So, about a month ago I landed myself in the hospital for a suicide attempt. Before my attempt, I had been thinking about suicide… almost obsessively. It was the only thing in my head. All I could think was “Just do it” and “kill yourself” and things similar to that. And even when I tried to tell myself that that was irrational, it just got clouded with more and more obsessive thoughts about suicide.
I’ve been wonder since then if being that obsessed with thought is normal behavior. I’ve always had times where I could only think about doing one thing, and the thought won’t stop until I do it. I had a substance use problem in the past, and if I wanted to use it, I would only think about that until I did. I self-harm sometimes, and when I get the urge to self-harm, It’s all I can think about until I do it. Do other people do that? Get so obsessed with one thought they can’t think about anything else until they do that thing.
It even happens with my intrusive thoughts. I just keep thinking about them and thinking about them and obsessing over them until I can’t think about anything else which makes me really really uncomfortable. I just keep repeating the same thoughts over and over and the only way to make it stop is to do something else. I just have to distract myself from it. And sometimes I don’t have the option to distract myself from it but I have to do SOMETHING or I just feel so uncomfortable with myself, my body and my thoughts.
I don’t know. Is that a normal thing or not? Am I just crazy or is that a thing most people do.
No, you aren’t crazy. I have struggled with self harm and I will get those intrusive thoughts that can linger on end for hours unless I cave. It is totally understandable. The best thing you can do is try to find a friend to talk to when you feel really clouded like that or other healthy coping mechanisms. (btw so glad you are still here and the attempt did not work I hope you are doing better now!! )
You are not crazy, @TheRats. This is, unfortunately, how it is when we feel the urge to do something that would give us some instant relief. I’ve been through what you described with eating disorders, more precisely when I felt the need whether to binge on food or to make myself throw up. It’s like I couldn’t function or do anything at all unless I’d do what’s on my mind. Until then, I’d feel extremely vulnerable, uncomfortable, like the world was about to stop or I was about to die. The distress was real, so naturally my thoughts were focused on what could bring me some relief as soon as possible.
It’s only a human reaction that shows your vulnerability at the moment, and it takes time to break down those thoughts, to learn to be comfortable with our discomfort… just to realize that the world won’t collapse and time helps to feel a little better. The more you give yourself time during those moments and don’t listen to your thoughts, the more you train your mind to stop associating distress and unhealthy coping mechanisms. First time it’s one minute, then two, then 10… Although it’s different for suicidal thoughts, and I hope you keep some crisis lines informations next to you in case you need it.
You got this. I’m very grateful that you are here with us today.
Thank you so much for sharing here! I am so sorry for the pain that you have been experiencing but I’m so glad that you were able to get at least some the help you needed at the hospital. It sounds like you are having some obsessive (potentially obsessive compulsive) intrusive thoughts. This is definitely something a lot of people struggle with, especially when suicidal thoughts are involved.
One thing that might help is really practicing mindfulness. There are TONS of ways to practice mindfulness, meditation is a common one, but being mindful really just means to notice the present moment without judgement. One mindfulness technique I recently learned that can help distract your brain is the celebrity name game. It might sound a little silly but your brain can’t FULLY focus on two things at once, so providing yourself with this little came can help divert some of the attention from your obsessive thoughts. It works like this! You think of a celebrity (or author, musician or athlete) and then you think of another celebrity that’s first letter of their first name matches the first letter of the last name of the first celebrity (sounds confusing but it’s super simple let me show you.
SO if i said Selena Gomez the next person I might think of is Grace Kelly then Kim Kardashian, then maybe Kanye West, then maybe Will Smith. This mindfulneess technique gives your brain something to do other than focus on the obsessive thoughts.
I hope it helps!
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