Stupid Stupid Intrusive Thoughts

I’ve written bits of this post, deleted bits, gone to post it, saved it as a draft, deleted the draft, re-written it… rinse and repeat.  I just can’t seem to decide whether to post it or not.  This isn’t a happy post, this isn’t in the flippant and lighthearted tone I usually try to go for with this blog.  I feel like I’m posting with no value to anybody but myself, because in some way it might help me to get something off of my chest.  But over thinking it isn’t helping so I’m just going to do it, this time I’m going to click publish and then it’s there – for what good or bad it will do.

The last week or so I have started having a massive increase again in intrusive thoughts.  I hate them so much, I know that they aren’t me and nothing I do seems to get rid of them.  I am not going to detail what some of the worst are about, simply because they are too personal.  But they are disgusting and disturbing.  At times it’s been having a knock on effect with my Tourette’s – I have these horrible thoughts and images going through my head and I get stressed, then as a result I end up ticcing more.

Some of them involve just simple thoughts, going around and around.  I’ve been experiencing them since I was little, the most frequent one as a child was constant anxiety that my family were going to be injured or die.  An obvious one at the moment is that the DBS operation won’t work, or it will damage me in some way that leaves me permanently affected by it.  I know that they had to tell me the risks before the operation but in a lot of ways I wish they hadn’t, I would have happily gone in blind.  I know that it’s a “mountain out of a molehill” situation but as always with OCD knowing that doesn’t seem to help.  

One of other types of intrusive thought I get is almost like a “moving image”, it’s like watching horrible videos of things looping in my head.  One of the ones that frequently recurs at the moment is that I will hurt somebody close to me.  I know (and so does anybody who knows me) that I would never pick up a knife and stab someone, punch them viciously or perform any number of the horrible pictures I’ve seen playing across my minds eye.  I never talk to people about them, in fact to my knowledge this blog post is the first time I’ve ever been open in any sort of public sense about that particular set of thoughts.  Almost any person near and dear to me can feature in them.

And that’s the problem, that is what is so hard to discuss to people without OCD or with no knowledge of it.  These thoughts aren’t me!  They are horrible, self-torturous images churned up by things I fear or hate.  And even though I know that it leaves me feeling horrible and empty inside.  It’s so hard to explain this in writing so I’m just going to call on wikipedia’s definition – “Intrusive thoughts are unwelcome involuntary thoughts, images, or unpleasant ideas that may become obsessions, are upsetting or distressing, and can be difficult to manage or eliminate”.  

I really want to talk to one of the psychiatry people about them, but every time I have an appointment I bail.  I’ve mentioned the fact that I experience them but then I clam up when I’m asked for more detail and give a tame example, feeling like some of the thoughts won’t get me help, that they will just make me seem like a horrible person.  I know that they are stupid, and I know that the reason I just gave for not talking about them is equally stupid, but still I can’t bring myself to get round it.  Such is the nature of an intrusive thought I guess.  Knowing that it’s illogical and part of a very well established disorder doesn’t seem to make a single bit of difference.

Last night after sitting and trying to find things to take my mind off of some of the thoughts I went to sleep only to have a dream featuring the two worst ones.  So much for thinking I had succeeded there!  I woke up feeling so disgusted and disturbed by it and it’s a feeling that has stuck with me all day.

I know it’s probably all related to anxiety and nerves – over the coming month or so there is the wedding and then of course the brain surgery thing… I guess it’s logical that even though I don’t feel like I’m stressing that much I probably am subconsciously.

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About unexpectedmonkeys

My name is Al, I was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome in my mid teens and it has definitely not improved with time! I’ve discovered how interesting it can make life but I’ve always tried to keep a positive attitude and keep moving forwards.

12 responses to “Stupid Stupid Intrusive Thoughts”

  1. inconsistentlyyours says :

    I’m sorry your thoughts are getting bad. I’m taking zoloft and it’s supposed to help with OCD, mine did get a little better. I wish I could be of more help to you but just know I understand. Whenever my beloved mother hands me a knife my first thought is of me stabbing her repeatedly. :/ It’s awful, but we know it is not us and we can’t control it entirely.

    • unexpectedmonkeys says :

      Thankyou, I am so glad that I found your post the other day, it reminded me that I’m not alone. I expected all of the stuff going on at the moment to make my tics increase but I always forget to prepare myself for the OCD to flare up as well.

  2. stripeysquirrel says :

    Oh I don’t know where to start, I guess by saying I’m sorry you are having such difficulty, and an enormous congratulations for finally being able to share. That is the hardest and most import step, so well done 🙂

    I guess I don’t really want to fill your blog with an essay! I’ll be as brief as I can and am happy to chat about this and my experience with intrusive thoughts if it’ll be of any use to you.

    Please try talking to the psych again, maybe write down a couple of the more horrifying examples beforehand and then just allow the psych to read it? That works for me!
    Its doubtful that they would be shocked or change their opinion of you in a negative way. Thoughts like this tend to be very out of character and/or distressing, if anything they’ll appreciate your effort to manage the thoughts.

    • unexpectedmonkeys says :

      That is a really good idea, thanks. I think I’d demand that they shred the paper afterwards though… as stupid as that sounds. We could get in contact and have a chat sometime that could be interesting. 🙂

      • stripeysquirrel says :

        I normally tear the paper up with into as many tiny pieces as possible!

        I can give you MSN or Skype details, I’m not a big talky phone person, at least not for the reason it was designed originally, much prefer written chat!!

      • unexpectedmonkeys says :

        Yeah I’m definitely not a phone talky person either, tends to make my tics get worse! Maybe skype at some point, won’t right now though as I don’t have it at the moment!

      • stripeysquirrel says :

        No worries, whenever you can, you have a lot on right now it would seem!!

  3. stripeysquirrel says :

    Oh I don’t know where to start, I guess by saying I’m sorry you are having such difficulty, and an enormous congratulations for finally being able to share. That is the hardest and most import step, so well done 🙂

    I guess I don’t really want to fill your blog with an essay! I’ll be as brief as I can and am happy to chat about this and my experience with intrusive thoughts if it’ll be of any use to you.

  4. stripeysquirrel says :

    Please try talking to the psych again, maybe write down a couple of the more horrifying examples beforehand and then just allow the psych to read it? That works for me!
    Its doubtful that they would be shocked or change their opinion of you in a negative way. Thoughts like this tend to be very out of character and/or distressing, if anything they’ll appreciate your effort to manage the thoughts.

  5. stripeysquirrel says :

    Please try talking to the psych again, maybe write down a couple of the more horrifying examples beforehand and then just allow the psych to read it? That works for me!
    Its doubtful that they would be shocked or change their opinion of you in a negative way. Thoughts like this tend to be very out of character and/or distressing, if anything they’ll appreciate your effort to manage the thoughts.

  6. The Howling Fantogs says :

    I hope that at least writing these thoughts down on here has helped. I know what you mean about the OCD thoughts making the tics worse. There are times when the two blend together so much that I can hardly separate them (don’t know if that makes sense?) You seem to be gaining a good support network on here from the comments I’ve seen, and surely that can only be a goid thing.

    • unexpectedmonkeys says :

      Yeah weirdly getting some of that out in the open and writing about it has helped. I had this horrible pressing feeling that it was going to make people dislike me for the rest of the day after posting it but that doesn’t seem to have materialised.
      Separating OCD symptoms and TS symptoms is a nightmare, I’ve given up – been told my too many people that down that route lies madness!

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