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Anxiety and Overthinking Everything

December 31, 2015 Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

Anxiety and overthinking tend to be evil partners. One of the horrible hallmarks of any type of anxiety disorder is the tendency to overthink everything. The anxious brain is hypervigilant, always on the lookout for anything it perceives to be dangerous or worrisome. I've been accused of making problems where there aren't any. To me, though, there are, indeed, problems. Why? Because anxiety causes me to overthink everything. Anxiety makes us overthink everything in many different ways, and the result of this overthinking isn't helpful at all. Fortunately, anxiety and overthinking everything doesn't have to be a permanent part of our existence.

Ways Anxiety Causes Overthinking

An effect of any type of anxiety is overthinking everything. There are common themes to the way anxiety causes overthinking. Perhaps this generic list will remind you of specific racing thoughts you experience and help you realize that you're not alone in overthinking everything because of anxiety.

  • Obsessing over what we should say/should have said/did say/didn't say (common in social anxiety)
  • Worrying incessantly about who we are and how we are measuring up to the world (common in social and performance anxiety)
  • Creating fearful what-if scenarios about things that could go wrong for ourselves, loved ones, and the world (common in generalized anxiety disorder)
  • Wild, imagined results of our own wild, imagined faults and incompetencies (all anxiety disorders)
  • Fear of having a panic attack in public and possibly thinking that you can't leave home because of it (panic disorder with or without agoraphobia)
  • Worrying about a multitude of obsessive thoughts, sometimes scary ones and thinking about them constantly (obsessive-compulsive disorder)
  • Thinking -- overthinking -- a tumbling chain of worries, vague thoughts, and specific thoughts (all anxiety disorders)

Result of Anxiety and Overthinking

With anxiety, not only are these thoughts (and more) running through our brains, but they are always running through our brains, non-stop, endlessly. Like a gerbil hooked up to an endless drip of an energy drink, they run and run and wheel around in one place, going absolutely nowhere. Day and night, the wheel squeaks.

Over-thinking everything is a horrid part of anxiety disorders. Over-thinking everything creates more anxiety. This tip helps stop over-thinking. Check it out.Anxiety and overthinking everything makes us both tired and wired. One result of the thinking too much that comes with anxiety is that we are often left feeling physically and emotionally unwell. Having these same anxious messages run through our head everywhere we go takes its toll.

Further, another dangerous result of anxiety and overthinking everything is that we start to believe what we think. After all, if we think it, it's real, and if we think it constantly, it's very real. Right? No. This is a trick anxiety plays. Anxiety causes overthinking, but with anxiety, these thoughts aren't always trustworthy.

You have the power and the ability to interfere in anxiety's overthinking everything. It's a process that involves many steps, but a step you can take right now to slow down that gerbil is to have something with you or around you to divert your attention. Rather than arguing with your thoughts or obsessing over them, gently shift your attention onto something else, something neutral. By thinking about something insignificant, you weaken anxiety's ability to cause you to overthink everything.

I explain this further in the below video. I invite you to tune in.

Let's connect. I blog here. Find me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. My mental health novels, including one about severe anxiety, are here.

APA Reference
NCC, T. (2015, December 31). Anxiety and Overthinking Everything, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/12/anxiety-and-over-thinking-everything



Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

Tanya J. Peterson is the author of The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety, The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety, Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 steps, and five critically-acclaimed, award-winning novels about mental health challenges. She speaks nationally about mental health, and she has a curriculum for middle and high schools. Find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 6 2017 at 7:31 am
Hi Amanda,
I certainly won't do harm to you by trying to tell you what is going on. That would be horrible! You might want to consider checking in with your doctor as an important step in getting to the bottom of this. Memory and recall difficulties could be a sign of something serious, or they could be the result of stress or other things going on in your life. I can imagine that this would be anxiety provoking. Once you address any medical issue, you'll be able to target anxiety-related overthinking.
Joshua Panganiba
says:
October, 9 2017 at 3:41 am
Hi tanya,
I have a girlfriend right now and she's breaking up with me i think it's because of her anxiety and depression she always think about everything like everyone hates me i think its just because of that and she's an pessimistic she always think that we won't last long i want to give up on everything i dont want to live anymore. I just wanna die. One time she said there was a girl and that girl is helping her to do suicidal she said that that girl said to me don't be scared it's not painful its just easy. For me as her boyfriend i kept on saying to her that you should value your life, we can get through it trust me i know you can! I know i can we will face everything together. I always say that to her. But now she's breaking up with uou what should i say to her? I think it's just because of her attacks we don't have problems to each other and it just happened like i dont want to continue this relationship im sorry i shouldn't come back i know this gonna happen. I really really need you help! I dont know what to do with her she's always like that she's a suicidal and i dont want to loose her i love her so much!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Joshua Panganiba
says:
October, 9 2017 at 3:42 am
Looking forward for your reply Ms Tanya
Anon
says:
October, 3 2017 at 12:27 pm
Hi Tanya, my situation is a little bit complicated I think.
I always think about things i have to do (at work) but never get around to doing some of them because other tasks I wonder how I will achieve them. Sometimes because I don't know how I will achieve something I feel like i'm incompetent and this jobs is not for me. But then I also stay with my girlfriend and we've been fighting a lot because I feel like she's drifting away, but she insists she is not. I say she is because she's stopped doing some things she used to do which I find sort of important in a relationship. Or Maybe I'm just overthinking what a relationship should be like. My relationship with her and my career both put me under pressure because 1) At my age 27, I have not yet reached the success level I'd hope, 2) with things being shakey in my relationship this also kills my dreams of ever getting married at 30 with a successful job. I just overthink everything in my life right now because I feel like I don't have answers to anything.
Elliot
says:
October, 2 2017 at 2:42 pm
Changing object of thoughts calms anxiet away from all targets in the head

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 3 2017 at 5:49 am
Hi Elliot,
Thank you for sharing your helpful insight! Shifting our focus makes a huge difference.
Lauren Stevenson
says:
October, 1 2017 at 11:11 am
How can I stop overthinking everything about my partners recent infedelity? We have stayed together for the sake of the kids and he wants to just forget snf move on but a month later and I'm really struggling. I keep overthinking why he done it, how much he done, I keep checking everything, have gone back over his phone records to the other person several times which brings me down again. Iv lost 14lb since I found the texts and I can't eat or sleep which is no good as I have a 3 month old baby! Iv been ill for a few weeks too and have constant headaches.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 3 2017 at 5:48 am
Hi Lauren,
It sounds like this has you stuck. When something is affecting you this deeply and hurts both your mental and physical health, it is often helpful to see a therapist (in person or online if in person isn't possible). Having regular support can help you know where you want to go and how you're going to get there.
John lee
says:
September, 28 2017 at 4:11 pm
About 2 month ago I had back pain after round of golf
And dr told me it’s pitched nerve and will go away and now I am mostly pain free but I am having constant anxiety of something bad happening to my hip and lower back, can play sports out of fear and even driving because I am worried about pain might come back and worse what if I can’t walk any more. I am walking fine and even ruining fine but moly mind is constantly focused on my hip and it’s driving me crazy. Please help. Now I am taking anti anxiety medication

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 30 2017 at 1:22 pm
Hi John,
Your anxiety makes a lot of sense given the back/nerve pain you were having. It sounds like you are very active, so you probably hate the thought of losing this part of your lifestyle. These are very normal and legitimate concerns. Often, with something concrete like this -- where you have a cause that directly relates to the type of anxiety you're having -- you can address the anxiety very directly and with specific action. Have you tried researching hip pain and hip injuries? You could look at symptoms, causes, and treatment. Then, make a plan for how to prevent hip pain and damage. Sports injury websites or orthopedic websites will have all this information, including prevention. Once you know what a hip injury is, you can also know what pain is not indicative of an injury. And you can create a daily prevention plan (certain stretches, drinking enough water, eating certain foods that are good for body health, and other things that will keep you healthy. Taking action like this might reduce your anxiety and increase your physical health.
anais
says:
September, 27 2017 at 5:58 am
Hi ..can you tell me how to avoid over thinking bout something wrong might happen everytime I hear something strange I always think that there was someone or something might happen.. Its 1am I cant get this off of my head.. Im tired checking everytime I hear something.. Im tired ..

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

anais
says:
September, 27 2017 at 6:01 am
Oh and by the way im from phillipines so thats why I said Its 1am..

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 28 2017 at 4:27 am
Hi anais,
It makes sense that you're tired! Worrying and overthinking and checking are exhausting. Based on your description, there could be several different things at work (I would never do potential harm by trying to give a diagnosis in this context). Knowing what's going on will help you know what to do to stop overthinking. Seeing a doctor or therapist would be very helpful. You don't have to put up with this!
Rose
says:
September, 26 2017 at 5:18 am
Yes I think 3 weeks is still so soon too but I'm struggling to get over how the citalopram made me feel and feel I am still having these thoughts as if had them for 5 month on those awful tablets. Maybe I should up my dose on the mirtazipine to help with my anxiety as I'm still overthinking and obsessing. Then one thought spirals into 1 million. Had a bad day yet I feel so calm now! I don't kmow how it works:( im.nooked in to see my Dr next week
Feel like I will be like this forever!
ayesha
says:
September, 25 2017 at 11:34 pm
I am very depressed plz help me i am the pactient of over thinking and social anxiaty .......... sometime I am feels that my mother is not beautiful and then I feels allergy for my mom but just sometime plz help me teach me that how to treat these kind of ugly thouts I am poor girl
Anon
says:
September, 21 2017 at 11:35 am
I overthink about life and death and about things I did in the past and things that can happen in the future like a disabled child that will hate you I always think about the future that you are gonna waste your best years in school/college and your second best years working and when your old and can't move you waiting that your death will free you from your terrible boring life I'm always stressed at school and my mom wants me to be a doctor or a dentist or something in that way but I don't want that and I don't want to talk about anything with anyone because I'm sure they will think I'm just crying for attention... so yeah...

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 25 2017 at 6:13 pm
Hi Anon,
You are in good company here and definitely not alone with this type of anxiety and overthinking. Did you notice that much of your anxiety is about the past or the future. When that happens, it's helpful to bring your thoughts back to the present by using mindfulness and deep breathing. Use your senses to be aware of what is going on right here, right now, and breathe deeply. You could count your breaths if you want to. Think of positive things that are happening in the present. That can help in the moment.

I wonder if there is a bigger issue underlying everything. You're experiencing a lot of stress, and a lot of it could be rooted in your mom's expectations of you. You want to do something that interests you, and that is more than okay. It's normal! Parental expectations aren't easy to address. You don't have to do it yet. Give yourself permission to explore things you like. It will be very helpful to talk to someone. Does your school have a counselor? Or what about a teacher you like and trust? Or another adult in your life? A trusted friend can be helpful, too. Don't be so sure that they'll all think you're crying for attention. :) Reducing your anxiety and becoming okay with admitting that you don't want to be a doctor or a dentist is a process, so be patient with yourself.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

ayesha
says:
September, 25 2017 at 11:35 pm
plz help me i am waiting of your reply
Rachel
says:
September, 18 2017 at 7:23 pm
Hi Tanya,
I'm getting sooo tired of my brain. I constantly am stressed out about things I have to do like going to piano practice, or presenting something. I overthink things and it makes it hard for me to sleep. The amount of stress and anxiety that I get from little things is overwhelming. I can come across as awkward to people at school. I am a normal person, but in conversations, when I want to say things, the words won't come out because I think to much about what people might think if I say it.
Please give me some advice. Thx!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 19 2017 at 6:51 am
Hi Rachel,
I like your comment about being sooo tired of your brain. :) I've felt that way before, too, especially around social anxiety. I have a few thoughts that you might want to consider. I definitely understand what you mean when you say you can come across as awkward. Your thought is legitimate, but it might not be accurate. We tend to look at the world and interpret others from our own biased perspective. If you feel awkward, it makes sense to you that others think you're awkward. That's known as mind-reading, and it's very common in people who have anxiety. It's common in everyone, actually, but when someone has anxiety, this mind reading happens more often and is much more bothersome. It's impossible to know what others are thinking, even when we're reading body language and other non-verbal communications. Anxiety skews that, too, and we tend to read into posture, tone, and more. A good strategy is to accept that you don't actually know what people are thinking. When you start thinking about how others are judging you, simply admit to yourself that they might not be thinking about you as awkward at all.

Also, try giving yourself permission to talk when you want to talk and be quiet when you want to be quiet. I'm not sure if you do this, but I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to talk, to say exactly the right thing, and to carry a conversation -- and when I did these things, I worried that I said the wrong thing or came off as obnoxious. Once I gave myself permission to stop doing this, to say something if I wanted to say it and just listen to the conversation if I didn't want to say something, my anxiety decreased and I found it was easier to participate in conversations. Doing this was a matter of reminding myself and practicing. And time. It took awhile to change, but when I accepted this as a process of forward movement, it was better.

Something really big that can be underlying your anxiety is the stress you mentioned with your schedule and to-do projects, etc. Have you made a list of everything that's on your plate? Get it out of your head and onto paper where you can see it. You might feel overwhelmed by it at first, but it's a way to take charge of things. Are there things, even the smallest things, that you can eliminate? What do you love the most? There is where to put most of your energy? What things do you dislike but have no choice but to do (homework in certain classes, for example). How can you balance these in without letting them consume you? Can you talk to your parents about reducing or eliminating some things? Are you taking breaks? Those times when you feel like you can't take a break are the times when you need it the most. Even a five-minute brisk walk outside or a few minutes of slow, deep breathing will help you destress and then work more efficiently.

I tried to find a balance here of not being too long but also giving some basic thoughts. I hope this helps a bit! You've got great awareness of your brain and what's going on with your life. Not everyone has this awareness. It's great that you do because you've identified what you want to change. Your ready to find and employ strategies. Be patient with yourself as you do!
Andres Berrondo
says:
September, 13 2017 at 12:39 am
Hi Tanya, I don’t know if I have anxiety or I’m overthinking, but I’m starting to believe I’m in a simulation. I don’t know if I’m in one or not and I don’t know if everyone and everything I sense is part of my imagination or “simulation”. I have no way to prove I’m in one or not and no one has a way to prove I’m in one or not.

I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t understand anything and keep asking “why?”. I even ask myself, “Why do I ask “why”?”
I’m in a repetitive loop that I can’t get out of. What do you recommend?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 13 2017 at 2:40 pm
Hi Andres,
Have you heard of depersonalization and derealization? Depersonalization is a feeling that you aren't real, and derealization is the feeling that the world around you isn't real. Both are a form of dissociation, where someone temporarily separates from ordinary awareness or consciousness. These can be part of dissociative disorders, but they can also occur in other contexts. They can be a symptom of anxiety. This info might be helpful if you are interested in learning more: http://mayocl.in/2xZYNOr

Alternately, thinking about what is real can be part of existential anxiety, or anxiety that relates to our very human existence. Existential anxiety can be really troubling, which makes people worry about it, which keeps people stuck in the thoughts. Here is a bit of info: http://bit.ly/2xlUkIT

I would never tell you that either one of these is definitely what's going on with you. Visiting with a doctor or therapist is a really good idea because they can get a sense of the bigger picture and form a deeper understanding of you. Even if you don't think derealization or existentialism quite fit what you're experiencing, that's okay. Asking questions and looking into things is an important part of the process, and by doing so, you're already taking charge of your forward movement.
Lilly
says:
September, 12 2017 at 2:06 pm
What I need to do to stop analyzing everything in my life and specially the past. I always feel that i need to analyze everything to really understand who i am now and that's really exhausting, when everything is going well and i feel that iam controlling everything I found myself starting all that again and I find myself trapped on my own thoughts.
Jelissa
says:
September, 11 2017 at 1:47 pm
Hi , aim Not sure If I have anxiety but from what I've read I believe I do , Because I litterally Overthink everything no matter what the situation is & it hurts my relationship by me doing this & it's also hurting me
bianca
says:
September, 7 2017 at 10:39 am
Hi I have been suffering from anxiety for.momths now since my cardio version and heart ablation I have all types of symptoms pains in the chest legs head hands all.over and.i also feel as if .not breathing I need some guidance in wat to do as this is been going on for.months and effect s my daily life .

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 8 2017 at 7:40 am
Hello bianca,
These symptoms sound like important ones to discuss with your doctor. Given that these symptoms began in relation to medical things, following up with your doctor is a good starting point. The two of you can discuss anxiety, and your doctor can recommend a treatment plan.
M S Abdul azeez
says:
September, 4 2017 at 4:47 am
I've a problem don't know how but sometimes a perfectionist comes into my mind and wants everything perfect but nobody does and even I don't do but at that time it is very frustrating for me to have a conflict between the perfectionist and the realistic I've faced many a problems due to this what to do it never leaves even I distract myself for some time it re appears

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 8 2017 at 7:37 am
Hi M S Abdul,
Perfectionism is an ugly thing that can stop us in our tracks. There is an exercise that is great for what you describe. It's called "good, not great." When you find yourself facing perfectionism, recognize it and mentally stop for a moment. Identify what you're doing and what you're doing to make it good. What are the positive qualities of the project, situation, etc., and what are the positive things you are doing. This will help you remember that you are in control and that things really are good. Think of the actions you are taking rather than your thoughts about needing to be perfect.
Abhishek
says:
September, 1 2017 at 5:47 am
Hello Tanya,
I'm preparing for one competitive exam. But I am facing problem related to it. I perform well in home if I give practice test at home, I score good. But if I give it in classes, I can't get score as per my expentetion and even lower from my home performance. I suffer from lots of strees and sometime it so suppressed over me that my hand really started to shake. I try to control my thoughts and just try to concentrate on other things. But somehow my mind just continue thinking about negative thoughts. I have also read your suggestion for doing meditation. I tried it, but it feels better for sometime like after starting it I feel better up to 3-4 days, I feel balanced. But then after my mind become so calm that I don't wish to think about anything, I also feel like lazy. However I want this type of mind- calm- but laziness kills me from inside because in the night I think that I did nothing... So I left doing meditation. Moreover I feel so stress sometime that during in that situation I can't understand conversation with other person and I feel like someone has sedated me, I can't comprehend with their questions.
So will you please suggest me solution and about meditation so that I can feel motivated, energetic and confident every time?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 8 2017 at 7:27 am
Hello Abhishek,
Your experience with meditation is something that intrigues me because I have experienced that phenomenon, too. The insights I'll share aren't research-based (I haven't found any studies on this exact effect of meditation) but are based on my own experiences, readings, and observations. When I first got meditation to "work," I found that it seemed to make me too relaxed. So I stopped, and my anxiety, stress, overthinking, etc. returned. I returned to meditation but modified what I was doing. I pause periodically throughout the day to breathe, visualize, and be mindful. I have the same calming benefits. I think why I felt lazy, and why you did (based on everything you wrote) is because I have a strong sense of perfectionism (your text anxiety/performance anxiety is likely tied to perfectionism). I used to believe that if I wasn't going at full speed, and if I wasn't feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it meant that I wasn't working hard enough and that I would fail. So when meditation reduced stress, I actually didn't like it. I needed that stress and all of its physical, emotional, and cognitive manifestations in order to feel like I would do well. It took me awhile to get past that belief, but I did (admittedly, it does still pop up -- I just recognize it and move on). I realized that I could actually be more productive, talk to people better, and feel better when my mind is calm. It was just hard to get used to. This is just something for you to consider. Maybe try returning to meditation knowing that it won't feel right to be less stressed at first. Keep going anyway and see if you actually become more able to work and perform the way you want to.
Jimmy
says:
August, 29 2017 at 6:42 am
I feel anxious in my mind,thinking what have done past which is giving this anxiety,worried what would happen yet I have done nothing. Am also having sleepless night my mind thinking

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 30 2017 at 11:41 am
Hi Jimmy,
Anxiety can stop us in our tracks. It can keep us from sleeping at night and from moving forward during the day. It's truly a trap. Have you ever tried mindfulness? It involves paying full attention to what is going on right now, in this moment. You can use your senses to help -- what do you see, hear, feel, etc. Doing this can pull people out of the past and into the present. It works at night, too, because it distracts you from your thoughts and can be relaxing. It doesn't typically come naturally to people at first, and it can feel forced and even impossible. But it is possible, and it won't always feel forced. It can help you stay in the present and begin to reduce anxiety about the past.
Aditya Mehta
says:
August, 28 2017 at 6:05 am
I'm really effected by mental illness like negative thoughts,overthinking fear based and lots of question related to disease (cancers, tumour, heart attack ) and much more.
I want to leave anxiety because this time lost my concentration on studies. Plz help me doctor

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 30 2017 at 11:35 am
Hello Aditya,
I like the comment you made about anxiety and time lost. Anxiety really does make us lose time and takes time away from the things we need to do and want to do. Negative thoughts can overpower us and dictate how we perceive things as well as actions we do or don't take. Have you seen a doctor? Seeing a medical doctor is a great starting point because he/she can discuss your health/disease concerns. Sometimes, anxiety is an effect of medical conditions, so your doctor can put your mind at ease by talking to you about this. He/she can also recommend a helpful treatment approach to help you know which direction to take. There are treatments like medication, therapy, and bibliotherapy (reading self-help and other books). Your doctor can help you choose the right direction for you.
t
says:
August, 26 2017 at 4:41 am
I always have the fear of dying and scared feeling.
Kyla
says:
August, 23 2017 at 1:05 pm
Hi, recently I've been overthinking extremely to much to the worst negative thoughts. My past has brought me to recently to inbox a old friend that that I havent talked to in years and this anxiety and being careful on what I say. I feel the anxiety all in my legs and I just go through random solutions of things going bad. I watch what I say and easily regret even starting conversations with people. It seems as if my past is causing me to redirect alot of things even though its nothing bad I find as if I step into one thing and fall into another. I have a peaceful life and my mind is corrupted. I worry about what I say to ppl and if its going to convert to something worse. Im a person of wonder and it scares me. I find peace and go back into corruption.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 25 2017 at 5:56 am
Hi Kayla,
A very frustrating thing about anxiety (or about being human in general) is that we do bounce back and forth between finding peace and then losing it. It's very good that you do find (create) peace. What is happening in those times when you're at peace? Think in terms of your thoughts, feelings, actions, surrounding, circumstances, etc.) A key to making the peaceful times greater than the times of corruption is to figure out what works and do more of it. Curiosity is a character strength and it is one that can help beat anxiety. Use it here: wonder what creates peace. What are your interests, things that you're curious about? Exploring things just might help decrease anxiety.
Daniel
says:
August, 17 2017 at 10:21 am
Hi!
In 2015 I started to notice that I worry about everything. I get very sad (my heart starts racing fast, I sweat and i feel like i'm on the edge almost all of the time) about it for a very long time, until I worry about other things. I can't seem to sort of "live" again because I feel so stuck. I worry about my health, my unemployment, how my friends/family.relatives think about me, how I think about myself, everything. It's been two years since and I feel as depressed as ever. It feels like I constantly put myself down in whatever I do. Should I go to a doctor?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 18 2017 at 1:47 pm
Hi Daniel,
While I'm not in a position to tell you what you should or shouldn't do, I will say that I think doctors (and therapists) can be very helpful. They might think that medication will help you, and they might recommend a therapist. Regardless of what path you and your doctor take, you can benefit from professional help and support.
X
says:
August, 16 2017 at 1:28 pm
I dont have panic attacks but I've been thinking embarrassing moments over and over again from stuff that happened in grade school but i eventually got over the embarrassment. However recently i've been lashing out more especially at people who make me overthink and become embrrassed. For example, someone could point something out abouy what i posted and i would recklessly text them and assume the worst because I didnt want to feel bad about myself. Also. Ive been thinking about everything i do from talking to an old friend and saying the wrong thing to imagining scenarios about what could have happened if I wasnt too careful with something. I can't live like this anymore i dont know how to deal with this And i'm sure it's not as serious as other people's conditions but it drives me crazy to the point where whenever i'm alone and thinking i want to bang my head against the wall to make it stop.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 16 2017 at 4:36 pm
Hello X,
It's important for you (and so many others, because you're not alone in feeling this way) to know that you never have to compare your experiences with others. Your experiences are making things difficult for you, and that is what matters. Next, while I can't diagnose, I will share my observation that much of what you describe sounds like social anxiety. Have you looked into that? Thinking about being embarrassed or judged by others is at the heart of social anxiety, and it causes a great deal of overthinking in the way that you described. You might want to visit with a therapist or look into social anxiety information on your own (HealthyPlace has a wealth of information, including social anxiety tests). If you feel you are experiencing social anxiety, you can target your treatment/self-help efforts accordingly and no longer feel like you're being driven crazy.
X
says:
August, 17 2017 at 5:14 am
Thank you so much, Tanya. I will definitely look into that. My problem is finding the courage to tell my loved ones. I guess i can wait a year until I'm 18 to find a therapist myself. I'm just not sure. What do you suggest?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 18 2017 at 2:19 pm
Hi X,
Talking to parents and other loved ones causes its own stress and anxiety. It helps to plan ahead of time the important points you'd like to discuss. Sticking to just a few top concerns is often best at first. Talking about your symptoms, how they're bothering you/disrupting your life, and what you want to do to beat this anxiety. They'll probably have questions/comments, and if you let them ask and answer neutrally, they'll be more likely to stay neutral and listen to you. The article How to Talk to Your Family About Mental Illness might be insightful for you, too. The conversation might feel awkward at first, but opening up could be a great help and relief.
Layne
says:
August, 14 2017 at 9:35 am
I've been dealing with this for 6 years now. I am currently on 40 mg citalopram daily. Recently I feel off after taking my dosage. Warm tingly feelings in chest. Ice pick headaches. Tension in neck and shoulders. It's a constant cycle. I have my honeymoon coming up and also dealing with a hiatus hernia which I feel contributes to the issue. I'm fearful of going on the trip and being in a bad state for 3 weeks. Any help would be appreciated!!!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 15 2017 at 5:14 am
Hi Layne,
If you haven't already done so, an important step is to consult with your doctor about the changes you've experienced regarding your medication. It's also a good idea to check out the physical symptoms you've described in case they relate to a different medical condition. Your doctor might also be able to give you some tips for feeling well on your honeymoon. This could go a long way in reducing anxiety so you can enjoy the time with your spouse.
Rose
says:
August, 14 2017 at 1:54 am
Hi, I have been suffering with anxiety for years and 5 month ago started take ssri for it. I have just started counselling for it. My worse partl since taking the meds is that I feel like I'm having obsessive thoughts. I focus on something as simple as an orniment and that's all I think About! I have through stuff away to relieve my anxiety and I just focus on something else and obcess over that! Is this normal anxiety or something else? I feel like it's the only thing stopping my progress. When I feel calm and think about it I get all anxious again and start reasoning with myself! Any advice would be great. Thankyou

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 15 2017 at 7:41 am
Hi Rose,
Sometimes, trying to reason with our thoughts (or argue with them or find evidence to the contrary of our thoughts) can make things worse. When we try to do this, we actually reinforce our thoughts/thought patterns because that's what we are paying attention to. I know this firsthand because I've been there! I have found (personally and professionally) that two approaches can be quite helpful for overthinking/obsessing: solution-focused therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy. YOu might want to consider looking into them to see what you think. These articles offer a good introduction: Five Solution-Focused Ways to Beat Anxiety (https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2014/06/five-solution-focused-ways-to-beat-anxiety/) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): Stop Avoiding Anxiety! (https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/07/stop-avoiding-anxiety-acceptance-and-commitment-therapy/)
Rose
says:
August, 15 2017 at 8:04 am
Thankyou very much for your reply. It's so hard at the moment I feel like im.going crazy at times! If heard of scary intrusive thoughts whilst anxious as if had them my self but because I'm obsessing/Having intrusive thoughts over random things scares me more as it's so unusual!? Do you think it's an obsession or more intrusive? Thankyou

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 15 2017 at 6:52 pm
Thoughts you are describing are very difficult and indeed scary. One of the criteria defining obsessive thoughts is that they are intrusive. An intrusive thought is one that forces its way in and is unwanted. You aren't intentionally creating the thoughts. An obsessive thought is typically anxiety based and is one that occurs over and over again. Obsessive thoughts are also intrusive thoughts. And I'm sure you want them to stop! It might be a good idea to check in with a doctor or therapist. They can help you get to the bottom of what's going on as well as help start treatment. When it comes to obsessions and intrusive thoughts, it's often most helpful to work with someone in person. Do know that you aren't stuck with these thoughts forever.
Rose
says:
August, 15 2017 at 9:29 pm
Sometimes I wonder of I'm even have g these thoughts or just working g myself up so much I think I am if that makes sence? I often wonder what I'm thinking them blame my obsession? If never suffered with this before until o started my meds (citalopram) I'm having therapy but just phone based at the minute. I had a good few weeks where nothing bothered me then all of a sudden I'm a mess again! Thanks


Hi again, Rose,
Have you mentioned to your doctor that your obsessions/overthinking began when you started medication? This could be a very undesirable side effect. Your doctor can evaluate this and possibly change dosages or the type of medication.

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