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Fern
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31 May 2019, 9:55 am

Does anyone else here suffer from intrusive thinking? I used to struggle with this a lot as a younger person. Even though they're not so bad anymore, I feel like I still reel from it sometimes.


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kraftiekortie
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31 May 2019, 10:04 am

I would say that this topic would, perhaps, be more suited to the schizophrenia/mental health other than autism subforum.

I would be interested in learning how you survived your natural disaster. I'm sorry that happened to you.



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31 May 2019, 10:06 am

This is not only related to schizophrenia.

I'm ASD, I suffer from intrusive thoughts.
Very strong ones, it can also derive from substances abuse (which in my case was the origin)
In early adulthood you can suffer from these thoughts, lack of social contacts and isolation can also provoke them.

Something to be treated very seriously



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31 May 2019, 10:08 am

So funny you posted this, and this was literally the first thing I saw on WP this morning! I woke up this morning at 5, in the dark, with my now-mild version of intrusive thoughts. That’s two hours before I had to get up. :/

I’m 42 now. I can remember being...oh...maybe 9 or 10 and having them. They were bad then, super negative, gross, scary. I don’t think I have ever really talked about them. Maybe once or twice, but never in detail.

BUT, over the course of my life, I have made a concentrated effort to build positive experiences and stay around positive people. I have learned that I HAVE to stay busy, I HAVE to read a lot, and I HAVE to practice mindfulness. Which is just, like, paying attention to your surroundings and concentrating on every sensory detail that you can. It drives thoughts away.

I’m happy to report that my intrusive 5am racing thoughts were about what I “need” to do to fully finish my basement and correct some wiring that is not up to my standards. Not too bad, right?

So over time, you can change the scale of what your mind tries to torment you with. Just pad it out with as much nice stuff as you can. Don’t give anything or anyone bad any attention at all.

Edit: anyone can have intrusive thoughts. It’s related to stress. Like a mental tic.



caThar4G
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31 May 2019, 10:25 am

I've struggled with intrusive thoughts.
Most were sexual, fearful, or in some extreme cases, negative, or suicidal.

I wonder what can be positive?



kraftiekortie
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31 May 2019, 10:30 am

Based upon the responses so far, I guess this is the "right" forum for this, after all.



Fern
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31 May 2019, 11:27 am

Yes, intrusive thoughts are surprisingly common in people with OCD. Because ASD and OCD have such high comorbidity, I wondered if there would be a fair number of people on these boards who experience them. It seems like there are.

Quote:
I would be interested in learning how you survived your natural disaster. I'm sorry that happened to you.


Although some people experience intrusive thoughts as part of PTSD, this was not the case for me. By that part of my life I was a lot better at recognizing my obsessive worrying for what it was. I seldom experience intrusive thoughts anymore. I do sometimes run into social tangles I've wound myself into during that time in my life though. This is hard to explain to others, so it makes things difficult.

I don't like to talk too much about the darkest parts of my intrusive thinking, but probably the funniest one in retrospect (having been raised Catholic) was that I was secretly "being called" to be a nun. :lol: Now, before any of you worry, I didn't hear voices or anything like that. We were just constantly told in school that thoughts which stick in your head for days are sometimes a subtle message from god (yeah, it's messed up, but it's religion, what are you gonna do?). Well, I could think of nothing more frightening than becoming a nun, so whenever nuns in my school would look around the room and say "One of YOU will be chosen by god to be a nun one day" I would be terrified, which would cause me to worry, but then realizing how much I worried about being "called" to be a nun made me worry even MORE that I was indeed supposed to be one. Hence the positive feedback loop that is the obsessive type of thinking.

The worst part of having obsessive thought cycles like this is not knowing that it's just an obsessive thought cycle. Once I learned that getting stuck in this thought process was the problem, not the thoughts themselves, I was able to climb my way out. I think it didn't help that I was a very bright kid stuck in somewhat remedial classwork at the time. My mind needed to stretch its legs. I was like an indoor border collie.


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madbutnotmad
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31 May 2019, 4:00 pm

Some time ago i read psychiatric books on the topic of intrusive thoughts. I also bought a book on CBT specifically aimed at helping reduce the distress that Intrusive thoughts cause.

The main book that i brought which was written by a psychiatrist for the psychiatry field actually stated that
intrusive thoughts are normal for all people, however, the frequency of intrusive thoughts are more frequent
in people who suffer from various mental health disorders, especially OCD and other anxiety related mental health disorders.

So, if you suffer from intrusive thoughts of any form, you will be pleased to know that this is completely normal regardless as to whether you have autism spectrum disorder, another neurological disorder and or a mental health disorder.

The frequency and how much distress the thoughts will cause will vary from person to person, but of course people
with OCD and anxiety will likely suffer more distress than others.

Interestingly enough one of the most effective forms of psychological treatment is to employ mindfulness therapy.
Mindfulness treatment or meditation i am sure you will all will now be familiar as it is such a common therapy now.
However, i would add that in my own experience the effectiveness of this form of therapy is only really of any use
if you are able to use this therapy on a daily or most daily basis (or perhaps most days).

The reason for this is mindfulness is a bit like going to the gym, but instead you are taking your brain to exercise,
and the exercise, if done regularly helps you create self control.

In this form of simple meditation, the way that this therapy works, is that you learn to train your mind to focus on
something simple such as your breathing. Focussing on your breathing is the exercise that you can use to
distract yourself when you experience mind chatter or intrusive thoughts, especially if they are disturbing.

If you do mindfulness every day, after some months of practice, you will eventually realise that you are able to
control your mind more and thus will be less likely to get caught up in your intrusive thoughts and ultimately will
help stop the stress that escalates when you experience distressing intrusive thoughts.

If you are also able to stop yourself from getting engrossed in your disturbing thoughts, you may able be able to
stop your self from taking actions based on these thoughts. Which, in essence are nothing but thoughts. Like clouds
floating past in the sky.

As in life, the reason why we take negative actions is often because we get engrossed in thoughts that pop into our heads that we are attached to, either because we love the object of our intrusive thoughts too much (desire) or hate the object of our thoughts too much (aversion) which then can trigger us to take action.

If you don't want to get into any thing that is too associated with religious practice.
You may find some relief by using body scan relaxation therapy, which uses the same type of technique, i.e. focusing on your breath and relaxing your body.

A well known author Jon Kabat Zinn has made a number which I think are very good.
I think you can buy just the single guided relaxation therapy from itunes. as a one off.
if interested.
hope it helps.



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31 May 2019, 4:09 pm

A lot of my intrusive thoughts center around fear of the future.



madbutnotmad
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31 May 2019, 4:17 pm

Sure. I think that can be very common, and is perhaps also a core feature of generalised anxiety disorder,
which again is very common in people with Autism due to the high levels of anxiety they suffer from for various reasons.



SaveFerris
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31 May 2019, 4:17 pm

Fern wrote:
Does anyone else here suffer from intrusive thinking? I used to struggle with this a lot as a younger person. Even though they're not so bad anymore, I feel like I still reel from it sometimes.



Intrusive thought sufferer here ( OCD related I think but only due to autism creating them - that's my theory), I don't need any enemies I'm my own worst enemy.


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dyadiccounterpoint
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31 May 2019, 4:56 pm

I have technically gone through experiences that are high risk for PTSD, but I think I was more shielded from trauma than a typical person would have been due to attachment issues.

I can sit for hours thinking about certain kinds of thoughts that cause me pain. I didn't used to do this. It's something that has manifested very recently. It's not really about the traumatic experiences though. My darker thoughts could be vaguely described as experiencing "existential crisis" both in terms of deconstructing personal experience and that of life on this planet.


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Mountain Goat
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31 May 2019, 5:27 pm

As a Christian of corse I get attacked by demons trying to speak to me etc, but they don't stay for long!


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Twilightprincess
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31 May 2019, 8:15 pm

I frequently have intrusive thoughts, but I think mine is PTSD related. Of course, obsessive thinking could tie into my ASD, so it’s probably all interconnected.



Fern
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31 May 2019, 11:58 pm

I never talk to anyone about my intrusive thoughts. It's really nice to read that other people have had similar experiences. It's nice to read about solutions that help too.


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