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Irritating Intrusive thoughts

Evening everyone, 


Will try not to make it a mamoth post so just a little background. Was diagnosed with Anxiety about 6 years ago.  Was put on anti-anxiety medication, although I will eventually stop taking it.  Up until 2 years ago, I was pretty much housebound due to my anxiety. Didn't have a license, didn't go anywhere. Would spend literally 2-3 weeks at home and not even go past my mailbox.  It was horrible and I finally had enough and sort help. I saw a fantastic therapist who just pulled me right out of the yucky headspace I was in.  After seeing her for about 6 months I went and got my license, started going out etc. Made friends with the other mums at school and the past 2 years have been alot ALOT better than what they were.  These last 6 months especially i have made some great friends, where I live, started a fitness challenge and have been going to workout classes with my girlfriends and have just been feeling alot better.   Unfortunately me and school holidays don't mix lol I just get out of routine and get into holiday mode and then just get stuck there.  My fitness classes are on holidays as well, so I haven't even had that.   Now the problem....  Without going into detail (because we literally don't have the space in there to go through it all!)  my parents and I have always had a tumultuous relationship. I grew up in a verbally abusive household, which until I was kicked out at 17, seemed normal.  So alot of my anxiety has come from that as well. My Self esteem issues etc seem to stem from that.  Past 3-4 weeks I've been having some issues with my mother. She's a painful woman to get along with.  It all came to a head the day before Christmas Eve and I pretty much spent hours in tears because of her and my fathers behaviour.  Its almost like I didn't have the time to properly digest all the crap, because the next morning was christmas eve and I had to drive 1.5 hours to my inlaws to celebrate christmas. It was so busy.  Then I get home Christmas night.  Since then, I've just been anxious.  And it's the really irritating intrusive thoughts.  Sometimes certain things can trigger me and this time its the Lady who murdered her children in Cairns and also, hearing about a friends brother killing himself.  I'm the sort of person who needs to know *why* people do things.  Hurting your kids in anyway, is just one of those things that I can't wrap my head around, ya know?  So then my mind goes into overdrive. What if I go crazy and try to hurt my kids? What if I go crazy and try to hurt myself? Oh my god, what happens if I become Suicidal? Oh my god could i be suicidal? and the thoughts just go around and around to the point where I am having to try and convince myself that I'm not going to do anything of the sort.  Apart from the stupid fightng with my parents, I'm happy. I love my life. I don't feel depressed, depression hasn't been my problem in the past, it's the anxiety thats been my problem.  I love my children and my hubby more than anything in the world and I have great friends and family.  But still its just like my brain isn't listening and its really frustrating because it just makes me more and more anxious ..... not really sure what else to say, so thanks for listening.

Re: Irritating Intrusive thoughts

Hi there @Sunny_Girl and welcome to ReachOut!! First things first, I had to edit your post because it violated our forum guidelines - don't stress too much about it, but in future make sure to come back to them when you're typing up a post.


It sounds like you've come a long way with your anxiety, to the point where you were able to have an enjoyable and fulfilling life with lots of friends and a new family, so kudos to you!! You managed what for most people would be really stressful and difficult, and you get so much out of it, which is all one can really ask for.

It sounds like visiting your parents has triggered your anxiety, and you mentioned yourself that you didn't have any time during the Christmas period to come to terms with what you went through and recover from it. You mentioned being prescribed medication for anxiety - are you still seeing the doctor/mental health professional who prescribed it to you? You could potentially bring up this trigger with them and discuss strategies to manage your anxiety if and when you ever have to visit your parents again. If not, I would recommend seeing a mental health professional.


To reduce your anxiety in the meantime, you could chat to someone using eheadspace or call Lifeline (13 11 14). We also have some information on anxiety, including managing stress, or of course you can always come back here Smiley Happy


Good luck, and keep us posted!!

Re: Irritating Intrusive thoughts

Hey there @Sunny_Girl,

Welcome to ReachOut. Smiley Happy Lots of people around here have had experiences with anxiety, so I'm sure you'll hear from a few people who can relate to what you're going through!

It sounds like you've done a lot of work in the past to get your anxiety under control. Going from someone who can't even leave the house to someone with a busy life, social group and exercise regime is such a great turnaround, well done.

You mentioned that you can sometimes struggle with holiday times, as your routine and good habits can fall away. (I can relate to that!). Plus Christmas can be an extra stressful time if you have tensions with your family, as you mentioned. I guess it's not surprising that your anxiety is playing up a bit!

What's worked for you before when you had to pull out of a holiday slump? Maybe you can put one or two of those in place each day to start getting out of holiday mode.

The Reachout fact sheet on worrying has some links to tips on meditating and mindfulness, which you might find useful.

Do you still see the counsellor who helped you so much? Might be worth having a checkin with her too.


Good luck!


Re: Irritating Intrusive thoughts

Hi Safari, thanks for the reply!  I stopped seeing my Psych last year. I'm the sort of person who is a hard worker, so it was like once I was given the tools to fix the problem, I just ran with it and worked my butt off, ya know?   But maybe, seeing as I am going to come off the medication completely, I might give her a ring and see about some 'refresher' sessions.  Alot of the time when i was seeing her, and going through really bad bouts of anxiety, my rational mind knew that my anxiety was creating the irrational thoughts and I could see how irrational not being able to leave the house because i was scared of vomitting in public or fainting in public, was.  But the minute I would go and see my Psychologist and she would explain it to me, I would be like yep ok, rationally I knew that, but i just needed to hear it from her mouth lol  I guess I need to find a way to deal with having y parents in my life, without it affecting my progress.  I mean, I work for my father, so not having them in my life at all, would mean quitting my job.  And I feel like I need to have them in my life because my girls are their grandchildren. So its all tricky and annoying I guess. My progress is the most important thing to me, because i've come so far and worked so damn hard and I guess I'm just scared of relapsing. 

Re: Irritating Intrusive thoughts

@Sunny_Girl I think going for those refresher sessions would be a great idea!! You already highlighted that it would be important in the event that you do go off your medication in the future. I also think that if you want to still be in contact with your father and have to work for him bringing this up would be helpful.


It's a really complicated situation you're in, but the fact that you're so self-aware is really great!! Keep us posted on what you decide to do Smiley Happy

Re: Irritating Intrusive thoughts

Hey @Sunny_Girl welcome to reachout! Wow you have done a really awesome job of dealing with the anxiety!


I totally understand the irrational thoughts, I used to have them quite a lot and still do sometimes! I also take the anxiety meds and was diagnosed likewise. 


What type of techniques have you tried to deal with these thoughts?


I used to try to 'take the wind out the sails' of the thoughts by actually intentionally wanting them to happen - for example, I used to be really scared that I would sleep walk and while doing so I would harm my brothers, so I would tell myself "tonight I'm going to do my best to sleep walk and attack my brothers, in fact I'm going to sleep walk and harm my brothers more times than I did last night! Perhaps I'll even set a PB!"  No matter how much I intended to harm my brothers, it just wouldn't happen! The thoughts just ended up seeming funny and the more I tried the more I realized I wasn't in danger of it happening. 


I had so many others too - many I won't share on reachout and they all now sound hilarious to me, but I understand how at the time they can seem very rational! 


You sound like a really caring and compassionate mother, and also a great role model with so much to offer to your family!


If you are really worried you'll go crazy and hurt you children - Have you ever tried going crazy before? Perhaps you could try your hardest for 30 seconds to go crazy by yourself? Really try to lose the plot, I guarantee you won't go crazy and it'll be very funny (You could even get your husband to watch!).


Also, you mention that what if you become suicidal.  I was wondering if you could tell me why you aren't suicidal?


Often these thoughts don't hold any real weight and only seem rational when you interpret them in an anxious state.  Perhaps these thoughts result from the anxiety? Do they occur when you are calm and not anxious? They would also add to the anxiety and create a nasty circle of inducing more anxiety and more obsessional thoughts. 


It really sounds like they are just obsessions, so rather than trying to fight them away, you could try and test some of them out? When you do, it really helps if you can laugh at them - try to make it as funny as you can!


Good luck and let us know how it goes