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Mw99
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:34 pm    Post subject: How do I stop replaying negative memories in my head? Reply with quote

I think one of the biggest problem in my life right now is this habit of mine of unwillingly replaying negative memories in my head to the point of obsession. I can't really ask anyone for help with this problem, because they'll look at me with a smirk on their faces and with a sarcastic tone of voice tell me that I need to force myself to think about something else. And I sit there trying to be polite while I'm thinking "Wow, you retards, I never would have thought of that solution on my own!"

This is the part a lot of people don't get: I cannot make the memories go away. They are intrusive. They come uninvited into my brain.

Just a while ago, I was replaying the memory of this person who used to laugh at me back in school. I remember him laughing at me, and I feel the pain I felt back then. Then I go on and on thinking about hypothetical scenarios and things I could have done or said differently. Sometimes when I am thinking about witty comebacks I should have came up with, I end up unconsciously saying those things out loud, as if talking to myself. Luckily, as far as I know, I still haven't done it in public. It would be extremely embarrassing if that ever happened.

I know some of you are probably thinking I'll get over those memories, but that's precisely what I thought when the events depicted in those memories occurred many years ago. Each day it's a different set of negative memories that won't go away.

How do I stop this problem?
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Chuchulainn
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:39 pm    Post subject: Re: How do I stop replaying negative memories in my head? Reply with quote

Mw99 wrote:
I think one of the biggest problem in my life right now is this habit of mine of unwillingly replaying negative memories in my head to the point of obsession. I can't really ask anyone for help with this problem, because they'll look at me with a smirk on their faces and with a sarcastic tone of voice tell me that I need to force myself to think about something else. And I sit there trying to be polite while I'm thinking "Wow, you retards, I never would have thought of that solution on my own!"

This is the part a lot of people don't get: I cannot make the memories go away. They are intrusive. They come uninvited into my brain.

Just a while ago, I was replaying the memory of this person who used to laugh at me back in school. I remember him laughing at me, and I feel the pain I felt back then. Then I go on and on thinking about hypothetical scenarios and things I could have done or said differently. Sometimes when I am thinking about witty comebacks I should have came up with, I end up unconsciously saying those things out loud, as if talking to myself. Luckily, as far as I know, I still haven't done it in public. It would be extremely embarrassing if that ever happened.

I know some of you are probably thinking I'll get over these memories, but that's precisely what I thought when the events depicted in those memories occurred many years ago. Everyday it's a different set of negative memories that won't go away. They take a considerable toll on my happiness.

How do I stop this problem?


I know EXACTLY what you mean. You need to realize that it's an obsession and you shouldn't feel this way. That's what I do. And if you can, take some medicine for obsessions, it helps. Also, repeatedly talking to someone about it (that you love) always eases it when I get into "the mood."
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nominalist
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sometimes have the same problem. I don't like giving other people advice. However, since you ask, what you are talking about sounds like the obsessive end of OCD. There are quite a few good books out there which provide some helpful techniques for dealing with obsessive thoughts. I have several of them on my shelf, but I would rather not recommend any books in particular.

If there is a good bookstore near you (like Borders or Barnes & Noble in the U.S.), you can look at them for yourself - which is probably better than ordering sight unseen through amazon.com.

Edit: On second thought, I will mention one. It is called The OCD Workbook (by Hyman and Pedrick).
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SeaBright
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clue us in when you find out how to stop the replaying.

The same experiences rest with me everyday.
The good ones too.

Staying busy and hobbies is helpful as a tactic to cope with recurring issues.
My personal theroy is that because the memory at that point in time did not fit into a logical sequence of events-it stays until resolved. For instance in your case with the laughing. The logical sequence of events would have been that the person would not have been so cruel to begin with, and 2 that anyone who would have been so cruel would have appologized. You brain is waiting on the appropriate response. It is stuck on 'error' 'error' 'error' like a computer loop, missing a command. Its never coming. Only your ability to cope, reaccess, disassociate. For all my memories, I can't think of one right now that I can MAKE go away. Also, hypnosis to make these disappear wouldn't work because there is no adequeate, appropriate mapping of people like yours psychology-just well meant guesses close to the source but very skewed by the bias of the majority.

It's a thought anyhow.
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Sea
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Remnant
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way to do it is to deliberately focus on pleasant memories or even fantasies. It takes practice. It is OK to make your own happiness and to stimulate yourself the way that you want to be stimulated.
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Issa
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:05 am    Post subject: replay of incidents Reply with quote

Hi, First time on site today.
Get busy. Get physically busy, something that involves your hands and brain, as in to focus, not to think. When I garden, when I renovate the house, when I make artwork are all fantastic to "break the tic". Anything that involves hand eye coordination, focused.
Hope that helps. Also what Sea says about 'non logical' sequence of events makes sense - input incorrect! Take care
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Unknown_Quantity
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had this problem a lot. I'd replay embarrassing or shameful experiences from childhood over and over again. As my depression lessened, so did the memories. Now they hardly pop into my head.

What I did find is that when I tried to desensitise myself to a memory in particular, I'd dull its impact on my feelings after that.

What I'd do is I'd set aside some time, maybe before I went to sleep. Then I'd pick out a bad memory and I'd let it in. I'd then study how it made me feel, what was my physical reaction to it, did it make me sick, nauseous (usually, yes) and how did I move because of it (usually I'd flinch or have a little shock or something). Then I'd study it again, replay the memory and try to pin down each and every reaction to it I could catalogue and study it with scientific interest. I'd remove all emotion from it once I'd found every emotional reflex associated with the memory and I could also study how the impact would lessen as I played it again and again.

You know you're getting somewhere when reliving the memory becomes boring, because you're not actually reacting to it anymore.

Sometimes, the best way to get over pain, is to just close your eyes and feel it, really listen to it and then let it pass on by. It works for me with injections/blood tests too. Maybe I'm just weird that way.
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BlueMax
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had this same problem!!

I forced myself out of it with an idea from my counselor - he was speaking metaphorically, but it works for me literally.

"If the memory is a videotape and you want to stop it from playing, you have to eject the tape."

Well, that did the trick! When the intrusive memory comes to mind, I quite literally imagine a VCR or DVD player EJECTING the cassette/DVD! The TV screen going blank, and the memory-video stopping.

It stops the memory and puts something in its place. I've been so negative, these memories were eating me up and making my personality downright acidic! I'm slowly becoming more pleasant company by improving my disposition and outlook. Negativity's a killer!

Hope it helps!
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logitechdog
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

write down all the positive things you know about yourself if you can't think use a diary to log your week, then until you come to loads of stuff that are positive, think to yourself everyone is good & bad at different things..

& like they say you’re unique your genetic structure is designed in a way that you’re one of a kind...

That everyone has they strong points & weak points... but then that is what makes you need others to fill in the gap that you might not come up on your own, people have different ways of doing things, ideas, how their approach it..

What's wright for others might not be the same for you... Self-esteem comes from within...

& really all this As stuff is unhealthy for people because it ends up getting you into a viscous circle of negative thoughts... that for all you know could be untrue, but since everyone is saying you can't all the time, then that will imprint onto you...
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flailure
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the same issue, but I'm slowly learning to trick my mind out of some of its more irritating patterns.

I have the obsessive habit of counting steps, among other things, and I see the numbers in my head - large red digits all over my mental field of vision - which can be rather annoying. What I started to do a while back is to inject random numbers or words into the process and by the third or fourth one I'd stop the counting a have an internal giggle at my own expense.

For the memory replay, sometimes it's just not easy to let it go, especially in those cases where I know I've unintentionally said something inappropriate or offensive (I'm recalling a scenario as I type this....), but rather than just replay the scenario over and over I'm beginning to apply this same "technique," injecting the element of randomness in my recalled scenes, so that I can at least attempt to disassociate myself from the emotion of them.

I've been writing my thoughts down lately, especially when I just can't stop reliving the memories or if I'm having trouble just coping with reality, and I have not held back any negative emotion or self criticism. If I'm feeling it at the time, I'll write it, no holds barred. But I write it in a runic script that only I can easily decipher and I do not revisit what I've written. Once a notebook is full it goes to the bin or the shredder.

This may or may not work for you - we're all alike in our uniqueness - but I think it's helping me a little.
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TLPG
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mw99

I do feel for you, so giving this advice is going to be a bit painful - but please bear with me because I know through experience what the solution is. The question is though - is the option available?

Repeated replays of such a memory is usually an indication that the issue being replayed is an issue you never really got closure on. I have a number of them and at my age (42) that's not exactly healthy.

The simple answer - get closure.

But here's the trick. Can you get it? Are you able to move on? There's a bad habit amongst the intolerant NT's to use three words that are filthy as - "Get Over It".

You know it, Mw99. The replays prove it - you can't. And that demands respect IMHO.

Moving on isn't the same as "getting over it".

Of course, you haven't told us what the replay actually is - and I'm not going to ask either because it's none of my business. So giving advice specific to the issue is impossible. But that's my take on it. If you have the option of getting closure - chase it. You need it. If you don't - then the next option is to find a way to move on, and hope like crazy that whoever is responsible for the issue doesn't try to take that option away from you.

Hope that helps!
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:39 am    Post subject: Re: How do I stop replaying negative memories in my head? Reply with quote

Mw99 wrote:
I think one of the biggest problem in my life right now is this habit of mine of unwillingly replaying negative memories in my head to the point of obsession. I can't really ask anyone for help with this problem, because they'll look at me with a smirk on their faces and with a sarcastic tone of voice tell me that I need to force myself to think about something else. And I sit there trying to be polite while I'm thinking "Wow, you retards, I never would have thought of that solution on my own!"

This is the part a lot of people don't get: I cannot make the memories go away. They are intrusive. They come uninvited into my brain.

Just a while ago, I was replaying the memory of this person who used to laugh at me back in school. I remember him laughing at me, and I feel the pain I felt back then. Then I go on and on thinking about hypothetical scenarios and things I could have done or said differently. Sometimes when I am thinking about witty comebacks I should have came up with, I end up unconsciously saying those things out loud, as if talking to myself. Luckily, as far as I know, I still haven't done it in public. It would be extremely embarrassing if that ever happened.

I know some of you are probably thinking I'll get over those memories, but that's precisely what I thought when the events depicted in those memories occurred many years ago. Each day it's a different set of negative memories that won't go away.

How do I stop this problem?


HAHA, me and you are very much alike when it comes to this. I have spent years re-living things and trying to change the scinario in my head, I guess this is a good way to sorta learn what to do, maby how to handel a similar situation that may pop up cause by thinking of it and going thru different possible ways you coulda dealt with it, now if or when it happens again you may very well be more prepaired.

Memory is one of my most precious posessions, but sometimes it can betray me. I have never tryed to stop thinking about things I dont want to, if they are in my head, I will think about them. I try to make this a positive thing, but sometimes it simply cannot re-living the past and unfortunatly I have never found a way to deal with it other then to re-live it over and over again until it gets so old and then eather I am distracted by life or another memory will surface and the issue will repeat itself, its just a part of my life anyways and I have accepted thats how it will be years ago. I wish I could help ya know, just understand their are plenty in your situation, maby someone can come up with something, I will check this thread out now that I am done typing, maby I will find a post that can help us both.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:20 am    Post subject: Re: How do I stop replaying negative memories in my head? Reply with quote

This is called trauma - it's a groove (or lesion) in the brain that causes the big CD (aka your brain) to keep repeating itself because the end result (your Song) didn't complete itself in the Right Way. So what do you do? It's a challenge dude. You can't just decide - *OK from this moment onwards I will never have another flashback*, because the brain will laugh at you and play it's old familiar games that it's so good at. The first step is to just embrace the memory. Allow it to be without fighting it. Feed it, love it, care for it and invite it over for dinner. It is not your enemy. Actually - if you want to know - it's your Best Friend Ever.

You fed it, you loved it, you cared for it - next step is to teach it some manners. You will NOT have it coming into your house (mind) and wreaking havoc at whim. It is a unruly child at heart and in its carefree manner will destroy everything in its midst without boundaries. So - you the Parent of it need to set some boundaries - i.e. *Here - (in the kitchen, for example - I will NOT ever let you come in. Or in the bathroom, bedroom - outside wherever - you have to start in some certain area and just say - *that's it - you can't come in here*. No apologies.

And it accepts it no questions asked - at all. It's magical actually.

After this - you can start not feeding it. I'm not saying to right out starve the little guy - but just not every feeding. I.e. more and more you start noticing how it tugs at your sleeves *FEED MEEEEE*. Flash memory. Flash bad feelings. Flash argggh. You start learning to detatch from its influence. Instead of going *there* you do something really, really nice for yourself. You listen to some music, you breathe, you find someone to dance with, you come online, you hug a pet. Whatever works for you. Just make sure it doesn't feed YOU KNOW WHO and bring you back to THAT PLACE.

Then - it's cherries. I mean - it becomes a habit. THAT's what you essentioally want to happen. You want to take the trauma with all its craziness out of control beingness and turn it into an old habit that's been replaced with a new HEALTHY habit. The healthy habit can be anything you desirel. You can even create a GOOD memory consciously. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Like a mama or papa to their child. And consciously remember how this feels and promise to your self that this now will be a positive memory. No rancor, no vengence, no negativity - just meeting yourself at heart level as the precious child you are.

The trick here is to introduce a NEW ENERGY where the old dysnfunctional broken CD once was. Then you're Home.

Good luck.

jj

Mw99 wrote:
I think one of the biggest problem in my life right now is this habit of mine of unwillingly replaying negative memories in my head to the point of obsession. I can't really ask anyone for help with this problem, because they'll look at me with a smirk on their faces and with a sarcastic tone of voice tell me that I need to force myself to think about something else. And I sit there trying to be polite while I'm thinking "Wow, you retards, I never would have thought of that solution on my own!"

This is the part a lot of people don't get: I cannot make the memories go away. They are intrusive. They come uninvited into my brain.

Just a while ago, I was replaying the memory of this person who used to laugh at me back in school. I remember him laughing at me, and I feel the pain I felt back then. Then I go on and on thinking about hypothetical scenarios and things I could have done or said differently. Sometimes when I am thinking about witty comebacks I should have came up with, I end up unconsciously saying those things out loud, as if talking to myself. Luckily, as far as I know, I still haven't done it in public. It would be extremely embarrassing if that ever happened.

I know some of you are probably thinking I'll get over those memories, but that's precisely what I thought when the events depicted in those memories occurred many years ago. Each day it's a different set of negative memories that won't go away.

How do I stop this problem?

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Greentea
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm like the OP. The two things that help me are

1) to say STOP! in my head and start thinking about something nice
2) to heal the trauma as much as possible
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quirky
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a big problem with this - it takes me forever to move past embarrassing memories in some cases. I'll go out of my way to avoid the person who witnessed it if I can, and I'll feel like I'm going to have a panic attack. I've found for me, if I force myself to think about it and repeatedly confront the memory, I can lessen its power. Time helps too. Basically, if I can, I don't shove the memory away, I force myself to deal with it. It sucks though - it severely impairs me in certain situations.
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