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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5423
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi I have a real problem with constant racing thoughts. Ill

Resolved Question:

Hi
I have a real problem with constant racing thoughts. I'll imagine all sorts of situations, some from the past or some made up. It's a mix of bad and good things. I've had it for years but ignored it, however its particularly bad just now as I have a lot of stress and frustrations at work so the racing thoughts are tending towards situations where i get angry and aggresive. The thoughts take over so much I'm often physically showing them as well (talking to myself etc)
I'm also a bit OCD. So I'll always be tapping things three or ten times before something happens, like a 'race'. Or when i'm driving i'll pretend to race a car on the opposite side of the road to a sign or whatever.
My memory has become extremely poor so i can't even remember things that happen the same day.
I have trouble speaking sometimes and get words switched round the wrong way, like i'm talking too fast. It also happens when i type.
I have a great deal of difficulty doing things as I'll talk myself out of it through these imaginary conversations. I have to emphasise that I don't feel like a worrier, in fact quite the opposite.
I've had depression in the past.
I've also had a blood test with a marginal result for thyroid which may be linked? I'm looking into it just now with my doc anyway.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It is good that you are exploring the possibility of having a thyroid problem. When you have symptoms such as yours, it is always a good idea to get any physical problem ruled out first before you consider getting treatment for any possible mental health issue. And you may also find that your symptoms could be a combination of a physical disorder and an emotional issue.

It would be a good idea as well to see a therapist to rule out OCD or any other disorder. There are many different types of OCD. Some people obsess about germs, others about behaviors (repeating) and some experience repeated behaviors like tapping in order to control how they feel.

OCD is an anxiety related disorder. You feel you need to repeat a behavior in order to keep your anxiety down. If you think of not repeating the behavior, your anxiety increases making it hard to function.

It helps to realize that the thoughts you are having may be because you have OCD. This is a disorder caused by altered brain chemicals and can become worse with stress.

Refocus your thoughts. When the thoughts come into your mind, distract yourself. Find something that interests you and focus on it as long as you can.

Learn what you can about OCD and see if the symptoms you are having fit the disorder. Here are some resources to help you:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/obsessive_compulsive_disorder_ocd.htm

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/index.shtml

Medications and therapy are very helpful and can provide you with the coping mechanisms you need to deal with your racing thoughts. And medications can help reduce or possibly eliminate them. Talk to your doctor about a referral. Or you can search on line at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5423
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Kate. That is helpful thanks.


It's also worth mentioning that I constantly pick at myself (bite nails etc).


Also, if there's something needing done and I put it off I find it really hard to come back to it. I think I'm quite cool under pressure and not a worrier so I find it hard to get my head round the fact that I'm anxious. On the other hand, why do I put things off all the time!!! Confused!! Car making a funny noise, yet I keep putting it off because I don't which garage to put in into. New baby card & present not sent to cousin. Boiler has a fault, haven't done anything (and that's an easy one cause my friend will probably fix it for free!). Hospital costs of £1000 not claimed against travel insurance.


 


The thoughts can come so thick and fast its really difficult to focus on anything. Even writing down the thoughts is difficult as they just move from one thing to another as I try to pin them down. It can be a conversation, then a song or anything really. Music helps I think, I might also try meditation.


 


Is it possible the OCD type behaviour might be because of the racing thoughts? The thoughts are so random that maybe the counting, the picking etc might be to bring some order to chaos or help me focus?

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.

Having anxiety does not mean you feel motivated. Actually, it can be quite the opposite because anxiety makes you feel tired. It takes a lot out of your body when you feel anxious (adrenaline) so you end up feeling more tired than you would without anxiety.

Also, putting things off may be a way to avoid feeling like a failure. That could be due to poor self esteem or past issues. Therapy can help sort that out.

It is very possible that OCD could cause racing thoughts. Racing thoughts is a common symptom of OCD and the counting and picking are ways to address the anxiety that comes with OCD. It may help you focus as well.

Kate

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