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Depression/Mental Health Forum
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Avatar universal

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.

14 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
'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...
Avatar universal
Please do not add the Klonipin.  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, 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
Avatar universal
Please do not add the Klonipin.  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, 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
Avatar universal
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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