Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 18 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Fear inducing thoughts

I've written about this here in the past, and I don't really want to write about it again, but it's happening so here I go. I've been having negative, scary thoughts again. This happens to me from time to time. I've asked my psychiatrist about it, and she tells me it's just one of the symptoms of my depression. That doesn't really appease me, but I guess it's one more thing I'll have to accept.

Acceptance doesn't mean I have to like them, though, does it? I don't like them at all. Random thoughts of horrible things happening to Jet (my dog), or my friends, or even my doctor? I don't understand it. They are scary, and detailed, and sometimes quite vivid. At times I am able to recognize the thought immediately and distract myself. But sometimes I find myself immersed in one before I realize what's going on. Before I can extract myself and the scary feelings the thought provokes. That's when I get a bit distressed.

What concerns me most is I'm feeling well right now. My mood is generally good. I can understand struggling with negative thoughts when my mood sucks, but that's not the case right now. So I don't get it. It doesn't make sense. Why do these thoughts crop up, and why now? They make me feel off kilter and scared. Does anyone else experience thoughts like this? If so, I'd love to hear what you think.


Anonymous said...

One recurring image that burst into my head when I was a young father was looking out my upstairs bedroom window and seeing my innocent child (I have four) getting into a strange car and watching it drive off. I couldn't possibly get down the stairs and out the door in time to stop what I had seen. A parent's nightmare.

This never happened in real life, and my kids are all adults now with kids of their own. But that image came to me often back then. I suppose it made me more vigilant around my kids at the time.

All of the seeds for my depression were already planted by then, and perhaps it was "just" a symptom of my unrecognized depression then. But maybe this is something broader, more common to being human. Maybe this happens to neurotypicals too, but it's so dark and unspeakable that it remains hidden. I don't know. I'm not even qualified to speak knowledgeably about myself, much less about/to anyone else.

Seems like you're made of strong stuff, though, and can power through these.

etta said...

@ paullamb: Thanks. That is exactly the kind of thought I'm talking about. Except mine are about Jet! I appreciate your input, as usual.

Diane Williams said...

Hi Etta: I delayed responding to your post because I'm not sure what to offer besides sympathy because I have those thoughts too. I had some last night drifting off to sleep and they woke me back up. When I realize that I am having those thoughts I also try to redirect, sometimes sucessfully. I also try to call myself out about the exaggeration and falseness of the thought. I have the thoughts at times when I am feeling well too. There are other negative thoughts which occur when I am having an episode and they are different. You are not alone! Let me know if you want my private email.

Dora said...

Hi Etta. I sometimes have thoughts like these too -- I think especially when I am more stressed out, anxious and/or tired. But, in fact, my mind is very obsessive (tends to invent stuff to worry about and then worries obsessively) since I can remember. The thing that has helped me the most in dealing with obsessive scary thoughts is: 1) noticing the thought ("here's this crazy thought again"); 2) redirect my attention to whatever I am doing. Not giving them attention, even when they seem to be yelling for it, is the best way I have found to 'weaken' them. This is not easy, but with practice it works (at least for me). I am writing this at a moment when my current obsession is anxiety itself: thoughts about being too anxious /in panic and loosing control, and this strategy has been my anchor...