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For a time I suffer from anxiety with changing symptons and…

Hi! For a long time...
Hi! For a long time I suffer from anxiety with changing symptons and fears? I am in a constant battle with my thoughts. Sometimes i am able to take the mindful approach and sort of accept them for what they are, thoughts. Other times the thoughts are rather worrying and i can't seem to get them off my mind, which affects me in my daily life.
For the past few days, i haven't been able to escape the question of the meaning of life. I know it is normal to question it every once in awhile, but i literally question the meaning of life all day, everyday. I am not happy having thoughts like this, and it seems i will not be able to live a happy life if i am constantly consumed by this idea that we are all going to die, and therefore it doesn't matter what i'm doing right now. I will give you an example of a situation in which a thought like this will come up:
On the golf course- "So what if i hit this ball straight? In the long run it really doesn't mean anything. It's just a game. Yeah, we have fun playing games, and may create memories, but in the end we all die and the memories will be erased. What good are memories if we all die? Why are we even important in the scheme of the entire Universe. Earth is just a tiny little planet relative to the entire universe, so why does it matter what we do here on earth?"
I constantly am questioning why i am here and what my purpose is, or any of our purposes for that matter. I know it is good to think about these things every once in awhile, but these thoughts are consuming my life, and giving me no room to be at peace. I had thoughts like these in another anxiety episode as welI, but then they changed to another fear. Why do I get these kinds of thoughts always in my anxiety episodes and why do I fear them so much? Am i getting crazy OR it is just Another Part of anxiety, like other intrusive thoughts? Thank you!
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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
I have fear that these thoughts make me so depressed that I could become suicidal! Is this common?
Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Is all this just anxiety?
Answered in 1 hour by:
7/19/2017
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,057
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
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Hi, thank you for writing. My name is ***** ***** I am sorry to hear you are so consumed with these things right now. Just like you said at the top, thoughts are only thoughts. And often anxiety will lead us to a place where we can't separate our everyday selves from our thoughts and start to feel trapped and consumed. While this could be your anxiety and likely will pass, I wonder if you don't also sure from some Pure-O OCD, which is a version of obsessive compulsive disorder where more irrational thoughts consume a person leading to an obsession. With OCD, the response to those obsessions is to compulsively act towards those thoughts, typically through fight (trying to prove the thoughts wrong, trying to rationalize them) or flight (trying to make the thoughts stop, actively avoiding the thought). OCd typically picks on things more far-fetched without good reason (contracting a terminal illness, germs, being homosexual, being a pedophile, etc) while anxiety is often about worry regarding consequences of routine/about day-to-day things like money, job loss, a fight with your partner. While I am not able to diagnose on this site especially with the limited information, something that made me wonder about the OCd is the fact that you stated you have been in cycles of "fear" before and one replaces the other. Here is a brief article to help you think about OCD versus anxiety. https://www.verywell.com/what-is-the-difference-between-gad-and-ocd-1393010 .

The reason it is important to get a proper diagnosis is because the treatment approaches differ in that you can't "logic" or think you way out of OCD like you can anxiety. While both have a premise of recognizing thoughts as only thoughts and allowing yourself to not pay them mind, treating anxiety is also about objective thinking while this over-thinking with OCD actually ends up being a compulsion and perpetuates and fuels the obsessions. So take a look at the article and let me know what you think.

Now, as far as feeling depressed, yes, anxiety, OCD and depression commonly coexist so where there is one, there may often be the other. anxiety and OCD can both take significant tolls on our lives hindering the way we feel and behave and even putting pause to us feeling free, capable, and willing to be engaged. Feeling suicidal is also a common component of feeling depressed and sometimes, anxiety/OCD can perpetuate ongoing thinking of suicide as a possibility. However, if you do begin to actively contemplate suicide as a real option for you, it becomes more consuming, and/or you begin to think of how, when and where to do it, you need to get immediate help because you are at risk. In that case, head to your nearest psychiatric emergency room or call 911. And if you do ever feel suicidal and just need to talk, call the National Suicide Prevention Helpine 24/7/365 at 1-***-***-**** https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

I am glad to continue chatting with you about this, especially about treatment options. I am curious if you take a mediation or have ever tried therapy?

-Leah

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Yout answer scares me a little because I know that I suffer from ocd or pure-o along with anxiety and I thought a fear of suicide os typical for that. I love my life, so that is a big fear, that I become hopelessly depressed. I am in CBT. What do you Think?
Customer reply replied 11 months ago
My biggest fear is that Kind of thoughts Stay ans make me depressed, so that I cannot enjoy life. For the Moment i am Not depressed

I am sorry it scared you and sorry for the delay! My intention was actually to validate that occasional and typically fleeting thoughts of suicide can are often associated with most mood disorders. It would be unlikely you are just going to snap and do something to sell-harm - these types of conditions don't dictate reckless behavior. But, they can be exhausting and naturally, when the mind is exhausted, it tends to be creative in its thinking about solutions. So please do not worry but do stay ahead of the thoughts by noting if they are getting worse or if you do begin to contemplate actions. Most people who have suicidal idealization never progress past those thoughts. So don't let your anxiety take hold of you here :)

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Also, I thank you for confirming the OCD. People can and do often have anxiety and OCd paired. the fundamental trick with OCD is to avoid all compulsions and there is a unique kind of CBT directed at helping you not react to obsessions called exposure and response prevention. So if you are in CBt but not working with someone trained in ER</OCD, you may actually be making the obsessions worse because giving them a ton of attention is the opposite of what ERP recommends.

Now, anxiety and OCD may cause you to worry excessively and as of now, you are not depressed, not suicidal, and still enjoying life. So don't let your worried/intrusive thoughts try to convince you that they can predict your future. you are proactive and in treatment and know the basics of how to best combat your anxiety. And while anxiety and OCD do tend to wax and wane, there is reason for you to believe and stay hopeful that this too shall pass, although it will likely take some effort on your part to keep ahead of these thoughts by letting them float on by. I see so often when treating people that when they are in rut, they tend to lose hope and sight of the fact that they will rebound and better days will come.

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Do you take any medications for your anxiety and OCD? Medication therapy with an anti-obsessional SSRI (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, Celexa, Luvox) is usually indicated alongside counseling for best results so if not, you may want to talk to your primary care doctor about this or consider consulting a psychiatrist. There is also a older antidepressant called Anafranil that is also used as a first-line to treat OCD.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
34;Most people who have suicidal idealization never progress past those thoughts." I do not get this. How di you mean it? I am from Germany ans though my englisch is ok, i do Not unterstand it. Cam you say it with other words Please?
Customer reply replied 11 months ago
No I do not take ans medication and I do not like to take any. I tried effexor and cipralex, but I could Not Sleep anymore. So I think I am done with it.

By that statement, I meant that suicidal ideation or having random thoughts does not mean that a person will go on to attempt or commit suicide. A lot of people live life depute having some black thoughts especially when they have an illness like anxiety that is at the root. So while being suicidal is not a automatic part of our lives, having suicidal thoughts alone is not by itself the only predictor for someone choosing to self-harm.

I am sorry those meds didn't work and interfered with your sleep! That is too bad but just know that medications of this rot can take some trial and error to find one that works but when you do get to one that works, it can be hugely helpful.

-Leah

P.S. Your English is excellent!!

LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,057
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
Verified
LeahMSWuofm and 87 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Thank you! I Think my thoughts are Kind of normal human beings, but because I fear them they gut obsessive. Right?

Yes. I think that a lot of people have all kinds of thoughts - some scary, some unwanted, including about our purpose and existence, but OCD and anxiety makes those thoughts get stuck. Normally, we as humans are processing and thinking all the time, but a lot of that info is just deemed irrelevant or unimportant so it isn't paid attention to. With OCD and anxiety, some pieces of information are just not easily discarded and the harder we try to stop thinking about them, the worse it gets (the obsession - compulsion cycle). And yes, things we fear, even subconsciously, often become a target of our OCD. OCD is tricky and manipulative and likes to pick on our vulnerabilities.

Thank you for the rating!

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
how can I get rid of these thoughts? I t is terrible to overthink that life is meaningless...
Customer reply replied 11 months ago
is this already a depression?
Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Or let the anxiety think you negatively?

Complicated because yes, anxiety and depression can contribute to sad, hopeless thoughts. But in your case, you seem to be analyzing this more so then feeling utter despair and that is why I think it is probably your OCD picking on that thought and running with it because you are so attentive to the thought. The best way to get past an obsession is to completely abolish the compulsive reactions. When your mind get stuck on a thought, work on ignoring the thought, letting it come and go without attending to it, or reacting to it. The feelings about life being meaningless are not likely depression if you are ruminating on it and do not show a lot of other signs of depression. That is just one thing people often feel when depressed - hopeless.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
the Thoughts can Disappear? My fear is that when you once get aware that your life is meaningless at all, it will Stay. Is that ocd talking?

Definitely the OCD talking. All things wax and wane. You said yourself that you had some thoughts in the past that eventually went away. OCD will make you believe you are trapped but you aren't. Especially if you practice ignoring the obsessions. Giving in to them will make them stay longer but eventually your brain will burn out on thinking about them.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Thank you so much

You are welcome :)

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