How do you get rid of intrusive thoughts

It started at a golf course, had people talk my thoughts but they were just passing thoughts but it made me nervous, it made me feel sick . I try to block them out but they never stopped. I told my mom that day i wanted to just die. It was very painful and uncomfortable . At school i wore earplugs to get them out of my head but now i’ve given up people think im a pervert and a racist i don’t like my tv head. Elated when no one can read my thoughts. But have people inside my body. I just want my privacy. They never leave me alone the same thoughts play like a broken record. My doctor says we are not we think. He stresses the importance of meditation. Wish for quiet thoughts.

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I’ve been there a couple times, and I’m afraid I might be on the cusp of another psychotic episode. I do have more hope this time around, though, because always in the past I refused to accept that what I was hearing wasn’t real. I just didn’t want to have schizophrenia/hallucinations/whatever. The idea of having it was more frightening than the idea that what I was hearing was real.

Odds are, people don’t think you’re racist or whatever. And unless you have an emotional outburst and/or express yourself, your thoughts and life are perfectly private. Remembering that can often help me ignore it.

I actually began a meditation practice a few months ago, and it’s been a lifeline for me. One of the things the instruction stresses is that everything–thoughts, feelings, situations, etc–are temporary, and everything comes and goes. At the very least, the practice helps keep panic at bay. If things suck right now, they won’t tomorrow or even in a few hours/minutes/whatever. Everything else just seems to be a slow-going perception change…


I found it possible only through medication.


Dear notsure,
I’m afraid to meditate. Not sure if it will work for me. Have high levels of stress due to people reading my intrusive thoughts. Just want to fall asleep feel physically sick. Have people in my body. Feel like my life is in danger sometimes. I hope my fears will not come true.

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I’ve found I can only meditate when my voices are quiet.

This is a really sticky situation. I’m really sorry. :frowning: I’m not currently experiencing full-blown intrusive thoughts at the moment, but I know that when I was it was stifling. I couldn’t breathe, much less let my mind wander (or even focus) in comfort. I always felt like I had to censor my own thoughts, and that took up almost all of my energy.

I hope I don’t offend anyone by saying this, but people can’t read thoughts. No matter how much you might feel like it, they simply can’t. At worst, they might notice that you seem agitated, but (as my therapist always reminded me) people are usually too busy worrying about their own crap–including what other people are thinking about THEM–to even notice your behavior. I always wished someone would tell me things like that straight out, but at the same time…I knew I was too paranoid to believe anyone, which is why I usually didn’t even menation it. I just didnt have anyone I felt I could trust. But hey, there it is anyway.

Regarding meditation, though, I don’t have a professional instructor or take a class or anything so I don’t have to be around other people to do it. I’ve been using an app on my phone for practice, and most sessions involve trying to focus on your own breathing. If thoughts come up, you’re supposed to acknowledge that they’re there, along with any feelings and secondary thoughts/worries/judgements that are tagging along with them, and then let thoughts move on once you’ve acknowledged and accepted that they exist (instead of fighting it). If it happens to be a worry that someone heard something you thought, then thats what it is. You’re supposed to also accept all emotions as okay and valid, and practice letting go of any feelings of self-judgement, which is supposed to EVENTUALLY soften any thoughts of other people judging you (and you judging them)…as a “practice,” though, it’s a long-term commitment with gradual results that you probably won’t see immediately–aside from potentially feeling calmer.

I’ve seen several pdocs and therapists/counselors over the years (I moved around a lot), and most of them stressed yoga and breathing exercises rather than actual “meditation,” though. Yoga is good because it’s a form of meditation in which you’re focusing so completely on your body and its sensations (often to make sure you don’t overdo it and hurt yourself while gauging how much farther you can push yourself) that you don’t really have much time to worry about other things while you’re doing it. And a lot of breathing exercises are designed to engage your parasympathetic nervous system, which releases calming chemicals. You should really discuss your fears and options with your pdoc.

You are working with your psychiatrist to find a good med/combination of meds that works best for you, right?

Side note: Not all meds work for all people. Be sure you get a good idea from your pdoc what kind of time frame you’re looking at when it comes to noticing change. In originally searching for one that works, my doctor always wanted to see me in about a month, but you should be sure you’re communicating with your pdoc. If you’re experiencing side effects you don’t feel comfortable with or can’t tolerate (or that exceeds what’s acceptible in your prescription’s warning label), contact your pdoc or get emergency help immediately.

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I can relate. I can relate to the feeling people can read my thoughts (which I could probably live with) but especially to the feeling that people think I’m some kind of racist or pervert (precicesly) which I attribute not to the feeling of my thoughts being read but to the feeling that there is seemingly another entity within me saying racist and perverted things when I am around others.

I can also relate to you’re only wanting to (or lack of ability to) sleep. As this is what I resort to when I can’t think of anything else. That is how I feel, I get in bed, pull the covers over me, put on my fan and eventually my cat joins me by my side.

Have I found a medication? I have tried so many, I am so fed up with the mental health profession right now. I was on benzos for fifteen years and off them four now back on (klonopin) and he goes and prescribes me lyrica (I am slowly and painfully stepping down though my ability to appear in public sober has diminished considerably) As for anti-psychotics, I had myself switched to one that doesn’t end with you weighing 400 LB’s and am getting some excersise. Social Isolation has been killer as I took a huge chance moving back to my hometown where I hadn’t kept in touch with anyone I knew who even still lived here, to help start a clubhouse (free program for people with mental illness) before everything went to ■■■■.

I wish I could sound more optimistic, I really do. I’ve had good times, bad times, bad times I thought were good times and vice versa, but really my life has come to a screaching hault because of this ■■■■. And it really is ■■■■,.

Same, for me it turned out to be a chemical matter, because once I was on certain meds, the intrusive thoughts went away. I imagine for some people it is more psychological. But for me it turned out to be my brain organ, maybe like something getting caught in the circuits.

Medication can help a lot. Other than that, if you don’t have problems with delusions of reference, you might want to try listening to the radio while trying to fall asleep. I used to have some trouble falling asleep at times already before my schizophrenia surfaced. Developed a habit of listening to talk radio whenever I couldn’t fall asleep. When I turned psychotic, though still difficult to fall asleep, I found much comfort in the distraction the conversations on the radio offered. What seems to be key to me in dealing with intrusive thoughts is to not get too upset about them, and not pay too much attention to them. That’s easier said than done. I found talk-radio most effective in distracting my attention from my racing intrusive thoughts. I can only speculate as for why, but I think it has to do that we are sort of hardwired to pay attention to human speech. That’s how I make sense of talk-radio being more effective than music to distract my mind. I could imagine and relate to the desire for silence. For the time being, though, sort of neutral conversation may be more soothing than the crap intrusive thoughts can throw at you.

With time, I got a little better in dealing with intrusive thoughts without external distractions. I find it hard to explain exactly how, but I became better in not getting carried away with intrusive thoughts. You see, my problem with them seems to be not only some initial intrusive thought, but also a whole series of related thoughts about that first occurrence. I would sort of discuss, or argue against the contents of that first intrusive thought, resistance - which may be a natural way of dealing with such upsetting thought contents. But as a result, I end up thinking a lot about stuff that really ought to have no place in my mind. Somehow, with time and also medication, I still have intrusive thoughts, but am now able to let them rest at that initial occurrence, not obsess about them, and, to put it rather vaguely, ‘merely observe’ them, rather than engaging with them. I don’t meditate, can’t give you advice on it, but this might be a bit similar to a state meditation can put you in. I can fall asleep with a bout of racing intrusive thoughts now, letting them be. For resisting them means also paying attention to them. Things can get better with medication and time.

ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy) is based on Buddhist mindfulness. One of the skills is breaking up unwanted thoughts in this case thinking “Thank you brain for coming up with incredibly creative thoughts.” It’s a bit of head game especially when starting to gain experience using it when overwhelmed with constantly attacking thoughts but does work.

There are two self help books on ACT around both by Dr Russ Harris The Reality Slap and The happiness trap both worth a read.

Tons of info on ACT on the net also.

Doh To late to edit it “Thank you brain for coming up with incredibly creative stories”

rather then Thank you brain for coming up with incredibly creative stories thoughts.