Anxiety and Overthinking Everything
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.
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.
Peterson, T. (2015, December 31). Anxiety and Overthinking Everything, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, June 3 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/12/anxiety-and-over-thinking-everything
Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Hi. I am male 34 living in India. I have severe anxiety talking with even people I know. They can be my senior cousins or my elder uncles. Whoever is outside of my family. I fear mostly teasing and pulling a leg thinking that they will not like that considering they are elder to me. I am happy when I am natural. However, anxiety stops me from enjoying the moment fully because it keeps me shut, it keeps me from conversing at my full potential. I have no ill will but I fear the reactions of my cousins and uncle/aunt. I fear that they would react harshly when I tease them. And say that it is inappropriate. I feel like being admonished like a kid. I have always kept to myself mostly. And remained anxious for so many years since childhood.
Sometimes (many times) family can cause great anxiety for many different reasons. When family members, especially older ones in a special role, judge us negatively, it can cause anxiety and withdrawal. Sometimes, putting family opinions aside temporarily (you can still respect them in their role) and exploring who you are and how you want to be can reduce anxiety. You have a chance to know yourself without feeling wrong about your discoveries. One way to do this is to examine your unique strengths and find ways you want to use them. Check out www.viacharacter.org for a high-quality self-test and information. Also, because you have been dealing with this for so long and because it comes from family, it can be helpful to work with a therapist. If you don't have easy access to a therapist, you can try an online service such as betterhelp.com or talkspace.com. Truly, you don't have to be stuck with this severe anxiety forever.
Know that you aren't alone in this. So many people have a hard time around what you describe that there are indeed books to help. The other reason there are books is because it is possible to overcome this and thrive. If it were hopeless, there wouldn't be any books!
Something that stood out to me in what you wrote was the fact that you have a new job and have recently experienced traumas. While I would never dish out a diagnosis, I will say that these are elements of adjustment disorder or even adjustment-related stress if it's not a full-blown disorder. Even positive change can lead to adjustment stress/disorder. This is something that is temporary when you have help dealing with it. That help can be in book form. There aren't many books about adjustment disorder out there. One good (but short) one is Adjustment Disorder: When You Can't Cope with Change by J.B. Snow. Learn more here: http://amzn.to/2FkS7Pq. That title sounds a bit off-putting in my opinion. But if you can get past the harsh "When you can't cope with change" part, the information is good.
Another good title to look into is Thriving with Social Anxiety: Daily Strategies for Overcoming Anxiety and Building Self Confidence by Hattie Cooper.
Another one that is helpful with overthinking, self-confidence, adjustment, and more is Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 Steps: http://amzn.to/2FlaPqu. I should disclose that I am the author of this one. However, I make nothing from the sales and have nothing to gain at all by telling you about this book. I believe strongly in acceptance and commitment therapy so I'm just listing this with the other two.
I hope this list gives you a good start. You're on the right track already. You've taken two important steps: you decided you want to break your current patterns (that's a big decision that not everyone makes), and you're seeking information to do it. Keep at it!
I am 30 years old, and I have recently changed careers. I'm starting to see very negative patterns of thinking where my job performance is concerned. I've been through a few traumatic events in recent years (from being told I had performance issues job wise to being stalked), and I find myself consistently overthinking what I and other people say and do. I have a hard time trusting my co workers and opening up to them about work related things. I am constantly worried that I am going to do the wrong thing and be fired. I have similar issues with relationships as well, but those are more rooted in insecurity and feeling like I don't have anything to offer another person. I have a tendency to pull people close then push them away.
I am looking for books or techniques that will help me break these patterns of negative thoughts and over come my over thinking. I think I'd be a happier and healthier person. Previous therapists haven't always been helpful, and I am not in a position in my life to be able to afford therapy. Any advice you give would be greatly appreciated.
my name is willy im 21. i have relationship problem with my girlfriend. She had been overthinking in our relationship and question the feeling of mine. She overthink stuff very easily . i feel that she didnt feels secure inside her even though im trying to give her security as much as i could. We been loving each other very much but we argue very often. She been keeping her overthink to herself and refuse to talk about it every time i ask about it. Im very tired and so she does but its our first love and we dont want to break up, we are so important to each other. Could you suggest me some way to overcome my problem?
Relationships are difficult! Add anxiety and insecurity to the mix, and "difficult" doesn't describe them adequately. It sounds like you have a healthy perspective, seeing both the positives and negatives. Know that the feelings you are experiencing are very normal. I have a resource to share with you that you might want to look into. It's a book called Anxious in Love: How to Manage Your Anxiety, Reduce Conflict, and Reconnect with Your Partner (the Amazon link is http://amzn.to/2AGQU1v -- it's just so you can look. I'm not trying to sell! I have nothing to do with this book.) It's written more to the person with anxiety, but it is suitable for both people in the relationship. I haven't read this particular book, but I have read other books by one of the authors (Carolyn Daitch). I like her work. This might be something for you to read first to gain some insights and tips, and it's also a good one to read with your girlfriend and talk about with her. This book won't advise you to stay together or tell you to break up (at least it *shouldn't* give you advice like that). But it will help you communicate, give you strategies to try, and ultimately see if the relationship causes more stress than good times. Most of Daitch's books are available in libraries, so you might be able to check it out rather than purchasing it. You seem very caring and solution-focused. Those are very positive qualities. Know that if you decide to break up, those qualities will still remain. Sometimes staying together is best, and sometimes breaking up is best. By exploring this, you can be confident that whichever path you take, it's the right one for you both.
hi,tanya i am 17 years old and i started to think over on every single situation.
when i was about 14 i started to over think and talk to myself about situations....
but now i know i thinked in a wrong way..i want to recover
from it but its so stressfull how my inner voices are
stressing me....please help me i am in problem...
what can i do to controll my mind annd inner voices...?
Overthinking in this way is very stressful. One important place for you to start overcoming this is to know that you haven't thought in a wrong way. It can feel that way, but that's part of the way anxiety makes us think. It's easier said that done, but it's important not to judge yourself so negatively. A simple way to begin doing this (it won't completely solve the problem, but it's a great way to start): whenever you are thinking negative thoughts, overthinking something, etc. stop yourself and say "I'm having the thought that..." (So if you think "I shouldn't have said that," change it to (I'm having the thought that I shouldn't have said that.") It shifts your thinking and distances yourself, sending the subtle message that it's only a thought rather than a truth. This comes from acceptance and commitment therapy. This is an approach that helps people deal with challenges like overthinking. This article can give you more information: https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/07/stop-avoiding-anxiety-acce…
I do have a question for you. You mentioned inner voices. This means different things to different people. For you, are inner voices the thoughts you are telling yourself, or are they statements that you can hear, things that are talking to you? If you are actually hearing voices talking to you, or if you aren't sure, visit the Hearing Voices Network: https://www.hearing-voices.org/. You'll find a lot of information to help you know if this is what you're experiencing and, if this is it, information about what to do and where to find help.
Whatever the cause of your thoughts/overthinking, help is available. You don't have to be bothered by this forever.
Hello im Alondra 16 from Texas I have and have had friends that suffer with mental illnesses and I always encourage them to open up and look at the better things in life and in themselves.I feel like a hypocrite because I tell them to do this but don’t do it for myself, I constantly feel pressured to be the best in class because I feel that if I don’t I’m never gonna get anywhere even tho I have great grades and do well in school. This might be due to the fact that I tend to overthink everything all the smallest thing for example when driving I always think the worst like what if I died right now. Thought like this have brought me to the point if crying and constant stress. I feel like I should look for professional help but I’m afraid to because what if it’s not something big and I’m just being dramatic I don’t know what to do anymore with always being stressed and always being a big procrastinator I feel like I’ll get nowhere and all my hard work will go to waste.
It's great that you encourage friends to open up! And you're not a hypocrite for having a hard time opening up yourself. Doing so is really difficult. It's also common for people of all ages to wonder if they're making too big a deal out of what they're experiencing. When you feel pressure to be the best, it can become even more difficult. I think it is very reasonable, and very important, to seek professional help. When your anxiety gets in the way of your life, seeking professional help can help get you back on track, so you are in control of the worries instead of worries being in control of you. You can also reign in that perfectionism and performance anxiety that just might be at the root of your other worries. :)
Hi tanya, and every other phsycholigist/therapists, on this website!. my name is Emma Flannery, and i am a 17 year old Polish-American girl, that lives in Australia!!!!! Which i hate sooooooooooo much!!!!!!!! Words literally can't discribe how much i hate it!!. and i am severely stuck in my brain everyday!!!!!, and right now i am overthinking about what someone was going to say, because they didn't finish what they were saying!. And i have tried what you said to do Tanya! but it isn't working!!! Well i should say, it does work, but only temperarely..! I've always had this!, but the past roughly, about a couple of weeks it's been really really reeeally bad!, and unmanagible!. It's getting a bit more worse, as the day goes on!, every day!!!. Please help me!!!, is there medication i can take?, Or at least some form of help. i can't take any kind of therapy, unless it's medication therapy, that's if medication therapy even exists!. as i am not willing to do it, in Australia, as i don't trust Australia (the people,) unless they share the same views as me!. Like for example, Australia is mostly not a good country. exedra exedra. Don't get me wrong everyone, literally everyone, is etitled/has a right, to their own opinion!. But it's just that i have suffered a lot of trauma in Australia!, and by the people!. It's nothing personal!. As i was saying.. I got quite a bit of track there. Is there any medication that i can take??, or at least something to either stop, or at least make this managible!. Thanx for any proffesional who'll take the time to read and answer this comment!. This may sound extreamly racist!!, but it's not racist!. and it's perfectly fine and understandable if you take offence to it. As i was going to say, don't want any Australian's Answering this, or even just reading this. your allowed and entitled to like anything to do/asociated with Australia, and the people, and to be proud of being Australian. but if you do/are, then i am genuinly am sorry!, but i don't want you reading or anwsering this comment. it is because i have suffered an eeextream amount of trauma, including really really really complex trauma!!!! Words can't even describe how much trauma i have experianced!!. And words also can't describe how bad the trauma is!!. And i am extreamly extreamly confused!!!!!, Words can't even begin to describe how much i'm confused!!. So someone pleeeeeease help me!!!!!! I am sooooooooooo desprerate!!!!! Any help is appreciated!. ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
When i say i am stuck in my my brain, i mean i am overthinking, and my that my thoughts are going around in loops!. I just wanted to let you know, and for my own piece of mind, that you know what i mean by that!. And see this is another thing, i have to, ask someone if they understood what i ment, by what i said!. Cos if i don't then i get really really really stressed and overthink heaps!!. So could you also please help me with this as well!??. Please, thanx!.??????????????
I've been diagnosed with panic disorder 5 months ago. I'm stuck in a rut and unhappy with my current career and personal life. I started getting very bad panic attacks every time I think about the future because I keep overthinking a scenario in which I realise my life is too dull and can't possibly bear with it another 40 years and want to end it all. I've been doing CBT for 4 months but my therapist isn't able to help me overthinking this scenario. It started to seem more and more real and it is the main fuel of my anxiety. Any tips?
I have what might be good news. The key to moving past your overthinking and anxiety is in your message. Feeling stuck and unhappy with major aspects of your life is a HUGE contributing factor to anxiety. Many times -.people don't even realize this right away, but it sounds like you do -- which is another bit of good news. You've actually begun your journey to where you want to be. It just doesn't feel like it at the moment. It's very normal for people in similar situations. While you do feel stuck, the idea of the unknown can keep you right where you are. And changing careers or making big family changes is scary. It's often helpful to set thoughts about the future aside at first, other than creating goals and visions for what you want. Have a vision and then create an action plan to work toward it, and also live in the present moment. Do things every day to make good moments, and every day work toward your plan.
Also, don't worry about CBT not fully working. It can be great and very helpful, but it's not helpful for everyone and every situation, including your situation. You might want to look into solution-focused therapy or acceptance and commitment therapy. They're both goal and action-oriented to move your forward and reduce anxiety. You will be able to take charge of things, and you won't feel stuck forever!
I do want to mention one other thing. You made a comment about wanting to end it all sometimes. If you ever feel that way, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for help and- support. Contact them to chat at suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call 1-800-273-8255.
Hello my name is Ben, I’m 19yrs old and I am constantly worrying and overthinking everything. I have turned to self harm only a couple times. I have not been diagnosed with anything and I feel that I should talk to a professional but I just can’t get myself to go. My problem is that I worry about every little possible thing. I am really bad when it comes to overthinking. It gets so bad I get bad body pains everywhere. I’ve had enough living in darkness with a flood of negative thoughts. I am not sure what to do, it is hard for me to look at anything positively.
I'm sorry to read that anxiety is plaguing you like this. I'm wondering if you also have some depression mixed in. Anxiety and depression often occur together and make each other worse. I certainly would never attempt to diagnose you! I just notice a mix of both anxiety and depression in what you described, and it might be worth looking into just to discover the best possible treatment. You're very wise in thinking about talking to a professional. Mental health professionals can guide you in overcoming challenges like this and discover a path to living your life fully. You might consider examining what's keeping you from going (many people are hesitant to see a professional and/or are so consumed by their symptoms that they can't do it -- so what you're experiencing is very normal.) Sometimes it's helpful to list reasons why you don't want to/can't get yourself to go. Then list all of the ways that you might benefit from going. Does the second list override the first? Having a specific purpose in mind can help you move forward even when you don't think you can. You've had enough of living in darkness -- now let yourself move out of it!
Hey, I have mega anxiety to where I drive myself to feeling sad all the time or stressed by overthinking situations I think that could really affect my life and I want to talk to someone about it but I it’s rather personal and I would rather not bay tips on how to cope with it yourself? Or how to prevent thinking about it all together.
Two great approaches for self-help are also approaches therapists use with clients. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Solution-Focused Therapy are excellent. I use both approaches in my daily life. I started them when I was working to overcome horrible anxiety, and now they're a part of my general wellbeing. These two links take you to posts to each one just to give you a general idea about them. Check out an article about ACT here https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/07/stop-avoiding-anxiety-acce… and an article about solution-focused therapy here: https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2014/06/five-solution-focused-ways….
Talking to someone about your anxiety could be very helpful to you. If you are uncomfortable talking to someone in person, there are online organizations that offer therapy and a safe, neutral place to let your down. TalkSpace.com and BetterTherapy.org are two of the online offerings that are professional and reputable. You've already taken the first step in reducing anxiety -- you're seeking information and reaching out. Keep going! Anxiety doesn't have to negatively affect your life forever.
Hey Tanya, I have had anxiety since I was i was 25, I am now 61, I first got anxiety when I was 25 and went through a trauma, and had to be put on medicine for anxiety and depression, I then went through Alot of mental and fiscally abuse, that lead me into harsher anxiety, got put on different anxiety medicine, I took it for years and it was helping me Alot, I am 61 now and I am having a very harsh time with anxiety and ocd, because they took away my anxiety medicine a few months ago. I am going now through what feels like anxiety hell every min im awake, and constant severe ocd with it, I've tried so hard to get my medicine back, but noone will help me, and I don't know if I can possibly do this any longer, I am so scared and feel like im going to end up in a pschy ward, I have went to therapy off and on since 1992, and it did help Alot until the pschy Dr took my medicine away, I don't know what to do to get myself out of this what feels like a nightmare, help me if you can
I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with anxiety and ocd right now. I think it's great that you are looking for help and solutions -- it means you're not giving up no matter how bad things are right now! Things don't have to stay miserable. It usually takes time for the body and brain to adjust to a change in medication. Be patient with yourself during this transition period and knw that the higher-than-normal anxiety is part of the process of stopping medication. Being patient and accepting won't change your anxiety levels quickly, but it will help you deal with all of it.
Having support could go a long way toward overcoming this intensified anxiety and ocd. Working with a therapist can help people immensely. This number helps people find therapists in their area: 1-800-843-7274. You can also use therapist finders on PsychologyToday.com or GoodTherapy.org. Online counseling services like TalkSpace..com or BetterHelp.com. Finally, if you have a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) office in your area, they could be a great resource The offer support, classes, and know helpful community resources. I know that having anxiety can make these things hard to do. But if you start small and choose to find support in just one way, and then gradually add to what you're doing, you'll notice that it no longer feels like you're living in a nightmare.
Hi. I have a problem with morning anxiety, I wake with a churning stomach and shaky and have to the loo. I am not eating as much because of this, but by the evening I feel fine. But the I dread going to bed as I know I will wake up feeling dreadful again. I have been che ked out by doctors, so I seem to be stuck in a horrible rut with this. I thare anything that you can suggest for me please.
Morning anxiety is a common, and frustrating, experience. Your description of it being a rut is very insightful, and you might not have realized it, but it can be the way out of it! Morning anxiety becomes part of a cycle of dread. You feel horribly anxious in the morning and dread going to bed at night because of what the morning will bring. To break the cycle, begin with the nighttime dread. Having a nightly ritual where you get comfortable, maybe light a candle or use an essential oil diffuser to stimulate your sense of smell which positively impacts the brain. Then, write down three things that you're grateful for (or three things that went well) from your day. Next, write down three things you're looking forward to tomorrow, no matter how small they are. You can end with a positive statement about yourself (also called an affirmation) that reminds you of your ability to get past morning anxiety. These thoughts will come to replace dread of the morning. Put your notebook beside your bed and when you wake up, redirect your thoughts by reading what you wrote the previous night. When you do this consistently, it can replace morning anxiety with morning positivity.
Hii Tanya ,my problem is verry painfull to me day by day .I overthink in every single thing .I look every single thing as a problem.if I don't get a answer or solution.i feel like anxiety. Like my study problem or other things like someone said me then I thought why he or she said me and I constantly thought about these things.please help me.
Overthinking this way absolutely causes problems. I know this from experience. I also know that it can get better! Two things you might want to look into are great for this kind of overthinking: acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness. (Mindfulness is a part of ACT, but it also is a healing approach on its own.) These articles might be helpful in giving you a bit of background: https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/07/stop-avoiding-anxiety-acce… and https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/anxiety/using-mindfulness-for-anxiety-here-s-how/
Also, working with a therapist can be very helpful too. In-person therapy has many benefits, but online counseling is available, too. GoodTherapy.org and TalkSpace.com are two reputable organizations.
You can absolutely do things to decrease anxiety and overthinking everything.
I'm 69 male going through sevre anxiety and dipression( MDD and GAD) besides many physical issues like sevre eyes and digestion and body/joint pains and headache issues.
My mental sickness became treatment resistant as so many AD tried but nothing help. Sleepless ness now is major problem. I did CBT more then 12 sessions and even ECT six sessions, nothing help. Right now going through sevre emotional stress and anxiety with completly racing mind with nagative thoughts. I can't stop it inspite all efforts. I can't sleep also for many nights, even taking Clonazipan 1.25mg at night but it stoped helping to sleep. I don't know what to do and how to relax for a while. Seriously needs your guidance and help. My body feels and remained under sensation 24/7 with a feeling that some thing burning running in my blood veins.... I really feel a current like feeling contineously. Now fed up and tired. Feeling helpless, hopeless, worthless, sleepless, supportless, isolated, clueless.... not able to think or get of the bed and house. Due side effects dry eye n other eye related issues with digestion issues are adding further fuel to existing condition. Further my mind multiply every little things by 1000?times and fuel my anxiety, stress and worries. Off course I have some sevre family problems with my married children with whom I n my wife live as dependant. My wife is also very sick. My younger son and his wife are very sick due car accident this week.... these all things frustrat me too much and I can't think anything.
I'm sorry, you may edit my moderate and edit my comments bcz I m sure you understand where I'm coming from and what is my current position, issues and possible solutions and help. Kindly help me Taniya, I seriously needs your help. Email me with your reply asap. God bless you. Thanks giving holidays passed with lots of pains and now Christmas and new year holidays are ahead and my life will be miserable besides my sickness will be additional problems for my families. Help me please.
I'm sorry to read of all that you are experiencing. It sounds like you have some long-standing difficulties and now new ones added plus a difficult time of year. This can make everything seem insurmountable. Sorting this out with a therapist could be extremely helpful. In-person is always great, but it's not always possible. There are also online services like GoodTherapy.org or TalkSpace.com. In the meantime, of course you want to start feeling better right away. I have a question for you to think about: If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing, what would you change? What would be better, and how would you know it is better? Now, what small things can you do every day to make that one thing improve? (Okay, that was more than one question!) The idea behind this is that you get to start doing something, even if it's small, right away to start making things better. Also, it helps you prioritize and make a series of small goals. It can be very overwhelming and nearly impossible to address everything all at once. But by breaking it up into manageable goals, you can make improvements that add up to a big difference. You absolutely can get better!
Hello Tanya! how are you? i was wondering if i could have some of your spear time because i'm frustrated with the excessive thinking and anxiety, and like you said I always think someone is looking at me or is just staring at me then i turn and they are not. I also think a lot during class its been happening for years now and now im in high school and i need to pay attention but i just can't i try to pay attention yet i can't and its bringing my grades down. I just have tried so much to stop the thinking im so frustrated I've just given up i feel horrible and i feel like their is no other way my grades are droppping and i have gotten a therapist but she's not familiar with the overthinking and were coming up with ways to fix it. please please please help me i don't know what to do anymore please!
Please reply to this. I have always been overthinking but I just noticed it grows with me as I get older. I am 29 y now and I can tell this is the worst anxiety feelings I ever had. It affects me physically. I have headache all day. I feel nausea. It just won't stop and there is nothing particular that I am worried about. I don't enjoy things anymore and I feel I might be depressed. I tried to talk to my family about it but they laughed at me. No one actually cared. My biggest fears are two: failures and death. I just can't take my mind over these two and I think my fear of them is killing my joy and happiness in everything I do. When I think of death I am always afraid of losing the people I love in my life. It's not common where I live to openly talk about feelings or seek a doctor's help. I just don't know what to do. Do you think taking medicine like xanaxs helps in my situation?
I'm sorry you didn't receive a positive reaction from your family when you tried to talk to them. Please don't let this stop you from seeking help. Have you looked into online counseling, such as GoodTherapy.org or TalkSpace.com (there are others as well). Not everyone can easily go to a doctor or therapist, and these services offer a way to do it when there are barriers in the way. These services are given by qualified professional therapists. It might be worth looking into. As far as medication, I can't assess whether it would be helpful for you. Each person is unique, and everyone reacts differently to medication, plus there are so many different medications for anxiety and depression. Doctors and a small handful of other healthcare professionals are the only ones who can safely help with medication. Perhaps look into online therapy and see if seeing a doctor for medication would enhance therapy. This anxiety and possible depression probably feel miserable now, but they don't have to last forever.
Thank you for this post. I think I have been experiencing anxiety as far back as I can remember. The thing is I was sexually abused by a very close family member when I was very young and so I don't know if that's where this depression/anxiety stems from. Even the rain bothers me. I worry about everything that's going on in the world. Its like I don't know who I am. I just need to find myself so I can live a meaningful life.
Anxiety and depression can indeed stem from the abuse you experienced. In counseling, there are different attitudes, stemming from different things research indicates (there are no single, simple answers when it comes to humans!). Some believe that it's important to resolve issues from the past abuse before moving forward. Others say that's not important and can be harmful. I think both have a degree of truth depending on the person. To me, it also seems like you have found your own path to dealing with anxiety and depression, and you might not realize how important your words are! You said that you don't know who you are and you need to find yourself so you can find a meaningful life. Right on!!! :) Your words resonate with me because I really believe in that approach. What happened to you is terrible, Give yourself a chance (and time) to explore yourself/your life. What brings you meaning? What are your values and passions? What little things can you do every day to incorporate them into your life, piece by piece. You just might find that you replace anxiety and depression with purpose and joy. (A good starting point might be to look at your character strengths. Check out http://www.viacharacter.org/www/ if you'd like to know more about your strengths.
I have always been a worry wart but this summer it really consumed me. My son had an xray and it read it was bad on line. I started reading all different articles and called different dentist offices. It made me a nervous wreck, I think I had a panic attack at night. I had anxiety about 5 years ago but some how got over it. When I had the panic attack it scared me and I got scared that I didn't want to feel like last time. I went to the doctor this time and she gave me meds, (xanax, prozac that I took for a month and effexor that I only took for two days. I don't like taking meds. I don't know if it was the meds or anxiety but my mind wont stop racing. I'm not worry about the xrays now but I feel like I'm getting depressed and don't care (that is giving me more anxiety). How can I go from caring so much to this in three months. Do you think I will ever get back to myself?
I can confidently say that yes, I do think you will get back to yourself. It probably doesn't feel like it right now, but this anxiety won't last. You got over it before, and you can do it again. You might not know exactly what you did last time, but there were things that you did that worked. Typically, anxiety doesn't just randomly disappear. It might be worthwhile to think back to that time and see if you can identify things you did that worked, even if they're small. It's usually the small things that are the most powerful. The following link will take you to our section on anxiety self help. Down the left side is a list of all of the anxiety self-help articles. There might be information in there that could be useful to you. Be patient with yourself as you go through this process of beating anxiety. https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/anxiety/what-is-anxiety-self-help/
One last thing. Anxiety does make people go from one extreme to the other in a matter of months. That's one of the things that is so horrible about it. Remember that you do care. This anxiety is just blocking your positive feelings because it has taken over. That doesn't mean that you aren't the same person underneath!
Hi. I'm sharvani. I keep overthinking about everything single thing. Anything that sets me off I keep obsessing for hours and days. I've had obsessions about a matter for months and even years.... In a drawn out matter of course. These obsessions may or may not have to do anything.with me. It disturbs me. Makes me depressed. Disrupts everyday tasks
Obsessive thoughts can really take over, exactly as you describe. Because they're so disruptive, they aren't easy to get rid of. But the good news is that you can, over time, get rid of them and live your life without being so affected by them. Working with a therapist is typically the most effective way to deal with obsessive thoughts. If you don' t have easy access to professional therapists, there are good options becoming available online such as talkspace.com or goodtherapy.org. With support, you can overcome obsessive thoughts.
Hi there! I am sorry to disturb . But everyday I am overthinking about small things. Which really distract me, affecting my focus and my quality of life. Making me feel anxious everyday. May I know if there is any more tips that you can teach me how to overcome overthinking and anxiety .
Hi maam! I am just concerned with a friend of mine, he has been experiencing this anxiety/overthinking wherein he needs to solve a problem because if he dont then there will be a consequence like something bad will happen. It happens to him all the time and he now feels very exhausted and worried about it. Is there any explanation about his situation or any solution to it? Thanks!!
I would never try to give a diagnosis this way or even try to fully explain because without knowing him, my doing that could be really harmful. So this isn't a diagnosis! :) But I'll make the observation that what you describe could be related to obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD is complex, and there are many criteria that have to be met for OCD to be diagnosed. What I noticed were his thoughts about negative consequences happening if he doesn't complete a problem. While this can only be diagnosed by a professional, you and he might want to do some reading about OCD to see if it is fitting. If not, then you've ruled something out and can go back and look at other symptoms. HealthyPlace has a lot of articles/info on OCD. This link takes you to the page that has all of the articles linked: https://www.healthyplace.com/ocd-related-disorders/
This is such a great help! Thank you Ms. Tanya!
Hi Tanya, I love that this article is old however your still replying to so many people. My anxiety took an ugly turn a couple of months ago with intrusive thoughts and those have subsided but now I can not stop thinking I might be going crazy. I know this can be another part of my OCD but it is giving me headaches and I can't stop crying. I just want my life back before I got anxiety in July. Never had if before so I am hoping I can over come these thoughts. I have kids who need me.
Hi Carina! I'm always happy to reply. I'm glad that people are still reading this article. :) You are right. Feeling like you're going crazy can be a part of anxiety, including the anxiety of OCD. I can make a bold prediction that you will get your life back because you have a sense of purpose -- you have kids, you have a life that you want "back." It is having purpose that is a big part of recovery. That said, overcoming anxiety isn't necessarily quick. It's challenging but possible. Have you heard of an app called nOCD? It's a free app that helps in OCD treatment. More info is here: http://bit.ly/2g2ws6y. Also, cognitive behavior therapy (http://bit.ly/2io31u6) and acceptance and commitment therapy (https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/07/stop-avoiding-anxiety-acce…) can be very helpful in taking back your life and thoughts from anxiety. The links are to informative articles about each that might offer a good starting point. You can do things that will get you back to where you want to be.
I dont know if this is my anxiety, bipolar, or ptsd. I am over thinking situations and second guessing myself on things that I know are true. I over think day and night all of the time. Im exhausted. Can you possibly tell me hats going on?
Overthinking seems to be a human trait. Then, get anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD in the mix, and it can quickly feel chaotic and out of control. It's definitely exhausting. Have you considered working with a professional therapist? Doing so can help you get to the root(s) of the problem and then find ways to overcome it that are tailored to your unique personality and situation? While you are finding the right therapist, you can do things like practicing mindfulness to keep your attention focused on what you are doing in the moment rather than remaining focused on racing thoughts. All three of the things you're dealing with are likely contributing to overthinking. It's a lot! So do consider working with a professional.
I've had anxiety for several years and its only getting worse. Its gotten so bad that i overthink every single thing. I can over think something i said, something someone else has said or even something i saw. It never goes away its constantly there. I always feel miserable because of this. Sometimes i can feel happy for a few minutes then i'm overthinking again and i'm right back to feeling miserable. I also can think of something that either makes me sad or angry then i forget about it and i'm happy for a bit but while i'm happy i have it at the back of my head that something is bothering me and i remember what it was and i feel miserable again. I'm desperate for any advice at all. please help!
Anxiety that lasts so long can be so frustrating and disheartening. The anxiety is stubborn. It finds a way to get to you, and it won't let go. It is often helpful to work with a therapist of other mental health professional when it comes to chronic anxiety. You can receive fresh insights and tools to reduce your anxiety. The article Chronic Anxiety: Managing Chronic Anxiety Symptoms might have some useful insights: https://www.healthyplace.com/anxiety-panic/gad/chronic-anxiety-managing-chronic-anxiety-s…
I'm having a really hard time over coming my thought process I'm always over thinking every thing but it's always negative I just recently lost my boyfriend because I can't just be happy I'm always thinking the worst thoughts when I'm not even given any reason too I'm trying really hard to over this because I don't want to lose my best friend but my over thinking wins Everytime and I'm stuck I don't know what to do please help me or lean me in the right direction to make a change and help me understand.
Anxiety and negative thinking really can wreak havoc on our lives. Believe it or not, you are already moving in the direction of overcoming this because you have such great insight into what's going on. This insight doesn't always come easily, but without it it's even more difficult to move forward. This is a big deal. Own it! :)
There are different approaches that research shows to be effective with anxiety and overthinking/negative thinking. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and solution-focused therapy (sometimes called solution-focused brief therapy or SFBT) are all approaches that have been shown to be successful. One isn't necessarily better than the others because people are so unique. Something that works great for someone won't work at all for someone else. You might want to start by just searching for information about these approaches (HealthyPlace has articles about all of them, and there are many other sources of info, too). This will give you a starting point. Working with a therapist can be very helpful, too.
This is a process more than a quick-fix. Think of it as a journey toward creating the life you want to live!
Um, I have major anxiety way and I think that my boyfriend is going to break up with me, I don't know what to think and it's freaking me out because he deleted Facebook and deleted messenger off his phone so I don't know what he's thinking or what he wants because he doesn't talk to me as much anymore and my mind races, my mind thinks that he wants to break up with me that you don't want me no more than I'm not pretty enough that I'm annoying and it's really overwhelming, and it's hard for me to sleep at night, I cry a lot. I justdon't know what to do.
Dealing with relationships and the fear of breaking up with someone you care about is very stressful and anxiety-provoking. With such strong feelings, it is often helpful to work through them with a professional counselor, either in person or online. A counselor can help you address your emotions and things that might be causing them as well as to move forward in the direction that is right for you.
I am over thinking and each and every day I am going to die thoughts are comeing any thing I do any others talk means I Am afraid of death pls give me some tips