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Topic: Irrational fears after trauma

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. miss_jade
    miss_jade avatar
    4 posts
    14 January 2020


    This is my first time posting. I’ve suffered from OCD since I was about 12 and have had every obsession you could think of (religious, sexual, harm, existential, etc.).

    Recently, I was on a pain medication (taking the highest legal dose) and I decided one day that I would stay home and study (exam period) instead of refill my prescription and that I could deal with the pain for a few days. I experienced severe withdrawal symptoms (felt like a severe depression or anxiety), but I didn’t know what was happening I thought I was going insane. I tried to do anything to keep my mind occupied off the symptoms (working, cleaning, video games, tv) but nothing worked and I ended up staring at the clock for hours just waiting for it to be over, it moved so slowly. Once I got the medication back, the physical symptoms faded within an hour but the mental stuff stayed with me.

    Now I have a lot of fears pertaining to physical anxiety symptoms and perception of time.

    I’m afraid of thinking about or experiencing time moving slowly. I don’t know exactly why that is or what I think will happen, but I feel as if it would be a never ending torture if I did. I’m afraid that I won’t be able stop thinking these thoughts about time, that they’ll always distract me.

    I’m also afraid that the physical symptoms of anxiety (I developed later on) will dominate my attention, that I won’t be able to stop thinking about them and not be able to focus on other things (fun, work, partner). That I won’t be able to function and they will get worse/unbearable.

    I had some bad experiences with panic (I started on SSRI) because I thought the same psychological consequences (focusing on slow time/not being able to disconnect from physical sensations and focus on other things) would happen again.

    I don’t know whether it’s PTSD, OCD, panic, etc. but these are the fears that are bothering me and it’s been hard trying to find someone with my experiences.

    Any advice would be much appreciated, thank you.



  2. Doolhof
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Doolhof avatar
    7908 posts
    14 January 2020 in reply to miss_jade

    Hi miss_jade,

    Welcome to the community here. I am wondering if you have talked to a psychologist or psychiatrist about how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. These people may well be able to help you sort out what is happening and why.

    Recently I was talking to a therapist who helped me realise just how irrational some of my thoughts were, even though my mind was telling me those thoughts were to absolute truth.

    I questioned some of my actions and beliefs and realised just how much I was thinking in the negative and with fear when what I was thinking might never happen.

    The Beyond Blue website has information on anxiety and depression you may find helpful.

    Other people may be able to better express understanding of your symptoms and concerns.

    K ind regards from Dools

  3. miss_jade
    miss_jade avatar
    4 posts
    14 January 2020 in reply to Doolhof


    Thanks for responding, and yes I am currently seeing a psychologist and booked in to see a psychiatrist in Feb. I’ve figured out a lot of stuff on my own, I’ve only had 2 or so sessions with her. Especially with these “time moving slowly” thoughts, my brain is telling me that I need to be scared, I know that these thoughts are irrational but I’m having difficulty “realising” they are, you know? They don’t feel irrational, I’m having trouble logically justifying why they are.

    I’ve been getting better but it has been hard. I’m definitely in a better place, but there are some moments when it feels like everything is going wrong.

  4. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2564 posts
    28 January 2020 in reply to miss_jade

    Hi miss_jade,

    Thank you for your post. I can see that Doolhof has offered you a great welcome. I'm sorry to hear how much you are struggling with this, and honestly it sounds like it's been really hard - not only dealing with OCD, but now these strange experiences when you were off the pain medication.

    I'm glad to hear that you're talking about this with the psychologist; what did they say when they heard about those fears and how you perceived time so differently?

    While I'm not able to relate to a lot of what's going on, I do have a history of trauma and also having terrible (and sometimes frightening) side effects from medications. While for me it wasn't time based, it certainly was difficult and I know others that have had other traumatic experiences from medications - either side effects or withdrawal.

    Sometimes with irrational thoughts, it can be really helpful to try and prove them wrong. This might not always be possible, but sometimes playing the situation through in our heads can help, like an imagined story. So for example, if I had the same experience with time moving slowly, - it would be so awful and horrible, but I know that I would find ways to cope with it. I might have to move the clock for example, so that I'm not looking at time or getting caught up in those thoughts, and find ways to 'lose track of time' (which would be possible eventually!).

    I hope that your psychologist is able to come up with a few ideas. It might not even be about proving their irrationality - but just accepting them as they are and finding ways to have a life without them interrupting you.


  5. tpman
    tpman avatar
    24 posts
    28 January 2020 in reply to miss_jade


    all I’m going to say is that I’ve had almost identical types of thoughts so hopefully you can take some comfort in that you are not alone.

    For me it’s due to Depersonalisation related to chronic anxiety and depression and trauma which happened to me a few years ago.

    obsessive thinking is a hallmark of DP/DR.

    Im getting a lot better and although you probably can’t see it now, you will too.

    Take care :)

  6. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    2233 posts
    4 March 2020 in reply to tpman

    Hi all,

    We're closing this thread as miss_jade has started another one with a very similar theme here.

    Just a reminder that we ask members to keep to one thread for support if the issues are substantially the same. It makes it really difficult for the community to provide support if they don't have the full story because it is scattered across several very similar threads.

    Usually that means we will remove the newer thread in favour of keeping everything together under the older one, but we're making an exception in this case because hey, we're all human.

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