Intrusive thoughts

Dear reader,

It’s come to my attention that my irrational thoughts are not as irrational as I once thought.Tonight I am struggling to sleep, I hate this. I am lying awake thinking about what it is that truly causes me anxiety.

I did some research and discovered that my irrational fear of certain people in my life dying could actually be a form of OCD and generalised anxiety.

I have written before about how I have some social anxiety issues that stop me from being able to be around people sometimes, I have written about how I have some separation anxiety when it comes to certain people in my life leaving and my panic attacks show that I have general anxiety, I have a panic attack on average once a day, they aren’t as debilitating like some people’s. But they do make me feel terrible. My heart races, I feel sick, and dizzy. My head feels like its going to explode, I feel like I’m going to pass out. It comes and goes quickly. Sometimes its worse than others, generally I just sit down for a few seconds and it goes away. I’m an incredibly anxious person.

But I have constant thoughts that my parents, grandparents and cat are going to die, which probably sounds weird.

My parents work evenings. They finish work at 10pm. If I am home and it gets to 10:30pm I start to panic. I picture them being in a terrible car accident that kills them. When I was in college, we had a special lesson on road safety. A fireman came to talk to us about car accidents and wearing a seat belt. He told us horror stories of cutting people out of crushed cars, he showed us pictures of people who had been hit by cars. The worst image I saw (which graphically stays in my memory) was of a piece of someone’s skull on a car windscreen. When my parents don’t come home, I picture these things. Them bleeding to death in a wrecked car. Slowly dying alone. Intrusive violent thoughts. A sign of OCD.

With my grandparents, it’s a different situation. Whenever my house phone rings I panic a little. I hate it, my heart skips a beat. If my mum answers the phone (we have caller ID) it’s because it’s my grandparents phone number. If she picks up the phone my heart instantly sinks. My brain goes to worst case scenario. Someone is dead. I feel the lump in my throat before the conversation begins and even when I can tell it’s nothing serious, I still feel panicked and upset.

I’m terrified my cat will die in the night and I will wake up to him being dead. He’s 17 we have had him since he was a kitten, I know he isn’t exactly a young kitten. Sometimes the anxiety gets so bad that I have to get up in the middle of the night and bring him upstairs and let him sleep on my bed. When I go on holiday I get petrified he will die at the boarding cattery he stays at whilst we are away. If I see anything wrong with him I freak out. He was drooling in his sleep last week and I was convinced he had a liver problem.

And finally and here is the weird part of all of this. I am terrified I will go to sleep and never wake back up. Now for someone who contemplates suicide that probably sounds ridiculous, but there are so many things I need to do before I die, things I need to hide, things I need to fix, things I need to explain. I am terrified of dying. Because I don’t want my family to be disappointed in me when they find certain things out about me.

Writing this has made me panic more. I keep picturing my grandmother dying and it truly is traumatising. I am lying in bed waiting for the phone to ring. It’s 4AM and I can’t sleep because of these stupid thoughts. I just went downstairs to get my cat, I don’t want him to die alone. Even though he’s perfectly fine, probably slightly annoyed at me for waking him up and dragging him upstairs. I know I don’t control these thoughts. Now I’m breathless and my arms are itching.

Stupid OCD.

As always,

The Elephant in the Room

20 thoughts on “Intrusive thoughts

  1. When my dog got old, I’d keep checking to see if he was breathing, right through the night. And btw your panic attacks sound pretty bad. Does your pdoc know about them? Panic is a total bitch, I’m so sorry you’re going through it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to hear that. I think you might be undergoing some OCD with the intrusive thoughts you are having. I have them to when I’m not under the influence of a billion different types of pills. :/

    It sucks but at least the medication can make me functional so that’s a plus. I’d get your doc to check it out for sure though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I get stressed myOCD kicks in, though mild, it tends to be more obsessive repetition, checking and re checking mainly and it does make me quite panicky as I’m aware I’m doing it and can’t stop.Panic attacks and the whole issue surrounding anxiety and depression, is bloody hard to deal with, it’s like dominoes falling.

    This has to be added to the list when you see your usual GP, so sorry this is happening to you, I think perhaps call the number given to you, you have been proactive about research into your condition, a step further to get help is important.

    Take care

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Anxious Accessories and commented:
    It’s on nights like these that I really feel the full extent of Kall’s mental health issues. Just the other night he was up, anxious and vomiting, in the middle of the night and it always throws out his entire day, if not his entire week. It’s ok to want kitty-cuddles to make you feel better – I often wake Alfie up just for a cuddle and he looks at me as if to say “but I was sleeping and I don’t want cuddles” and then he curls up in between us and he’s happy again. Gosh that little puppy makes my day sometimes!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I experience similar thoughts and emotions frequently but didn’t consider that they might be related to my OCD. I panic when I don’t hear from my mum at the times I’m expecting to. Sometimes I’m near crippled by an overwhelming fear of her death.
    I also have the same ironic panic about my own death despite my constant suicidal thoughts; I thought I was alone on this one and am surprised to encounter someone else who feels the same!
    I’m sorry that you are experiencing these thoughts, I wish I had a solution.
    Thank you for verbalising this and helping me feel a little less alone!
    Aimee x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I probably don’t have anything useful to say about anxiety or OCD. I’m guessing that “logical thinking” is not going to be able to shut off a “worry loop.” That is, yes, your parents being late (later than “usual’) getting home MIGHT be the result of them being in a traffic accident. But statistically, rationally, analytically (as useless as it may be), the great likelihood is that something far more mundane happened. They are stuck in traffic. They stopped at the store. And so forth.

    So, why does it happen that your concern about them being late presumes the most awful reason? Just a rhetorical question… don’t try to answer here. 😉

    About dying pets. (I love cats!) At 17, your cat is pretty darn old. Some day yes, it will die. I would not advise wrapping yourself in that event before it happens, but it will, sadly, happen. If you are fearing that this will happen, well… you’re fearing what is inevitable.

    It sounds like you feel very much not ready to experience and deal with that, however. Just another thought experiment: Is there anything you can do to better prepare yourself for having your cat die? I don’t know if “preparation” could reduce your anxiety about it.

    Regarding panic attacks / “Panic Disorder”you might want to research things along the line of “biological biochemical cause of panic attacks.” I remember many years ago (!) reading that someone at the University of Washington and done some research that pointed to a clear biochemical cause for some panic attacks.

    Just found this. It appears to be from 2006. I leave it to you to determine how accurate it is.


    “A U.S. study suggests panic disorder is a fairly common condition that can cause frightening symptoms, but yet is relatively easy to treat.

    A University of Washington psychiatrist says although panic disorder can be difficult to diagnose, it can usually be resolved within two months.”

    Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think your writing is very important because it helps other people who may be struggling with the same issues realize they are not alone.
    Sometimes we constantly worry about things because we want to control outcomes. Our brains are trained to look at things negatively as we attempt to predict threats and keep ourselves safe. I believe this extends to emotional safety as well. Maybe if we think we know the abandonment is coming we can somehow stop it or at least soften the blow because we prepped ourselves…
    Along with any recommendations your doctor has made, I would recommend the book “The Untethered Soul.” It helped me with my anxiety : )

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about this. I can totally relate to this 😦 I’ve shared a bit of my story on my blog too.. The thought of dying in my sleep makes me feel so afraid. Who is going to look after my parents, who is going to burn my secret diary if I were to die? I’m so worried that people will end up reading my secrets. If i were to die, will there be anyone who will care? I get afraid over almost every single thing.

    I hope you will get better. You’re really brave to tell the world your story, so please keep it up. There will always be a light at the end of the tunnel! Take care 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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