I need advice regarding dealing with intrusive thoughts

Posted , 3 users are following.

For the last three months anxiety has made my life a living hell. I've come here seeking what advice and help I could get and allot of the advice I was given had really helped me progress over the last few weeks to the point that I started feeling allot better.

Over the past few days things seemly have taken a huge nose dive. My anxiety doesn't seem to be as bad as it was before but the intrusive thoughts / OCD harm thoughts has been very persistent. I am seening a counselor regularly, I've changed my diet, I've tried staying as relaxed as possible and I'm even exercising and all of that helped me see some progress until now.

I so badly wanted to try to fight though this without seeking out a doctor for medication help but I'm getting to the point were I'm doubting myself. Am I just hitting one of those down moments were things are just very bad right before another upswing or is this a sign that I should seek more help ?

I'm getting so many mixed opinions from people. Some saying that fighting the thoughts will aid in its defeat while others say "accepting" the thoughts is the biggest first step in recovering from intrusive thoughts / OCD harm thoughts because fighting it just makes it worse.

I'm in no way, shape or form wanting to or even considering hurting myself or others yet these thoughts have me worried (* for no reason I'm sure *). How does a person "accept" the intrusive thoughts / OCD harm thoughts so they can begin to move on and is whats happening to me just one of those "waves" were I'm having a temporary low moment.

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  • Posted

    Hi John.

    Firstly: Any thoughts about what may have contributed to this 'wave' of worsening of symptoms? Have you been sleeping less? More stress? New obligations? Have you had a cold or flu or a stomach bug? Has anything changed in your daily life? Have you been drinking any alcohol or taken any medication even OTC or new supplements? Anything big or small along those lines may be contributing.

    Intrusive thoughts, if they last only a few days may be adjustment response to a changed chemical balance in the brain. Sometimes people who do take medication, get them at the start of therapy. This is known as the release phase, where the brain is protesting being forced to unwind by the onslaught of regulating chemicals. Tension release. However it is pertinent to point out that, if these intrusive thoughts persist or worsen, you should seek a doctor's advice. This goes for both, those taking medication and those succeeding to balance out without.

    So it either means your body is beginning to counter the chemical imbalance and te brain is protesting, OR your condition is escalating. The only way you will know is by watching for any changes or worsening over the course of the next week or so.

    You can't really 'fight' intrusive thoughts as they have subconscious and unconscious drives. You can't really accept them either for much the same reasons. The only thing to do is to observe them and attempt to side-step them in ways you are already practicing (exercise for example is good but may I also suggest some mechanical chores like cleaning, small DIY projects, gardening, snow shovelling, raking leaves, washing up....stuff where not much brain power is required but repetitive action - it is like utilising OCD tendencies for a productive purpose - medicinal if you like. OCD is helpful at the start of therapy actually. It is a coping mechanism. Important to be able to phase it out as therapy progresses and only resort to it in limited amounts when needed biggrin

    When you say harm OCD - can you be more specific?


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    • Posted

      I've actually been batting a minor flu. It started off slow over the course of a week. Minor sore throat, then it went to minor headaches, runny nose, flem, constant sneezing. The last day or so it seems to be subsiding but the intrusive thoughts seem to be getting more persistant.

      I was "managing" the intrusive thoughts moderately well until I got this flu. I didn't know there could be a possible connection. What started this whole issue ( anxiety / intrusive thoughts ) was me taking Aleve.

      About 4 months ago I went to the dentist and was told I had bruxism. He gave me a muscle relaxer called Flexeril. I used it as perscribed and after a month of using it I started to get minor headaches. The dentist told me that I should discontinue taking the pill and take Aleve, so I did. 2 pills twice a day, 12 hours apart for a month......the headaches went from minor to major, I started to lose my appetite, I got very paranoid and thats when the anxiety and intrusive thoughts started.

      I never had a problem with ether anxiety or intrusive thoughts before that at all.

      As far as the "Harm OCD" goes.... I may have made a mistake. When I was on google looking for help ( I am not the type to "Web MD " myself by the way lol ) the intrusive thoughts that triggers fear of harming others or myself was discribed as "Harm OCD". I could be very wrong in assuming but thats what I thought they said my type of intrusive thoughts were. Again I want to state for the record that nomatter how bad these thoughts get I WONT harm myself or others BUT these thoughts do trigger major anxiety spikes which really worry me.

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    • Posted

      I am trying to wrap my head around this but something does not add up. So we are talking rapid onset anxiety without prior history after taking muscle relaxants and then NSAIDs??

      Something was already cooking before you started musle relaxants. Bruxism itself is  a symptom of anxiety or tension at least. Can you go back about 6-12 months prior to evaluate any then changes in your life, any substance abuse (no need to tell us here justy for you to consider), any major life changes or even what seem 'minor' stresses. I don't know enough of your background to be able to suggest. But I am sure something was already up before the onset.

      BUT it sounds like you are for some reason sensitised to effects of medication. I am not sure if there is a background of undiagnosed anxiety or something is up with your body chemistry.

      Have you stopped Aleve in the meantime?

      Any illness contributes to anxiety spikes in affected individuals because of rapid changes in body chemistry and brain's exaggerated response to it. It is the first thing you are asked by a psychiatrist if you report a worsening.

      What I do think should be done is a good all-round medical check up first. Bloodwork including liver function, thyroid, iron and binding, minerals and also if possible B12 and D vitamins. There could be something actually causing your symptoms if there is no prior history of anxiety or depressive disorders. I would consult GP to rule out a few possibilities there.

      A few more questions, important: how is your sleep pattern now and how was it in weeks preceding the 'bruxism' diagnosis?

      How old are you? Under 30?

      Anyone in your family with history of depression, anxiety, OCD or anything? (To see if you have been exposed to them sometimes we can soak up other people's reactions.

      Any recent death or illness in family?

      Anything you think may be pertinent.

      I have a feeling that this is something that can be quickly brought under control. I could be wrong but can only go on what you have shared so far. I am not a doctor but don't think you need more than a good GP diagnostic at this point. Psychiatrist you can fall back on if all elese fails.

      Wishing you to get to the bottom of it fast.


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  • Posted

    You need to discuss this with your GP.

    One thing that may benefit is to know what the cause is for your negative thoughts.

    To understand these will help you address what is wrong.

    Your GP will hopefully make out a treatment plan and you will be possibly be shown ways to address your  concerns and help you cope with your problems



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