Obsessive/repetitive thoughts

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  • Having repetitive, intrusive, looping or unwanted thoughts
  • Thoughts may be of taboo subjects such as incest and abuse
  • Thoughts persist and interrupt cognition
  • Feeling utterly fixated on a particular thought, issue, need, or fear to the point that it is all-consuming and you feel utterly unable to let it go


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What are obsessive/repetitive thoughts in psychiatric drug withdrawal?

People often report the emergence of thoughts that feel obsessive and can become repetitive in nature. They describe finding it difficult if not impossible to focus on anything other than the subject of the thought, and no matter how hard they try, they feel unable to stop the thought or even distract themselves from it. People describe thoughts “hijacking their mind”, “keeping them stuck in a brutal loop”, and “having complete control over their consciousness”. They describe feeling “at the mercy of their mind”. Some people say their thoughts are sometimes harsh observations or judgements of what’s happening around them, or even of themselves, and that they’re especially difficult to have because of how out of character they are for the person to be thinking. These thoughts can make it difficult to comprehend or think clearly, or sometimes even to understand or assimilate information from people or other external sources.

Amplifying the difficulty of this experience, many say that the content of their thoughts is often particularly disturbing—for example, people may have thoughts of violence (even thoughts of acting violently towards oneself, strangers, friends, partners, or even their own children) or of taboo subjects such as incest or abuse. Another common thought occupying the minds of many struggling in psychiatric drug withdrawal is an incessant conviction that they will “never heal”, “have permanently broken themselves”, and that “all is lost”. Looping thoughts of suicide, including graphic images of one’s own suicide, may also force themselves into one’s consciousness. This withdrawal symptom leads many people to feel completely imprisoned by their minds, desperate for a way out.