Anxiety, Depression, Scary Obsessive Thoughts..It's all in your head.

by Stephanie Carey

My name is Stephanie, I am 24 years old. I've had anxiety since my first day of school. I was bullied all the way through school and it led to depression along with a negative home environment. When I was 19 I was put on medication for clinical depression. In the last 5 years some unforseen difficult life experiences have led to my symptoms of anxiety worsening to the point where I lost hope and faith in life and God. I started to have awful panic attacks, lost control, started to fear myself and my scary thoughts, and I started to fear God. Everything became surreal, I thought I didn't exist, I thought that I had some sort of mental disorder and that everything I saw, felt, heard was made up; unreal. These feelings were "REAL" though, to the point where I believed I was insane; it's a scary place and a dark place to visit. I was scared of breathing, thought that everyone I knew were just people that I'd somehow conjured up in my imagination...this was my imagination. I was trying to escape from reality...make sense of it all and this is what my imagination came up was worse than reality because it is all internal. The loneliest place I've ever been to was inside my own thoughts, inside my own imagination, scaring me. The physical symptoms; I've had them all, shaking, panic, palpitations, ringing in my ears, oversensitivity of the senses, overwhelming awareness of my existence of the world, of people of good and bad...everything; analysed to the depths. I was taking 3 xanax a day and an antidepressant. I was afraid of the dark, of the light, afraid of being lonely, afraid of being around people. I was completely lost, collapsed into nothingness; the depths of despair. I went to my family and friends; they helped me, I was a nervous wreck; shaking. I have two daugters; I wanted to be rescued...for them. They helped me. I pushed myself to keep going...tried to face all of my fears; the world. I learned how to play the guitar and bodhran; distracted myself from my scary thoughts, it works. Talking about them works, no matter how weird, scary...if its scary sexual thoughts, scary blasphemus or agressive thoughts. I've had them all and have spoken about them all and it helped alot. It proves how stupid they are when you say them out loud to someone and they laugh. Sometimes you will get to the point where you're so distracted that your body will give up caring about these scary thoughts as you are using up adrenaline whilst thinking them and when the physical symptoms dissipated I felt less scared. My next step is to tackle the anxiety that has created all of this. When I'm alone the symptoms creep back in, mostly in the evening but regardless of the matter how unpleasant, remember that they are NOT important, they are irritating and useless, don't give them the satisfaction by allowing yourself to be concerned or worried, lower the level of their importance and they will become less and less overtime. Desensitise yourself from them. For anyone suffering like this, my heart goes out to you but please believe that you will get through it and when you do, you will be stronger and more wise. Take it as an experience that you know everything about and then help other sufferers to overcome. More people than you think are suffering in the exact same way as you, you are not alone in this. You are never alone. I pray at night, I picture angels in my mind and their safe light, I say a rosary for someone that I know that needs help and it calms me to sleep...because I'm thinking of them and not me. Sometimes I'm asleep before I finish the rosary. Take the first step in tackling the issue by going out and getting a hobby that you will truly enjoy and be good at. challenge yourself and be brave. You are brave and you are strong. You have a purpose in life and you are gifted. Find your inner gift and utilise it. Live your purpose. Tell your negative thoughts to F*** off when they enter your head. They are not important. LIVE Your life and LOVE yourself. You are very special!

Thanks for reading.

Comments for Anxiety, Depression, Scary Obsessive Thoughts..It's all in your head.

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Nov 14, 2017
by: Imani

Thank you so much for for Stephanie! I appreciate your transparency and your truth. You have helped myself and many who suffer from this. I pray that your life is filled with light and love!

Aug 18, 2017
Thank you so much
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much I really needed to read this.

Oct 21, 2016
How did you do it?
by: Flow

Hi Stephanie,
thank you a lot for your post.
I am having exact same problem.
Your post helped me a lot, but I am still very upset.
I am interested how did you manage to turn your thoughts on something else (for ex. playing instrument) considering those thoughts are strongly bound to reality, to everything, to instrument you are playing?
That is the most difficult thing for me to overcome.
Also, sometimes it seems like I don't even care, I am looking at my boyfriend, friends, family and when I think that they may not be real, they seem so far away, unreal, strange. I hate that feeling.
How to avoid this?
I wish you all the best, you seem like very nice person!

Oct 12, 2016
All in your head but the suffering is real
by: Paul

I'm a long term depression sufferer , I feel like I'm finally giving in to find the strength to cope with this horrible thing , I've tried various medication  numerous times , CBT regularly ,I'm afraid nothing seems to help .I'm getting more & more ideas for committing suicide as I'm so tired of fighting anymore & so drained now & care about nothing and almost no one . I want society to let me go and finally be at peace and free .

All I feel I really want is for someone to look after my assets if possible when I'm gone , but who in the right mind will agree to helping me do that it would be a form of assisted suicide in my opinion .

I'm hoping to put various things in my car soon rope , tablets ,alcohol, bin liners so that when I hit yet another rock bottom I'm actually fully prepared and have choices at hand and ready .
As I try to be calm & rational I'll call in and chat to someone in the hope that describing how I feel may help another unfortunate person in the same situation .

In all honesty it's not going to make any difference to me as I feel it's my time soon anyway there is only so much a person can take .

The health service have my records I've been seen by doctors , primary mental health care trust & now just reffered to secondary mental health care people .

I don't think I can be cured & partly getting to a stage where I'm so deflated there is no fight or desire to carry on .

I hope to go to church tommorrow Monday 10 th October 2016 and pray for the first time in my 49 years for forgiveness for the sorrow I am going to cause soon .

I feel that God is using me as a pawn in a game of chess to see how much suffering a mere mortal can take before he wins his sick game & I lose . It's won already I accept that but just a matter of time too soon .

I did once write down my thoughts when I felt down so I could recite them and realise how serious things like this were .

One thing I will try not to do is anything till after my best friends birthday which is today . I just won't do that.

Soon I may just be a number on a suicide statistic , I'm not bothered about those around me now .I've tried & tried been lied to by so many people I care about or loved .

I really want the pain to stop at any cost
I am so sad and unhappy.


Aug 05, 2016
Anxiety and feeling scaired
by: Joe

I definetly feel the same way I have had this so long I should be used to it, but I let it get worse about 25yrs now. The last 5 years is when the bad thoughts creeped in probably because i took a medication and of course read the side effects and then bam it hit and i did the downward spiral and you always feel like you need to be in your safe place, but that's our minds playing its trick. Whats the difference if your far away that's when we let our mind play its tricks and the fear kicks in feel like we have to turn back or we may do something bad heck I even get it badly when I am stuck in traffic feel like I am going to get out of the car and run silly ain't it. or I get afraid driving even with a close family member its all in our minds we are the ones putting gas on the fire I even feel like i cant go on a boat anymore like i have to be on land its silly or being stuck inside a building or say a restroom we think the silliest things but it all falls back to anxiety that created the OCD its tough but I love to do all kinds of things but the darn anxiety stops me I guess it's time to just do it if the feelings hit which are extremely tough sometimes just say screw it I can do it and break this nasty cycle I hope everyone on this site gets better and ends the miserable feelings from anxiety Take care and let's all get better and break this cycle Joe!!!!

Jul 06, 2016
Thank you for understanding
by: Anonymous

I'm 18 and I've been feeling the exact way since April and you have just brought so much happiness to me, I thought I was alone and now I know I'm far from alone <3

Apr 10, 2016
reply hannah
by: stephanie

Hi Hannah my email is in the comments

Apr 08, 2016
by: Hannah

Im suffering the exact same thing! The thought of being totally alone in my own mind came over me while i was on a plane back from singapore! Im terrified and cant find comfort anywhere online. Its making me question my life, my family my sanity! Please tell me im not alone, i suffer really bad anxiety and depression so im hoping it is just all part of it! Im scared im going paranoid or crazy! I love my family too much for it all to be in my head. If you could email me that would be great! Xx

Mar 15, 2016
No Happiness to be Found
by: Anonymous

I feel all these things but have become so severely apathetic. I care about nothing not even my daughter who is about to born. This needs to change. But there's nothing I care about. For brief moments I care then it's gone.

Jan 22, 2016
by: Anonymous

Thank you I just sent you an email

Jan 22, 2016
private message me
by: Anonymous

Jan 22, 2016
by: Anonymous

How do I send you a private email message...I would really like to contact you if possible

Jan 19, 2016
Thank you so much for sharing!
by: Anonymous

Although I wish you hadn't experienced all of this, it is so good to know that I am not the only one that thinks and feels this way sometimes. Where the anxiety seeps into every thought and situation and makes it feel scary and unreal. I don't feel as crazy now :-( xx

Jan 02, 2016
Thank you!
by: Anonymous

Thank you soooo much for putting your thoughts and fears in writing. I can identify with everything you wrote.

The overwhelming fear and panic. And the awareness of losing my marbles. Overthinking, overly sensitive, and fearful of life and fearful of death.

And I have always freaked out about Christianity's seeming exploitation of one's fear of life and fear of death.

It saddens me because I do not want to go to hell just because I lack clarity on exactly who Jesus was/is. : (

The thing that I cannot stop thinking about: which came first - the chicken or the egg? Existence just baffles me to no end.

How did we get here? Where did it start? That still causes me great anxiety. But you are right: we must get busy!

Distractions! I call it "chopping wood." I need to get outside and get physical. Or play guitar! Which I just started - and it helps!

Talking helps! Thank you again - I do not feel so alone.

Best always,


Mar 21, 2015
by: Anonymous

I am going through some issues as well. I started having thoughts that were really scared about harming my 8 year old daughter, I love her some much. I could never hurt her, theses thoughts were gone for about 2 months and are now back these last few days, my two therapist don't seemed to think I am crazy but I feel guilty and ashamed to think I could every have thoughts of harming my baby. I feel so bad and scared. I am afraid I might be this evil person that needs to be locked away but I know how much I will miss my family and them me. The thoughts are not me but I can't get them to go away.

Mar 17, 2015
by: becca

Wow this really touched me I want to understand what god has planned for me but its so hard with these thoughts I dont want to feel like this I just need someone to talk too

Feb 07, 2015
I fear I've gone a bit mad
by: Anonymous

I fear I've gone a bit mad. My family seem to have given up on me. I've given up on me. Every time I think I've gotten out of it I just fall deeper. It's like I've gone to this place where everyone is trying to hurt me. All the sounds I hear become terrifying. My own mother seems scary to me. I hate it.
My parents are suggesting I go to the doctors, try counselling. Something. But Ive already done it before and I have still ended back in the same place. I hope I can get better, but sometimes I wonder whether or not I'm just going to forever be stuck in this void.

Jan 21, 2015
lost and scared
by: A dad

I am a 41 year old male who moved out of my house, along with my family due to a nasty neighbor.

We tried living there for 2 years.. Did not fight back with the neighbor as we knew she has anxiety issues. Apparently multiple families have left from there due to those neighbors. They we just very very mean and rude. We moved out for the safety of our kids to a differnt city nearby and bought a house there.

Right after we bought the house, I got laid off (that scare me like hell ) and I also was not happy about the move.. Started feeling that I did not fight back for my family. I was scared of confrontation. The new house is a little bigger but more costly.

Now the financial pressure is also eating me up.
The new job pays higher so should offset the pressure but I am still very very scared.

I am in the U.S. and also an immigrant, so not any extended family here in the US (close by) that we can turn to. We called parents to come over for now... But I am so scared, thinking if we did the right thing by calling them to this cold weather.

I'm always scared of something going wrong... Example kids falling sick (say just even a fever) and us not being able to get to a good doctor. Also when I see my 4 year old sometimes I get sad and worry if he has same issues as me. He sometimes yells at me saying I do not want you but want mom...that breaks my heart -:( he and I were very close till a year or 2 back...

My wife tells me she is happy in the new place but I think otherwise.

I did get a new job and there was some mess there too (I think this happened due to my state of mind and less confidence in myself).

For the past 2 months I have been sleeping only 2 to 4 hours a night and am scared of everything. My wife is shocked to see my state but has been very supportive so far and taking care of both the kids.

I love her and my kids a lot but this state of mind is not letting me enjoy anything. I just hold myself responsible for everything.

Running away from my home...We were thinking we would have moved out anyways in 2 years. Why not move out earlier and save yourself the trouble with the neighbor?

The new place is in a suburb and we were ealier in a city like environment and so it feels very lonely here. I also think the kids have no one to play with. Again my wife tells me that is all just in my head and the kids are happy to have me an her.

God help me.... And all out there....

Sep 27, 2014
by: Ben

Literally crying my eyes out reading this right now and I'm not a cryer at all! So reassuring to see that I am not alone in this as 99% of the time I feel completely isolated from the world and that nobody else understands!

I was always a bit of a worrier growing up, I grew up in a negative home environment with a lot of disturbance, i was bullied (not severely but bad enough!) at school for my sexuality, at the age of 18 I left home for university expecting a new life with new beginnings.. No. Everything at university was fine, I made lots of friends and even male friends which was completely new to me due to school, but I wasn't fine. I had what I can only describe as a complete breakdown. I had sensed it coming throughout my earlier teen years but never imagined this. I wouldn't leave my room, I got to the point where I was just sleeping the whole time as I was happier when asleep because I didn't have to deal with the reality of what was going on inside my own head. I lost all social skills, I didn't want to see anybody, I was convinced people didn't like me, I had no confidence in myself at all. I felt I belonged nowhere, I had no home and I didn't know who to turn to. I ended up failing my first year of university due to the illness and was left feeling sucidial, I was on different medications that just weren't lifting the darkness. I was convinced I was crazy.

2 years later and I am now going into my third year.
A lot had changed, I feel as though I have grown up a lot more, although I am still struggling. I seem to go through stages, sometimes I am OK, it's still there but I am OK. Other times I am in the depths of despair and now and again yes I do feel sucidial. I just wish it would all go away, but I guess we all just have to work with what we have and try to build ourselves up from the ground.

It's so refreshing to see this as I feel like I can really relate to people's stories. We need to just keep our heads up!!

Sep 20, 2014
help please
by: Anonymous

thank you that helped alot to know i'm not alone i just am so scared that it makes me feel like im going insane cause i feel like everything is going to hurt me and makes me have panic attacks and feel like i cant stop them and im going to go crazy and never breath agian things i do all the time im starting to think that is going to hurt me to where just everything will hurt and i feel like everything is just bad for me and i will never have a normal life agian you say its all in my head how do i stop the bad thoughts to were i can be ok and have a normal life agian with my kids my babies are my life and thats all i want is to spend as much time i got here on earth with them but its hard when im constanly feeling like everything will hurt me then start having a panic attack that i fear i cant stop just please help me by telling me how to start getting rid of them do i got to take medication to stop it or can i do it on own just harder work and how do i stop thinking of the things or just know that its crazy that it wont hurt me cuase it makes it feel so real when i think it please help me thank you

Sep 03, 2014
re umbrella
by: stephanie

Hi umbrella I'm glad that you found some comfort in reading this forum. Has there been a trigger lately that has caused your anxiety response to increase. Yes it all seems frivolous and the futility of the questions we ask ourselves that we have no answers to 're our existence can be quite overwhelming at times and we can become imprisoned in our own thoughts and feel extremely lonely. Talking to somebody helps , anybody

Sep 03, 2014
by: Umbrella

Hi Stephanie,
I'm a 21 year old male from the UK, I've been a bit of a worrier my whole life, and reading your article was like reading my own diary. Infact I was so delighted to find I am not alone in all of this, I have been beaten my anxiety in the past and had years of trouble free living, however just recently it seems to be creeping back. I am hopefully getting in touch with a therapist soon after visiting my GP and explaining what my problem is, i.e. fear of my own existence. It seems so frivolous to speak about it in person or over the internet for that matter haha.

If anybody reads this, you are not alone and we are not going mad, were just unfortunate that were dealing with anxiety. Anxiety is something that we will all beat, and soon enough you'll back on it as a 'strange' period of your life.

I won't wish you good luck, because it's not needed. We will all get better.

All my love, Umbrella.

Jun 30, 2014
by: stephanie

Dear readers,
I am glad that what i have shared has brought some of us together and somewhat helped us all to feel less alone in this suffering, its pain and its loneliness. I hope that everyone on here is feeling good about the future of coping with their illnesses and knows how important it is to remember that it is an illness and illnesses can be treated and beaten and we can learn skills to cope with them. I was hoping that some of you may read this and keep me updated on how you're feeling/coping?


Jun 16, 2014
by: Flower

Sincé then I have had various of what I have identiied as panic attacks. Mostly behind the Wheel when I have the pressure of passengers that might be judging how I drive. But usually I manage to hold it together for just long enough for it to go unnoticed.
(Sorry; I am making such a meal of this, but I have this crazy urge to go into all this detail).
The most recent attack lasted for hours. I was alone at home and for no apparent reason I began to shake and feel dizzy. This terror just gripped me and I was petrified of the thoughts in my own head. They were not even thoughts, they were like abstract, bizare terrifying feelings. I was afraid to be in my own head. There seemed to be another dimensión in my mind that I had never known existed. I felt completely like I didn´t know who I was. I was looking out of eyes from somewhere different like the back of my mind and my limbs didn´t respond to instructions. My heart was beating so fast that my whole body was trembling. I felt like my mind was this huge empty cavern and that I could easily lose myself in there and never find my way back to the surface or to the reality as I recognise it. Luckily we had some Diazapam at home so I took one in desperation and it eased off before I had to go and pick the girls up from school. I was absolutley paranoid about having to tell anyone that I needed assistance and couldn´t bring myself to call even my husband.
Now at night, if I am not careful I feel like I could easily slip back into that scary chasm in my mind and it scares me to death.
I know it sounds crazy, which is why I am wrting it here in the hope that I am not going mad and that maybe some of you have gone through this during bereavment. Does it ever subside ,this fear ?
Thank you to anyone that has had the patience and compassion to read all their way through this.
Bless you all. Lol xxx

Jun 16, 2014
by: flower

After the shock wore off a little and routines began to set back into our lives I felt more and more anxious. The absence of these two beloved people that had been such pillars of strength in my life manifested themselves in the most unexpected ways. I scribbled note of hers on the phone pad would send me into tearsand sadness. The sudden fear and utter definity of NEVER seeing them again is overwhelming and is compounded by the sad, desolate lives my mother and father in law are now leading. The silence in their houses is almost asfixiating.
Anyway, I was driving a friend to the hospital to visit her sick mother when all of a sudden I could hardly breathe, my arms and hands felt numb, there was ringing in m y ears and I felt like I was going to faint. It was very frightening, I didn´t know what was happening, I felt like I was free falling. I was too embarassed to tell my friend, she already had enough to worry about. I somehow manged to get the car parked safelty at the hospital. That was the first time.

Jun 16, 2014
To Stephanie
by: Flower

Thank you so much Stephanies, I feel so comforted after reading your article and realizing I am not alone. I hope you are feeling even better by now as some time has passed since you posted this.
Just to give you a little bit of background about me...I have always been a sensitive person and prone to nerves and excessive worrying, but after my first daughter was born I began to feel terrified about dying and not being there for her or even more terrifying, that anything should happen to her.
I suffer from lack of sleep as my girls wake me up a lot each night and then scary thoughs start to invade my mind and I find it very difficult to get back to sleep.
(Anyway, this is trivia really , but I just wanted to paint a rough picture.)
I was muddling along ok until my beloved step-father died unexpectedly. He had gone out for a morning ride on his bike and whilst my Mum was preparing his breakfast for when he came home, he had a massive heart attack and simply dropped down dead in a country lane. The pólice found my number first and I couldn´t believe what they were saying. He was one of the strongest men I know ,in so many senses. It seemed unreal that he could have just suddenly ceased to exist. I was petrified that the my poor mother would hear from the pólice before I could get to her house
( though I had told them that it was very important that I should inform her myself). Breaking that news to her was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. It was terrifying to see the pain in her eyes and the devastation. The panic that I felt in that moment haunts me constantly, especially at night when the girls wake me up and I cannot get back to sleep. The suffering of my mother is so sad to witness, I want to heal her pain, save her from the void of loneliness and gaping emptiness.
Three months later my beautiful, wise and caring mother inlaw died after a long and painful struggle from cáncer.
I needed to be strong for my husband and my girls who were having to deal with two bereavements at such a tender age. I thought I was strong, I thought I would be the model wife, mother and daughter in law. She died at home whilst we all held her hands and stroked her brow and my father in law howled with pain as she breathed her last breath. When the undertaker arrived I couldn´t bear for her to be alone whilst some stranger zipped her up in a body bag and hauled her off. So I insisted on helping to move her and keeping her night dress straight to save her dignity. I even put her bed socks on incase she was cold.
I loved her very much.


Mar 05, 2014
Volcano Diving
by: Anonymous

Hi, obviously you have found that there are people who understand this form of pain and confusion.
The most difficult thing for me is separating what emotional experiences are simply deeper than what those around me can experience, and which feelings surpass my own rational will.
I usually don't realize until much too late.
Sometimes I lose sight of my rational thoughts in a way that my emotions end up forming into an energy that I can't control.

I am learning to laugh at my insanities or disabilities or whatever.
I am learning to look at my more emotionally involved thoughts from a dissociated focus. I try to connect with things that I love and reciprocate that love back. I distance myself from desires that make me question the validity of my volitions. When I question myself, it is is painful, and when that pain becomes unbearably loud, I sometimes I think about ending my life.
When I foolishly fantasize about the best ways to die, I remind myself that I am being selfish.
I remind myself that loving myself so much, as to not deal with the insecurities of the mind and the tribulations of life, is in some respects selfish.
Especially when you consider how much love you can give outside of yourself to others in need. This forum can do that, and I feel a love for every one of you. Although we are mostly anonymous to each other and might not even in reality glance to each other, in some way we are connected by this fear, sadness, and negative obsessions. In this connection we have the ability to show love, and feel love, that no one else can understand. I think that is special, even if I might obsess too much about what it would feel like to jump into a volcano.

Feb 10, 2014
I needed this TONIGHT by KAY
by: Anonymous

Tonight as I plunged into a blanket of spiraling thoughts I found your truth, an honest account and graceful wisdom.

I felt as though I was reading a diary, each sentence saving me from further despair & helpless feelings.

Bless you, prayers are being heard, answered & shifting the atmosphere for me tonight.

Thank you for your honesty.

Jan 17, 2014
to stephanie
by: Anonymous

Im also suffering from this anxiety it really sucks im always afrade to get seen by niehbors or other people that i dont know i am 15 years old and i droped out of school because i was to afraide kids called me crack head my friends ignored me and didnt want to be with me everyone thouhgt i was using drugs it wasnt true i never thught of using drugs or never thought of quiting school know im icealaded myself for to two years the only place i go to is the dentist. I dont like going eneywhere im scared my anxiety has been getting worse reading your story made me fell better thanck you stephanie

May 13, 2012
by: Anonymous

Wow, u sound really down to earth n genuine, for the first time that I related to something down to the tee, I actually believed your words I wish all of us could help together

Jan 24, 2012
to stephanie
by: Anonymous

i too have suffered with these awful thoughts,thats the anxiety being taken past the panic attacks to another level,I've spoken on here about my panic attacks but didnt really mention my issue with my obsessive thought,i too was too scared to tell anyone these awful thoughts that would completely overwhelm me to the point id be crying my eyes out,these thoughts started after i had my first child at the age of 19, thought i was going mad as id never even heard of people suffering from this,i was diagnosed with post natal depression,as i have been a sufferer from depression and panic attacks i was in the high risk for post natal depression,these awful thoughts are worse than panic attacks as they are there all the tim,medication helped me a lot as i went on to have two more children and finally decided to come off my medication nearly a year and a half ago and it was hell on earth coming off them,but I've vowed not to go back on them,i cant rely on tablets all my life,i need to face this demon which is my own over active mind,what you have said i can really relate to,but my problem is i keep it all to myself,too scared to tell anyone as they will think i am mad,my family are strong people and have never been sufferers of these issues that i have,but on my fathers side there is,which is quite clear thats where i get it from,haha,but when i get these thought i just try and dismiss it,because every human being gets these thoughts but when you have an anxiety disorder your senses are heightened and you over think what your thinking,i am slowly getting there but some days i am back to square one,i found our story so similar to mine,I've had a lot of heartbreak growing up,i hope you are feeling much better and less anxious,just so you know you are not alone,its ten times harder when you have little ones that are relying on you,wish you all the best with your future xxx

Aug 14, 2011
Scary Depressive Thoughts
by: Anonymous

Hi Stephanie ! My name is Tommy and I was just wondering how you were doing . Ive been going through the same thing it seems like. I have good and bad days. But I have Decided to just face my fears and and tell panic to come with all its might . Just wondering if these thoughts do go away since they seem like they are the root of my anxiety (very scary) I really feel like I would be just great if wasnt thinking all these crazy thoughts . But anyway hope all is well and good to know were not alone . and there is a way out of this Hell !

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