Withdrawal-induced obsessive/repetitive thoughts: quick tips

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  • Remind yourself that however uncomfortable, disturbing, or terrifying these thoughts may be, they are a common part of the psychiatric drug withdrawal journey for many, many people. Your thoughts do not reflect anything about who you are as a person. It’s completely typical to have thoughts that are wholly “out of your character” as you heal from psychiatric drugs. Many people find that by accepting the presence of these disturbing thoughts and allowing them to be here as their brains heal, their minds start to feel a bit less like a prison and the thoughts can become a less overwhelming. This process of acceptance can also help people stay connected to who they really are beneath those thoughts and beneath the broader struggle of withdrawal.
  • Repeating affirmations such as, “I am not my thoughts,” or “These thoughts are not me, they are symptoms of drug-induced brain injury,” may help make things feel a bit easier.
  • A lot of people continuously remind themselves of the following phrase: “My thoughts, however scary they may be, cannot actually hurt me or anyone else. In and of themselves, they are harmless and powerless.”
  • People in the withdrawal community will emphasize to those struggling with obsessive thoughts that just because a thought is present it doesn’t make it a fact or the truth, and doesn’t mean it will actually happen.
  • Visualizing yourself welcoming the thoughts into your mind as dark companions here for a temporary visit may help you feel less overtaken by them and more in the driver’s seat of your consciousness.
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