Tag: social anxiety disorder

Bad Thoughts

The last day or so, my bad thoughts are coming back a little.

It’s not so much they’re actively there, but I’m suddenly finding that listening to certain songs it’s like the lyrics are actually instructing me to do something. Instead of being just a song lyric, the words get ingrained in my head, like they’re trying to make me do or think something I don’t want to. For example, I’ve been listening to E.S.T by White Lies a lot the last week or so, and one lyric that has been affecting me is

If you tell me to jump then I’ll die

It’s as if the song is saying to me “You have to go and jump off a building”

At the moment I am strong, so these thoughts are easy to resist. I know they are irrational and I am not going to act on them. But it does feel like, right now, every song is saying to me, in some form, “it’s time to die”. I’m just glad that right now they’re ignorable.

But the thing is, this happens in my bad periods too. It seems as though songs are giving me a message telling me to do things, and when I’m in that weakened mental state it’s much harder to resist. The messages I imagine in the songs seem much more vocal, and I’m more willing to listen to them than sense. In my bad times, lines between what is real and what is not become a little blurred. Thoughts and ideas and perceptions that are normally just wee things at the back of my mind, that don’t have any power, come to the forefront, and seem far more real than actual reality. I can become convinced that I am dangerous or evil, that I am putting people at risk, or that my friends are manipulating me, or have turned against me and are trying to hurt me.

Of course things like these song lyrics having funny effects on my thoughts seem normal, stupid even. But the problem is, when things become blurred, they aren’t stupid. They seem very rational. In a way, it’s like these thoughts are being inserted into me through a drip. I am learning to notice more when something, whether it’s a song or a film or even an artwork, starts to have this effect, and I stop consuming that thing before it can cause any damage. Sometimes, though, I don’t pick it up, and suddenly I have this thing whirring in my head that doesn’t really feel like it’s mine.

Erin

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Volatile

Volatile

Today, I realised something, that I hadn’t really noticed in the past.

My flatmate (M) came into the kitchen, while my other flatmate (H) and I were just hanging out. He came in to tell us to make sure we left the extractor fan on in the bathroom till the walls were completely dry, and that someone had turned it off just there. I told him it was me, because it’d be on for ages and I thought it needed to be switched off.

He didn’t insult me. He didn’t turn it into an argument. He wasn’t nasty in any way. He simply said, “Okay, well you need to leave the extractor on till the walls are dry,”.

In my head, it felt like a personal attack. I immediately felt as though I needed to defend myself. I started to rise to those feelings, and at the same time could feel stress and anxiety and, well, anger, bubbling up inside me. It made no sense. I had no reason to be angry, which just made me feel more stressed.

Thankfully, at that moment my Mum phoned, and I made a hasty exit.

But later on, I couldn’t help wondering what would’ve happened. Would I have given way to the anger and go on the defensive? Would I have changed the subject? Or would i have accepted what he said on moved on.

And it became apparent to me, that the third option would not have happened. And in most situations it doesn’t. When people say something to me that maybe I don’t agree with, like in the past when H told me that I should’ve left the kitchen when I had an hour long phone conversation with my Mum so that her and boyfriend could make and eat their dinner, I seem to take it as a personal attack. I can’t accept it, or brush it off, or ignore it- I feel this need to defend myself, or change the subject as quickly as possible, so that the situation de-escalates. Even though in reality, it hasn’t escalated at all, and someone has just made a totally normal comment or request.

It could be that is because of my social anxiety disorder (SAD). My SAD is essentially caused by a deep and intense fear of rejection and abandonment from friends, to the point where I find it impossible to talk to many people, because I fear their rejection so enormously.

But I worry it’s something else, something more. The more I consider these things, the more it begins to seem as though something else is going on. I need to know.

Erin