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  1. #1
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    My mind is stuck

    Hi

    I have been reading your threads and there is some really helpful information on here. I have a problem and I am not sure exactly what kind of problem it is. I have a lot of problems with obsessive thinking, where I seemed to get locked into one "worry" if you could call it at a time. It gets to the point where this worry will end up occupying the majority of my time every day. I dont necesarily have any of the phsycial symptoms of anxiety other than it impairs my concentration to the point where I feel like it is hard to do other things. I actually start to feel like I am being driven mad, and it is really hard to feel like I have any control over what I am thinking. Right now I am worrying about not being able to stop my obsessive thinking. I dont know why I am doing this, I am trying to keep as busy as I can and not do anything to encourage my obsessing but I dont understand why I cant stop thinking about it. I dont even feel like deep down I am that worried about it, but I still cant stop thinking about it. Do you think this is a form of OCD or is it more likely generalized anxiety? I was going for counselling for awhile and it did help but then when I quit or reduced the frequency of my visits it always comes back. I dont know if I should bother going back again, do you think it is more likely a personality disorder if therapy didnt help me stop this pattern of behaviour.

    I feel so defeated that I will never get over this.

  2. #2
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    Re: My mind is stuck

    Regarding excessive worrying vs. obsessive thinking:

    I think it's more a continuum than a black-and-white either-or category thing. However, as a general "definition", I'd say if you are worrying excessively about things that have no solid foundation in reality, things that are very unlikely to occur, or things that are not related to people or events around you - and/or if you find the thoughts intruding into your mind even when you're trying to focus on other things - then you are probably exhibiting obsessive traits in the way you worry.

    http://forum.psychlinks.ca/showthread.php?t=4595
    Regarding treatment, therapy is always a good idea and the ideal treatment for anxiety, including obsessive thinking, is therapy + meds and also exercise, music, socialization, recreation, meaningful work, self-help books, etc.

    With obsessive thinking, it is usually easier, at least for me, to change my behavior than to change my thoughts, especially when I am feeling worse than usual. The theory goes that by changing your behaviors, you can change your thoughts. For me, obsessive thinking and depression both mimic the effects of procrastination, so I like reading books by Neil Fiore, especially "The Now Habit."

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    Re: My mind is stuck

    Also look for a book called Brain Lock by Jeffrey Schwartz. I think you'll find that it describes exactly what you're experiencing.

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    Re: My mind is stuck

    Brain Lock by Dr. Schwartz is the best self-help book on OCD, and most of it's advice regarding obsessions and compulsions is equally applicable to those who just have obsessive thoughts. For example, the behavior therapy I was alluding to before is part of the "4 steps" in Brain Lock:

    It is vitally important to Refocus attention away from the urge or thought and onto any other reasonable task or activity. Don't wait for the thought or feeling to go away. Don't expect it to go away right away. And, by all means, don't do what your OCD is telling you to do. Rather, engage in any constructive activity of your choosing. You'll see that instigating a time delay between the onset of the urge and even considering acting on it will make the urge fade and change. What is more important, even if the urge changes hardly at all, as sometimes happens, you learn that you can have some control over your response to this faulty message from the brain.

    "The Four Steps" by Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz

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    Re: My mind is stuck

    Thanks alot for your thoughts, I feel like I am close to losing my mind so I will check out the books. Do you think it is possible to improve the problem without taking medication? I don?t really like the idea of medication, plus I don?t want to go to my Doctor about this.

    I still find it a little hard to determine if my "worry" is based in reality. Worrying obsessively about my obsessing seems like it is based in reality but certainly I dont think it is something that is worth worrying about 99% of the time so perhaps its not based in reality? I cant even identify why it is so troubling to me. Is this a little like being like a hypochondriac do you think, like the same idea?

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    Re: My mind is stuck

    Daniel:
    Thanks for the great resource which I found to be very useful.


    Maladaptive:

    I don?t really like the idea of medication, plus I don?t want to go to my Doctor about this
    What are your concerns about both these strategies?

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    Re: My mind is stuck

    I guess just the embarassment of going to my doctor is the fear, I dont feel comfortable discussing this with anyone new, I find that prospect very intimidating and it is hard enough to discuss this with a therapist let alone a doctor. I think I would prefer to try and use the methods you have given me in this thread, they seem like good techniques, I am hoping I will be able to do them without having to do back to a therapist and admit to having failed at controlling this problem again.

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    Re: My mind is stuck

    I am hoping I will be able to do them without having to do back to a therapist and admit to having failed at controlling this problem again.
    I've never felt at fault for anything regarding my mental problems. Relapses are the norm, not the exception, in mental health, and obsessive thinking is inherently difficult to control.

    Honestly, it's only been a relief when I see a therapist, and the clinical studies show that cognitive behavior therapy (not self-help) is the most effective treatment for anxiety or OCD symptoms. So a combo package of therapy and self-help is obviously going to be more effective than self-help alone since anxiety and obsessive thinking takes advantage of one's blind spots, lack of objectivity, etc. We are all walking around with negative beliefs and assumptions that we don't even know we have.

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    Re: My mind is stuck

    Relapses are the norm, not the exception, in mental health
    Good reminder, thanks Daniel

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    Re: My mind is stuck

    I guess just the embarrassment of going to my doctor is the fear, I don't feel comfortable discussing this with anyone new, I find that prospect very intimidating and it is hard enough to discuss this with a therapist let alone a doctor
    I presume you are referring to your family physician (general practitioner) who is and M.D.

    Included in your physician's training are periods of time spent working in Psychiatry as well as the other medical specialties, to provide well rounded understanding of mental and emotional disorders.

    You won't be telling your doctor anything s/he hasn't heard before; and your family doctor should be the hub and partner in your health care. This is the person who should be coordinating your overall medical care, referring you to appropriate specialists, including possibly Psychiatrists and Psychologists or other mental health providers.

    Do you feel there are other forbidden topics you would feel uncomfortable talking to your doctor about? What about shortness of breath, or sexual difficulty, or chest pain?

    If you feel uncomfortable talking to your doctor about certain subjects, because s/he make you feel intimidated, the problem is with your doctor and not with you. I would respectfully propose you have a conversation with your doctor about communication difficulty and if the doctor is not willing to change his/her approach then consider changing doctor.

    IMO a doctor who intimidates patients needs to re-orient his/her thinking because this style of medical practice went out of favor decades ago, and you cannot possibly be a partner in your health care under these circumstances.

    Do you feel comfortable to have this kind of conversation with your doctor and do you have the option of seeking out another physician?

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