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Withdrawal causing intrusive or repetitive thoughts, rumination, and increased panic?

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Goldy

ADMIN NOTE Also see

 

Neuro-emotion

 

Shame, guilt, regret, and self-criticism

Health anxiety, hypochondria, and obsession with symptoms

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD: Repetitive, intrusive thoughts, compulsive behaviors

 

Dealing With Emotional Spirals

 

and other topics in Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms


 

Does anyone else get intrusive thought "voices" that you know aren't your own concious thoughts? For me, It happens constantly lately where It's like part of my mind is a hypochondriac/super fearful voice, one part is a super common sense voice, and the rest is just my own thoughts. A funny way of looking at it is it's my meds trying to influence me but failing (--The ativan is "trying" to make me anxious by thinking "Oh god, I'm about to have a heart attack!") But I'm getting better at accepting it's not my actual feelings. Maybe I'm just overthinking it, but it's really scaring me: my original "diagnosis" years ago was "schizoeffective" (later changed to "bipolar"-- not that I believe in either). But I can't help worrying, am I losing my mind? Has anyone else had this symptom and found a way to cope w. it or make it go away?

Edited by Altostrata
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tezza

Hi Goldy,

 

The voice in my head keeps telling me that I'll never be well and that there is only one way to end my hell. I don't know if it's just my own thinking but I believe it is. I think "I don't want to be like this for any considerable amount of time". I'm very unhappy with my life like this. I try to change the channel but then I start thinking about it all over again. I don't know how long I can stand feeling like this. I think I'm losing hope of any better future. I want to believe I will get better, I just can't. The voice telling me these things is louder than the ringing in my ears today.

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alexjuice

No, I've not experienced that.

 

Can you talk a bit more about it. These "voices" do they feel like actual voices, like other people talking and you are hearing the words they are speaking? Or do you just mean you're having an inner dialogue with yourself. I'm a bit confused so I hope you describe it a bit more.

 

Alex

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Barbarannamated

Goldy,

I think I understand. The thoughts/voices in my head get very persistent in reminding me of all that is negative about my life. I do recognize the thoughts as my own. Sometimes I'm successful at changing channels and other times the same 'bad news' tape keeps playing over and over (rumination). I have alot of time on my hands and realize that is a major factor to my negative thoughts spiraling out of control. Have you identified any triggers or times when it's worse?

Alex posed an important question about differentiating if they are your own thoughts/voices (or mom, dad, other familiar person) or strange voices. Also, are the voices telling you to do anything dangerous/harmful? FWIW, I think some people hear thought/voices much more clearly than others. Keep in mind that most of these meds have blunted our senses and emotional reactions. We are hypersensitive to everything, including our own thoughts/voices. 'Emotional rebound' of sorts.

The Neuroemotion thread has been VERY helpful to me.

 

What was the diagnosis of schizoaffective based on? Are you familiar with the Hearing Voices Movement and Hearing Voices Network?

 

As I write this, the music video for Knee Deep came on -- it is a song that can pull my mind out of a bad place every time. I'm going to start a list of 'good news channels' -- anything that can distract me even if only a few minutes. Often it's that initial break from the ruminative cycle that allows me to get traction and out of quicksand.

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Goldy

The "voices" in my head aren't anything that I would call psychotic-- It's basically intrusive thoughts that I don't recognize as reflecting my own feelings. For example, I might keep getting the thought "Get up! You shouldn't stay in bed right now!" When there's no need or reason for me to be thinking it-- I just wanted to sleep (lol). Fortunatley, it's mostly thoughts that would be helpful if I actually acted on them, so that's not so bad. It's probably related in some way to dp/dr.. but I don't know for sure.

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Barbarannamated

Aaaah.....the 'should' voice. Yep, very familiar with that one. Knows just how to push my guilt button. :-(

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Shanti

Hi Goldy. I hear voices but I've been successful at getting rid of them by taking a few 500 mg Niacin a day. Works like a charm for me! At first I was taking about 7 a day, but now I can do fine with just 3. If you want to try it, you might want to start out with just one and see how you handle it while in w/d since many are sensitive to supplements. See how you react then increase it until the voices go away.

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Goldy

Oh wow, didn't know niacin could do that. I have some at home I never took. Thanks for the tip :).

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antoinette

Does anyone else have the intrusive thoughts? Its horrible. I feel crazy. People I've talked too that's been through withdrawal said they go away just like everything else. I sure hope so. I feel like this is me now.

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GiaK

yes..it's certainly common in withdrawal and has been for me too at various points in the journey...

 

a friend of mine wrote this article on coping with intrusive thoughts and other things of the psyche we might not be happy about...

 

Coping with intrusive thoughts, impulses, voices etc…

http://beyondmeds.com/2010/07/05/coping-with-intrusive-thoughts-impulses-voices-etc/

 

I did a lot of work with all my symptoms...mental and physical along these lines and still do.

 

Hope that helps.

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antoinette

Thank you so much. Have yours gotten better?

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GiaK

YES! very much so...

 

I'm still sick but that is not one of my issues really at all anymore.

 

we do get better and things are always changing...

 

someone once said to me, "be curious about your experience"

 

that may sound just really ugly when the experience is sheer hell, but I took that to heart and even if ugly this stuff is fascinating...it's helped me heal...even if it sounds counter-intuitive...or maybe BECAUSE it is counter-intuitive. Our impulse is to reject our experience...to resist it...and those things make us suffer more...

 

in any case it's a tough journey we find ourselves on, but I have found some value in learning to cope that goes beyond just the coping...if that makes any sense...

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antoinette

Thank you gia you made me feel better. Someone else told me its always changing too. I have gotten better but I'm still in it. I hate it. I'm 7 mos off. I feel like I've been through the worst of it but my thoughts are horrible. I feel nuts. I know its just my brain misfiring. It still sucks. What are your symptoms now?

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GiaK

well...I was bedridden for two years...so I'm still very sick and mostly homebound, but my head is clear...AS A BELL...and I am grateful and have no regrets...

 

I am very proactive and have lots of healing practices...so it's changing...it's just been glacial for me.

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antoinette

Wow what were you on? Did you quit cold turkey?

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GiaK

no, but I was on 6 drugs...for over 2 decades at very high doses...I'm not the norm...in many different ways...I came off every class of psych drug...

 

this is the story if you're interested: http://wp.rxisk.org/monicas-story-the-aftermath-of-polypsychopharmacology/

 

now that I've got the concise history written down in one place I can share it

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antoinette

I just read that the other day! Wow! Why can't you leave the house now if you don't mind me asking?

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GiaK

I'm sick...it's like i have a severe flu much of the time...and a host of other issues too. Severe autonomic dysregulation that affects me in numerous ways...my equilibrium is very messed up which makes getting in a car impossible quite often.

 

but more than anything it's like having the worst flu you can imagine a good part of the time. I really don't know how to explain better than that to anyone who has not experienced it.

 

it's not as bad as it used to be...because frankly at it's height it was like having severe flu times 1,000 or more...insane really.

 

I'm much better now.

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antoinette

I'm so glad you are getting better. That gives me hope.

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Shanti

Yes, the thoughts will go away. I haven't had these kind of emotional or mental symptoms for about a year now. I've only been dealing the last year with physical symptoms. I know that when you are having those thoughts, that it feels like it won't ever go away. But it does. Hang in there.

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alexjuice

Does anyone else have the intrusive thoughts? Its horrible. I feel crazy. People I've talked too that's been through withdrawal said they go away just like everything else. I sure hope so. I feel like this is me now.

 

Yes. I had them. Actually, my thoughts were wickedly intrusive -- I couldn't control graphic and disgusting images and thoughts -- why I took psych drugs, particularly early in my career while taking Zyprexa.

 

I still have them to a degree. I've mostly concurred them. Time helped.

 

But the main thing that helped me was doing something. Like physically doing something. Thinking vs thinking is not a good fight. But singing vs thinking... cooking vs thinking ... talking vs thinking ... touching my toes vs thinking ... the action can break my intrusive thought pattern. Singing and humming are especially effective for me. So is typing. But anything will work if I have to think to DO IT. So things like driving which I can do auto-pilot is not effective.

 

Again, moving around, physically doing stuff really helps me when I am having tough thoughts. Moving Upright > Standing > Sitting > Lying Down... Realize though I do not mean running marathons or tossing the shotput around. I myself suffer weakness and rest plentifully which supports my health as well.

 

I'll propose an exercise: Try to write a forum post or blog entry without using 'to be' verbs. After a sentence or two the frustrations overcome the intrusions, for me they do.

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kuppy4750

Hey guys!


 


So I have started my taper off of Lexapro 20 mg, for Panic Disorder and Pure O. When I spoke to my psych she said to just drop from 20 to 10. I of course looked at her like she had lost her mind! I have already quit cold turkey once and after 3-4 months of it, I had a very severe panic attack and went back on. Needless to say, I am doing this the right way now!


 


I started at 18 mg, and have been here for almost 3 months. Of course, it isn't exact, due to it being a pill and a wonky pill cutter.  :)


So far, I have felt great. But then I started my period. Of course I was emotional, but that wasn't the problem.


I have been having intense intrusive thoughts about dying. Yet, the second these thoughts manifest, I am instantly in a panic. Why? Because ONE- I do not like the thought of death, and TWO- I don't like the thought of harming myself. Of course, my conscious side is like "Hello! you are afraid of dying, classic panic, so calm down you're not going to hurt yourself," And I don't plan it out or think of ways to do it. I just simply think ok, im going to die soon and it may or may not be at my own hands. And it freaks me out. I think it is a combo of my hormones and the weaning. 


 


Please tell me this is normal! LOL.


I can tell it is just a combo of things going on in my head, because I can usually talk myself down and after a bit of dwelling on it, I forget about it. 


But again, is this normal?


 


I hate how you can think of one thing, and it spiral into something horrible.


 


Everyone thinks of death and how it may happen, or when, or who will be at your funeral, or who will even notice, things like that. I just take it and run with it and get myself worked up over nothing.  Oh to have an "un-medicated" brain again!  :)


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merry

So sorry Kuppy!  Intrusive thoughts are horrible!

 

My therapist tells me that intrusive thoughts are totally normal--everyone gets them all of the time.  People with OCD have a harder time ignoring them, though.  Cognitive Behavior Therapy (basically forcing yourself to think these horrible thoughts until they are boring) can help.  You can do it yourself, but if it seems daunting, a trained professional can help.  Ugh...it was the hardest thing I ever did and no way could I do it myself but I did get through it...and no more intrusive thoughts!

 

You are totally normal and can get better!

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DazedNConfused

Hi

I'm not sure if this is a common thing in WD, or even related, but I'll ask anyway.

 

Recently (Like, in the last 6 months or so), I've been catching myself having horrific thoughts from seemingly innocent triggers. Almost like in those horror movies where the protagonist has premonitions, and it's so lifelike and horrifying to them, but then the camera cuts to everyone around them going about their daily business without a care in the world. One movie that springs to mind is Final Destination, for anyone who has seen it. Its just like that.

 

Here's an example:

I may be sitting in my car at a red light, and a pedestrian starts to cross the road. I'll be watching them walk across the road and all of a sudden something snaps in my mind and I'll literally see a car come screaming around the corner, and taking out the pedestrian. Then I start to think "what would I do in that situation?" And the movie in my head switches to me jumping out of the car, calling emergency services, picking up body parts off the road, wading through pools of blood, etc, etc. Then, as quickly as the thoughts came, they disappear, leaving me stunned and disorientated for a few seconds, followed by period of time wondering where the hell that came from.

Anything can trigger them. From looking at a flower, to watching my daughter eat dinner. It's all very unnerving because the visions are so realistic and they can appear at any time, and disappear just as quickly.

 

I would like to point out after all that that I have never experienced anything like this before. Secondly, I haven't been watching too many horror movies/TV shows - I rarely watch them as I have zero interest in them. (Give me a rom-com any day!). Thirdly, for the record and for anyone that may be thinking it, I in no way believe that these ARE actually premonitions, or that I can see into the future, or anything like that. There is nothing supernatural about this situation at all. I'm not crazy.... ???? I know they're not real, even at the time, so it's not some type of psychosis.

 

Do you guys think it could be some sort or brain damage? Or healing? I feel like many of my other symptoms are improving/disappearing, but this has just appeared out of nowhere. It's so strange and bizarre and scary... Not to mention incredibly annoying!

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Petunia

I've experienced this, not so much now, but a while back I was having these kinds horrific images or thought patterns triggered sometimes.  It sounds a little bit like intrusive thoughts, which we have a topic on*topics merged

 

I think its probably related to changes taking place due to withdrawal and recovery and will pass.

 

When I would suddenly get these shocking images/ideas, I would do my best to shut them down, because they definitely increased anxiety and stress, which none of us need as we are trying to heal. Its not always easy though.

 

If you can catch it as soon as it starts happening, you could say to yourself something like "these are just thoughts, they are not real, reality is what's happening right now" then look around at what's really going on to bring yourself back to reality.

Edited by Petunia
updated

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WiggleIt

I'm 6-7 months off meds and this sell happens to me, but it happens less often and, when it does, I am better able to talk myself down than I used to be.

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DazedNConfused

Thanks. I'm just about to hit the 2.5 year mark, and these things didn't start until about 6 months ago. I feel like that part of WD should be over and done with. Feels like I'm going crazy.

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thinkpink

Im really sorry if I havent posted this in the right place, Im not thinking straight right now. Have updated my thread, maybe someone with experience of paxil and panic attacks can help me? My panic is way out of control! Im freaking out over everything at the moment in places that wouldn't usually cause me any issues.I love driving- do it all the time for my job and now im.having awful panic attacks on the motorway - I dont understand why?!? I think im going to loose control- have major impulsive thoughts ( like jumping out into the traffic or leaping from a bridge) and its just horrific. The rnoughts then lead to massive panic. I have even started avoiding some roads. It feels so much more than just a 'thought' like its an urge, a compulsion. :-( please help, has anyone had similar? I feel so alone and afraid right now :-(

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Altostrata

Hi, thinkpink. I merged similar topics.

 

Yes, those feelings are common in withdrawal syndrome. It's a "neuro-emotion ," exaggerated by withdrawal.

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thinkpink

Thanks Alto, have been laying low for a while, pretty unpleasant to have such weird thoughts hopefully they will go. I dont know much about neuroemotion, will check it out.

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Mort81

Im into month 12 of WD . Those intrusive thoughts were absolutely the most difficult part of WD. I feel for all my brothers and sisters on here dealing with this crap! For me they have let up alot in the last month. They got intense around month 9 or so and have really faded into this month. Every morning I wake up with a surge of cortisol or adrenaline which feels very disturbing but they are not the same intrusive thoughts. These feelings will all fade for us in time ! Trust the universe thats all we can do and be as happy as you can.

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pug

Im into month 12 of WD . Those intrusive thoughts were absolutely the most difficult part of WD. I feel for all my brothers and sisters on here dealing with this crap! For me they have let up alot in the last month. They got intense around month 9 or so and have really faded into this month. Every morning I wake up with a surge of cortisol or adrenaline which feels very disturbing but they are not the same intrusive thoughts. These feelings will all fade for us in time ! Trust the universe thats all we can do and be as happy as you can.

Mort,

 

Thanks for the encouraging words, they mean a lot concerning these intrusive thoughts and healing from withdrawal.

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MRothbard

I was just about to post something asking if people experienced episodes of freaking out over existential things like, "what happens when I die????"  Seems I do this in varying degrees from about 3pm to 7pm every day, then I'm fine after that. It's kind of ridiculous and comical how it comes on schedule like that.

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LJ2015

Hi

I'm not sure if this is a common thing in WD, or even related, but I'll ask anyway.

 

Recently (Like, in the last 6 months or so), I've been catching myself having horrific thoughts from seemingly innocent triggers. Almost like in those horror movies where the protagonist has premonitions, and it's so lifelike and horrifying to them, but then the camera cuts to everyone around them going about their daily business without a care in the world. One movie that springs to mind is Final Destination, for anyone who has seen it. Its just like that.

 

Here's an example:

I may be sitting in my car at a red light, and a pedestrian starts to cross the road. I'll be watching them walk across the road and all of a sudden something snaps in my mind and I'll literally see a car come screaming around the corner, and taking out the pedestrian. Then I start to think "what would I do in that situation?" And the movie in my head switches to me jumping out of the car, calling emergency services, picking up body parts off the road, wading through pools of blood, etc, etc. Then, as quickly as the thoughts came, they disappear, leaving me stunned and disorientated for a few seconds, followed by period of time wondering where the hell that came from.

Anything can trigger them. From looking at a flower, to watching my daughter eat dinner. It's all very unnerving because the visions are so realistic and they can appear at any time, and disappear just as quickly.

 

I would like to point out after all that that I have never experienced anything like this before. Secondly, I haven't been watching too many horror movies/TV shows - I rarely watch them as I have zero interest in them. (Give me a rom-com any day!). Thirdly, for the record and for anyone that may be thinking it, I in no way believe that these ARE actually premonitions, or that I can see into the future, or anything like that. There is nothing supernatural about this situation at all. I'm not crazy.... I know they're not real, even at the time, so it's not some type of psychosis.

 

Do you guys think it could be some sort or brain damage? Or healing? I feel like many of my other symptoms are improving/disappearing, but this has just appeared out of nowhere. It's so strange and bizarre and scary... Not to mention incredibly annoying!

I was just wondered how you were doing? This is exactly what I have been going through!  It does come from nowhere and usually when I am feeling quite relaxed almost as if my brain things ha ha you thought you could escape me!! I blame it on my overactive imagination but its scary because if makes life feel very unreal!!

 

Please reply if you see this I would love to know if this has stopped.  I am three months off medication.

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starcontrol2

I was just about to post something asking if people experienced episodes of freaking out over existential things like, "what happens when I die????" Seems I do this in varying degrees from about 3pm to 7pm every day, then I'm fine after that. It's kind of ridiculous and comical how it comes on schedule like that.

I used to have these sporadic in my life before any meds. I think these are normal thoughts to ponder existence.

Now, in withdrawal I sometimes wish I was dead. Strange how that turns around...

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