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Intrusive Thoughts and Anxiety

I been battling thoughts for a long time since I was little kid. I'm 21 now and I have obsessive thoughts that bother me day and night. My mind won't leave me alone at all. I had some trouble sleeping and only got 3 hours or 5 hours of sleep a night. I go to sleep with the thought on my mind and I wake up with it. I'm kind of afraid to say it ,because I feel that people will get the wrong impression, but I'll say it anyway because I need help. I cry and breakdown from it because I know its not who I am. A couple months ago before leaving off to school I was laying down watching tv a show that I usually watch. As I watch the show I saw two guys give each other a kiss. Now I'm not gay but after I saw that its like thoughts started running through my head. Its weird to me because I've seen stuff like that before and it never bothered me. Thoughts would constanly say your going gay and stuff. Or that I'm going to be like that and always been like that when I havent. I dont have a problem with those who's lifestyles are like that but its not me. Its not who I am, I always and still do have an attraction and desire to be with woman only. I want to start my own family and have a wife and kids. I been attracted to girls since I was little. I have strong desires to be with girls. Before I left I was seeing someone and we hit it off and I really liked her. The thoughts make me feel there is no end and pretty much saying thats how I'm going to be when I dont. I know thats not me thats not in my heart. Everytime I pray I feel better or say a strong comment, I know in my heart I'm straight. I'm not denying or supressing anything. I just know who I am and what I want. I cant function throughout the day because the thoughts will constanly come and reloop in my mind. It feels like im going insane. I went to counseling but it only helped so much. Talking to my mom and dad has helped me a great deal and I just try my best to ignore the thoughts. I just want them to be gone. I feel like I'm losing myself to these thoughts, like I have to give in. It makes me feel bad and ashamed bringing up false feelings and images in my mind that I'm not trying to even think about. Bad dreams and just makes me feel terrible. Please I need help.

Reply from Sound-Mind.org

Hello!
Thank you so much for sharing your story here. I am sure that you are not alone with these sorts of thoughts. Obsessive thoughts always consist of those things we are concerned we will have no control over, usually things that we DONT want to happen. Thoughts, no matter what they are or how persistent they are, will always be there as long as you look for them. Trying to push thoughts out of your mind will only make them persist and this persistance is what makes these sorts of obsessions most bothersome. The best way to overcome obsessive thoughts is to just accept them as thoughts and nothing more. You are afraid of these thoughts and through your attempt to push them away, they just push back that much harder. Don't be afraid of your thoughts. You know your own heart and who you are. Instead, try to accept those thoughts, let them exist and then remind yourself of the truth. Acceptance of the thoughts doesn't mean you are accepting them as truth. It just means you are accepting their existence. Everyday people have random thoughts that skip through the mind on a regular basis. However, people with anxiety are very sensitive to their thoughts. What used to be mindless chatter in the back of the brain has come to the forefront of the mind and has now become center stage. Anxiety is the reason for this. Anxiety causes people to notice things that seem wrong and it studies it, picks it apart and then causes the sufferer to find a way to prevent it from happening. Again, the best way to overcome obsessive thoughts like this are to accept them, not make a big deal of them, and allow them to exist while telling yourself the truth about who you are. For more help on overcoming obsessive thoughts please visit Obsessive Thinking:Ending Scary Thoughts Please be patient with yourself as you work on this and be sure to keep your attitude positive. It is very easy to feel defeated as if you will never overcome this but I assure you, if you keep working at it, things will improve greatly for you. There are many book recommendations throughout this website, be sure to check them out at your local library and do not stop educating yourself. Education, Acceptance, Persistence, Positive/truthful thinking...they are all important and promote a healthy life. If you are not finding that your therapist is helping, then I just encourage you to find another one. Find a therapist specializing in cognitive-behavioral therapy and in OCD. As long as you do not give up, you cannot lose!

Take Care!
~Susan

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