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Intrusive thoughts

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by Lalad, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Does anyone have any experience of this?

    Youngest son rang me yesterday in some distress as he has been having horrible thoughts, some quite violent and disturbing. He says it has been happening for several weeks now but has come to a head and he feels he can't stop the thoughts coming and he is clearly now depressed and anxious. He has always had issues with OCD, although has never been formally diagnosed.

    I know quite a bit about some mental health conditions but nothing about intrusive thoughts, so I'm not quite sure how to support him with this. He's off work today (not a teacher) following an emergency GPs appointment yesterday and has been put on Sertraline 25mg for a week, with a view to then doubling the dose - when I asked him if he had thoughts of harming himself, he said he did, but wouldn't act on them because he recognised the impact that would have on his partner and family.

    There seems to be some disagreement over whether it's better to allow these thoughts to surface or try to suppress them - he's clearly distressed by them, so I have suggested trying to suppress them by deliberately focusing on other things, but I'm not sure whether this is good advice or not.
  2. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Intrusive thoughts are a classic part of OCD. A relative of mine suffers from it, severely. Never tells us what the thoughts are. Specialists have always said that the thoughts don't tend to be suicidal though he is very depressed at times and does talk about hating his life.

    Try not to worry, (stupid thing to say I know) it's very positive that he has told you about this. Give the medication change to kick in and don't be afraid to pack him off to the doctors if either it doesn't work or if there are nasty side effects. My relative has had several changes of meds over the years and some are way more effective than others but I think it's a very individual thing.

    Wish I could help more. If you want to PM please do. However bad it is, I'm sure we have seen it and come out the other side.

    Love and good luck to you and your son.
    ATfan likes this.
  3. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Thanks @sparkleghirl
    He's always been quite open about telling me when he doesn't feel right - almost too open sometimes!
    It's very difficult as he has rung me again in tears and says he feels so hopeless and not in control of his mind. I've given him the Samaritans number and have said he and his partner can both ring me if they want to talk - they are both early twenties so quite young, and I don't think she has much experience of this kind of illness, although there is a history of bipolar, depression and psychosis in his family.
  4. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    So sorry to hear this news. I don't have any experience of intrusive thoughts so don't have any real practical advice - I just didn't want to read and run. There's nothing worse than serious worries about your children (it doesn't matter how old they are) especially when it's something you have no control over and can't put right for them. My only thought would be to be to give the meds the required time to start working - I know any sort of anti-depressant takes several days - and keep in close contact with the GP. Do make sure he has told the GP he's had thoughts about harming himself; I know they take that very seriously and act on it immediately. Sending a hug x
    ATfan likes this.
  5. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Thank you @sunshineneeded He's been on the medication for just over a week now and does seem less anxious, plus he's just had another CBT session and says that is helping, so fingers crossed.

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