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Thread: Have you ever had sudden anxiety from intrusive thoughts before?

  1. #1
    Senior Member BandsAiud's Avatar
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    Default Have you ever had sudden anxiety from intrusive thoughts before?

    Hi,


    The last few days, I've suddenly found myself ridden with anxiety to the point I'm struggling to enjoy things I usually enjoy. The past year, I've found myself coping with the Pandemic pretty well considering. The other day I found myself spiraling into deep thoughts. I don't want to be specific because I don't want to trigger it. Whenever I go anywhere now, I find myself fearing or getting anxious that something bad is going to happen. I was sitting in a sauna today, and my mind went straight to 'what if someone locked the door and I couldn't get out'. This thought led to me leaving the sauna. The last time I felt this anxious was 2 years ago when my ex and I broke up. I think I just completely freaked myself out and I understand adding fuel to these thoughts give them power. Each morning, I've thought 'today is a new day' and then the thoughts pop up again and my head struggles to come back down to reality.


    Any support is much appreciated.


    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have you ever had sudden anxiety from intrusive thoughts before?

    At one point in my life, I worked as a psychological counselor in a locked secure facility for deeply troubled teens. I taught them a process that we called "awfulizing" that you might also find helpful. Here's how it works:

    Suppose you are back in that sauna and it occurs to you that you might get locked in there, which frightens you. Now, try to imagine the worst possible outcome of this situation. What if no one comes along and unlocks the door for hours, even for a day? What's the worst that could happen? You might get hungry and thirsty. Meh. Suppose no one came for three or four days. That would be pretty serious; you could go a week or more without food but you'd be pretty dehydrated after three or four days without water. Is there a source in the sauna where you could find water to drink? Since a sauna produces steam, you could very likely find where the water comes from to make that steam, so you wouldn't die of dehydration. So even the worst thing that could happen wouldn't actually kill you… And seriously, how likely is it that you would be locked in for more than a few hours? People must use that sauna regularly. Someone must come in periodically to do maintenance or clean up. Do you see? If you take it to extremes — any situation, and determine what you would do in that situation to relieve it, sooner or later you will have covered all the possibilities. Once you realize that none of the possibilities are threatening and you can handle whatever comes, you feel empowered and safe. Anxiety disappears.

    P.S. Please check your messages.
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    Default Re: Have you ever had sudden anxiety from intrusive thoughts before?

    That seems as though it could be very helpful, Islander.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BandsAiud's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have you ever had sudden anxiety from intrusive thoughts before?

    Thank you @Islander for your response. I am feeling a little bit better for a few days now, but I still don't feel 100% myself. Usually I'm okay with being on my own and with my own thoughts, but at the moment, I'm struggling to be by myself without any distractions. I find myself wanting to be around people, or at least be watching or doing something. I have reached out to a few friends and they've been helpful. I'm just taking it one day at a time. I'll definitely look into your suggestions that you shared here on and privy message. It helps to know that I am not alone in this.


    Thanks again.

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have you ever had sudden anxiety from intrusive thoughts before?

    BandsAiud, I'm glad to hear things are beginning to look up for you. You are definitely not alone in this. We may not all be in the same boat, but we are all on the same ocean!
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have you ever had sudden anxiety from intrusive thoughts before?

    I have had a few occasions where I was overwhelmed with a feeling of anxiety. One was after a confrontation and I had to drive away. I remembered something I'd read: look around you and name everything you see. Sounds odd, but it does take your mind off what is troubling you, and works to calm you down. It's obviously not going to cure general anxiety, but it helps in that moment.

  7. #7
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have you ever had sudden anxiety from intrusive thoughts before?

    That does sound helpful, Julieanne.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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