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Obsessing

(27 Posts)
Nanamarch1603 Fri 26-Jul-19 07:44:16

Hello everyone, I have found, especially as I get older that I cannot stop obsessing over things. This is mostly always something in “my world “ rather than the wider world as it were but I cannot stop turning it over and over in my head. A lot of the time it is over my health particularly as my mother suffers from motor neurone disease. How do I stop this constant cycle of obsessive thoughts which stop me sleeping or having free and light headed thoughts to enjoy my day. Thank you everyone

EmilyHarburn Fri 26-Jul-19 10:19:35

There are lots of thought stopping techniques. Find a therapist or work with advice from the internet that appeals to you. This may help you get started
www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uf9938

All the very best

Grannyknot Fri 26-Jul-19 10:25:25

Hi Nanamarch I was also going to say get yourself a rubber band smile

I think we can all cogitate or obsess about things from time to time.

A tip that I was given years ago is that every time you think of the worry, pick something that you can think of instead. For example if you worry that you might get MND, then push that thought out of the way by thinking about or visualising a bright red flower in your mind's eye. It sounds simple but it works.

If your obsessive thoughts stop you from sleeping you need professional help.

Good luck.

Slpotts53 Fri 26-Jul-19 10:26:53

I sympathise as I have suffered from health anxiety. It is so difficult. Cognitive behaviour therapy treatment helps and possibly medication. Advice from others to pull yourself together doesn’t help at all as people do not choose to feel this way. It’s usually rooted in childhood events and being very hard on oneself.
I do hope you feel better soon and can get some help. Please go and see your go who can help

Tigertooth Fri 26-Jul-19 10:31:52

If you can afford it then get health insurance so that you can nip worries in the bud. If not, just go to your GP if you have a weird symptom and get your worry ruled out.
You can get a huge amount of symptoms with health anxiety - quite severe ones actually - that army real.
No more panic.com is a fab forum to chat and learn about dealing with health anxiety.
For sleeping try you-tune “meditation sleep talk down” and listen to a meditation, listen to every word and it will block out negative thoughts and send you to sleep - some are too short - I like the 30-40 minute ones. Not all of the voices will appeal to you but once you’ve found one you like, they are great.
If you have a worry - deal with it head on.
I totally ruined my holiday last year obsessing in case I had bladder cancer because the go found a microscopic bit blood in my urine. I developed other symptoms after I’d googled them and ruined the holiday for everyone. I had a cystectomy when I got back - I was clear, and surprise surprise the symptoms went. I have loads of stories like that but now that I deal with it immediately and get checked, I am much better.
Tell your GP how you feel.
Good luck.

Disgruntled Fri 26-Jul-19 10:40:01

There's a Bach Flower Remedy called White Chestnut which is for unwanted thoughts going round and round the brain. flowers

annep1 Fri 26-Jul-19 10:43:05

An alternative to full health insurance is useful too. I find mine reassuring as if the waiting lists for tests is more than three weeks I can get them done privately. This helps me not to worry so much.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Fri 26-Jul-19 11:23:39

I'm sorry you're feeling this way nana- many of us have obsessive worries which we pick at, especially at night time when they can overwhelm us.
I lost my husband to MND nearly nine years ago and it was a very worrying time. Is there anyone you can talk to in real life who will understand?

Diane227 Fri 26-Jul-19 12:04:05

Disgruntled. Does this really work. I could do with a break from some unwanted thoughts. Things from way back still go around in my head.

Disgruntled Fri 26-Jul-19 12:31:26

It certainly seems to, Diane227. I've recommended it to several friends and clients and they've all said so. One client keeps it on her bedside table so that when she wakes at 3, she takes a few drops and goes back to sleep.

gillybob Fri 26-Jul-19 13:00:06

I know exactly what you mean about having obsessive thoughts Nanamarch as I suffer too. For me it’s normally in the middle of the night but can strike at any time making it almost impossible to concentrate on anything else but the awful thoughts that are invading my brain. I would be very interested to hear any ideas that have worked . smile

Daisymae Fri 26-Jul-19 13:17:08

Set aside some time to think about things eg. your health and what you intend to do about it - improve diet, exercise or whatever seems appropriate. Then find something much more interesting and absorbing to do. Walk, meet up with friends or find a new interest. Make the most of what you have.

Glammy57 Fri 26-Jul-19 13:44:25

I too, have this problem and the only thing that has helped me is medication. Anxiety has blighted my life since I was a child! My father was diagnosed with MND in the early eighties and I still worry that this awful illness will strike me. I find the MNDA very supportive. Please speak to your g.p concerning the obsessive thoughts and I’m sure they will offer constructive advice. 💐

25Avalon Fri 26-Jul-19 15:13:50

I find the middle of the night is the worst. I try to get my brain to concentrate on something else rather than trying to go to sleep and it not working. I get up, go to the loo, make myself comfortable in bed and do a very hard Sudoku, read a book or do word puzzles that require concentration for at least half an hour which seems to do the trick. Or as you are lying in bed try to remember as many girls names beginning with J for example which I find seems to work. Counting to 100 used to help, then counting backwards from 100 but I am so good at it now I do it on automatic pilot whilst my brain is carrying on obsessing!

BlueSky Fri 26-Jul-19 16:18:01

I had health anxiety all my life only one time it was called hypochondria and I didn't realise that was my problem. It ruined many holidays with my obsessing about symptoms, now if I have one I get it checked straight away. Somehow it got easier as I got older but nowadays with dr Google is even easier to convince yourself you have same deadly disease.I would have loved some magic pill to stop all the obsessive thoughts but my GP never gave them to me mentioning only CBT which is not what I wanted. But yes your first port of call is the GP.

SunnySusie Fri 26-Jul-19 17:45:54

Obsessive thoughts are often a sign of underlying anxiety. Quite simply you feel anxious and your brain looks around for a logical reason. I have suffered over the years with various forms of this - OCD and hypochondria included - but it really helped when I realised that whatever I was obsessing over was mostly just something my brain had dreamed up to explain away the unpleasant worrying feeling I had a lot of the time.

Dealing with the underlying chronic anxiety did require quite a lot of sessions with a private therapist which were not cheap because it wasnt CBT, but I have got on top of it all now. I know not everyone could afford the therapy and I was lucky I could.

I also find being really busy doing things which are focused on other people really helps. As an example I volunteer with the Royal Voluntary Service, taking a convenience trolley round ten wards each week at the nearest hospital. Once I have spoken to thirty or more patients, who often have actual really serious health problems, my own worries seem to shrink into insignificance. Its not depressing, nor does it make me worry I might end up with whatever they have got - in fact its quite amazing to see how people cope with adversity and very uplifting.

Nanamarch1603 Fri 26-Jul-19 18:41:39

Thank you everyone. It really helps to know I am now t alone with this. I have an appointment with my GP in a week’s time to discuss things. I have been down this route before and started CBT but that is not for me. I am not sure I can afford private therapy but wanted to know how you find one who would be helpful for my particular problem SunnySusie? I have also been looking for volunteering work and wondered about hospital volunteering but was worried it would add to my health anxiety. I think I will get in contact with them. Night time is the worst so I will try a few of the tips here.

mahy Fri 26-Jul-19 21:41:15

Try the serenity prayer.
grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change
the strength to change the things i can
and the wisdom to know the difference

It works for me.

crazyH Fri 26-Jul-19 21:43:28

Serenity prayer 👍

NanKate Fri 26-Jul-19 21:54:19

I meditate regularly (you can find lots on Youtube free) I particularly like ones by Jason Stephenson or The Honest Guys. These help with sleep and calm me down.

When I did a CBT course, which I know is not for you, but I did find 2 of their meditations good. In one meditation it taught me to realise that when I had very worrying/obsessive thoughts to imagine them contained in a coloured balloon and just floating in the air and then I would bring myself back to my breathing. The other one was to imagine I was by a stream and my worries would just float passed me. I still use these techniques.

Best of luck.

optimist Mon 29-Jul-19 11:29:42

I have found it so helpful to read about "health Anxiety/obsessing". I have never in the past 75 years had a problem with anxiety but now I do and it is usually (not always) related to my health. I have outlived my eldest son my parents and my husband. I have children and grandchildren and many many friends and activities that I enjoy. But I have to actively distance myself from health anxiety. I can see now that, in common with others my age, I could be often at the GP office - if I allowed myself (and could get an appointment). Currently its pains in my feet. And putting on weight. (diabetes?). Good to know that I am not alone in my neurosis.

annep1 Tue 30-Jul-19 22:35:35

A counsellor recommended Jason Stephenson on youtube.
I listened to 10 minutes of a guided meditation (beach walk) and almost fell asleep .
It was very good.

HootyMcOwlface Tue 30-Jul-19 22:46:53

I think to myself - “can I do anything about ‘it’ ?“ (whatever is going round in my head)
If no, then I say to myself (sternly!) to “stop thinking about it there’s nothing you can do, what will be will be” and I try to think of something else.
If yes, then I try to make a plan in my head of things I can do - and that helps a bit.

annep1 Wed 31-Jul-19 09:23:40

I've just seen your post NanKate
Agree, meditation is one of the most valuable things I have learnt.
I think its understandable to worry about health as we get older. But we have to manage the anxiety and enjoy life or we might as well give up.

dragonfly46 Wed 31-Jul-19 09:30:41

If it is any consolation I have recently been diagnosed with a life threatening illness and it is not nearly as frightening as the thought of it was. Now I just get on with it and realise I am being treated very well.