I had my second session of therapy today and we spoke about the things surrounding my anxiety (we only had an hour). I told him about my Emetophobia, panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, OCD, health anxiety, and social anxiety. He then went on to score them by which ones are the worst so we could then decide on what to work on.
The main areas we are going to concentrate on throughout my therapy is panic attacks and Emetophobia, as the fear of vomiting is where my anxiety stemmed from after all and they are both the biggest pains in my life.
However we will be covering the others and today we spoke about intrusive thoughts.
Well!! I had to share because in actual fact of course intrusive thoughts are normal. He showed me a study that was done on around 200 hundred people who did not have a diagnosed mental health problem and considered themselves as ‘normal’ and happy.
All these people had at least one if not not more of the ‘intrusive thoughts’ listed in the study.
So RELAX it is fair to say that we ALL have intrusive thoughts from time to time.
However it is the level of impact these thoughts have on us that can change their nature from quite ordinary to abnormal or obsessive.
Intrusive thoughts are strange, sometimes really random, and can be worrying. Whether they are dangerous, violent, sexual or just plain silly
I have always had them where I have thought everything around me was dangerous, I have had them whilst driving down a motorway and out of nowhere I thought of opening the car door and jumping out and other times I have thought about checking my oven is off, AGAIN for the 5th time.
I have often thought there is something seriously wrong with me and googled symptoms of Schizophrenia and Bipolar.
But let me just say take comfort on knowing these thoughts are distressing.My therapist then went to explain this and it wasn’t a nice explanation.
He was making comparisons based on murderous thoughts between two individuals and one of them found the thoughts distressing, thought there is something very wrong with them and seeks help. Whilst the other one tends to enjoy the thoughts, seeks them out, and indulge in them.
That is the difference intrusive thoughts are unwelcome they do not make us bad people nor do they make us mental.
So if you’re having intrusive thoughts and finding them unpleasant, the chances are high that you’re a good person.
I think that was my main worry, about whether I would act on the more serious thoughts like driving and opening the car door to jump out. By not having the understanding of intrusive thoughts I found them disturbing however I was never going to act on them as all they actually did was cause me distress.
We shouldn’t act even on the silly ones like checking the oven is off as all we are doing is feeding the thoughts, so just remember thoughts are not facts.
Obviously I need to work on this myself and find a way to make these thoughts boring so that they do not intrude in my life anymore. But after two sessions I am still feeling positive 🙂