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Catastrophizing - I need help!

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Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:19 pm

Catastrophizing - I need help!

Postby nn » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:48 pm


For as long as I can remember I have been a worrier - I worry about everything and everyone. One day I had a melt down and posted on this website about all my worries. Somebody advised me to go and see my GP - something which I had never considered doing because I thought my worrying was normal. My GP told me that I suffer from 'catastrophic thinking' which basically means I have constant, irrational worries about everything and everyone. I imagine the worst possible outcomes in situations, so much so that I can actually see these outcomes happening in front of my eyes (even though they are not happening). It's so intense that I begin to feel the emotions that I would feel if whatever I am imagining did happen which leads to horrible feelings of anxiety and sadness. For example, if somebody is holding my baby nephew, I will imagine that person dropping my nephew and my nephew hitting his head and going unconscious (sick, I know, but I can't help it). I will imagine it so clearly that I can see it happening - I can see everybody's reactions and I can see people frantically trying to revive him/ call an ambulance etc. And then I start to feel horribly anxious and upset.

My GP gave me a booklet to read through which basically explains catastrophic thinking but this hasn't really helped me.

I would be so grateful if anybody who has experienced/ is experiencing the same thing could give me some advice on how to help myself! At the moment, I cannot control these thoughts and they are really making me unhappy. I would love to know if there's anything that has helped you guys!

Thanks x

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Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Catastrophizing - I need help!

Postby andthistoomustpass » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:54 pm


There is some excellent advice if you look around this forum. Many of us here catastrophise.
If this is having a persistent negative effect on your well being I would tell my GP the booklet isn't helping and ask for a Counseling / Therapy referral.

In the meantime a good starting point is the great self help resources out there. Feeling Good by David Burns is probably the best CBT book. Another member here recommends books and youtube videos by Clare Weekes for anxiety. You can also try this Aussie NHS link for a free workbook., scroll down for the module on worry.

If you are able to put the effort in some of the above will likely help.

Take care, let us know how it goes.

Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:19 pm

Re: Catastrophizing - I need help!

Postby nn » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:57 pm

Thanks, I really appreciate your response!

Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Catastrophizing - I need help!

Postby vitasw » Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:36 am

Hi nn,

Yes! I totally relate to what you are saying, it's awful and exhausting. For me, it has gotten better over time as my wellbeing has stabilized - but it does still happen and often I have to catch myself doing it and remind myself that these thoughts aren't really happening. I think most evidence shows that CBT is the best way of helping with this,so it's great andthistoomustpass has linked all those helpful resources.

Also, I hope you don't feel any shame about the types of thoughts you are having. Like you said you can't help it. It is not a negative reflection of you that these "sick" images come to mind, it's only because you care and worry so much about preventing these negative things from happening. Please do come back and let us know how you are getting on.

All the best,


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