Racing, Racing, Racing Thoughts

Thoughts Racing Around the Track in My Head

This week the racing thoughts are taking over my life. Around and around and around they go, layers upon layers of thoughts, memories from childhood and from pastoring, three different song fragments at a time, harmful thoughts, lists of things to do or a grocery list. Over these racing thoughts I’m counting obsessively. Numbers going through my head, counting steps or stairs, counting items around me. My therapist suspects the counting is a coping skill to help drown out the racing thoughts. But now the counting is nearly as loud and obnoxious as the racing thoughts.

Writing the thoughts or lists down doesn’t help. Deep breathing and meditating doesn’t help. Tai chi and water aerobics don’t help. TV or puzzles don’t help. Conversations with others don’t help. DBT skills don’t help. Cats on the lap don’t help.

The thoughts race and race and race and race. From the moment I get up to the moment I fall asleep. Even my dreams seem layered on each other, as though my thoughts are racing while I sleep. I forget what I’m trying to do because the thoughts needed to carry out a task get caught up in the racing thoughts so that I can’t tell which of the thoughts is the important one that I need to pay attention to. Since dressing and eating are challenging, you can imagine what it’s like to drive!

Several times this past week, as I’ve tried to cope with the thoughts, I’ve seriously thought of harming myself, and at one point even suicide, just to make the torment stop! So, a few days too late, I called my psychiatrist who has now added an anti-psychotic to the mood stabilizer and anti-depressant I’m already on. She said rather than the upped dosage of the mood stabilizer causing the thoughts, that I’m having break-through manic symptoms. Phew! So glad someone can understand what’s going on and treat it! I hope this new drug works, since I haven’t responded well to anti-psychotics since I’ve started treatment.

Meanwhile, back to fighting against the racing thoughts to get through each day. Not a good way to live – trying to get through each day, safely, just to repeat the torment the next day, and the next night. I’m in solidarity with friends who live this way All.The.Time. I hope it gets better for you! And me.

4 responses to “Racing, Racing, Racing Thoughts

  1. numbers were huge for me. The meaning in them…I was supposed to contact ex-boyfriends b/c the numbers lined up…Sending some cupcakes. Good advice during this time from a frustrated friend: just look through your Bible until I come over. I circled numbers, wrote things…

  2. I’m glad I’m not the only one with number fixation! Fortunately they don’t have meaning, just obsessive presence. Hope the new drugs help

  3. Lisa Barrowclough

    As I hope I was able to express some level of understanding last time, I can relate to this post as well. My racing gets faster and faster, as my depression occurs as a spiral and, like a marble in one of those games I played with as a child, everything awful speeds up and flies completely out of control as it goes further down the spiral. My constant question, from the bottom of the spiral looking up, all beat-up and bruised from the wild ride, is why I wasn’t able to climb off the spiral in its earliest stages, before things got fast and out of control? Especially as this has happened more and more, why don’t I recognize that I’m slipping and climb off early? This is where I believe the meds fit in somewhere, and why I believe I don’t have a handle on mine, and we all have to be so patient in figuring them out. My psychiatrist hopes to get me to a point where I will recognize and climb off my spiral – and hopefully yours will get you to a point where you recognize and don’t climb in that race car. Isn’t it so frustrating how much patience mental illness requires … all while it robs us of our patience?!?!

    Please believe me (although I know how ridiculous it sounds when people say stuff like this!) that the occasional lights in this tunnel (notice I didn’t dare refer to the end) are not always oncoming trains! This is SO hard, I know. If you know anything at all, just know you are not alone!

  4. Oye, can I relate to racing thoughts!! I lived with them for over 30 years until I was diagnosed and I learned it is part of my illness… It drives you totally bonkers if there is nothing to focus your thoughts on!
    Hope the meds kick in soon and you can enjoy a quieter mind! Take care of and be kind to yourself!

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