else, but I've never had it to this extent; It popped out of nowhere and just kept on going. I tried singing it to the end, practicing deep breathing and mindfulness, but the earworm(stuck song) didnt lessen one bit and in fact worsened. I felt crazy and different, like my brain just decided to go off on it's own and then anxiety set in and i could no longer go back to the way I was before easily.

    From then onwards, I noticed that I would sometimes mentally replay what people say, and whenever i hear a song I would mentally replay it as there would be songs playing in my head for most of the day. They're involuntary, and something I've never been through before.

    My mood has also changed drastically, I get stressed more easily and I'm anxious and depressed because no one I talk to has been through an earworm as severe as this, and the things I've searched up online all state that an earworm This severe are usually experienced uncommonly and by people who have OCD or some other mental illness. My anxiety and depression causes me to feel like I'm blanking out at times and it hasn't completely gone away yet even though 2 years have passed. I also keep thinking about this event and my mental health; these thoughts ruminate a lot even though I have tried to snap out of it. I'm also experiencing a bit of paranoia and strange thoughts, probably because of the anxiety; overall, Im just much more stimulated than the past.

    Right now I'm just wondering if my severe earworm is a manifestation of some type of obsessive thinking? If so, what does this mean for my mental health and if it does mean something, what's the prognosis? I've also been a highly imaginative and eccentric person since a young age and I can get pretty pumped when I get excited about something, and I've read that creative people are prone to mood issues like bipolar disorder as well, so Ive been thinking about whether or not I may be prediposed to Mood disorders, since the crazy song looping began after I felt really happy about something. Apparently, bipolar disorder can also cause intense stuck thoughts. However, I would rather just stick to the probability that I might just have some form of OCD and anxiety. So if anyone has any input on this, it would be helpful too.

    My parents say that this is just a phase, a hormonal change or basically a period in which the body undergoes some kind of disorder before going back to balance again. They say it's natural and that the body just changes at times, but they're stigmatizing when it comes to mental health, so when i try to ask then more they get very impatient. I've been thinking a lot lately about what they've said as well, but everything has changed so fast for me, basically in one night and my mood still hasn't gone back to the carefree confident state that I was in 2 years ago. Its hard to simply believe that my body is just undergoing a phase, but it could be the case.

    I've seen a therapist, it was a frustrating experience, and my session ends next week even though I still feel like a conflicted piece of ****.

    My parents won't let me see another therapist and I really feel messed up and different than everyone else.
    Im wondering if anyone has some advice on any coping strategies for pure o OCD, or what that severe earworm episode is and whether it should warrant concern or not. The episode also occurred the night before summer school started, but I wasn't feeling overtly anxious or even that stressed that night, so this made things ambiguous, as well as unsettling that my brain can go off on it's own like that without a clear trigger.

    If anyone has been through a similar situation, any advice would be appreciated as well. I'm coping as much as I can right now before I decide to see another therapist,l. The usual song looping after hearing some music doesn't bother me that much now because it usually goes away after a while, and I've just gotten used to it. It's the anxiety and depression right now. I don't want to take medication yet, so I want to try and overcome it by alternative means first.

    Thank you very much for reading this post, any advice would be deeply appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Re: I Don't Know What's Going on

    Hi, Dapplesky223... welcome to the forum.

    It seems to me that worrying about whether you meet the criteria for a specific diagnosis or any diagnosis at this point isn't the priority. You are experiencing something which is worrying you and upsetting you and the priority at this point is to find a way to reduce the occurrences of this worrisome behavior.

    To some extent, the things you describe are not uncommon in many people who do not meet the criteria for a mental disorder per se, by for you they create anxiety which then creates a kind of vicious cycle where thw thoughts create anxiety and the anxiety provides more fuel to the intrusive thoughts.

    Your age and gender could be another potential factor.

    I'd be interested in knowing more about:

    My anxiety issues began 2 years ago.
    1. What precipitated those first symptoms of anxiety?

    I was listening to a song I really liked, my mood was quite euphoric, and one night a part of that song kept looping in my head so much that I couldn't sleep at all.
    2. What was the song? Why do you think you were feeling euphoric at the time? And what was the fragment of the song that kept looping?

    Things that may help

    First, learning to allow the thoughts to exist and flow through you and past you without increasing your anxiety or dysphoria is something that should help. Have a look at:



    Second, looking at it from the reverse angle, finding ways to reduce your anxiety when it occurs, especially when it's happening in conjunction with the intrusive thoughts. Try some of these techniques:



    Take a look at what else is going on in your life now and recently which may be contributing to increasing stress or anxiety in your life. Even positive stress can do this. School. Work. Relationship issues. Anticipating a significant change in your life in the future. A significant change involving family or friends. Health issues, either your own or involving family or friends.

    How might some of these things be related to what is happening to you in the past couple of years?

  3. #3
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    Re: I Don't Know What's Going on

    Hi, David Baxter
    Thank you very much for replying to my post and giving me the links to the coping strategies, which I will look into.


    My first anxiety episode was triggered by something that someone said. She was talking about sleep paralysis and her experience of it, and after hearing those details about the hallucinations and the fear, I felt a sudden, intense wave of anxiety that lasted for the whole day and then eventually for weeks. I was afraid of getting it, and i spent quite a while struggling with this anxiety. But eventually I was able to snap out of it after finding out that sleep paralysis was actually quite rare and it doesn't mean that I'll necessarily get it. This was the first time i had felt such overwhelming unease, and it had almost impacted my grades.
    The reason why I got triggered by sleep paralysis was because of what I had read about schizophrenia in the past. I did an online test on it for fun because I had been very interested in psychology back then. I had never considered taking the results seriously; back then I had no anxiety issues and i was only doing the test because I felt it would be interesting. But some of the questions sounded eerily like me and then I had started thinking about my personality and whether or not I might be the type of person to get it. Those questions asked if you excessively daydreamed, or spent a lot of time in your head; if you have problems socializing with people and forming close friendships, and prefer to spend time alone and avoid socializing. I can't remember the name of the test or all the questions, but they were all rated from rarely to frequent. For those questions above, I daydream a lot and do have problems forming friendships. I'm shy, and people say I'm weird and I think so too. I have troubles continuing the conversation with certain people, but with others, I feel comfortable. But overall, I have difficulty maintaining a very close relationship, even with those I talk a lot with. I just feel that they're less relaxed and open when talking with me than with their other friends. I feel awkward, and at a loss to what I should say when I'm talking with people at times. I also think that I've always been depressed, since 11 years old. One time i looked up schizotypal personality disorder and i could relate to some of the diagnosis criteria, and it scared the hell out of me, so I firmly told myself that I'm just different and conflicted, but it doesn't mean that I have something as severe as schizoptyal. People have also said that sometimes I don't make sense when I talk. I just think that my thoughts are too imaginative sometimes, so I have to explain it to them sometimes and then they understand. I was able to convince myself that I might be a little different and it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm predisposed to schizophrenia. I got over this fear and everything was fine until I heard about sleep paralysis.
    Sleep paralysis and it's hallucinations kind of reminded me of schizophrenia and psychosis in a way, and seeing that I'm already vulnerable to mental health issues, I started getting what if thoughts about how I might be vulnerable to a pretty scary sleep disorder with similar symptoms as well. But I was able to snap myself out of this cycle of irrationality, and convince myself that this has nothing to do with psychosis and there's always the chance of me never getting sleep paralysis. I don't worry about sleep paralysis anymore and I left that episode behind as being merely a sign that I had to improve my residence.
    But then afterwards, I got another distressing and bizarre issue, which brought those fears up again. But if severe earworms are not uncommon in the general population without mental illness, then it shouldn't be a cause for that much concern.
    Sorry if this was very long and I hope it made sense, and thank you for the advice you gave me. Right now I'm trying not to care about the cause or what underlying problem I might have whether it be big or small. I'm just trying to regain a sense of inner peace and a clear mind.

    I think I felt euphoric because when I was listening to that song, I felt like my mood was very lifted. I felt like I was kind of floating sometimes, but it's normal when listening to good music so I didn't think much about it. It gave me like a wave of joy.
    People have told me that my mood is either extremely high or extremely low, but I'd like to think that it's because I'm tired all the time due to school stress and depression and anxiety, and sometimes I'm just more energized than other times. I do feel that at times I have more energy and feel less down than other times, and it does take some time to calm down. It's probably because my emtlotions are just more wild due to my anxiety and this energy change hasn't significantly interefered with my life yet; I can still sleep and my mood would return to the original depressed and anxious baseline that I've had since the earworm happened. Sometimes I feel depressed and it does interfere with my life, such as socializing, which I already have some trouble with. I hope it's just anxiety and depression causing these. Those people don't really know the kind of problems I'm struggling with right now, or me as a person, and I've always been a pretty hyper child.
    The song was a pretty energetic rock music and the fragment that was replaying was the chorus, which is short and simple.

    I'm graduating from high school this year and it is an anxious time. Two years ago, the summer school course I was taking was an important one, so I had wanted to score high in it. Although I wasn't feeling crippled by any anxiety or stressed at all, I might have unconsciously felt anxiety. And since the past two years are very important, the anxiety and depression made me much more introspective and wary than ever before. I was unsure of how I will fare in university in terms of mental health and everything was falling apart for me. I also have an autistic older brother who is very low functioning, but I don't contemplate too much on my childhood because I'm pretty sure growing up in a diferent and anxious enviornment has had an effect on my mental health even if I had thought that nothing was wrong with me as a child.

    The therapist didn't go into that much detail about anything, and gave ridiculously simple tips that didn't work.
    My parents were more helpful, and they are stigimizating when it comes to mental health.

    I deeply appreciate your help, and I will look into the links to help reduce my stress.

  4. #4
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    Re: I Don't Know What's Going on

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapplesky223 View Post
    The reason why I got triggered by sleep paralysis was because of what I had read about schizophrenia in the past. I did an online test on it for fun because I had been very interested in psychology back then. I had never considered taking the results seriously; back then I had no anxiety issues and i was only doing the test because I felt it would be interesting. But some of the questions sounded eerily like me and then I had started thinking about my personality and whether or not I might be the type of person to get it. Those questions asked if you excessively daydreamed, or spent a lot of time in your head; if you have problems socializing with people and forming close friendships, and prefer to spend time alone and avoid socializing. I can't remember the name of the test or all the questions, but they were all rated from rarely to frequent. For those questions above, I daydream a lot and do have problems forming friendships. I'm shy, and people say I'm weird and I think so too. I have troubles continuing the conversation with certain people, but with others, I feel comfortable. But overall, I have difficulty maintaining a very close relationship, even with those I talk a lot with. I just feel that they're less relaxed and open when talking with me than with their other friends. I feel awkward, and at a loss to what I should say when I'm talking with people at times.
    Many, probably most intelligent, creative, introspective people could check off the items on list, especially younger people in their teens or 20s. That doesn't make you mentally ill. It doesn't even make you unusual. Some people are just better at hiding their doubts and insecurities from others.

    You know who does NOT share those traits or characteristics? Narcissists and psychopaths, for two examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapplesky223 View Post
    I also think that I've always been depressed, since 11 years old. One time i looked up schizotypal personality disorder and i could relate to some of the diagnosis criteria, and it scared the hell out of me, so I firmly told myself that I'm just different and conflicted, but it doesn't mean that I have something as severe as schizoptyal. People have also said that sometimes I don't make sense when I talk. I just think that my thoughts are too imaginative sometimes, so I have to explain it to them sometimes and then they understand. I was able to convince myself that I might be a little different and it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm predisposed to schizophrenia.
    You may not even be "a little different" if you define "different" and Normal", as you should, by how frequently something occurs or by how many people have certain characteristics or symptoms.

    This illustrates the dangers of self-diagnosis and on-line diagnosis and especially so-called "online tests" for this that and the other thing. Those tests are nothing more than silly games. They may have a certain entertainment value but they have absolutely no validity, zero validity. They are like horoscopes:

    horoscopes.jpg

    If you read an accurate list of ANY mental disorder or mental health condition or personality disorder, you are almost certainly going to find that some of the items apply to you. That doesn't mean anything. It is sort of like what is sometimes called "medical student syndrome":

    "Medical students' disease (also known as second year syndrome or intern's syndrome) is a condition frequently reported in medical students, who perceive themselves to be experiencing the symptoms of a disease that they are studying. The condition is associated with the fear of contracting the disease in question." (Medical students' disease)
    That is a good part of why diagnosis is legally restricted solely to licensed medical or mental health practitioners. Accurate diagnosis is as much about what is NOT present as it is about what is present, and it requires a thorough understanding of the medical or mental health condition, and medicine or psychopathology in general, in order to provide that accurate diagnosis. Looking up checklists or lists of symptoms in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is really only a reminder for diagnosis. The process is actually quite a bit more complicated than that and requires something called "differential diagnosis", i.e., ruling out other potential reasons for or causes of the symptoms an individual is displaying or experiencing:

    "...differential diagnosis is the distinguishing of a particular disease or condition from others that present similar clinical features .... More generally, a differential diagnostic procedure is a systematic diagnostic method used to identify the presence of a disease entity where multiple alternatives are possible. This method is essentially a process of elimination or at least a process of obtaining information that shrinks the "probabilities" of candidate conditions to negligible levels, by using evidence such as symptoms, patient history, and medical knowledge" (Differential diagnosis)
    And most importantly, the process of differential diagnosis may, in many cases, lead to the conclusion of No Diagnosis, i.e., no persistent symptomatology that requires the existence of a mental health condition or disorder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapplesky223 View Post
    I got over this fear and everything was fine until I heard about sleep paralysis.

    Sleep paralysis and it's hallucinations kind of reminded me of schizophrenia and psychosis in a way, and seeing that I'm already vulnerable to mental health issues, I started getting what if thoughts about how I might be vulnerable to a pretty scary sleep disorder with similar symptoms as well.
    Why do you think you are "already vulnerable to mental health issues"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapplesky223 View Post
    then afterwards, I got another distressing and bizarre issue, which brought those fears up again. But if severe earworms are not uncommon in the general population without mental illness, then it shouldn't be a cause for that much concern.
    Exactly. So-called earworms are extremely common. I'm not sure anyone truly knows why they occur but they occur very ferquently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapplesky223 View Post
    Right now I'm trying not to care about the cause or what underlying problem I might have whether it be big or small. I'm just trying to regain a sense of inner peace and a clear mind.
    That is an excellent strategy going forward.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapplesky223 View Post
    I think I felt euphoric because when I was listening to that song, I felt like my mood was very lifted. I felt like I was kind of floating sometimes, but it's normal when listening to good music so I didn't think much about it. It gave me like a wave of joy.
    That too is normal. Music has a lot of power, which is one of the reasons it is so ubiquitous and why historically it has been an important part of every society or culture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapplesky223 View Post
    People have told me that my mood is either extremely high or extremely low, but I'd like to think that it's because I'm tired all the time due to school stress and depression and anxiety, and sometimes I'm just more energized than other times.
    Most public school, high school, and college students could be described in those terms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapplesky223 View Post
    The song was a pretty energetic rock music and the fragment that was replaying was the chorus, which is short and simple.
    If you don't min d my asking, what song was it? I'm just curious now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapplesky223 View Post
    I'm graduating from high school this year and it is an anxious time. Two years ago, the summer school course I was taking was an important one, so I had wanted to score high in it. Although I wasn't feeling crippled by any anxiety or stressed at all, I might have unconsciously felt anxiety. And since the past two years are very important, the anxiety and depression made me much more introspective and wary than ever before. I was unsure of how I will fare in university in terms of mental health and everything was falling apart for me. I also have an autistic older brother who is very low functioning, but I don't contemplate too much on my childhood because I'm pretty sure growing up in a different and anxious environment has had an effect on my mental health even if I had thought that nothing was wrong with me as a child.
    Undoubtedly it had an effect on you but not necessarily on your mental health. I mean a number of events in our developmental history can have an impact on our self-concept, self-esteem, self-confidence, or social functioning without resulting in a mental disorder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapplesky223 View Post
    My parents were more helpful, and they are stigimizating when it comes to mental health.
    They ARE stigmatizing? Or did you mean to say they are NOT stigmatizing?

    Sometimes, the most helpful thing you can do when you are under a lot of stress is to take a break from it. Going for a walk in nature (forests or water - streams, rivers, lakes, or the ocean have a particularly good relaxing and re-grounding effect for me), yoga, sports, listening to or creating music, reading purely for enjoyment... anything which gives you a temporary reprieve from chronic pressure and worrying and performance anxiety.

  5. #5
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    Re: I Don't Know What's Going on

    Thank you for replying to my post,

    I think that I'm already vulnerable to mental health issues is because I'm already diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder and depression by a psychiatrist. In the past, I did some introspective thinking about myself and I started to realize how I should've paid attention to certain aspects of my behaviour and thoughts in the past. I had a depressive personality since a young age and I was generally introverted. Later on I socialized less with kids my age, and sometimes I had thoughts that I was better than those other kids. I did have a couple of pretty close friendships back then, but my friends seemed to have closer friendships with each other than with me. They also called me weird, which made me upset back then and made me feel more left out, though they weren't mean people. I've also had a very vivid imagination and sometimes I would make up false fantasy stories to make them believe because I wanted to. Those were fantasy stories of the lord of the rings type, not false news or anything. Basically I would make them believe some made up character that I had created for an actual published book would actually exist. I don't even know why I did that, and I don't do it now, but to my past self it had been a creative thing to do and I had enjoyed sharing my thoughts until they asked me if those characters were actually real. But nonetheless, I thought it was a little weird. Before my anxiety and depression days, I just thought that I liked creating things and sharing it with people. Now though, I don't know why a seven year old girl would want to lie like that.


    My thoughts would get pretty dark and deep about life as well and for a long time I thought that I was simply the broody artistic type. In high school I was still really introverted and imaginative and people still called me weird. But I started making an active attempt at improving my social skills and negative thought processes at this time. However, I never really got into socializing and my friends weren't that many either. Most of the closer friends I have right now are people who I met two years ago, not before that. After I got the diagnosis, I reflected on the way I acted in the past and how really messed up they actually seemed. Then I read about the nuances of bipolar disorder, and how creative people are more prone to it, and then I thought that some of my behaviors subtly matched those of bipolar people, such as the dramatic reactions to certain things. I get shivers when I get excited or when I watch a movie, this only started recently before I had my anxiety diagnosis. My autistic brother also has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but honestly I think he was misdiagnosed due to how autism causes communication issues and he might just have mood issues due to his inability to properly express himself or understand what people around him are doing. However, sometimes he does appear to be extremely happy and energetic and other times extremely sad and anxious. My family hasn't discussed our opinion with his psychiatrist yet. On the other hand, since I haven't talked about my bipolar concerns to a psychiatrist yet, it could just be my nervous system, which got more sensitive as I grew older, and not because of bipolar. I thought about the same thing with schizotypal, but then I also didn't talk to a psychiatrist about that, so it could just be some weaker parts of my personality that was cultivated due to the environment and genetics. The biggest obstacle that I've faced in my attempt to heal from my anxiety and depression has been that I don't really know what is going on with my mind and my psychiatric appointment ended without me being able to say everything that I wanted to say because for some reason I can't express myself clearly. I've never saw myself in this type of light until my mood began spiraling out of control.

    Thanks for your replies to some of my passages, I do think so too a lot of times when I'm trying to play the logic game with my brain to get myself out of the anxious thought loop, that my situation isn't as dire that I think. I tell myself that it was just one instance of stuck thought and at least it was just stuck music and not repeating thoughts about wanting to harm someone or something, so it might not mean anything that big. I also tell myself that I'm not hallucinating or anything, so there's no need to give any second thoughts to those moments when I feel like i'm about to break apart and start hallucinating. I just ride through those moments and think about stories that I enjoy reading.

    My parents are stigimatizing, what I mean was that the therapist's advice wasn't as helpful as my parents', even though they held stigma.
    On a side note, I just had an extremely stressful talk with my parents yesterday, and usually following a period of extreme stress, I actually feel less worried about my situation. Some of my symptoms disappear, such as the bizarre thoughts and paranoia and I feel more focused. I'm not sure how this works, because when I get enough sleep and wake up the next day, I actually feel slightly worse.

  6. #6
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    Re: I Don't Know What's Going on

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapplesky223 View Post
    Thanks for your replies to some of my passages, I do think so too a lot of times when I'm trying to play the logic game with my brain to get myself out of the anxious thought loop, that my situation isn't as dire that I think. I tell myself that it was just one instance of stuck thought and at least it was just stuck music and not repeating thoughts about wanting to harm someone or something, so it might not mean anything that big. I also tell myself that I'm not hallucinating or anything, so there's no need to give any second thoughts to those moments when I feel like i'm about to break apart and start hallucinating. I just ride through those moments and think about stories that I enjoy reading.
    That's a good strategy and at this point the recommended way to deal with these intrusive thoughts, in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapplesky223 View Post
    On a side note, I just had an extremely stressful talk with my parents yesterday, and usually following a period of extreme stress, I actually feel less worried about my situation. Some of my symptoms disappear, such as the bizarre thoughts and paranoia and I feel more focused. I'm not sure how this works, because when I get enough sleep and wake up the next day, I actually feel slightly worse.
    I suspect the stress of an argument or serious talk may throw you into temporary overload, where you are past your stress threshold plus for the moment hyperfocused on whatever the argument or discussion is about, which doesn't leave room for the intrusive thoughts. With a good night's sleep, your stress or anxiety levels decrease somewhat and then you are back to normal, or your normal, and you are now back to worrying and dealing with intrusive thoughts.

    I do think that sometimes the best thing you can do is to avoid pathologizing yourself and your thoughts and behaviors.

    I learned this from a client, a young teen, several years ago, a very intelligent young woman with OCD including scrupulosity. Her parents were very supportive and very caring and kept trying to do all they could to help her, including bring her to therapists. They would also, out of concern and care, frequently ask her how she was doing today, to reassure themselves more than anything and as a way of determining whether or not she needed their help that day or at that moment. She was finally, in a moment of frustration with her parents, able to tell them that asking her questions like that all the time actually made things worse. What she most wanted was to be able to be normal and feel normal, and every time her parents asked how she was she started a king of internal scanning process - am I having those thoughts again? are they more frequent today? can other people tell? - which of course gave more power to the intrusive thoughts and increased their frequency, making her feel worse. By instituting a policy for the parents of not asking, of waiting for her to tell them if she was having a bad day, she improved significantly and was far less bothered by her intrusive thoughts.

    So the more you can do to normalize yourself and your thoughts and behaviors, the less you will be bothered by some of the things that currently trigger you. Try to remind yourself that in spite of your family history and your worries, you are fundamentally a normal intelligent young woman and whatever quirks and self-doubts you may have are probably shared by most of your peers, whether or not they divulge that to others.

  7. #7
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    Re: I Don't Know What's Going on

    I came across this video the other day... we normally only see the outside of people, not what they're thinking or feeling. In reality, most people are trying to deal with something. And that's a normal part of the human condition:


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