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(might trigger) How to handle repetitive thoughts


Ralph
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I keep having these repetitive thoughts about suicide. It is not that I am feeling suicidal, at least not most of the time. It is weird because I feel like one part of me is suicidal but the other part isn't.

Sometimes I do feel suicidal but I know it will pass so I ride it out, which involves significant pain for me & lost productivity. With the repetitive thoughts, though, they are always with me. It scares me and wears me down to constantly deal with this distraction.

I was wondering if this is normal? Should I be concerned about this or should I suck it up and learn to live with it?

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Yes actually I am fortunate enough to have both a psychiatrist and a therapist. I read that the combo of therapy and meds is the best way to get better, so that is what I am trying to do. I am on meds already but they don't seem to help, which makes me wonder if this is just normal and I should stop worrying about it. OTOH it scares me that the constant repetition sometimes brings me down to the level of believing the thoughts.

It is difficult to use diversions from the thoughts though because they tend to interrupt me when I am doing something else. That is, I should already be diverted but the thoughts intrude on whatever I happen to be doing.

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Hi Ralph :rolleyes:

Repetitive thoughts about suicide are not normal and I would be concerned. Can you identify why you feel this way? Do you feel depressed or anxious? This is something you should speak to someone about - ideally a counsellor, but if not, your family doctor. It must indeed be painful to have to deal with this. There are many people here who know how this feels, myself included. Try and find some help for yourself.

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Thank you, Luna. It feels a little better to hear from someone who knows what this is like. I don't know why I feel this way; as long as I've been self aware I have struggled with thoughts that seemed to be bad and not my own. When I was younger though it only happened every once in a while & I just shrugged it off for the most part. Over time it has become more often, and harder to work around.

I am nearly certain the meds aren't working. I have been taking them faithfully for about 7 weeks now & still getting worse. As I wrote in my introduction post, I did get some relief earlier this week when a friend gave me an adderall pill. I had expected it to exacerbate my anxiety, but instead I just felt like there was only one voice in my head for a change.

As for any reasons, I have been trying to improve myself and the more I try to take care of myself, it seems my self destructive side becomes more active as well. This seems crazy to me, but then again that's why I am on a forum called mentalhelp.net rather than gotmystufftogether.com :) . I don't really know how to talk to my psychiatrist about this, so I wanted to just check if this is even something to worry about or not. I am still functioning on the outside, so from observable criteria it doesn't look like my symptoms are that strong. But when I see the inside of my apartment, or the inside of my head for that matter, it looks like a crazy person lives here.

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I think it’s essential that you tell your psychiatrist about this – if you look like you are functioning fine when you see him, how will he know how to treat you? When he asks how you are, say you keep having thoughts of suicide and you're concerned about it. He really needs to know this.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Ralph,

I totally agree with Luna. It is essential that you talk to your psychiatrist. The fact that the medication does not work may indicate that its the wrong medication, even the wrong diagnosis. If so, this is very common and its not your psychiatrist's "fault." In some cases it takes sometime to learn what is really going on. Anyway, your psychiatrist must be told about this. It is not healthy to have repetive suicidal thoughts and, in fact, its even dangerous to yourself. Please, quickly get help, we care about you.

Allan

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Meditation is good medication for thoughts like that.

Although i guess that doesnt really help, cus its not like your goona go start meditating...if you are into reading there lots of good books that talk about exactly what you are talking about.

I know some becuase I have thoughts like that.

Do you experience anxiety?

Edited by nathan
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So I guess pdoc = psychiatrist, is that right?

Anyway, met w/ pdoc (I always feel weird using new abbreviations :)) today and told her about the suicidal thoughts. She put me on Seroquel. I am supposed to ramp down the Lamotrigine and ramp up the new med simultaneously.

Should have left it at that, but in my infinite wisdom I go and mention my Adderall experiment - thinking that this information would be a striking revelation that maybe putting me on more CNS depressants is not taking me in the right direction. That part did not go so well. More details, aka venting, will be posted on my blog. In short I am starting to wonder if my lifetime phobia of doctors wasn't presciently justified.

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I don't feel like my pdoc is quite listening to me. I know this is a subjective call, but I feel like I have gotten worse since I decided to give the medication route another try. The main problem I am having is inability to concentrate, but she keeps giving me meds that make it even more difficult to concentrate.

I feel like I am the one responsible though. I'm getting to the point where I am starting to lose track of what is inside my head and what is outside. In other words I am probably not telling a consistent story to pdoc because my memory has gaps and I umm, extrapolate, to fill in the gaps, which to a cynical observer looks like deception. It doesn't help that I am ashamed of my condition and I don't like to talk about it, so I tiptoe around my symptoms hoping to find a euphemistic way of saying things that doesn't embarass the hell out of me.

I'm so glad I found this forum. When I get frustrated like this I tend to start thinking in absolutes. My mind tells me that everyone is like this, and will always be against me. In this regard I have evidence from the feedback that I have gotten here to challenge those types of thoughts.

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Hi Ralph you say you are losing track of what is inside of your head? How about a daily journal.

I'm using the blog feature as a daily journal.

I feel like I should clarify - it is not that I am losing track of what is inside my head, but rather that I am losing track of the boundary between what is in my head and what is out of it. Anyway, I am kind of learning to just ride through the waves. It is like learning to surf - the first big waves knock you on your a** and you get salt water up your nose & bruised knees. Eventually you learn to work with nature rather than against her and then you get this Zen experience of being one with the world and all that. Except I am trying to just get to the level of being one with my mind to start.

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... and then you get this Zen experience of being one with the world and all that.

Hah. When I get like this, my pdoc calls it "mania".

What some have found useful is to print out something they've written here that describes what is happening with them. Then hand it to them at your next appointment. This way you get to include it all, really think it out and avoid "being put on the spot". You could even underline the most significant bits. Pdocs can be intimidating and it's annoying that appointment times are so short that you can't explain fully. Plus it may get you over the hump of that shame. They see this all the time!

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Has the suicidal thoughts increased any when you started the medication?

If so it sounds like you might be having a bad reaction to it, and either the dosage or type needs to be changed.

The same thing happened to me last Dec. I have had suicidal thoughts before but never had I been so close to going through with it. Won't go into the details but it was too close. After I got off the medication it slowly got a little better until I got back to normal.. at least normal for me lol.

Wishing you well.. it is tough. The only things that helped me was doing an activity I really loved and being with friends.

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Yes they got much worse after starting the medication. However I was already getting worse before I started. The meds may have slowed this up a little, but all in all if I had to draw a line graph of my rationality over time, the trend would not have changed after starting the meds.

Seroquel seems to do wonders for the depression since starting it, but it does leave me feeling dopey... here's hoping that wears off with time.

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It doesn't necessarily mean you're abusing it. How much are you taking? Do you take it every day? How was it prescribed?

- It was prescribed to be 50mg on Monday-Tues,

then 100 mg Weds-Thurs,

and stay at 150mg/night from Friday on.

What I did instead was:

50mg Monday

skipped dose Tues

50 mg Weds & Thursday.

Interestingly, the 50 mg pills are bigger than the 150 mg pills. :confused:

Last night I tried to skip a dose so that I could wake early, and was not able to sleep. After about 4 hrs of staring at the ceiling I went ahead and took the 50.

I guess my concern about abuse is that I am using it to sleep, and if it were taken away from me now I would be a profoundly unhappy camper. It scares me to be dependent on anything, even if it is a prescription taken under dr's orders. Heck if those cats knew what they were doing, why do they call it practice?? :D

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Seroquel is not addictive in the way that Valium et al are. You may experience withdrawal symptoms if you have taken it and then don't, but this doesn't mean you are dependent on it. If you were insomniac and Seroquel gave you sleep, the fact that you lay awake when you didn't take it, is just your insomnia returning, and your brain trying to adjust to the on/off presence of the drug, not an indication of dependence. You can wean off Seroquel (gives the brain time to gradually adjust to the absence of the chemical.)

If you'd like it to help for depression, it's probably wiser to take it every day for a while. If you find you are too sleepy, you can just not go up to the next increased dose - you may only need 50mg. You may also only need it for the time it takes for you to get back on top of things. You'll be able to stop when you want. If you want to use it for sleep only, then <shrug> if it works, why not? I took it daily, though.

All the above is my personal view and experience of things and may not coincide with that of your pdoc. :D

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