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Help with Intrusive Thoughts/ Anxiety?
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Welcome to the Mood Disorders Forum. Questions in this forum are being answered by Peter Forster, MD and topics covered are anxiety, bipolar, depression, panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and stress.

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Help with Intrusive Thoughts/ Anxiety?

Hi

I am 16 and ever since i was 10 i had a wierd problem, where i thought about cars flying and hitting me, i grew older and it went, then came back but this time the thoughts were different i thought about random things going fast, just like they show sometimes on Adverts (Commercials) it then went and came back but worse and it made me get loads of anxiety symptoms, i had help by a mental health consiler but a few calming techniques didnt work, after this they went slightly then came back worse but with thoguths bout where i am being like on a fast ride or like spinning and i dont know why, i cant stop think about it and its constantally 24/7 and it scares me, this causes the anxiety, i went to the doctors and they said they would refer me back, i took blood tests as the doc requested then came back after a month, and my doctor had left so a different doctor spoke to me about it, and said she wouldnt refer me back, and i would grow out of it by about 21, i am so lost and dont know what to do.

Do these sound like Intrusive thoughts?
And my anxiety causes me to isolate myself, feel ill scared sometimes paranoid and my heart beats faster and i feel sick and stuff,

What should i do?

Many thanks

Callum
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I am not a child and adolescent psychiatrist... so take everything I have to say with one or two grains of salt...

However....

These kind of intrusive thoughts are not uncommon in adolescents. And, the good news is that they usually go away on their own... although sometimes not until you are in your 20's.

I think that the connection with your own experiences is interesting and may lead to some thoughts about treatment.

I would explore two options -

1. EMDR  (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy. This might work pretty quickly. It is usually offered by psychologists, occasionally psychiatrists.

2. Psychotherapy using the techniques of "exposure therapy". Again, something that psychologists are more likely to offer (and not all psychologists - you want to make sure that whoever you see has training in this area).

Either or both should be very helpful in getting these symptoms under control pretty quickly. Definitely worth the effort I would say.
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Avatar_f_tn
Anxiety can sometimes feel as though things are sped up.  I was wondering if it could be something in addition to anxiety.  I don't know though.

I was leaving your post for the expert to respond too.  Just wanted to let you know that it hasn't been overlooked.

Stress and anxiety can do all those things:  increase heart rate, make you sweat, make you feel sick, etc.  Not very nice.
The doctor put a diagram in his photos folder if you wanted to check that out.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello

Thank you for talking, i agree i always said that, the thoguths are strange and im not sure if they are delusions or Intrusive Thougths or something else

Thanks

Callum
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Avatar_f_tn
You identify the origins as coming from a thought (about cars flying and hitting you).  Did something happen to cause you to start thinking about cars hitting you?

I have a fear of planes crashing.  Is hard to explain but if I can't sight a plane and it is very loud and low and I can't determine where it is I panic.  When I was growing up there seemed to be a large number of commercial plane crashes and because we live on top of a hill mum would say that she hoped that nobody would crash into us.  As a young child I perceived this to mean that it was likely that a plane would crash into us.  This still affects me to this day even though I know that the thought is irrational.

As a child you wouldn't want a car to hit you, would you?

Sometimes I think that I would like something to crash into me, for me to be sick, but I think this is just a way for me to get nurturing or for others to show some compassion.  For me to feel loved.  I never want the consequences that go with being hurt though.

Could the thoughts have come back during a particularly stressful time in your life?

When I was first diagnosed with depression I felt that stationary cars were moving.  I found that really disorientating and stressful, especially when driving.
I sometimes feel that the clouds, etc move way too fast for me to process them.

Could it be vertigo or an inner ear problem?  Has your doctor considered stuff like that?

I honestly don't know.  It sounds like anxiety but also doesn't at the same time.
It does sounds as though the relaxation or calming techniques helped a little.

For now I would try some stress management and relaxation techniques.  I hope the expert can explain things to you (and me) and suggest ways for you to move forward.

I'm of the opinion that the doctor should have referred you for counselling.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello

I understand you about the cloud i have that too, wellwhen i was young about 8 i was hit by a car, then i have seen two plane crashes since, one of them was near the time of the car, noth were at an airshow, i no longer really think about the car but that were i am being on like a fast ride, so it's sorta change if you get me, i personally think the thoughts cause me to get anxious but that is my opinion

I did have a Ear check and she said my ear is congested, but i dont think that causes the problem, but i can get dizzy which the ear congestion could cause.

The Relaxation techniques helped slightly but it is hard for me to focus, i do agree though it could have comeback from a time of stress but is now sticking around

I agree she should have reffered me for more counsiling
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Avatar_f_tn
Interesting.  When I was ?5 my family was involved in a head on collision.  A lady was distressed by something that was happening in her relationship and wasn't paying attention.  Our car ended being shunted partway over a cliff.  My memories of this accident, apart from me believing that head-ons actually came from the side because that was the last thing I remember (a car coming down a steep hill on my side), was blood and broken glass and firemen and fire engines and ambulances.  Mainly just blood and glass and yellow clad firemen.

When I was in therapy a couple of years ago my therapist thought that my anxiety may have been due to this (and also me being run over).  She thought that I was storing a lot of this tension in my body, hence why I was feeling so anxious all the time.

I had nightmares growing up -not sure if they are related.  I also had what I now believe could have been flashbacks.  I spent a lot of my time reliving stuff that happened on that day.  For a long time actually.

I'm not sure how effective emdr is.  My last therapist swore by it.  She tried it a couple of times with me but I think it may have been too early for me.  I often find people touching me difficult to deal with and emdr can be very touchy feely.  The therapist sits very close and taps you, etc.  Anyway, she said it was really good and I believe her.

So possibly even post traumatic stress disorder?  That's slightly different to straight anxiety.  Could be worth researching if you're interested.

Is the doctor you're seeing a family doctor or a psychiatrist?
I would ask to be referred back to the mhs for more psychological support.
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Avatar_m_tn
Ah sorry to heear that, um could be yeah i am still concious of Cars and vehicles, but im not sure if it relates

I can not do that until a doctor feels fit
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Avatar_f_tn
Keep putting your case forward and maybe one day, hopefully before age 21, they'll refer you for therapy.  I wish psychiatrists, etc could see the psychological harm their actions or inactions cause.

In the meantime I guess, keep using the support forums, practice the relaxation techniques you were taught by your mh counselor and try some self-help.
Would your parents access support for you privately?  Could you get a second opinion?  The first doctor said that they would refer you back.  Perhaps the second one overlooked something.  ??
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah

Im not sure, you live in england, or US?
I have a real bad day of it today its really taking me over,
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Avatar_f_tn
New Zealand.  Our system probably isn't too dissimilar to your own.  We see our GP's and then they refer for specialist treatment.  (Unless you go private or are insured.)

I guess I have been fortunate in that my GP referred me to the mhs.  The only problem is that they are so incompetent.

The anxiety is obviously affecting you.  If it interferes with your ability to function then you should have access to support services.

If you were to go to the hospital when you were feeling most anxious they might be able to refer you for counselling, etc.  (And hopefully not put you on a 12 month wait list.)

If you have a good relationship with your GP they might be able to help move a referral forward or have a word with the psych services.
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Avatar_m_tn
Ah New Zealand, always wanted to visit that place.

Yeah it is the same, well im not sure they usually depend on who's available to see you, well my GP was not very good so we usually go to different doctors, which a few people do.

i also find since and i will be open about it i have started to be like really sex drive with my girlfriend and im not sure why

Thanks for talking it's very comforting

Callum
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Avatar_f_tn
Maybe one day you will.  Parts of it are beautiful while some aspects of it are ugly, which is probably true for most places.  If you're into rugby, here's to us winning the world cup although most world cup years we succumb to the pressure and most likely we will be thrashed by France or some other country in the semi's.  With the television rights the way they are I don't expect they will show much of the country.

Your set-up sounds more like one of the drop-in clinics at my local medical centre.  Drop-in clinics are only five minute appointments with the assigned doctor for that particular morning.  There is a different doctor for each morning.
If you don't like your doctor you should definitely change.  If you ever find a good one you should stick with them.  Make sure that when you make the appointment that you know who it is with.

I wouldn't like to hazard a guess about the sex aspect.  Maybe it's to relieve anxiety, maybe it's to feel in control, maybe it's just a way to lose yourself, maybe it's due to your age and hormones (you don't sound hormonal or aggressive though).  You may have a better idea of what it is about.
Can I just offer a word of caution?  Be careful with your girlfriend.  Make sure everything is consensual and try and be aware of her feelings.  Just make sure that she is OK and comfortable.  You sound sensible and intelligent so I expect you have everything under control.  It's also not my place to lecture you about the birds and the bees.
Maybe it's just because you feel with your girlfriend??

I enjoy talking with people.  It also helps me in that it distracts me from my own issues.
It's nice having someone to talk to so close to Christmas.  Usually Xmas is a time when health professionals, etc go on leave and it doesn't really offer much in the illusion or assurance of support.  It can be a lonely and stressful time for many people.

I hope the weather in the UK doesn't upset your family's holiday plans too much.
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Avatar_m_tn
yeah i understand.

i agree about the sex stuff it does relieve my anxiety, i know it upsets her sometimes deepdown, she has some social anxiety but i try my best for her we have been out over a year now.

well i know what doctor im seeing but one or two dont understand much about mental health.

yeah i understand bout christmas.

i also get about the clouds going fast as well sometimes it's horible

yeah thanks we are having snow abit lately it's ususally rain

thanks

callum
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi.  Hey sorry.  I'm not a very good person to talk to about sex stuff, etc.

Maybe you and your girlfriend were drawn together because you both have stuff in common and can probably better relate than many other people.  I probably wouldn't have understood a lot about either anxiety or depression at 16.  Not like really know, if you know what I mean.

If there are doctors who you feel are more understanding then try for them.
I don't know if it is better to see a compassionate doctor or one who will get a result for you.  My GP listens and takes time and has made an effort to better understand issues I face but ... I'm still stuck, without support and despite seeing him weekly for x many years are probably more unhealthy now than at any other time in my life.
I would opt for the doctor who is more boundaried and better able to access the appropriate care for you.
I honestly couldn't say whether things would have been better or worse had I seen a different doctor.  I guess the important thing is to see someone who you feel comfortable with.  I think a lot of people don't understand mental illness until they experience it.

It's been wet and cloudy here, which is great because we've been in the middle of a drought.  The cloud stuff mainly happens on fine days.  Having just white to look at is pretty low stimulus.  I had to drive to the city recently and that was kind of like the clouds.  It was a lot going on for me.  That could be that our brains are just so overloaded and that it is difficult to really concentrate.

Snow can be exciting for a bit.

Have a good weekend.
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Avatar_m_tn
I understand yeah its okay.

Yeah i know what you mean about gp's

ah right yeah snow can be boring to look at, where abouts in new zeland you live then?

Thank you, you too
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