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Overthinking About Instrusive Thoughts

by Sarah
(Canada)

Hey! Just recently, I had a bad instrusive thought that I was lesbian. I got so many panic attacks, and my anxiety was horrible. I started to get sad and decided I wanted to commit suicide for how bad these thoughts were, deep down I know these thoughts aren't true, because before the instrusive thoughts I never thought about being lesbian, but as soon as these thoughts came back (after being on anf off for 3/4 months) I would look at everygirl in my school and get panic attacks and very emotional, at the end of the day I calmed myself down and would say to myself "its just thoughts" don't worry" and I know that, but my mind is overthinking that silly thought and its ruining my social life, home life and even myself. I never was a lesbian before ever, and I know I'm not. But sometimes these thoughts make me so confused and anxious. Once again, I never had feelings for the same gender and never do now. It was just thoughts. I just want them to go away so I can be myself again :( thank you.

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Sep 19, 2013
Intrusive Thoughts Demand your Attention
by: Susan

Hey There!
Thanks so much for the post! Believe it or not, your intrusive thoughts are not that uncommon. Anxiety has a way of picking thoughts that are contrary to our established moral principles. The thoughts our subconscious usually obsesses about thoughts like these. Also common are thoughts that are scary & worst-case scenarios, etc.
Please know that what you are experiencing is normal for someone who suffers anxiety. It is the idea that we are somehow "out of control" of something in our life and so our mind picks something and just focuses on it and works hard to prove or protect from that happening.
Best thing you can do is to fill your mind with truthful self-talk. Like you said, you know what you are and what you are not --- repeat truth to yourself whenever you are challenged by those thoughts. The more attention you give these intrusive thoughts, the more powerful they become and the longer they will stick around. So instead of just trying to push them out of your head, just accept them as random - automatic thoughts and make nothing out of them. The less attention these thoughts get, the more they will fade off into the background of your mind and eventually they will become less distressing to you. Hang in there and remember, thoughts cannot hurt you and we don't have to believe everything we think either.

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