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Dr. Wilson: Question on your tips on dealing with anxiety/ intrusive thinking
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Anon_963 posted:
Can one truly get rid of intrusive thoughts that just come 'out of the blue'? Your suggestions are helping. I look at them quite often and trying to practice what you suggest. Have just begun though.

The thoughts have nothing to do with me--at all--never have, never would! So--what in the world brings them on?

My therapist says if my depression gets under control she thinks they will just be like what most people experience--if they pop into my head, they'll go away--'just like that'!

Health issues have caused the depression and family things and grief over loss of loved ones--that I've always been able to handle but now is really getting to me too.
Not life threatening health issues, but quality of life issues. I'm a senior citizen (female) and in good health otherwise.
I can't take anti-depressants due to side affects. Have tried a few.
Do you know of a good one that would help with this? I do take Xanax to help with anxiety. It does for sure but is short lived. Thank you!
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Reid Wilson, PhD responded:
Hey, Anon_963-


You don't have to shoot for getting rid of irrelevant intrusive thoughts. That's one of the ways people become most frustrated: they insist on removing the thoughts, of never having them again. But everybody has intrusive thoughts. Work on "letting go" of them, which means don't be attached to their meaning. Consider them noise. They will absolutely make you anxious and scared, so you have to be willing to tolerate that, too. If you have an anxiety disorder that includes intrusive thoughts, then when they pop up, don't address the specific contents of the thought. Try to say something like, "Oh, yes, there's that intrusive thought again. And there's the anxiety that goes with it. I can handle these feelings." And then work on moving on with your day. Not easy, for sure. But a pretty good strategy.
 
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Anon_963 replied to Reid Wilson, PhD's response:
Dr. Wilson, you have 'no idea' how much your words have helped! I've been checking daily for your answer! Have considered trying yet 'another anti-depressant (which so far I haven't been able to tolerate). Just to try to help with my anxiety due to my health issue with symptoms due to Meniere's..
But the 'intrusive thoughts' that come and I realize I've had all my life but like most people--just say , 'where did that come from' and move on--and that was that!
They now trouble me due to the halting of my normal life style that has always kept me looking forward to doing and going. I still do and go, but have to make myself due to the physical symptoms accompanying the inner ear disorder. I continue to look at your suggestions on dealing with anxiety, etc. and it has helped so much. Today started badly--seems depression and anxiety is worse in the mornings! I thought I'd check to see if you answered me yet--and you had! Thank you so much, your words will be repeated in my mind today and days to come. Thank you for your help for me and others here. I'll keep you posted on how I'm doing but for now--I'm just so thankful for your help today!
 
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Reid Wilson, PhD replied to Anon_963's response:
I am so glad my suggestions helped. Just to let you know, I check this site and respond to postings roughly once a week (depending on whether I'm traveling, etc.). Therefore, often you will see this kind of delay in my response, depending on when you post.


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