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Anxiety and Overthinking Everything

December 31, 2015 Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

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.

Over-thinking everything is a horrid part of anxiety disorders. Over-thinking everything creates more anxiety. This tip helps stop over-thinking. Check it out.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.

APA Reference
NCC, T. (2015, December 31). Anxiety and Overthinking Everything, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 26 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/12/anxiety-and-over-thinking-everything



Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

Tanya J. Peterson is the author of The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety, The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety, Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 steps, and five critically-acclaimed, award-winning novels about mental health challenges. She speaks nationally about mental health, and she has a curriculum for middle and high schools. Find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 27 2017 at 10:09 am
Hi R,
You are using some harsh words to describe yourself. How we think about ourselves plays a big part in our wellbeing. Anxiety and low self-concept can contribute to each other. I have an assignment for you if you're willing. Start catching yourself being harsh. Deliberately stop yourself then change the direction of your thoughts to something realistically positive. Think you're being "bad" with people? List real examples of times you're "good."

It's not possible to tell if anyone has anxiety in this setting. That's done with a doctor or mental health care professional. You can keep doing what you're doing -- gathering information -- and if you're still concerned, take that information with you when you see a doctor/counselor. Here are links to a few articles that you might find useful:
Am I Just Worried, or Do I Have an Anxiety Disorder? https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2013/10/am-i-just-worried-or-do-i-have-an-anxiety-disorder/
Social Anxiety, Social Phobia Test https://www.healthyplace.com/psychological-tests/social-anxiety-social-phobia-test/
What is Skin Picking, Excoriation Disorder? https://www.healthyplace.com/ocd-related-disorders/excoriation-skin-picking-disorder/what-is-skin-picking-excoriation-disorder/
Maddie
says:
July, 22 2017 at 4:01 pm
Hello! My name's Maddie and I'm nineteen years old (If that helps?)

I know that this is more for anxiety causing overthinking however I am wondering if you could give me advice on something similar.
Recently this year I have been experiencing terrible panic attacks due to overthinking things. I have OCD which causes me to obsessively overthink things which are inevitable and I will have to eventually go through it. And it's frustrating because although I don't have full-blown panic episodes (those are more once in a while) I do have terrible anxiety about them which can cause the panic outbreaks afterwards.
It's also annoying since every little thing would trigger it. Things that don't even have to do with the actual problem and somehow, subconsciously it ends up causing me more anxiety. I can't even enjoy a day out or do the things I love due to it.
I've tried going on walks, taking my mind off things and even humming to a tune but nothing seems to be working. I even tried meditating, drinking decaffeinated teas and every possible thing I could think of yet nothing works because sight, smell and even hearing certain words just drives me off the edge. I feel like I'm trapped and I sometimes just burst into tears due to all the anxiety and panic attacks.
I've been waiting for a psychiatrist because even though I am against the whole psychotropic medication thing however I haven't got a word back from them (Which I suppose is due to the long waiting list).

I am not sure what to do since overthinking is what's causing the whole panic/anxiety issue.

I don't even know what to do anymore since I've tried almost everything...and it's harder since every single thing triggers it. It doesn't even have to relate to the thought I'm worrying about.

I'm hoping you have any advice or suggestions?
Thanks!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 24 2017 at 9:34 am
Hi Maddie,
Wow -- you have been doing a lot to deal with your overthinking. Not only that, you've been doing very good things, things that are part of treatment approaches for anxiety disorders. That's a good thing. Don't give up because they don't seem to be working. These are still activities that will boost your mental health and wellbeing as you find other ways to deal with panic and OCD. What you have described fits what's called panic disorder as well as OCD. Often with these, medication is needed, especially when they don't respond to other treatments. Taking psychotropic medication is a big decision, one to be made with a doctor, and it seems like you are considering it carefully. There are certain things that do get better with medication and can worsen without it. Given that you're 19, your brain isn't quite done developing. A psychiatrist might decide that the right medication will help. It's frustrating when the wait time is so long. That seems to be a problem everywhere. Are there other psychiatrists in your area that you could contact that might be more responsive?

Here are a couple of links to information about Panic Disorder and OCD, including treatment and resources. I hope they help! https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/panic-disorder-when-fear-overwhelms/index.shtml https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/obssessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd.htm
Soudabeh maleki
says:
July, 18 2017 at 7:02 am
Hello, I have depression and anxiety, I started to see mental health professional, he gave me medicine and when I took them all thoughts in my head went away, I felt powerful and I had self confidence, I started reaching my goals by trying without fear. It was awesome, then with some bad events "like my classmate made fun of me" happened and suddenly I was same as before. My Dr. increased the dosage and then I started to loose my memory and my hand were shaking like an old man, I still have problem remembering casual words, I saw another Dr and she reduced dosage of my medicine. Now I don't have shaking hands and I'm not nervous, but I lost my power, I still repeat conversations in my mind and its killing me. I loved the time I had free mind, I could reach my plans. I want to know whether these medicine made me addicted or not? because I feel I need them so much to be normal.
Sorry for wrong typing, I'm not english :)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 19 2017 at 5:54 am
Hi Soudabeh,
You communicate very well. It's the meaning that counts. :) I'm not in a position to be able to evaluate medication -- it could be harmful to you if I tried to do so. I can say, though, that the general role of medication is to help the brain itself (the physiology, neurochemistry, etc.) so that we are better able to address things like overthinking, worrying, etc. When you first began taking the medication and felt powerful, what else was different? What were your thoughts about yourself and others, and how did your actions change? If you can uncover what positive things you were thinking and doing, you can start to do more of that to take your power back from anxiety. You and the medication can work as a team. The medication can help your brain, and you can help your "self" -- who you are and who you want to become.
Kitty Kaler
says:
July, 20 2017 at 6:05 pm
Such a beautiful response, Tanya. Thank you.
Nowshin Naz
says:
July, 13 2017 at 11:30 am
Hi.i almost past 5 years for BS.c degree in pharmacy but it incomplete .yet.now i have 58 credit more.my main problem is i can't memorize n always forget.my anxiety is i don't want to continue ,i am afraid and lost.i can't talk to my parents.i always think about my graduation.i can or can not plz advise me.p

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 16 2017 at 8:16 am
Hi Nowshin,
There is a high rate of anxiety among university students, so know that you aren't alone. For that reason, most (if not all) schools have counseling centers, which are typically free of charge for students. The counselors there know the unique situation of university students and are equipped to help you figure out specific elements of your anxiety, examine your goals, figure out ways to talk to parents if you want to do that, and more. Sometimes counseling centers are housed in the same building as testing centers, so that might be a good place to start (of course, the website should have the location, too). Also, there are often many types of support groups within universities, including anxiety-based groups. People meet to discuss what's causing anxiety and share ways they handle it. Meetup.com or an app specific to your university might have information. Don't give up. It is very possible to get past this anxiety.
Madeline
says:
July, 13 2017 at 3:21 am
Hi Tanya so I just started doing research on anxiety and overthinking because I knew something wasn't right. I smoke weed on a daily basis and was wondering if there is such a thing like weed induced anxiety? Lately I've been notincing how I overthink everything and assume everyone is out to get me or hurt me which isn't true but my thoughts are what kill me. I don't know what to do or if I'm the only person like this. because of some stuff that happened in the past I feel like every negative thing that someone says is about me which it might be or might not be but I don't know and my thoughts won't let it go. So I shutdown and become anti social.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 13 2017 at 6:31 am
Hi Madeline,
The findings about marijuana use and anxiety are still mixed. Some reports state that marijuana can reduce anxiety while others state that it can cause or increase anxiety. Marijuana does affect each person differently, so it is indeed possible that it is contributing to your overthinking and thoughts that people are out to get you. Marijuana has been known to cause psychotic breaks, which involve a separation from reality or a confusion between thoughts and reality, such as thoughts that people are going to hurt you even thought you know it isn't true. You might consider consulting with a doctor or naturopath, whichever you prefer, to discuss your symptoms. He/she can help you determine what's going on and where you want to go from here. It seems like you have good insight into yourself and changes you're experiencing, and that's excellent. You are in a good healing position.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 13 2017 at 7:44 am
I forgot to give you this link! You might find some useful info in this article: https://www.healthyplace.com/addictions/marijuana-addiction/marijuana-and-anxiety-a-cause-or-treatment-of-anxiety-panic-attacks/
Rob
says:
July, 12 2017 at 4:22 pm
Anything available for a spouse of an over thinker? How to help the over thinker? How to live with an over thinker on a daily basis? How to help a relationship with an over thinker work? Anything along those lines that could potentially save a marriage to an over thinker? Feeling lost and help/hopeless

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 13 2017 at 5:18 am
Hi Rob,
You are not alone. Being in a relationship with someone struggling with mental health challenges can be very difficult. It's because you care that it is so difficult and leads to that lost and hopeless feeling. There needs to be more resources available for people in your situation. One resources is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - NAMI.org. If there's one in your community, they might have information and resources for you. Also, there is a book called Loving Someone with Anxiety: Understanding and Helping Your Partner by Kate N. Thieda that you might find helpful. It is broader than overthinking, but because overthinking is part of anxiety you might find it useful.
Perhaps other readers will chime in and share their experiences!
Keybert
says:
July, 1 2017 at 10:39 pm
This video May be so helpful to me because I also suffer from anxiety . I think a lot, I have fear of the unknown. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind, I fear being alone and just have weird thoughts.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 2 2017 at 9:14 pm
Hi Keybert,
Everything you describe is a legitimate part of anxiety. I'm glad you found something that might help. Keep doing what you're doing -- seeking information about anxiety and trying things you find useful. Anxiety can sometimes make us feel helpless, but that's one of anxiety's tricks. You can overcome anxiety.
Gunik
says:
June, 30 2017 at 3:00 am
Hye mam or sir I might suffering from over thinking
Robin
says:
June, 25 2017 at 6:45 am
Hi Tanya Peterson! Thank you for this video. I have ALWAYS had overthinking problems and never knew why I'm like this. I recently learned about the 7 types of ADD and was researching how to fix my problem and came across your video. Recently my mother passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, AND also a thing that happened to me that could've turned out bad, but turned out good has caused me to have obsessive thoughts that the good news is not true. I obsess a lot to the point where I cry and tell myself that the good news is not true. It is making me a mess and say I don't want to live. I also obsess over how am I going to die. I didn't know how to deal with this. Living life like this is awful. But I thank God I saw your video because I am going to try this technique. I think this will work! I will write again when I have good news to report to you. Thank You!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 25 2017 at 5:05 pm
Hello Robin,
I'm so happy that you'd like to give this a try. I know you'll have good news to report, and I'm looking forward to reading about it! Be patient with yourself, as our thoughts can take root deeply. It's possible to stop overthinking. If I can do it, anyone can. :)
Jerry Pandian
says:
June, 23 2017 at 11:58 am
hi my name is Jerry.I think too much but I don't know why...I m scared that something gonna happen to me to my family. wen I watch something videos or pictures of accident, suicides, killing of people which is graphically not suitable for anyone . I always think it's somedays gonna happen to me or to my family..im also going through depression. before leaving the country I went to the doctor for my checkup..doctor told me that im going through depression he explained me the reason and given me medicines prescriptions. one week I took the tablets.. doc told me to visit after one week.. but I was going to join for work in Qatar.I took more tablets and went their..it felt me better for a month... but again it has started ...now it's been 5 months I'm going again through this.. please can you help me out.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 23 2017 at 12:51 pm
Hi Jerry,
Depression and anxiety can be stubborn. Medication takes time to work, and often it falls short by itself. Do you have access to mental health professionals? If not in person, you might consider looking for online therapy services. A professional can help you deal with fear, anxiety, depression, and overthinking. Something you can start on right away is taking time every day to take several slow, deep breaths. This actually creates positive changes in the brain. While doing this, you can visualize something that makes you calm and happy. You can also practice mindfulness. When you find yourself overthinking, use all of your senses to pay attention to the present moment. What is really happening around you? What good is within you and around you, etc. Doing these things can start to provide immediate relief in moments while you work with someone to create more strategies.
Anonymous
says:
June, 23 2017 at 10:58 am
Hi I'm 17 and recently I've been suffering from some severe panic attack cause by overthinking. I have a boyfriend whom I've been dating for a little over a year now and I love him so much. But every time I say that to him my anxiety and the little voice in my head will tell me "well maybe you don't" and "maybe you like other people" things to that extent. When I have these thoughts I'll have a complete mental breakdown and anxiety/panic attack because I know these things aren't true but I can't stop thinking them. It's get to the point where I tell myself I don't even have anxiety and I'm just a bad person which will also trigger panic attacks. This does not happen very often it happened about eight months ago and again recently he makes me so happy and I just want to know how to stop these thoughts so I can just enjoy my relationship.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 23 2017 at 12:34 pm
You're most definitely not a bad person (one indication is that just the thought of being a bad person can trigger panic attacks). Also, you're not bad in questioning your thoughts about your boyfriend/being with your boyfriend. Relationships are huge, and they can be strange for adults who have been trying to navigate relationships for decades. Part of what you're doing at 17 is thinking about your life ahead of you. What do you want? What don't you want? It's natural to think of your relationship with your boyfriend, too. That doesn't mean you don't love him. The anxiety this causes is very real and understandable. Finding someone to talk to about this, a trusted adult or friend, could be very helpful.
Ana
says:
June, 22 2017 at 11:10 pm
I feel so overwhelmed all the time one minute I'm fine the next I'm worried about the kids the bills what to make for dinner I can't talk to my husband about how I feel and it sucks I have been dealing with anxiety for a long time but at this moment I'm not in control anymore I can't sleep anymore I eat every once and a while. Plus I hate going to work I hate being around people I just can't deal with alot of things right now I just want a break from everything I love my kids so much but sometimes I feel like I'm not the right mother for them and I don't want them to be like me sad and lonely... even when the room is full!!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 23 2017 at 12:25 pm
Hi Ana,
That is a lot to deal with, and it would increase anyone's anxiety (and probably create new anxiety if none existed). I think that perhaps without realizing it you might have hit on a starting point. You referred to wanting a break. That is completely normal and okay and doesn't make you a bad mother. We all need breaks. They're a vital part of our wellbeing, including anxiety management. You might try working even short breaks (5 minutes) throughout the day. Go to a place where you are alone and have some quiet. I don't know if you've heard of the humorist and life columnist Erma Bombeck. She used to say that she'd hide on the floor of the backseat of her car just to have a break from her kids, who she loved dearly. Try taking several small breaks each day and breath deeply, read a few pages of a book, breathe in scented oils, or anything healthy that you find pleasurable and relaxing. This won't solve all of your struggles in an instant, but it's a good start to taking control of your world. Also, visiting in person with a therapist can be incredibly helpful in sorting things out and making plans. By working at this in pieces, maybe starting with breaks, you can overcome it.
Charlotte
says:
June, 21 2017 at 3:55 am
Social media is a big problem for me. Everytime my boyfriend likes a photo of a female I am scared he will leave and no matter how much he tells me it's just a like I still think the worse and I have horrendous panic attacks. I just want it to stop.
Alex Hill
says:
June, 21 2017 at 12:32 am
To be perfectly blunt, I'm not sure the article really helped me. It's not that the advice isn't good, because it is. See, I also struggle with depression along with anxiety. With overthinking I try to distract myself, but my depression steals all of my motivation and energy, so I laze about all day, overthinking. My anxiety seems to be social anxiety, as I have trouble accepting or even fathoming that my friends really like me and like having me around. What would you reccomend to someome like myself?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 22 2017 at 12:03 am
Hi Alex,
You're not alone. Anxiety and depression commonly occur together. This link will take you to a couple of articles that discuss dealing with depression and anxiety: https://www.healthyplace.com/depression/anxiety-and-depression/anxiety-and-depression-articles/
Tori Melbrook
says:
June, 20 2017 at 10:05 am
Hi, my name is Tori, I recently was on birth control for 5months. I stopped taking my birth control 2 and 1/2 weeks ago. I had had some mood swings while on it but when I started my 5th pack I started developing severe anxiety and intrusive thoughts along with some depression. The day the anxiety hit was the day I started my period on the pill. This period came 2weeks early and lasted 10days. My face also started to break out while on the pill. I have had issues with anxiety in the past but learned how to cope with it and hadn't had any problems with it in over 4years. I was wondering if you know anything about the link between birth control and anxiety. I will say that everyday seems a little bit better. I am taking supplements to help my hormones rebalance. I have also started practicing CBT and exposure therapy along with mindfulness. If you have any knowledge regarding this issue please let me know. I do not want to go on any anxiety medication because I feel like my brain can learn how to reprogram itself. Thank you so much !

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 21 2017 at 11:54 pm
Hi Tori,
A pharmacist or medical doctor should have great information about the correlation between anxiety and birth control. I've seen mixed reports on how much hormonal birth control causes/contributes to anxiety. It does seem that there is a relationship, which makes sense given the fact that hormones in birth control seem to affect neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. You're wise in listening to your body and mind. Everyone is unique and has different responses to birth control and other medications. And speaking of medication, anxiety medication can be helpful for some but it's not for everyone. It is definitely possible to reduce and manage anxiety without it.
Edgar Williams
says:
June, 14 2017 at 1:04 pm
I always build up the worst thing that could happen at anytime with a client in my business and it never turns out to be even close to what I have worried myself about for days on end before the appointment! Even on weekends my anxiety and thoughts just plague me! I have to learn how to get away from this thinking pattern somehow! Loved your article!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 14 2017 at 2:36 pm
Hi Edgar,
I think many, many people will relate to your comment -- myself included! It is absolutely a thinking pattern, and awareness of it is the first step in breaking away from it. Once you're aware (which you seem to be), you can start to intentionally turn your thoughts to positive, realistic things. It's a process -- and one that works! Thank you for your comment.
Mariah
says:
June, 9 2017 at 10:06 pm
Thank you so much! I recently got out of an argument with my boyfriend, and it was pretty bad, he concluded everything was fine now today but now my anxiety is always giving me the worst case senreos, such as what if he doesn't love me? What if he's faking? What if he actually wants to leave?" those thoughts make me cry as well as go about stir crazy, just wish me luck on getting over this, it's such a mental battle, and no matter how much reassurance and effection he gives me, it always seems to not helo after he leaves for the day, it's stressful needless to say. ?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 11 2017 at 4:27 pm
Hi Mariah,
Anxiety and overthinking, creating worse-case scenarios, etc. is definitely stressful. Sometimes it can be a helpful start to remind yourself (every time!) that just because anxiety puts a thought in your head doesn't mean it's accurate. Turn your attention to the evidence on the outside. It's a process, but it's a do-able process!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Elissa Murphy
says:
June, 21 2017 at 4:47 pm
I have that same problem and have found if You're not careful you create a self fulfilling prophecy. What I mean is your constant worrying changes how you think and therefore how you act. The outcome is you create striff that wouldn't be there if you thoughts were more positive. This extra tension often drives a wedge into the relationship.
Looking at it in a more positive and realistic light does help. If he's over the previous issue, as he says, then all is well. If he still has a problem, only time will tell. The worst that can happen is he moves on. Although painful, all the worry in the world won't change the outcome.
Rob B
says:
June, 3 2017 at 1:36 am
Really useful thank you for the advise. So difficult to switch off. Always imagine the worst situations at work and the reflection on me...switching off at weekends very hard

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 3 2017 at 3:16 pm
Hi Rob,
Thank you for your comment. I agree with you that switching off overthinking is difficult to do. Imagining the worst situations in one area tends to transfer to other areas, too. It truly doesn't have to be this way forever. Thankfully!
Nicholas Tesla
says:
May, 20 2017 at 6:34 pm
This post was helpful in distinguishing between social anxiety, which I've dealt with, but also performance anxiety. I didn't have a word for the latter, so it's helpful for me to journal and pin down when my anxiety is arising, pinpointing symptoms, and figuring out strategies for managing my symptoms. Thank you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 22 2017 at 11:30 am
Hi Nicholas,
I'm really glad that this was helpful. Sometimes sorting out and giving words to what we're experiencing is incredibly helpful. I think journaling is a great way to untangle things so they can be dealt with. Other readers will likely appreciate reading what works for someone else. Thank you for commenting and sharing!
Clayton
says:
May, 17 2017 at 12:36 pm
It's a shame you don't have a donate button! I'd certainly donate to this fantastic blog! I suppose for now i'll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will share this website with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Nicholas Tesla
says:
May, 20 2017 at 6:36 pm
I agree with Clayton. I'd donate too. Normally, I wouldn't post but this blog was so good, I couldn't help it.
Tanya
says:
May, 13 2017 at 10:43 pm
Do you think the mind can give you symptoms that aren't really there? For instance... Say you found a lump under your ribs while in the shower that you never noticed before. Right before you found the lump you had no symptoms and could not feel it unless you touched it with your hand. You go to the DR and Dr confirms yes there is something there and you start to worry over it right away and within the next few days you start being able to feel it without touching it. Like feeling something on your body that wasn't there before. Not imaginary feelings though real ones and just uncomfortable and awkward. Then it starts hurting here and there. I don't know what to think. I don't know if my worrying over it ius causing the symptoms because I had no symptoms before I felt it or if it's gotten bigger. I have an appointment with general surgeon on May 22nd.

I am asking because I suffered health anxiety for many years but have had it under control for the most part for the last 5 or 6 years but now since I found this lump it's back.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 15 2017 at 5:21 pm
Hi Tanya,
The mind can do all sorts of things! Including being obnoxious. The very short and oversimplified answer is yes, the mind can imagine symptoms that feel very real. I've read that medical students commonly feel the symptoms of diseases they're studying. That said, symptoms can be caused by an underlying condition. Consulting with your doctor and the general surgeon is wise. That way, they can take care of a problem that is really there, or they can rule out problems and reassure you that nothing is wrong. Because you successfully reduced health anxiety once, the chances are very high that you will do it again once you take care of this matter. And it's very natural to worry about symptoms. That is the mind at work in a positive way, prompting you to take action. Which you're doing! then you'll be informed and know what to do next. I hope everything turns out well and that you get a good report.
Tanya
says:
May, 19 2017 at 11:13 pm
Thank you for your reply. I suffered anxiety/health anxiety and panic attacks after my heart arrhythmias were mis diagnosed as being "anxiety when I was 20 years old. I suffered many years and then one day a bulb went off in my head and I knew I had to do something. Health anxiety is probably the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with in my life thus far. It had me convinced I had every single deadly disease/virus around. Constantly running back and forth to the Drs, everyone in the emergency room knew me by name! When I finally got it under control I still had some things in the back of my mind, like the amount of x rays and cat scans I have had that weren't needed. For days I would beart myself up and make myself sick because my mind would be saying "your gonna die from cancer one day from the amount of scans you had and you can blame no one but yourself. I also have OCD so throw that in the mix and it's a dreadful party. I stopped going to the Drs even if I was sick. I didn't want medication nor anymore scans. If I started thinking I had some disease I just heard about, I would make myself busy to keep from thinking about it and little by little those paranoid thoughts started to happen less and less until they were all but gone. Problem now is every time something does actually go wrong with my body, my health anxiety sometimes creeps back in for a short while. People who have never experienced it have no idea what it's like. It will literally suck all the happiness from your life. When I was 20 years old I had 2 young ones and my husband had to do everything for them because all I did was sleep or be glued to the computer looking up symptoms. I missed out on a lot with my 1st daughter when she was a toddler because of anxiety. I pray for everyone who goes through it. It's hard and a lot of times people around us just don't understand unfortunately... sorry for my rambling lol

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 22 2017 at 11:37 am
Hi Tanya,
Health anxiety (any anxiety for that matter) is definitely hard, and the problem becomes worse when others don't understand. Many times, people aren't trying to be insensitive. It's just that unless you've fully experienced it, all of the thoughts and emotions and the way anxiety affects your actions, it's difficult to grasp. Thanks for sharing a bit of your story. It will help others know they aren't alone and even help people communicate with others. It's fantastic that you have taken charge and discovered ways to get past this horrible health anxiety. Even when anxiety has been calm for a while, triggers can make it flare up again. Don't beat yourself up for this. Just remind yourself what it is and return to the skills that helped you overcome it before. Keep doing what works!
Rk
says:
May, 8 2017 at 10:51 pm
Hi
This is rk.I realized myself suffering from anxiety and overthinking .let me tell what's always going on my mind.2years ago I crushed on one girl.but after that I slowly came to know that girl committed. I disappointed more on that because still I didn't proposed. My mind often that thing very too much.days after my mind accepted that's not only girl in universe. But still thinking ,thinking ,thinking. Actually if somebody take about that girl my emotional very very worse.Iam thinking myself as hero on same story.same while that's happen different my own story on everyday.iam thinking like she come one day and.she thinking about me that things are I can't avoid even if I very busy.iam taking drugs for depression also.pls give some advice to idiot thought.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 9 2017 at 12:00 pm
Hello, RK,
First and very important: you don't have an "idiot thought." Our thoughts are what they are. When they're so bothersome, of course we want to do something about them, but that doesn't mean that you or your thoughts are idiots! Sometimes we get stuck in events and thoughts, and that can cause things like anxiety and depression. Have you ever heard of an approach to therapy called acceptance and commitment therapy? The focus is on accepting things that can't be changed and taking action to move forward toward the life you want. It's very helpful for many people in many situations, and it sounds like your situation could be a good fit for ACT. You can read about it on your own just by Googling it, and there are also therapists who practice ACT. It might be something to consider learning about to see if you think it's a good fit for you.
Michelle
says:
May, 8 2017 at 3:51 pm
No sure what's going on with me I think I'm suffererinf from a lot of things I think I have OCD and I have anxiety I always feel like someone is talking about me I think other can smell me I will brush my teeth or take a shower If I feel like someone is sniffing around me it's really taking a toll on me I just want to learn to control it and his have a thought that's it all in my head and others never understand they just think your crazy or do things for attention I never use to be this way so everyone around me is making it seem worst then it really is i go to the doctor often because I always think something is wrong with me I diagnose myself with all these problems for my doctor to tell me nothing is wrong with and I don't smell but I don't think nobody want to tell me the truth can that. E apart of my anxiety have you heard of a phobia that causes those issue help me I just want to know how to not let others affect my way of living my mood can easily be ruined by something so unnecessary or just from me overthinking a situation

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 9 2017 at 11:53 am
Hi Michelle,
It's good that you have seen a doctor to make sure that you are physically healthy. There are other people you can see now for help, such as a counselor, therapist, or psychologist. A mental health specialist can evaluate you, knows the right questions to ask, and can work with you to overcome what is bothering you. This could be phobia-based, or it could be something different. You might want to look up body dysmorphic disorder to see if anything fits with your experiences. I encourage you to seek help, as you don't have to live with these feelings forever.
Austin
says:
May, 8 2017 at 2:49 pm
May be I'm thinking too much... My frnds are not liking my behaviour nowadays ... They are thinking that I'm not giving them importance as new frnds came into my life... I'm leading to depression, severe head ache, chest pain (left side) some times, I'm not getting sleep properly... What's my problem..pls ans me :(

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