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Severe anxiety of hurting me or others

J

jedenchalan

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2014
Messages
6
Hi,

I'm a male, late 20s, a husband & dad and I have a very demanding job (mentally) and the past 5 years have been incredibly challenging (several work related burn-outs). I've also had some other very exhausting life circumstances for the last 5 years and have been constantly under great financial and other pressure, very frequently suffered from sleep deprivation, depression related to a lack of finances (I sometimes used to get drunk to be able to make it to the next day), had several burn outs where I was lying exhausted in bed for days, feeling like vomiting if I even thought about working, severe issues in the marriage, etc... Simply put, the years were pretty much hell.

One night, I was lying in bed and had this crazy image of me hurting my child.. I don't know why I would even think that, I love my child incredibly (even though he's hyperactive and can be quite a challenge sometimes, but I love my awesome kid a lot!). I'm the kind of person who puts his family before himself and would rather suffer than see my family not have enough in any area. I beat myself up if I cannot provide well for them. I have never hurt my child or my wife. On the contrary, my wife had huge personal issues which she used to vent on me for years and I just took it (borderline abuse), forgiving her over and over again, going through much frustration. If I was totally tired after work, I'd still force myself to spend time with my kid as I didn't have a dad for a significant part of my childhood and I know the pain, so I play with him even if I feel terribly exhausted and have a huge headache. Just to explain what relationships I have with my family and what kind of person I am.

Back to the main topic: I got so scared at the thought, that I fell into kind of a frenzy, I felt so much fear that I might actually do it that I've almost gone insane. The physical pain the fear caused me was almost unbearable, I ended up lying on my wife's legs, repeating the same words over and over again, then somehow snapped out of it, but the fear was with me constantly for more than a month. I couldn't tell if I really have had the urge to do that terrible thing or not. The thought and the image was stuck in my head, but I don't know if the fear was the cause or not. I used to shout out in shock and fear randomly as I saw the images play out in my head. I went to a state where I was kind of "blocking" my thoughts constantly and then trying to see how I react to the thought if I let my mind go anywhere. I started locking myself in a separate room at night and would remove the door handle and place it somewhere under the bed so I can't harm my child if I sleepwalk or something. Also, I couldn't sleep and eat for days and lost 15 lbs in 2 weeks. I stayed for a week at my mothers place to see if it goes away. I noticed I have the same fear even though I'm in a different place and my kid isn't present, which made me partially believe that it's just a fear, not a real urge. I'm the only one with an income in our family and since I was afraid at that time (since I already had severe anxiety) that I'd get locked away, I decided to move in with another part of my family that had several rooms free in a house. After a month or so, I calmed down. I still have fear of any heights (although minor compared to the initial fear) and the occasional "bad" thought, but in 6 months, I never hurt my kid in any way and I was able to live pretty much fear-free. That is until recently.

A few days ago, I was watching some YouTube video about body modification and got a huge fear that I would do harm to my eye. Totally crazy stuff. I don't want to be blind (who does,right ? ) ! But for some reason, I've gone through the exactly same process. To see whether I can let down my guard, I keep thinking whether I'd like to do something to my eye and I'm caught in kind of an endless cycle, not knowing what I really want to do and not being able to let my guard down. I'm also feeling pretty sad as you can imagine and generally feel terrible. Only this time I cannot run away from myself as I did from the height and living on the 8th floor.

Also, in both cases, I had fear that the pressure might actually drive me to do what I fear, as the thoughts are pretty much torture. This causes more fear, but I can't tell whether it's a real urge or not. I'm scared I'm going to act out those fears to "turn them off".

To make things worse, I'm living in a foreign country, so there are no psychiatrists that speak my language and I can't afford to be treated back home. Really, I'd appreciate if anybody knows what this might be, just to give me a rough idea so I can maybe do some reading and know what to expect. Also, I'm open to actually get professional help, I just prefer not to be pumped full of mind numbing pills if possible as that will make it impossible for me to continue my work and support my family (since I have the only income in our family). The whole thing just really sucks, I'm frustrated, so I'm looking for some tips and general pointers while considering my next steps.

If anybody could point me in the direction of some materials so I can understand what's going on with me, I'd appreciate that.

Also, thanks a lot for reading this far, I needed to vent and share this with somebody, thanks. Have a nice day!
 
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J

jedenchalan

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2014
Messages
6
Edit: If I keep myself busy, I have no fearful thoughts about anything. That means, if I work or talk with somebody, I forget about it and I'm feeling 100% fine. Issue is, it's impossible to keep yourself busy 100% of the day and it's also no way to live. Falling asleep is hell. It's almost 4am over here now and I'm working tomorrow.

Also, before the second fear started, I was working late for a few weeks (haven't done that as of late) and I couldn't sleep more then 3-4 hours for several days. Might be related.

Edit 2: the self doubt is torture, I don't know what to think about myself anymore to be honest.
 
M

midnightpanda

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2014
Messages
19
As crazy as it sounds I had the exact same fear about taking out my own eye at one point. I even had moments when i would panic thinking maybe I had lost my mind and done it and I would have to feel my face just to make sure.
Its a type of harm ocd. As with your child, I also had fears I would hurt my children.
If you research anything on ocd intrusive thoughts youll see it described mostly as a fear. Its a fear youll act on these thoughts.
Its not a desire to do them.
Its not because you want to by any means.
And the obsession is fed by your fear of it.
Thats awful you do not have access to some type of therapy at least.
I wouldnt reccomend trying to cope by yourself forever.
But coming here to talk is a good place to start.
 
calypso

calypso

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Believe it or not, thoughts like this are very common. When we are overwhelmed emotionally, we can think all kinds of weird stuff. But we have approx 70,000 thoughts a day (really!) and we only concentrate on a few if they are destructive.

You aren't going to kill your kid or take out your eye. Both are perhaps you wanting to punish yourself in some way. I would advise that you DON'T block them at all. If you block them, you give them power, they will fight back and be more insistent. Repetitive thoughts need to be just looked at, saying, "yeah, you again, now off you pop, I'm busy". Keep doing it again and again. Relaxed and no fight. Initially they will fight back, but like a very naughty child saying "I want, I want " over and over, you just ignore it, and go on about your business. You don't ignore the child, but you just think, OK,OK I hear it, now we are going to go to the shop, bedroom etc.

Another thing I was taught once was to write it like lines. Over and over and Over and bore the thought to death! If you don't give it emotion, it becomes just that - thoughts only. You are energising it by giving it emotional validation and as you said, you aren't going to do it, so don't be afraid of these thoughts.

But you do need to also address the stress you are under which is triggering this. Counselling or therapy might help here.
 
J

jedenchalan

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2014
Messages
6
Thanks both of you guys. Good to know I'm not alone who had to fight this. Also thanks for the tips on coping with this. Throughout the past 6 months or so, I've been learning to deal with this, you confirmed some of my assumptions and gave some other good tips, thanks a lot.

I was giving this a lot of thought recently (not surprising I guess), both before and after reading your comments. I too am inclined to thinking that it's not a real desire to do this. My fear was poking myself in the eye with a knife. Thing is, my wife brought me dinner yesterday, including fork and knife (she forgot, but I can't blame her, she has a lot of stuff to deal with lately) and I was just staring at the kinfe, scared, but thinking: "damn, I don't even want to poke myself in the eye, what utter non-sense". I also realized it wouldn't help with the fear overall. That kind of helped. I think I was suffering from derealization from the extreme fear to some extent, so that was another fear I had which led me to believe that I might act out on the fear in a moment of weakness, but it's better today.

I stopped playing games, watching movies, listening to harder music styles, fixed my sleeping schedule and that has helped too. I was scared of the whole thing returning for another day which was pretty terrible, today I'm "just" very stressed out with occasional anxiety.

I think you also raise a good point with the punishing myself note Calypso. I don't feel like hurting myself physically at all, but I do feel my life is pretty miserable and an incredible disappointment to me. And I'm terribly tired of it all. My inner wish is to run away, take a laptop so I can work on the road and just hitchhike across the country and drink myself to sleep every night. But the love for my son and wife are forcing me to push on & not give up on them. My father left me and my mom as a kid, I couldn't do the same, I love them too much.

I mean, I used to excel at so many things at a very young age (like being the best student of the whole school in some areas like math, annually best student in class, playing music with pro musicians since my early teenage years, being part of the best team in a collective sport in our country twice, etc...), but due to various life circumstances, I ended up as an underachiever and disappointment. Add to that being brought up in a context where only the best of the best are worthy of any praise or recognition and taking care of 3 people since your early 20s and you got your self a recipe for an endless drive of proving myself, burning out and being disappointed with life in general.

This is something I'll have to work on to find better inner peace and I realize that I've been ignoring that for far too long. So thank you for pointing that out.

Also, thanks guys for replying, it feels good to talk to somebody who understands about this openly. I know this is more therapy-discussion stuff, but as I said, it's not easy to find a therapist here who speaks my native language or at least English, so thanks once more :) .
 
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