Obsessive Thinking

drug and alcohol treatment center in Raleigh NCWorrying is natural and can be a way to process things and prepare for events. However, when it becomes excessive and hard to control, it may be a sign of obsessive thinking. Persistent and/or negative thoughts are a hallmark of this unhealthy type of worrying.

Obsessive thinking is an inability to control distressing thoughts and images. It is often a symptom of mood disorders such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic Disorder. Let’s take a closer at each of them:

Obsessive thinking plays a strong part in OCD. Someone with OCD will have negative and stressful thoughts that they can’t stop thinking about unless they take action. This action is a compulsion, or a task they must complete in order to keep the negative thought from coming true. One of the most common fears in OCD is germs. If a person is scared of getting germs on them that may cause sickness or death, they will compulsively wash their hands. This is supposed to help calm their fears, but in reality it just keeps them distracted temporarily.

The odd thing about the brain is that the more you try not to think a thought, the more you actually will. Someone with OCD is already having the thoughts more excessively than a “normal” brain, so it makes it more difficult to dismiss it.

Someone with GAD will have obsessive thoughts, but they are generally grounded in reality. For instance, a parent may worry when her child is out late at night. What parent wouldn’t? But for someone with GAD, she will not be able to stop thinking about the bad things that could happen. She may worry every time her child leaves the house and may find that she can’t concentrate on anything else. When this type of worry goes beyond simply caring about your child’s well-being, it falls into the category of obsessive thinking.

Panic disorder causes physical symptoms such as dizziness, heart palpations and chest pains when the sufferer encounters a situation that causes fear or stress. Obsessive thinking can lead to physical symptoms like these. If he is not aware that the symptoms are related to their thoughts and moods, he may believe that something else is wrong. He may develop hypochondria or have fears about other health conditions.

Remember that not all obsessive thoughts are the result of a mood disorder. In order for them to be considered a medical problem, they need to occur to such a degree they interfere with your life. Having the occasional bout of worry over something in your life that eventually subsides is a perfectly normal part of life.

However, if you’re suffering from obsessive thoughts that are affecting how you function on a daily basis, you may need to get professional help. It could be related to an anxiety disorder. Treatment such as cognitive behavior therapy, which helps you learn to cope with the negative thoughts, is available.

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