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Anxiety over intrusive thoughts and therapy

SnowFairy00

SnowFairy00

Active member
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
27
Location
England
Hi everyone

I have suffered with anxiety for most of my life but over the past year it's become debilitating to the point where it's impacting my day to day life. I've always managed to hide it from people and put on a mask but that's been increasingly difficult and after reaching breaking point last year I went to my GP. I was put on the waiting list for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and having been on the waiting list for months I had my first appointment last week. I found it really difficult to open up to the therapist and tell him what's been going on. My main issue is that I worry uncontrollably and obsessively about everything, I always feel like something bad is going to happen and I'm always going through potential scenarios in my head of what awful thing could happen. As well as the worry I also suffer from obsessive and irrational thoughts about things thay might have happened. Although I've always had anxiety these thoughts have only appeared over the last year while my mental health has been declining. It sounds crazy but I will get a random thought pop into my head like: "what if you've murdered someone but you've blocked it out so you don't remember?". As ludicrous as this sounds I will then become fixated on the thought that this could be true and will wrack my brain trying to remember what I might have done which never helps because you can't remember something that didn't happen. On some level, I know these thoughts are nonsense but there's a little voice that says "but what if it's true?" and it's so distressing. Sometimes if I've driven somewhere when it's dark and raining for example and I've driven on a poorly lit country road I'll get to where I'm going and I thought will pop in: "what if you hit someone with your car and didn't notice and you've killed or seriously injured someone?". Again, my rational side knows it's nonsense but my irrational side latches onto the 0.1% chance it could be true and gets fixated on this. I've actually wondered if I have OCD after reading about intrusive thoughts and wondering if this is what it is. Anyway, I thought that I should be completely honest with the therapist and tell him everything which I did and he didn't recoil in horror or seem shocked. He doesn't think it's OCD, he things it generalised anxiety as my main issue is uncontrollable worrying but now I'm freaking out about all the things I've told him. I mean, how can you tell someone you have thoughts that you might have killed someone without sounding like you've killed someone??? I'm obsessing that he thinks I've really done those things and he's going to report me to the police. My obsessive thoughts seem to revolve around doing things I could be arrested for which makes it all the more crazy as I'm the most law abiding person you could meet, I don't even like breaking the speed limit. I'm also worrying about the fact that I've had to tell work about the fact I'm suffering with anxiety and I'm having therapy. It's not something I want work to know as I feel like it's a private thing but i had to tell them as i need time off each week for my appointments. So now I'm freaking out not only about the therapist thinking I'm a criminal but about work finding out what's been discussed at my sessions. I keep thinking that what if they decide they want to see my medical records because I've told them about my anxiety and because I'm having to take time off work for my sessions and they see what I've told the therapist. I know the fact I'm having CBT will be on my record but will what's been discussed be on there too? I just feel like I don't know if I can carry on with the sessions if they are making me feel like this, it feels like it's making my anxiety worse. Does anyone have any advice or insights? Am I worrying unnecessarily?
 
Hell0Cat

Hell0Cat

Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Germany
Hi everyone

I have suffered with anxiety for most of my life but over the past year it's become debilitating to the point where it's impacting my day to day life. I've always managed to hide it from people and put on a mask but that's been increasingly difficult and after reaching breaking point last year I went to my GP. I was put on the waiting list for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and having been on the waiting list for months I had my first appointment last week. I found it really difficult to open up to the therapist and tell him what's been going on. My main issue is that I worry uncontrollably and obsessively about everything, I always feel like something bad is going to happen and I'm always going through potential scenarios in my head of what awful thing could happen. As well as the worry I also suffer from obsessive and irrational thoughts about things thay might have happened. Although I've always had anxiety these thoughts have only appeared over the last year while my mental health has been declining. It sounds crazy but I will get a random thought pop into my head like: "what if you've murdered someone but you've blocked it out so you don't remember?". As ludicrous as this sounds I will then become fixated on the thought that this could be true and will wrack my brain trying to remember what I might have done which never helps because you can't remember something that didn't happen. On some level, I know these thoughts are nonsense but there's a little voice that says "but what if it's true?" and it's so distressing. Sometimes if I've driven somewhere when it's dark and raining for example and I've driven on a poorly lit country road I'll get to where I'm going and I thought will pop in: "what if you hit someone with your car and didn't notice and you've killed or seriously injured someone?". Again, my rational side knows it's nonsense but my irrational side latches onto the 0.1% chance it could be true and gets fixated on this. I've actually wondered if I have OCD after reading about intrusive thoughts and wondering if this is what it is. Anyway, I thought that I should be completely honest with the therapist and tell him everything which I did and he didn't recoil in horror or seem shocked. He doesn't think it's OCD, he things it generalised anxiety as my main issue is uncontrollable worrying but now I'm freaking out about all the things I've told him. I mean, how can you tell someone you have thoughts that you might have killed someone without sounding like you've killed someone??? I'm obsessing that he thinks I've really done those things and he's going to report me to the police. My obsessive thoughts seem to revolve around doing things I could be arrested for which makes it all the more crazy as I'm the most law abiding person you could meet, I don't even like breaking the speed limit. I'm also worrying about the fact that I've had to tell work about the fact I'm suffering with anxiety and I'm having therapy. It's not something I want work to know as I feel like it's a private thing but i had to tell them as i need time off each week for my appointments. So now I'm freaking out not only about the therapist thinking I'm a criminal but about work finding out what's been discussed at my sessions. I keep thinking that what if they decide they want to see my medical records because I've told them about my anxiety and because I'm having to take time off work for my sessions and they see what I've told the therapist. I know the fact I'm having CBT will be on my record but will what's been discussed be on there too? I just feel like I don't know if I can carry on with the sessions if they are making me feel like this, it feels like it's making my anxiety worse. Does anyone have any advice or insights? Am I worrying unnecessarily?
Hi there,
First of all, I'm so sorry that you have to suffer so much from your anxiety. I know it's driving you crazy, especially the parts where you KNOW your thoughts are nonesens but can't do anything about it. That really sucks. I really hope we can help you through it, at least a little bit.

From my own experience I can tell you that therapists aren't even allowed to tell anyone what you tell him. At least not without your permission. So no one at work will ever find out what you're talking about at your private therapy sessions.

I know it's hard to open up, especially to strangers, but a therapist can and will help you with your anxiety. But he can only do so if you tell him the truth, e.g about your worries you might have killed someone. Regarding that... I really don't think he think that you are a murderer. And you told him that you're absolutely sure you didn't do anything against the law. But it's your anxiety that is telling you this nonsense, for whatever reason, but to find that out you have to talk to him. I mean I get why you think he might have contacted the police but from what I know, a therapist will first of all talk to you! Like, if he really considered you being a murderer he would suggest that you might wanna go to the police. In fact, a therapist could only go to the police if he had concrete evidence that you are planning a crime right now or if he had worries that you might harm yourself or others. And from what you told us, none of that is the case.

Still, if you feel like you can't trust your therapist, then you could consider to change your therapist. It's still human interaction and if you feel like you're not on a same level you can always change the therapist. They won't even take it personally, trust me. It took me 4 changes to find a therapist that I can truely trust. And now I can watch how my life changes for the better. What I'm trying to say is: everyone gets a chance for healing, and you will get yours too. But it takes time, you can't rush this. It's a billion tiny steps in the right direction and I know it's exhausting and feels like nothing, like.. You feel like you don't make the progress you need to make, but if you hold onto this you will see that it is so worth it.

I don't know if that helped a little, but know that you can always talk to me, or someone else, because that's why we're here :) feel hugged
 
SnowFairy00

SnowFairy00

Active member
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
27
Location
England
Thank you, that really helped. ❤ On one hand I feel like the therapy is giving me more worries but then I realise that it's not the therapy that is giving me more things to worry about, it's my mind that's doing that and that is why I need the therapy. It's just harder than I thought it would be!
 
M

MinnieMoo

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2019
Messages
66
Location
Preston
Your work won’t find out what you’ve said.
Anxiety and other mental health issues are very common, likely there are others at work having CBT, maybe even your boss or HR person you spoke to! It’s good they are aware and hopefully can support you if necessary.
You’ve only just started CBT, hopefully in time you will feel less worried about it all. You deserve this therapy and you need it, don’t give up yet xx
Imagine the absolute worse case scenario - if you killed someone and could not remember, and the therapist told the police you would need specialised help as that would be quite an extreme problem with your mental health. You would get through it somehow.
But it sounds like you have not done anything wrong and the therapist knows that. Remember they’ve heard it all before, and far worse! I certainly have some crazy (and scary) thoughts at times - most people do even if they are not anxious xx
 
SnowFairy00

SnowFairy00

Active member
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
27
Location
England
Thank you for replying. ❤ I know I need to stick with the CBT as I need to learn how to deal with these thoughts and how to not give them so much power!
 
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