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Dear Wendy

Irrational worries?

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  • #1110482 Reply


    Apologies for the long post and if this comes across as confusing or strange.

    I don’t think this needs any background but just for context I’m a 28 y/o female in the UK and I have a pretty normal life you could say, partner, house, job etc. nothing out of the ordinary.

    I have these worries which I can remember having from a young age, around 8 y/o. They have just got worse and more intense as I’ve got older.

    Some examples of things that worry me almost daily (I must note, these worries seem to pop into my mind around evening/night time and often keep me awake for worrying):
    I worry that:

    • my daughter will be kidnapped (she is a baby)
    • my parents will be involved in a road accident
    • something bad will happen (e.g physical fight with stranger/being stabbed/attacked) to my parents/siblings in a normal every day situation like shopping or socialising/ “wrong place wrong time” situation.
    • my dog will be attacked by another dog
    • my dog will be hit by a vehicle
    • my partner will get hurt in an every day situation

    Just to name a few personal ones.

    I also sometimes drive myself crazy worrying about all of the children and animals around the world who are mistreated and I can’t do anything to help them.

    I must mention that the thoughts described above regarding my family are no reflection of my relatives’ personalities, none of them are argumentative/confrontational, none of them drink alcohol regularly/drive irresponsibly so would not cause road accidents etc, so I don’t know where these worries come from.

    As I said, they get worse at night.

    I wouldn’t say they are “irrational” as such because they are things that could definitely happen to anyone, you see these things on the news all the time. However I don’t know why I get these thoughts so often.

    If something happens that I witness, for example a car speeding or driving irresponsibly, I fear that a member or members of my family will fall victim to an irresponsible driver and it will play on my mind for days. Until the next one. And it just goes on and on.

    I would say this happens 4/5 nights a week. Without fail. I try to override the negative thoughts with positive thoughts and rational points to cancel out the bad thing that COULD happen, sometimes it works, often it does not and I just have to wait until I fall asleep for it to stop.

    Has anyone experienced this or can you understand why this might be happening?

    #1110484 Reply

    Hi. Sounds like you have an anxiety disorder. You should check into therapy. Cognitive Behavior therapy is very helpful for coping/decreasing symptoms. Good Luck.

    #1110486 Reply
    Avatar photoCopa

    I’ll have a thought that something bad could happen every now and then, but not regularly. I agree that you should make an appointment to see a therapist. Intrusive thoughts like this can be a symptom of an underlying mental health disorder. Anecdotally, I have heard a couple new moms say that they struggled with intrusive thoughts in the initial months of motherhood… but I think all of those thoughts related back to concern for their baby. But again, a mental health professional will be able to diagnose you in a way that an online community cannot.

    #1110488 Reply

    Yes, it is likely a form of anxiety. I’m not a doctor, and I hate diagnosing over the internet but I have GAD and once in awhile panic attacks. I don’t experience my worries quite the same way but, it’s affecting your life seriously and you should take it seriously. It’s nothing to be ashamed about, many people suffer from this. You should talk to your doctor and consider medication (it’s helped me a lot, but that’s anecdotal) a lot of antidepressants are also used off label for anxiety. A good therapist who could help you with building coping skills.

    One thing that’s been great for me is just talking back to the worrisome voice that thinks the worst. Sometimes I even call him Bob because I don’t currently have a Bob in my life and it feels fun to yell at him in the car when I’m alone.

    Good luck. Talk to your doctor. Life doesn’t have to feel this way.

    #1110489 Reply

    I will admit the fears as a new mom are off the wall as are your hormones, maybe? Although you mention this since aged eight. Most moms have this crazy anxiety about their babies, I find. At least the first born. I have had two they are 6&7 now. I remember being absolutely exhausted and scared a lot.

    Once I yelled as I woke up, “Where’s the baby!” He was asleep in my arms.

    #1110509 Reply

    I’ve had OCD since I was a kid and what you’re describing is very similar to what I experience. Meds and therapy have worked well for me. Call a Dr, you don’t even have to leave the house anymore! My Dr is all on the phone. Easy peasy. You don’t have to live with this anxiety, there’s help.

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