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Racing thoughts
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Racing thoughts

Hello. Is it normal to have thoughts racing through my head all the time. Bits and pieces of all kinds of things - nothing really rational. Blowing things out of proportion. Worrying about every little thing.
     Worrying about things that might happen and how I will handle them if they do. I go through the entire scenario of what would happen if my cat (that I am dearly attached to) got ran over by a car and if I could handle it and how I would feel. And if I let him go outside and he got hit by a car, it would be my fault and I could never forgive myself.
     Or if someone in my family got killed - what would I do? Should I prepare for it ahead of time in case it does happen?
     I can't sit still and can't concentrate. I stress out over the smallest things. I forget simple things - dates, appointments. Somebody will tell me something and in the next five minutes I've forgotten what they said. Can't sleep at night unless I take Benadryl.
     Is it anxiety, or something else? I am currently on Lexapro 10 mg a day and Wellbutrin SR 200 mg a day (both for depression), which seem to have helped the problem a little. I've been on Wellbutrin SR 100 mg about a month, and the Lexapro 10 mg about 2 weeks.
     I don't think I'm crazy, but I have had a very horrible life (a lot of bad things have happened) and a history of depression. Do you think I've had a nervous breakdown or post-tramatic stress or something?
     Thank you Doctor. I love your website. It has been a big help to me.
     P.S. Can't go to therapy. Already went and it didn't do any good because the problems are things going on in my home that I can't do anything about. I just have to live with it.

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242532_tn?1269553979
I am glad we have been of help to you.  I assume you mean this site, rather than my online therapy site which is www.masteringstress.com.

Yes, I believe you are having a great deal of anxiety.  Both of those medications should help, but sometimes the Lexapro actually increases the stimulation, and therefore the anxiety.  Ask your doctor about adding some Klonopin to your medications.

Regarding problems at home, there is always a solution.  Why don't you try one of my solution sessions on masteringstress, and ask for a consultation if you need additional help.
10 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I've had "racing" thoughts for most of my life, very much like the ones described above.  I'll find myself daydreaming or zoning out while listening to someone speak or to a song. I've learned that these thoughts can flood your mind when under stress or when experiencing anxiety.  It's like your thinking becomes disorganized and disoriented. Like mental vertigo! I've been diagnosed with PTSD, ADHD, general anxiety and disthymia. Medications have helped, but after a while I adapt, and then find myself dealing with the same racing thoughts.
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Avatar_n_tn
'Racing Thoughts' seem to me to be a self-sustaining loop that reinforces itself.  Soon 'memories of remembering' (like holding two mirrored surfaces parallel) create a 'trap' that is difficult to break.  The scope of my own untreated mental maladies (I wish I had a label but the medical profession has been inconsistant thus far and I am loathe to 'self-diagnose')and the resultant dysfunction to what I once considered my life has led me to search out any similar 'clues' to what I have experienced.  While these racing thoughts for me are replays of past events which were compromised by severe anxiety and other perceived weaknesses, it is their 'pattern' which amazes me.  Like a perpetual motion machine, they consume all idle time and yet have no rational conclusion, apparent purpose, or chronometry.  I consider these thought patterns a 'symptom' in and of themselves but am thus far at a loss (I have an appointment next week I am hoping will start the ball rolling)to learn how to deal with them.  Please make a future posting if 'any' resolution occurs...
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Avatar_n_tn
Please do not add the Klonipin (klonopin).  I just read the post by the Doctor, suggesting that you ask your doctor to add this med.  If you think you have racing thoughts now, that will be the least of your problems should you take Klonopin (or any benzodiazapine) and decide to stop.  Benzo's are serious, serious drugs that must not be taken for more than 2 wks.  I didn't know this back in March when I was given a RX for Xanax for anxiety/panic attacks.  I started being more and more anxious. more sever panic and constant racing thoughts.  I also became dizzy and had horrendous head pressure.  After learning abou the danger of benzo's I quit.  For the next 6 nights I did not sleep.  Now, 5 wks later I am still in withdrawl (withdrawal), but much improved. It has truly been hell!

I hope you find a way to deal with this anxiety, but please stay away from benzos!

Love Jen
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Avatar_n_tn
Please do not add the Klonipin (klonopin).  I just read the post by the Doctor, suggesting that you ask your doctor to add this med.  If you think you have racing thoughts now, that will be the least of your problems should you take Klonopin (or any benzodiazapine) and decide to stop.  Benzo's are serious, serious drugs that must not be taken for more than 2 wks.  I didn't know this back in March when I was given a RX for Xanax for anxiety/panic attacks.  I started being more and more anxious. more sever panic and constant racing thoughts.  I also became dizzy and had horrendous head pressure.  After learning abou the danger of benzo's I quit.  For the next 6 nights I did not sleep.  Now, 5 wks later I am still in withdrawl (withdrawal), but much improved. It has truly been hell!

I hope you find a way to deal with this anxiety, but please stay away from benzos!

Love Jen
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Avatar_n_tn
When suffering from racing thoughts it is worth discussing the possibility of treating this symptom with antimanic or mood stabilizing drugs, such as lithium or depakote. Using antidepressants alone may exacerbate the level of distraction and using antianxiety meds may relieve some anxiety but still not improve concentration.
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Avatar_n_tn
Racing thoughts have been a way of life for me since a child and I was very interested to hear all of your comments.  I take sleeping tablets at night to help with the sleep and risperdal and lexapro during the day to help with the negative thought cycles and paranoia.  However nothing helps quite as much as meditation (racing thoughts prevented me from meditating so I got a counsellor that helped me learn).  Also a book by Pema Chodron called  "When Things Fall Apart" really helped me stop the negative runaway thoughts and stay more mentally focussed in the present.  I think the thing to remember is 1. you don't have to feel this way - life CAN be better and 2. It is worth working on continusously in order to create a better life for yourself - don't just rely on medicine.  Good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello to you.I just wanted to comment on your letter about racing thoughts and worrying.You say you have alot of racing thoughts.I've got the same problem.It will surely make you go crazy.I just bought myself a nature sound radio which is a enormous help.Instead of hearing songs or conversations over in my head, I'm hearing crickets, frogs, oceans, etc.It's very relaxing.I'm taking risperdal and that seems to help some, but when I reduced it(I hate taking meds)the racing got even worse,so now I'm back on it.I thought I was the only one out there who constantly worried about death.I love my cat very much and I'm always afraid she'll get out and run over.The thoughts that come to mind are:What will I do without her, where will I bury her, will I ever get another cat?I think this way about my partner too.I'm always worrying about something happening to her and how will I survive and what will I do with her belongins.I need to stop thinking about this stuff because it depresses me.I need to enjoy myself each and everyday and not dwell on what will happen in the future.I hope I've been some help to let you know you're not alone.You can write me anytime and I'll respond.P.S.I'm also on wellbutrin like you but not lexapro.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello Everyone...you're experiences are heartfelt! What happened to me is very troublesome. I have tried every one of the medications you speak about, over the past 5 years.  Recently being on none of them.  Suddenly, perhaps the last 2 months, I've been experiencing what I would describe as "mania" while driving in my car! All of a sudden, I don't feel aware of where I am, how I got there, I don't know/remember putting my car in Park, I have passengers and find myself terrified that they were in the car with me! I was off all medication for months, and when this happened for the first time, it took till the second episode till I got in to my doctor. Parnate was the only medicine that I felt I got any help from (previouly) and that is what she gave me.  Since, I havn't had an attack.  However, I'm now terrified to drive my car, but still have to make it to take my son to his day care, and get myself to work!
It feels like panic, mania, for no reason.  Any comments, suggestions, maybe a different medication could help.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I got racing thoughts as well Bi Polar. I've been taking Zoloft and it does control my nerves and emotions but does not do anything for Racing thoughts. I tried a mediaction for it but made way too nervous. Was wondering if a medecine called Zyprexa is any good??? because I just want to keep taking one medicine since mixing medicines in my case does not work well.
thanks

also does anyone know any kind of over the counter drugs that might help quit the racing thoughts.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I got racing thoughts as well Bi Polar. I've been taking Zoloft and it does control my nerves and emotions but does not do anything for Racing thoughts. I tried a mediaction for it but made way too nervous. Was wondering if a medecine called Zyprexa is any good??? because I just want to keep taking one medicine since mixing medicines in my case does not work well.
thanks

also does anyone know any kind of over the counter drugs that might help quit the racing thoughts.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been dealing with racing thoughts really bad lately, I am attempting to go back to college in my midlife and I have an other half who works out of town all the time. I find myself worrying constantly about our relationship, not being able to sleep early morning awakeing with instant racing thoughts what does a person do to get control of all this without being all doped up they have had me on Benzo' s and all the due is dull my personality and make me dumb. Does anyone have ideas I just lost my brother to cancer and my husband to suicide 10 years ago my daughter is curently pregnant with my first grandchild iam going to go nuts if i dont get any help soon.

julieann
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Julieann!

Wow, that is a lot all at once. It sounds like you are trying to move forward before finding a peace with the death of your husband and loss of your brother.
I think that it is great to continue your education, at whatever age! (I am also beginning school later in life, balancing the stressful career that I am in now as well as my current relationship etc. )
My advice (which may or may not be any good!) is to write what you wrote above as a list, from past to present.  It helps to look at what your biggest concerns are. For example:

Husbands passing
Brothers passing
Relationship concerns
Daughters pregnancy

I think that in today's world, there is a lot of pressure on us women to "Do everything, be everything". Mixed with suffering the loss of people close to us, it is easy to feel kind of lost in the mix. There is hope, though! Even though we create an image of the perfect way to handle every situation, and being "everything to everyone", and we easily lose our selves, we can take it back. For example, your daughter is expecting - are you excited? Or is it just another issue to deal with? The greatest thing about being a Grandmother is that you are just that! You're not the Mom, so your only responsibility is to be supportive to your daughter emotionally, and that's it.

It's important to figure out which issues actually belong to you, and which issues belong to others. When we try to micro manage our lives, it always turns against us, and the things that can bring joy end up becoming a burden.
I have dabbled in the head drug realm before. But, it didn't take care of the underlying issues. (However, that doesn't mean it's not right for you)
Do you have any girfriends to confide in? Being able to bounce ideas and feelings off a fellow female companion is medically proven to relieve stress in women, and release the body's natural "feel good" chemicals in the process.
Although it may seem difficult, perhaps impossible to handle right now, you can do it! Slow down, take a deep breath and take one day at a time. Someone very special to me has the best saying I have ever heard:

"Today is the first day of the rest of your life".

Best of Luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
I think I have racing thought syndrome. I can't stop thinking about anything every second I have another thought popping in and out of my head I tried writtin singing everything to stop this but it takes over my focus I can't remember anything at all sometimes I blackout and don't remember a thing I have trouble sleeping and seem to be requiring a lot of attention or I will become very sad and sometimes I want something and have no idea what it is. Does anyone know what's wrong with me I need help soon I'm breaking
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