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antidepressants and obsessive thoughts

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  • #85341
    Melissa
    Participant

    Hi,

    I’ve posted on here a couple of times about a previous relationship. Lately I’ve hit a brick wall. It was a 3 year relationship and it ended over 4 months ago, we were eachother first love’s. He cheated at work, lied, broke up with me and is now with the person he cheated with (who also cheated too). It didn’t feel like it was going that way but it happened. He was young (23 years old) and he started doing very well at his job, earning quite a bit of money and being in charge of people. I read an article saying there is a direct correlation between infidelity and power. It appears now all he wants is sex and money, he enjoys the thrill – the sweet guy I once knew is gone and I can’t quite believe how someone could change so radically. The references he makes to her are all to do with sex but that he likes her and he finds her cool, and that she was cool about the cheating (he did not say this to me, I found out privately). When he referenced to me it was more soft, but that I was in the past. I am also quite young, 21, and I am a very soft person, I strive to be good. Call me naïve, but I always thought everyone strives to be good and be with a good person. I don’t think that’s right anymore, I still can’t believe someone could change so radically. I also can’t understand why he wants to be with someone like that, if he can sustain this lifestyle or if he will ever feel regret.

    For the last couple of weeks I have been crying everyday. He doesn’t know I know he cheated and I feel holding that in for this long is driving me mad, so I do plan to tell him, just to get it out of me. I am open to the idea that may not give me the relief I need but the alternative to just keep it in me is not an option. My more immediate problem; everyday when I’m alone I talk aloud what I would say to him in person or in a letter. I can’t seem to stop. I’m at university and I have a few deadlines coming up, when II’ in the library, I half work and I have think of phrases to say to him. It’s like I’m obsessed with it. I’ve booked to see a councillor but talking to my mum, who has previously been on antidepressant, she did suggest that I may need them if this is effecting my studying. I really don’t want them, I really really don’t. But I want to know if anyone else struggles with obsessive thoughts and what I could do about them. Any techniques or something, anything. I don’t want to want him back anymore – he doesn’t care and I don’t know if he will ever regret loosing someone good- I don’t think that’s what he values anymore.

    #85342
    jock
    Participant

    Obsessive thoughts are very common. Lots and I means lots of people suffer from them. You need to get clarity. get distance from your thoughts and your emotions. Get distance from this heartbreaking event. You need to gradually phase this guy from your memory and replace him with more positive experiences. Don’t be in a hurry to get into another relationship. I’d get into things like yoga and meditation, even Buddhism. Study the mind, would be my advice. Think about your values, your integrity. What kind of person do you want to become? What kind of friends do you want to have? Do you value power and money? If not, seek alternative careers/lifestyles.
    Just my take on things. Good luck.

    #85344
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Melissa,

    I dunno about anti-depressants but i can say one thing for sure – you’ve been hurt and its painful to go through the consequences of being cheated on by a bloke you loved. However, he really isnt the same fellow anymore and he’s changed for the worse. Good riddance you saw this side now than years later after you married him. Who knows how bad it could have gotten? You arent a soft person for feeling bad when someone broke your heart and behaved like an asshole. Write him that letter and send it or scream at him if you need to. Throw an egg at his window or shame him in front of that woman. I know i am sounding dramatic but seriously, who does he think he is? Sometimes we all need closure rather than pills. Try not to be alone too much when you’re going through this phase – you will end up over-thinking and the negative emotions will get overwhelming. Keep friends nearby, do something physically challenging and cry all you need. See that Councillor. Trust me though, you deserve way better and thank God you dont have to put up with some sex and thrill-seeking liar anymore.

    Regards,
    Moon

    #85348
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Melissa:

    I suggested before that you have a talk with him when you are calm. I am augmenting my suggestion to just have a talk with him. What has kept you from having a conversation with him all this time (if you already answered, i do not remember at this moment)?

    I suffered from a full blown OCD since I was a young child. I went on controlled trial-and-error-based-prescribed-mood altering drugs aka psychiatric medication for the purpose of stopping my obsessive thinking. I was prescribed Zoloft, an SSRI anti depressant. That was the beginning. It will be two years this month since I no longer take any psychiatric drug. Getting off those was a nightmare producing symptoms way worse than those that motivated me to start those drugs. My life as a result of taking those drugs did not improve one iota. It kept me In Place. And it was not a good place.

    What is it that scares you so much about talking to him? From where I am, you have nothing to lose: you don’t want him back, so that is not an issue, then what is it?

    I think the answer to the above may be key.

    anita

    #85376
    Al
    Participant

    Melissa,

    I am sorry for your suffering.

    Consider that all human beings begin life as amateur chefs. Hence, naturally, until we become well-seasoned, until we’ve tasted an adequate amount of flavors to distinguish those ingredients necessary to make our lives tasteful, we are certainly and undoubtedly going to initially struggle.

    Indeed the experience you had was an unfortunate and somber one. However, you now know that this is one flavor that will not make it to your full course. On our journeys, we are all going to encounter our shares of distasteful things but we must recognize and wholly understand that it is these exact events which aid us in distinguishing the good flavors from the bad. Dwelling on the past is not incorrect, however, only if done so proactively to the benefit of our futures. No master (at their craft) dwell on past unfortunate events to hinder their advancement. Your life is too important to do such. In this one existence, don’t you believe you possess the right(s) to fully pursue your own definition of beautiful despite the adversities? As for your ex, please do your best to keep a compassionate heart and forgive him. He, too, is working on his own full course and making the necessary mistakes required to create his own masterpiece. It is indeed sad that other beings must be hurt for him to reach his goals however please recall that we are all raised in our own unique environments which may not always obtain all of the necessary elements to conceive compassionate and considerate human beings. The fault, therefore, cannot be fully blamed on him. Find closure in thanking him for the necessary lessons you’ve learned and wish for his well being for not just his but also your sake. Condoning him for his actions will only yield in added chaos to your already troubled soul. Instead, exercise the beautiful being you are and that your parents helped culture and pray for his well being.

    My friend, there are many flavors and flavor combinations you’ve yet to taste. Find and release your desire to taste them all to burst so at the end you may be at peace and satisfied with the full course you’ve created.

    I hope this helps and please forgive any grammatical errors.

    Al

    #85391
    Melissa
    Participant

    Thank you everyone for your very sincere reply, it has been a pleasure to read them all.

    Dear Jack,

    Thank you for making me feel less alone in my mental state. It is quite challenging to achieve this distance from thoughts and emotions, they attack most strongly right before I go to sleep or when I wake up. I am going to actively listen to a meditation tape in those periods. Sometimes it is tempting and easier to just wallow is self pity, I used to love meditation and it’s strange that I now have to apply a bit of force to do it. As for another relationship, I already have! I have very warm feelings for them and I did not go in search of them. They live far and I think that is a good thing right now, the pace is slow and it does allow me to process my thoughts but I don’t enjoy the combination of emotions, I wish to strengthen the affection I have for them and weaken the obsessive thoughts. Slowly I will get there.

    Dear Moon,

    Your response was great! It filled me with confidence and made me feel strong. I do like to see it as good riddance sometimes but that attitude eventually fades and I remember what we were, a swirl of affection and pain. It is important to remind myself and be reminded that he is not that person anymore and I can’t hang on to that memory. I do deserve better, for a time I thought he was the best out there but his actions disprove that.

    Dear Anita,

    You answer with a little bit more understanding to my issue and of course you pick up on something that is less clear on the surface, ‘what scares you so much about talking to him?’ My mother said the exact same thing. Yes, I think I am scared, the reason being my work. These obsessive thoughts feel like a small fire right now (you could even liken it to an addiction), communicating with him would be adding fuel, the fire would grow and destroy anything I’m trying to cultivate – that primarily being my Masters. I do a scientific degree and it is very intense, I worked hard to get here and I am petrified that if I saw him right now, it would cause me to loose all focus. I am waiting until early December, when we break for the holidays. Right now, my main focus is to get through this first semester and find a healthy way to manage these obsessive thoughts.

    I am sorry for your experiences with OCD, I understand it can be debilitating. I take a few psychiatric modules, I know a lot about SSRI’s and they are not something I want to resort to but I am desperate to stay focused.

    Dear Al,

    Your response was beautiful. I feel that due to my age and life experiences, your view is incredibly wise but beyond me at this point, to have that level-headedness and balance is not something I have quite mastered yet but I wish to grow into a person with your attitude. I will re-read your response and learn from it – I like the abstract manner you present life, it makes it easier to not take hurtful actions personally. I try not too, but it’s the lack of respect his actions scream that haunts me. Hopefully I’ll get beyond that soon.

    #85406
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Mellisa:

    I assumed that a talk with the guy will give you answers and therefore reduce your obsessing or even eliminate those. But what you are saying is that you are thinking that talking with him will bring up more questions in your mind, more confusion and more obsessing(?). I didn’t thing of this option and it is completely possible, in which case I understand you not wanting to talk with him. It may not be a good idea at all, after all.

    anita

    #85442
    Melissa
    Participant

    I think talking to him right now would hinder me in terms of staying focused on my studies (it’s a pressurising environment) but at the same time, the knowledge I have about what he did eats away at me. This is my dilemma, I can’t do one without effecting the other. Right now I can handle the obsessive thoughts, they are the lesser evil but I just want a way to tackle them. I’ve had this problem for a very long time, it happens with other things and I think combatting them could help many aspects of my life. That’s what I’m struggling with now. But when I feel the time is more appropriate and more importantly, when I feel more relaxed (holidays) I will confront him.

    #85448
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Melissa:

    I am an expert on obsessive thinking, I should have something for you, some suggestion. Now that I understand (an evolving understanding of your situation through time, most recently, today I learn that obsessive thinking was a problem before your bf issue): I know the draw, the …mental itch to obsess, an itch one has to scratch, again and again. I know the force drawing you in. That force, that itch is in reality a CONNECTION of neurons in the brain, a connection, a pathway that if highlighted and photographed you could actually see it. This pathway in reality is activated by energy and chemicals. People who do not obsess do not have this particular pathway. In effect nobody has the particular pathway you have, it is like fingerprints, only instead of 10 we have thousands of pathways.

    Now, some chemicals (psychiatric drugs), in the course of trial and error (try THIS, let’s start with this dosage), after two weeks or a month: how do you feel? Should we increase the dosage? Or try something else, etc. etc.) some chemical, drug may block the pathway for a while. Maybe longer. With a cost: side effects and all-hell-breaking-loose for many when you try to get off those drugs.

    Another way is the do-not-scratch-the itch method. The pathway will weaken over time if you do not participate in re-activating it again and again. It is like a well worn pathway in the woods. Over time if you don’t walk on it, vegetation will grow there and cover the path your feet made (not completely gone but way less traveled). It takes some FAITH in resisting the chemical drive to walk the pathway (give in and walk the pathway, again). It takes understanding that you will be okay if you don’t walk it. Again and again you… force CALM to inhabit your experience. Again and again you disengage from the obsessing pathway and engage in paying attention and focusing on your breathing, on sight, touch, smell, etc. that is disengaging the obsessing pathway and engaging the here-and-now breathing, seeing, hearing, touching pathways.

    The persistence required is great, over time; the commitment immense. This is how I successfully stopped OCD rituals. I still have the pathway, the itch when stressed (and that is when most vulnerable) but way less often.

    anita

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