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Your fear of losing control or becoming psychotic is an obsessional fear. We will label it as an obsession or symptoms of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).
When you have an obsession popping in your mind you Google to find it and how the symptoms will end, is actually called as compulsion. Though the compulsion gives you temporary relief from anxiety, it does not help in getting over the thought. In fact, that is the number one reason why your obsession becomes sticky and keeps popping in your mind.
At this stage I would like to suggest some ways to deal with the obsessive thought when you are actually experiencing them. This technique is basically changing the way you obsess. I will teach you three ways: Writing, singing, and changing images. All adults experience irrational worries from time to time. I want you to downgrade that obsession. Consider it as a momentary, anxiety-provoking event.
It is just a little glitch. It is not the actual obsession. It is your reaction to the obsession. So, hold a perspective that the content is not important, and it is not bad that you are obsessing. Free up your attention so that you can begin to modify the ways you obsess.
First thing to do is mentally step back and acknowledge that you have started obsessing. Next remind yourself that it is fine to have a momentary obsession. Do not start worrying about what the obsession means. Remind yourself that the obsessive content is not important. Do not get caught up in analyzing.
You engage in specific actions that will help you change your emotion about the obsessions. I will teach you three ways now. The goal is not to be worry free. The goal is to change your reaction to the obsessions.
The first is writing your worries. Carry a pencil and a small pad with you throughout the day. When you begin obsessing, write down your exact thoughts or a few phrases that describe your images or impulses. If you continue obsessing, keep writing. This does not mean a summary of what you said in your mind. This means a verbatim transcript of exactly what you are thinking. Act as though you are the stenographer in the courtroom. Every single utterance goes on paper.
As soon as you finish writing down the worry, if you think it again, you write it down again, even if it is verbatim what you just wrote down. Do not write down the theme; write down every single repetition of every single thing you think.
When you obsess, you tend to repeat the same content again and again. This is what you call as mental chatter.
When you write out the obsessions, you recognize how repetitive and senseless they are. This perspective weakens the obsessions. It is easy to say it in your head 400 times. But, writing is difficult. It begins to make the obsessions an arduous task.
Another way to begin changing your emotional response to your obsession is to sing your worried thoughts. You have to literally sing as in your mind the words you would usually say, like, I fear that I might lose control over my mind, I might go crazy or land in a mental hospital.
The process of singing your obsessions makes it difficult to simultaneously stay distressed. Yes, it is stupid and childish. Do it anyway.
Pick up a short phrase that summarizes your obsession. Ignore its meaning for a while. Continue to repeat the words, but do so within a simple melody. Keep up this tune for a few minutes.
I do not expect that you will start singing this little tune and instantly feel happy. In fact, it will probably be hard to feel anything but anxiety when you start singing. But stick with it. And while you are singing, work to become detached from the content of your song. Remember, that is our goal.
Whenever you feel less emotionally involved with these thoughts, let go of the tune and the words. Turn your attention elsewhere.
But what if the obsession is an image? In that case, you need to modify that picture in some way, or to replace it with another image. Since you have not mentioned anything about seeing an image, I will drop this idea. But, remind me if you see images as well.
Once you have made that shift away from your intense anxiety, by singing the obsession, writing it down, altering the imagery or any other changes that you create for yourself that would shift your emotion, then turn your attention to other activities in your life.
So, if you have got a bunch of nice, easy little thoughts and images, and then you have this thought that is terrifying, your mind going to go right back to what is fearful. So, turn your attention to some new activities.
It may take you a while before this technique gives you benefits. Some obsessions feel so strong that you will not be able to let go of them right away. Nonetheless, continue to practice this approach as a way to get some perspective on your irrational worries.
Now, try any of the three techniques suggested whichever you find easy, practice it for a couple of days. You will face some problem, no doubt. Convey me the problem and I will suggest the trick to overcome the hurdle in practicing this. It requires a bit of effort, but definitely worth it.
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