Intrusive Thoughts - Worrying about intrusive thoughts

In this episode, I discuss the two different types of worry with intrusive thoughts. The first type of worry is worrying about events or situations that could happen. A few examples of this could be worrying about getting sick, losing a job, or some other negative event taking place. The second type of worry is worrying about the presence of thoughts in your conscious awareness. An example of this is when a person worries that they may experience a specific intrusive thought so they spend a great deal of time trying to make sure they don't experience certain intrusive thoughts.


alright hey there and welcome to this episode what we're gonna talk about worry and the different types of worry and what you can do about it and so so my name is Matt Codde I'm a licensed clinical social worker and I'm one of the founders of restored minds and so thank you so much for for tuning in to this episode again we are we're really excited we got it we're in a really good series right now on intrusive thoughts and so if you didn't catch the last episode what I talked about basically is this idea of you know just the umbrella categories of some of intrusive thoughts that people experience when it comes to OCD and anxiety now when we talk about the different types of anxiety you know obviously we have OCD in generalized anxiety you know panic disorder social
anxiety you know and so there's many different categories of anxiety but really this these intrusive thoughts and this in this idea of worry kind of applies to most forms of OCD or of an anxiety excuse me and so what I want to talk about in this series are the different types of worry right and really there's there's two types of worry that I want to talk about and and so it's it's this idea of worrying about events right that's that's that's type number one and the second type is worrying about thoughts okay so let's go ahead and break this down real quick so so worrying about events is generally what starts anxiety right like that's usually you know what or they kind of worry about a specific theme or event or whatever right the worried that you may get sick one day or the worried that something bad might happen or you might botch a presentation at work or you know whatever right you know you're worrying about something specific happening right and when we're talking about that that's specific kind of worry I mean it's it's you know kind of universal and in anxiety right I mean you know if you're if you have panic disorder you're worrying that a panic attack could happen right and but but what I want to talk about in this series on this intrusive thoughts is the second type of
worry where we talk about this idea of worrying about thoughts and that's this idea of you know you're worrying that you're the thought will appear in your conscious awareness right and so whatever that thought that you're afraid of is you're worried that you might experience that thought you're not even worried about experiencing an event as much as you're worrying about the thought itself coming up and you know this this specific type of worry the second kind of worry is is in is is really insidious when it comes to you know anxiety because it can it can spiral really quick right because essentially what happens is that you get caught up in this idea of you know scanning and checking and analyzing your thoughts to see if something's present but we know right that you know with thoughts suppression that that's a major compulsion right and and what happens is is the more and more you try to push a thought out of your mind and not experience it the more and more you're gonna experience it right and Daniel Wagner you know a famous social psychologist did a whole experiment on this and white bit with white bears right he said you know don't think of a white bear right and that was his whole experiment he had people not think of white bears and what he saw what it would he found was the more and more you tried not to think of something the more and more pop it popped up in your head and again this is a neutral thought on white bears right when you when you amplify it and you know throw thoughts that are a little more disturbing and again in those kind of three major categories whether they're harmful thoughts toward yourself or someone else
or thoughts about your religion or God or you know sexual intrusive sexual thoughts you know the the emotion increases with those thoughts right and so the more and more we try to push thoughts away the worse and worse they become and when we start worrying about thoughts it's very easy for it to spiral okay and so that's that's the distinction that I wanted to kind of make in this episode again this is a kind of a brief RepA sewed because it's just important for us to understand that as we move forward in the intrusive thought series what we're gonna really
be talking about a lot is that idea of worrying about thoughts as opposed to worrying about events because that's ultimately what I see you know with most of my my clients and and people that I've worked with and and you know with myself that I've experienced is that that's where it goes it goes the you worry about the event initially but then you start worrying that the because the
thought was so disturbing you start worrying about the thought itself popping up and that's really when things spa right and so I wanted and we're gonna address both as we move on but when it when it comes to the first kind of worry let's talk about that you know something if you're worrying about a specific event or or something happening you know possibly whatever right but the thing that we need to do is first assess if it's something that we have any control over right because it's an it's an event itself right so if you have a presentation at work there are certain
things you can control right you can prepare for it you know you if you have a test you're worried about you can study for it those are things that you can actually prepare so if you take if you're worrying about an event or a thing it's important to take a piece of paper out and kind of like okay look what what can I control about this and if you reach a point where you have an event you're worrying about and there's nothing you can control about it that's where embracing that uncertainty and using the tactics that you know when it comes to managing anxiety and kind of diffusing those thoughts is really important right and just kind of accepting like whoa you know maybe that happened maybe it won't and and being able to sit with that maybe is very crucial but when it comes to worrying about thoughts that is a whole different approach because what happens is is we start getting so consumed and in you know is that thought there is that thought there and we're checking and scanning and analyzing all the time but what happens when we do that is basically two parts of the brain are working against each other you have the part of the brain that's trying to push thoughts away and then you have the other part of the brain that is scanning to see if that thoughts there but by trying to push it away you're in a sense creating that thought and then you're the alarm system goes off that that thoughts is that thought is present and
then it just kind of spirals right so the thought becomes more and more and more present and you know Barry Barry McDonough he wrote a book called dare really a really good really good book you know on on anxiety and he talks about this more in depth in his book that's just this concept and that was you know it was a checking out his work and I really liked it and I wanted to share this particular concept so I wanted to give a shout out to him on
this and but you know he talked about the analogy you know of like you know pushing a beach ball under wall water and I think most of us have heard this the more and more you try to put a beach ball push a beach ball under water you know you can hold it and hold it and hold it but eventually it's going to come to this and the same thing goes with thoughts right if we're trying not to experience thoughts there they're gonna populate them more and more and more right which is which is the counterintuitive part so when you're worrying about thoughts and you're trying to control the thoughts that appear in your consciousness it's actually gonna cause them to produce more and more and more and actually you would experience them more and more and more that's why the treatment process of this or the you know the way we combat this is so counterintuitive right we actually I have to learn and accept and embrace the presence of them for them to dissipate and it's why it's this big paradox and again so as we go through this series I'm going to talk about very specific thoughts in the themes you know whether it's the religious thoughts you know fear of panic attacks fear of driving you know all that stuff we're gonna go through specific thoughts and talk about case studies and things like that and people that I've worked with and just my own
experiences as well because again I want to just you know share share this with you as you as you if this is something that you're struggling with but it's just important to like to differentiate those two different types of worries and that's really what I want to cover this episode so you know if you if you found this episode helpful if you find if you're finding this series or these channels helpful you know we really appreciate if you'd subscribe and like and follow us because again we really just appreciate your support we also
have some free resources down in the notes below that will you know go you
can Ted over to our site and download them again they're yours completely free and you know so but to quickly recap I just wanted to summarize the two the two types of worry right worrying about events and then worrying about thoughts and again as we move through this intrusive thought series what we're
gonna really be talking about is dealing with the worry about thoughts okay so that's it for this episode I wanted to again just make this as the kind of a prelude for what we're going to be talking about and as week as we move forward here in this series and so I really hope you enjoyed it and thanks for tuning in with us and I hope you guys have a wonderful week and I'll see
you in the next episode and so make sure again just click the link below if you want to grab those resources you'll head over our site and you can download them completely free so thanks so much and I'll talk to you soon

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