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Thread: Tips on how to clear mind of intrusive thoughts?

  1. #1

    Tips on how to clear mind of intrusive thoughts?

    I realise thatís the ultimate question and maybe too hard for anyone to answer?!

    A bit of background. Iím a (as far as any of us can be aware) healthy 40 something. 3 weeks ago I had what I believe is a focal seizure. I googled (big mistake, and Iíll come onto that shortly) and it advised that I should see a doctor, so I saw a gp the following day. She did various physical neurological tests (following her finger with my eyes, touching my nose etc.) and it was all fine. She did partly think I might have had a focal seizure following my description of what happened, but called the referral service (whilst I was there) for a second opinion and their view was that it wasnít an obvious seizure. GP then sent me on my merry way and said if it happens again ďgo to A&EĒ.

    It hasnít happened again, but ever since, because of my fateful googling at the time, Iíve got it into my head that itís a brain tumour. Iíve found myself feeling off balance, and keep walking into things/dropping things/mishandling things (for example Iíll accidentally bash a mug into the a shelf in the kitchen cupboard in the process of trying to put it onto the shelf). I wake up feeling anxious about the day ahead, and find myself shaking quite a lot. I can totally recognise that some (possibly all?) of this is due to anxiety, but Iím really struggling to stop it. Iíve managed to stay off googling brain tumours, but the damage is already done. I can recall (when I did google, after the Ďseizureí incident) that it said focal seizures are a common first symptom, and brain tumours can also affect your peripheral vision etc. so I canít get it out of my head that this is what Iím experiencing. The trouble is, I now donít know whether these disturbing symptoms are a new sign of neurological issues or whether itís all anxiety. And of course when the symptoms happen, I feel even more anxious! Itís a vicious circle. Iím managing to keep myself vaguely sane by the knowledge that brain tumours are very rare. I think something like 1 in 33,000.

    I should add that I had sinusitis & feeling of full ears when the Ďseizureí incident happened. I have a history of recurring sinus problems (runs in the family) and so I have been desperately trying to link the possible seizure to that, but canít find a strong link (and have to be super wary about googling as inevitably anything to do with seizures goes right to brain tumours). I did mention the sinus thing to doctor but she didnít really comment. Iíve still got the full ear thing going on now (they pop a lot during the day).

    I donít expect anyone here to tell me whether I did or didnít have a seizure. None of us are doctors after all! Iím after some advice on tips to stop thinking about brain tumours so I can hopefully stop with the clumsy symptoms and stop feeling so damn anxious.

    Thanks in advance x
    Last edited by MinnieMop; 09-03-23 at 12:50. Reason: Spelling error!

  2. #2
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    Re: Tips on how to clear mind of intrusive thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnieMop View Post
    I should add that I had sinusitis & feeling of full ears when the ‘seizure’ incident happened.
    I can't tell you if you had a 'seizure' or not, but I imagine not, and the experts appear to think not. What I can tell you is that I have sinus/ear fullness and that affects my balance; I walk into doorways and I can feel dizzy.

    I'd imagine that whatever it was you experienced was also to do with the sinus issues. That's the most logical cause. I have weird headaches and face-pain to do with my sinus issues, as well as the balance problems.

    Whatever we experience is more likely to be something other than cancer, but our HA minds generally take us from symptom to cancer in 0-60 seconds. Then, the stress response creates additional (albeit normal) symptoms which feed into our imaginary disease...

    We turn to the crappest Doctor in the world (Dr Google) and he confirms our worst fears..

    More often than not, we drag our petrified selves to our GP only to be told that there's nothing wrong with us. Or, we're referred for tests (which we take to mean that we must be dying or why would they bother?) and then we're told there's nothing wrong with us. Or, it's something minor and non-life threatening. (And then we struggle to accept that we're not dying...)

    Health anxiety is a bugger, but you can do yourself a massive favour by resisting the urge to Google...
    __________________
    A thought is harmless unless we believe it.

  3. #3

    Re: Tips on how to clear mind of intrusive thoughts?

    Thanks for your reply NoraB.
    I have continued to feel weird and had another gp appointment today. (Different gp). From my description, she thinks I have had a seizure and has requested an urgent referral to a neurologist. Even though I suspected the same, hearing it from a medical professional has sent me spinning. Iím terrified and of course frightened of the worse case scenario. Iím trying to hold myself together for my children (they donít know) and now need to wait it out for up to a couple of weeks for my appointment.

  4. #4
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    Re: Tips on how to clear mind of intrusive thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnieMop View Post
    Thanks for your reply NoraB.
    I have continued to feel weird and had another gp appointment today. (Different gp). From my description, she thinks I have had a seizure and has requested an urgent referral to a neurologist. Even though I suspected the same, hearing it from a medical professional has sent me spinning. Iím terrified and of course frightened of the worse case scenario. Iím trying to hold myself together for my children (they donít know) and now need to wait it out for up to a couple of weeks for my appointment.
    I've been fast-tracked several times based on my symptoms. The reality is that the symptoms that warranted such 'urgency' turned out to have less serious causes like spondylosis and different forms of migraines.. (HA translated them to MS and brain tumours).

    An urgent referral doesn't mean you had a seizure. (I'm intrigued as to why the doctor hasn't sent you for a brain scan?)

    Even if you did have a seizure, you're in the system now, and the cause will be found and treated. (It could also be a one-off that won't happen again)

    One thing I can assure you of is how much fear will create neurological type symptoms that will play into your imagination, so you really do need to try and calm yourself down..

    I've had lots of weird neurological type symptoms, including an episode where my eyes went from side to side really quickly (Nystagmus), and I had no control over it. I got checked out - was fine - and I haven't had it since. (Sometimes odd things happen, and there isn't an underlying cause)

    Worst case scenario rarely comes true, but even when it does, it doesn't mean that it's the end of the world. (It's 2023, not 1823)

    I'll also put it to you, that you Googled, and one of the problems with Googling and anxiety is that we can read something scary and apply it to ourselves (and believe it), even though it's not entirely accurate...

    I know that the next few weeks will be incredibly hard for you, but you do get to choose your response here, Minnie, and if you choose to allow fear to consume you, you could be dealing with the consequences of this long after neurology have given you the all clear...

    All the best..
    __________________
    A thought is harmless unless we believe it.

  5. #5

    Re: Tips on how to clear mind of intrusive thoughts?

    Thanks NoraB, your reply is very helpful.
    To answer your intrigue, the gp said she could refer me for the tests directly but she thinks it would be best to speak to a specialist first (I donít know if I said but all of this, including the gp appointment, is through my work private healthcare). Part of me assumes her reasoning for doing this is because it is all through the private healthcare and they do tend to refer you into a specialist (with money not being a factor as itís all covered by insurance) , and then the irrational side of me thinks sheís passing it on to someone else so that itís not her who gets sent the scan results and has to give me the bad newsÖ

    She thinks I had a focal seizure. Which matches what I had thought (from my Googling, after Iíd had it). Iíve resisted Googling since, as I know it wonít end well. As you said though the seed is already planted from when I did Google (focal seizures being the most common symptom of brain tumour, etc.) and my mind has totally latched onto that. Iím lucky to have a very supportive husband who is good at keeping calm, and who correctly reminded me yesterday that a referral to a neurologist is actually the outcome I wanted, so in that respect the process is going the right way.
    Youíre totally right- how I deal with this is in my hands now and Iíve got to get a grip of it and try to stay calm.

  6. #6

    Re: Tips on how to clear mind of intrusive thoughts?

    So Iíve ended up booking a private MRI which Iím paying for myself, because I canít get a neurologist appointment until a month from now. My anxiety is through the roof, and Iím really struggling, but trying to get through it!

  7. #7

    Re: Tips on how to clear mind of intrusive thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnieMop View Post

    I donít expect anyone here to tell me whether I did or didnít have a seizure. None of us are doctors after all! Iím after some advice on tips to stop thinking about brain tumours so I can hopefully stop with the clumsy symptoms and stop feeling so damn anxious. strands
    Thanks in advance x
    I'm sorry to hear that you're going through this anxiety and worry about your health. Mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation, can help calm your mind and reduce anxiety. These practices can also help you stay grounded in the present moment and prevent your thoughts from spiraling out of control.

  8. #8
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    Re: Tips on how to clear mind of intrusive thoughts?

    My husband had a focal seizure last November. He had a sudden-onset headache followed by memory loss and a panic attack that had him curled in a ball and crying hysterically on our couch before I could get him in the car to take him to the ER. I suspected a TIA, but after a CT scan, MRI, various neurological tests, and an ultrasound he was given the all-clear. It was all due to a strange type of migraine - no brain tumor.

  9. #9
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    Re: Tips on how to clear mind of intrusive thoughts?

    ^Wow ... I'm so glad to hear that your husband got all those tests and they managed to pin-point it to migraines - they are strange and cause aura that includes some of those symptoms. I hope he will get proper treatment going forward. Best Wishes to you and your husband.

  10. #10
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    Re: Tips on how to clear mind of intrusive thoughts?

    He typically does get the aura! He didnít this time, which is why I was so concerned. But the hospital was great and intent on ruling out a stroke or something else equally scary, and heís doing great. Thank you 😊

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