bin_tenn

Waking up to intrusive thoughts

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This just goes to show that anxiety can be deeply rooted, beyond the conscious mind alone. I'm sure you all have noticed that I haven't posted about any irrational health fears or panic attacks for a good while. My last panic attack was in August. I don't recall if I've posted any fears since then, but I don't think so.

Even so, lately I've been waking up to intrusive thoughts, primarily about death - which has been a fear of mine for a long time. I don't wake up in a panic. It's just that I wake up and the first thought on my mind is "I'll die eventually." Fortunately, this does not lead to any panic, nor do I hold onto these thoughts throughout the day. In fact, I feel great once I get out of bed and get my day started. No worries!

If there were any doubt in my mind that anxiety is deeply rooted (there isn't), that doubt would be gone now. I'm sharing not because it bothers me, but to demonstrate that you don't have to be worried about anything in particular in order for anxiety to exist. I believe things like this were at the root of my regular panic and irrational fears previously.

It's extremely rare that I remember dreams, but it makes sense to me that waking up to these thoughts indicates that I likely dream about this stuff. On the other hand, it isn't affecting my sleep, so it's apparently not a big deal. I sleep well, and I feel well once I get up and around.

Self help was a lot of fun for me in some ways. I was quite successful in quelling a good bit of my anxiety, by myself. But I must say therapy was a huge step, and it is also extremely helpful in my case. I definitely attribute the therapy sessions I've had so far to my further success in overcoming the anxiety as a whole.

Do I worry about this stuff during the day? Nope! I may experience an intrusive thought while awake from time to time, but it never lingers anymore. Until I sleep, apparently. Haha! But it's all good. I'll take this ANY DAY over where I was a year or two ago!

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I’m so glad you don’t let these thoughts control you Bin. I too, have these intrusive thoughts at night. Unfortunately, Therapy hasn’t helped to to learn how to deal with them. As I age, my fear of death,is making my anxiety even worse. You seem to be doing so well. I’m very happy for you.

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Well, bin, thanks for sharing! And yes, there is always a root. My anxiety started exactly with that, a deep fear of dying prematurely! I was misdiagnosed when it all started and told with that particular diagnosis there is three months left and no treatment. That brought up some deep seated fears to the surface I wasn't even aware of. I always thought I was not afraid to die, well, I was wrong. I used to volunteer with people who were passing on and read a lot of books about dying. Did any of that help me when I thought it was my turn? Nope. 

I still don't want to die prematurely but it gives me comfort that none of us knows when it's our time. And in the meantime we have to live and not curl up in a ball of fear in some corner. Life is about living and facing our fears and even conquer them. Make peace with your fears. 

Also, I don't believe all my thoughts anymore. Thoughts are just that, thoughts and they can be triggered by a multitude of things, in our case a lot of them are triggered by a primitive part of the brain (fear). If we believe all our thoughts, I would be a rockstar with millions of dollars in my account and I would have died a thousand death with the anxiety thoughts. :D

I have learned not to take everything so seriously and not let my mind run with imaginary thinking whether it's the rockstar or the death scenario. 

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1 hour ago, Mrsrpmddo said:

I’m so glad you don’t let these thoughts control you Bin. I too, have these intrusive thoughts at night. Unfortunately, Therapy hasn’t helped to to learn how to deal with them. As I age, my fear of death,is making my anxiety even worse. You seem to be doing so well. I’m very happy for you.

Well, I had a jumpstart on therapy. I had done so much research on it, as well as on anxiety and the mechanisms behind it, that my therapist has considered me "advanced" from the beginning. Haha. What she (therapist) has really done for me is help me understand the things I researched that I couldn't make sense of. She also put many things into perspective, in a way that made sense to my individual case, rather than the generic explanation/understanding one gets from reading about it.

51 minutes ago, MsLLL said:

Well, bin, thanks for sharing! And yes, there is always a root. My anxiety started exactly with that, a deep fear of dying prematurely! I was misdiagnosed when it all started and told with that particular diagnosis there is three months left and no treatment. That brought up some deep seated fears to the surface I wasn't even aware of. I always thought I was not afraid to die, well, I was wrong. I used to volunteer with people who were passing on and read a lot of books about dying. Did any of that help me when I thought it was my turn? Nope. 

I still don't want to die prematurely but it gives me comfort that none of us knows when it's our time. And in the meantime we have to live and not curl up in a ball of fear in some corner. Life is about living and facing our fears and even conquer them. Make peace with your fears. 

Also, I don't believe all my thoughts anymore. Thoughts are just that, thoughts and they can be triggered by a multitude of things, in our case a lot of them are triggered by a primitive part of the brain (fear). If we believe all our thoughts, I would be a rockstar with millions of dollars in my account and I would have died a thousand death with the anxiety thoughts. :D

I have learned not to take everything so seriously and not let my mind run with imaginary thinking whether it's the rockstar or the death scenario. 

Woah, that's crazy! I'm happy that you were misdiagnosed in the sense that it meant you didn't have only about three months to live, but so sorry you went through that! That must have been one hell of a ride! If you don't mind, what happened with that misdiagnosis? You can PM if you don't want to share on the forum. Just curious what happened. Of course, you aren't obligated to share either way. :D

I also don't want to die prematurely. Let me make it into my 70s or 80s and it's possible I may welcome it. By then, I think I will have lived a very full life. I had my kids young. When my youngest is 18 and getting out into the real world, I'll only be 45 years old. LoL. By the time I'm 70, my youngest will be in her early 40s - well into her adult life. 😛

I also don't believe most of my thoughts anymore, when they're irrational or fearful. These things don't bother me anymore. I just find it interesting that these thoughts can still exist despite not being conscious of them. The human mind is a weird and wonderful machine. :)

Thanks a bunch, @MsLLL.

18 minutes ago, PennyPanic said:

@bin_tenn you are an inspiration and your posts ALWAYS help me. Thank you for sharing.

You're very welcome! I'm happy to know it helps you and others when I share things like that. That's mostly why I share it to begin with. Hope you're doing well!

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I don't mind sharing Bin. The doctor didn't know me and he had very old equipment. That didn't set well with me and my rational mind told me to trust my regular doctor with the best equipment a hospital can have. Long story short, my doctor was right all along and although my rational mind knew it at the time it triggered this heck of an anxiety ride sprinkled with some wonderful panic attacks. 

But we are here to face it and overcome. And we have:-) 

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My ENT physician once said to me, Marc, I just turned 65 and unfortunately as we all age more and more people will be going around us and we just have to hope we are not one of them. What he said did not make me feel any better. It made me grimace a bit, but I guess he is right. 

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2 minutes ago, MARC said:

My ENT physician once said to me, Marc, I just turned 65 and unfortunately as we all age more and more people will be going around us and we just have to hope we are not one of them. What he said did not make me feel any better. It made me grimace a bit, but I guess he is right. 

*threadjack* Thoughts like this are what make me fear growing old, despite desperately wanting to live. If I'm this anxious in my 30s, imagine what it will be like when I am older and legitimately closer to death. How will I handle my fear of dying then? */threadjack*

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Hi Angelica. My advice, enjoy living while you’re young. I also had horrible health anxiety in my late twenties and thirties. Everything I had I thought I was a goner. Now at 58,I’m so much worse. I so much wish I could go back to my younger days and have a redo. I wouldn’t worry, I’d live my life and enjoy it. I know it’s not easy, but I really think you can do it. I want so bad , to be able to not worry about every symptom, but the older I get I know I’ll worry more.

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8 hours ago, MARC said:

My ENT physician once said to me, Marc, I just turned 65 and unfortunately as we all age more and more people will be going around us and we just have to hope we are not one of them. What he said did not make me feel any better. It made me grimace a bit, but I guess he is right. 

Yep, and I remember you having told this in the past as well. It's simply a fact of life. What's worse, IMO, is when so many people your age lose their life when you're younger. I've known an abnormally large number of people around my age to pass unexpectedly. From accidents, to drug overdoses, to s****de. It sucks, but it happens.

8 hours ago, Angelica Schuyler said:

*threadjack* Thoughts like this are what make me fear growing old, despite desperately wanting to live. If I'm this anxious in my 30s, imagine what it will be like when I am older and legitimately closer to death. How will I handle my fear of dying then? */threadjack*

That's another reason I'm being so proactive in treating this anxiety now, while I'm just starting my 30s. If I can get a grip on it now, I think (and hope) I'll be much better off in 20-30 years, as opposed to not seeking proper help.

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