Confronting negative thoughts?

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    Dec 28, 2011 9:41 PM GMT
    Hey guys, I was wondering if any of you had any good techniques for letting go of irrational, or fear-based thoughts?

    I guess I have a bit of a hang-up/paranoia/fear over HIV, that despite knowing that I did not place myself at any quantifiable risk of being infected, I still irrationally freak out and end up thinking that I somehow became infected.

    I want to be able to push these thoughts out when the arise, because they can majorly hinder my day, I'm just not really sure how. . .does anyone, perchance, know how to deal with these kinds of thoughts or have techniques for overcoming them?

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    Dec 28, 2011 10:04 PM GMT
    Get a counselor. Once you find the source, the cause you will be able to control it. And if you think you already know the cause, you are probably mistaken. It may not be about what you think it is. If that were the case, this would be easier to handle on your own.

    Seriously, get a counselor or therapist to help you figure this out.
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    Dec 28, 2011 11:45 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI would recommend meditation. If you're not in control of your own mind then meditation will help. But it might take some time to find the appropriate approach that will work for you.

    I also believe that irrationality can be a form of resistance which actually draws (or more appropriately - can actually 'lock') the things we fear to us. So I recommend seeking an approach that will help you get this under control and let it go. Who was it that that said, "what we resist persists"? Carl Yung?

    Peace....


    What do you mean by resistance locking the things we resist to us? You mean the more I resist these thoughts the more likely they are to consume me?
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    Dec 28, 2011 11:50 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    7Famark said

    What do you mean by resistance locking the things we resist to us? You mean the more I resist these thoughts the more likely they are to consume me?


    Exactly. It's an expression that's nearly 100 years old and it still stands true today.


    But I don't feel like the alternative of not resisting them is healthy. I can't walk around with an irrational fear over sexual practices that are considered safe.
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    Dec 28, 2011 11:50 PM GMT
    It depends on what type of irrational or fear-based thoughts you are experiencing! There are some that simply won't go away, so you have to confront them! Others can be eliminated or at least diminished by thinking about them in a logical, but skeptical manner. You have to examine how you make certain decisions. I think the most dangerous thing, in any situation, is to override thinking about something and just doing it (whether it be hooking up with someone, taking that 3rd, 4th or 5th drink or just making a purchase). Take whatever it is you seem to be afraid of and think about it realistically, don't make it any worse or any bette than it could actually be.

    Hope it helps!
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    Dec 28, 2011 11:52 PM GMT
    Best treatment for this is...

    - Rational understanding of the risks.

    - Figuring out why you have "what if" thinking? Do you get like this with other issues in your life?

    - Remembering that this fear is somewhat adaptive, as it likely keeps you from behaving irresponsibly. So its OKAY to have some fear/concern, but not ok to have a fear that is paralyzing.

    - Struggling with unwanted thoughts is very difficult, because the more you try to suppress them, the more you begin to worry and obsess over them. And then the snowball gets bigger and bigger... In a way owning the thoughts and placing less importance on "THE BIG BAD THOUGHT" will help to ease the obsessing. If you constantly think to yourself, OMG, I'M THINKING ABOUT HOW I'M FREAKED OUT ABOUT HAVING HIV AGAIN..." It will only perpetuate the thought. You cannot obsess over NOT wanting a thought. Let it go, accept the thoughts and they will likely decrease.

    Educate yourself and realize that HIV is pretty damn difficult to catch unless you're barebacking.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Dec 28, 2011 11:52 PM GMT
    7Famark saidHey guys, I was wondering if any of you had any good techniques for letting go of irrational, or fear-based thoughts?

    I guess I have a bit of a hang-up/paranoia/fear over HIV, that despite knowing that I did not place myself at any quantifiable risk of being infected, I still irrationally freak out and end up thinking that I somehow became infected.

    I want to be able to push these thoughts out when the arise, because they can majorly hinder my day, I'm just not really sure how. . .does anyone, perchance, know how to deal with these kinds of thoughts or have techniques for overcoming them?




    I think this is a healthy fear to have. Too many guys do not take the threat of AIDS (or any STD for that matter) seriously, and seemingly act as if this could never happen to them. I personally think it is refreshing that you have a healthy fear of the realities of HIV and other STDs. Just my 2 cents.
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    Dec 28, 2011 11:52 PM GMT
    Counseling and if necessary medication.

    Both were necessary in my case.
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    Dec 28, 2011 11:57 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    7Famark said
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    7Famark said

    What do you mean by resistance locking the things we resist to us? You mean the more I resist these thoughts the more likely they are to consume me?


    Exactly. It's an expression that's nearly 100 years old and it still stands true today.


    But I don't feel like the alternative of not resisting them is healthy. I can't walk around with an irrational fear over sexual practices that are considered safe.


    Well, then in time you'll learn. I think you meant to say, "I can't walk around with an irrational fear over sexual practices that aren't considered safe." Am I right?

    Your mindset will need adjusting in order to get over your fear. If you can't achieve that there's no point in doing anything to quell your fears.


    That actually isn't what I meant which is why I would consider these fears to be unhealthy, rather than healthy as some people suggested. If I were engaging in sexual practices that were NOT considered safe, than my fear would be rational.

    The problem is, I practice safe sex. Have never barebacked, don't have sex when inebriated, and rarely even have penetrative anal sex. Yet, this fear of contraction persists despite not having been exposed to any actual risky encounters.
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:05 AM GMT
    Do you ruminate over it all day? What typically starts you thinking? What kind of thoughts do you have pass thru your head?

    feel free to PM me. I love talking about anxiety and stuff icon_smile.gif

    (It's what I do for a job....)
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:09 AM GMT
    ZbmwM5 saidDo you ruminate over it all day? What typically starts you thinking? What kind of thoughts do you have pass thru your head?

    feel free to PM me. I love talking about anxiety and stuff icon_smile.gif

    (It's what I do for a job....)


    Sometimes thinking about sex with someone will prompt the thoughts. It is often just a constant thought in the back of my mind. Sometimes I'll start analyzing every single aspect of a past sexual experience looking for some possible unlikely route of exposure
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:12 AM GMT
    7Famark said
    ZbmwM5 saidDo you ruminate over it all day? What typically starts you thinking? What kind of thoughts do you have pass thru your head?

    feel free to PM me. I love talking about anxiety and stuff icon_smile.gif

    (It's what I do for a job....)


    Sometimes thinking about sex with someone will prompt the thoughts. It is often just a constant thought in the back of my mind. Sometimes I'll start analyzing every single aspect of a past sexual experience looking for some possible unlikely route of exposure


    Yeah, this is a pretty common thought pattern...

    What, if anything, have you noticed helps to reduce the thoughts? Can you ignore the thoughts? Distract yourself from them? Did this start after a certain experience? (sorry for all the Q's)
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:13 AM GMT
    ZbmwM5 said
    7Famark said
    ZbmwM5 saidDo you ruminate over it all day? What typically starts you thinking? What kind of thoughts do you have pass thru your head?

    feel free to PM me. I love talking about anxiety and stuff icon_smile.gif

    (It's what I do for a job....)


    Sometimes thinking about sex with someone will prompt the thoughts. It is often just a constant thought in the back of my mind. Sometimes I'll start analyzing every single aspect of a past sexual experience looking for some possible unlikely route of exposure


    Yeah, this is a pretty common thought pattern...

    What, if anything, have you noticed helps to reduce the thoughts? Can you ignore the thoughts? Distract yourself from them? Did this start after a certain experience? (sorry for all the Q's)


    Being extremely busy tends to push them out entirely.
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:28 AM GMT
    First - I think that most guys are afraid of getting HIV. Get tested, if you don't have it - congrats! Then you can use condoms and alter your behavior in a healthy way. If it is irrational, it is probably like some form of OCD. Don't feel afraid to call up a psychologist. They are just there to help you out.

    If I have negative/intrusive thoughts (or just something on my mind I don't want to think about) I find it really helpful to switch to something visual in my mind that is pleasant.

    Also, a few RJers have said meditation. I went to a buddhist temple for a while, and they really helped me train my mind. Meditation is kind of like discipline for your mind - so you aren't at the mercy of your thoughts. A clear mind is so relaxing.

    I hope this helps you!
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:29 AM GMT
    AssMan123 saidFirst - I think that most guys are afraid of getting HIV. Get tested, if you don't have it - congrats! Then you can use condoms and alter your behavior in a healthy way. If it is irrational, it is probably like some form of OCD. Don't feel afraid to call up a psychologist. They are just there to help you out.

    If I have negative/intrusive thoughts (or just something on my mind I don't want to think about) I find it really helpful to switch to something visual in my mind that is pleasant.

    Also, a few RJers have said meditation. I went to a buddhist temple for a while, and they really helped me train my mind. Meditation is kind of like discipline for your mind - so you aren't at the mercy of your thoughts. A clear mind is so relaxing.

    I hope this helps you!


    Not really helpful because I've always been safe and used condoms.
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:38 AM GMT
    How about this? Clear the slate and start fresh, in other words, wait the full six months, get tested, then from that point on, don't do anything that you know will make you feel uncomfortable later.

    -Doug
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:41 AM GMT
    meninlove said How about this? Clear the slate and start fresh, in other words, wait the full six months, get tested, then from that point on, don't do anything that you know will make you feel uncomfortable later.

    -Doug


    So never have sex? Great idea.
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:41 AM GMT
    Try to be picky about who you choose to be with. I have for this same reason have chosen to remain single until I meet someone whom I can trust and develop a relationship before indulging in anything serious. I too fear it.
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:49 AM GMT
    Is sex/HIV the only fear you have? Are there other fears? It appears that it might be. I might be mistaken, but like other have said...seek counseling.

    Also, write down your fears...and next to is there an action that you can control or not. Also projecting a positive outlook helps. If this happens, then this is the course I will take. Imagine that you are taking the positive course/action, and believe it. Every time the negative thoughts come, then imagine the positive course of action. It has helped me, on others is just my faith that I do not have control, but someone else has the driving seat sort of speak.

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    Dec 29, 2011 12:50 AM GMT
    You know your fear is irrational, so that's a good start.

    Now let yourself off the hook a bit. Don't let your fear control you.

    If you want to have intimacy but can't get past the fear yourself, then some form of psychotherapy should be helpful. A good therapist can help you through the anxiety.

    I don't think you should debate with the folks who have tried to help. Save that for your therapist.
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:52 AM GMT
    meditation is a great way to deal with negative thoughts. another way to get over ur fears is to wrap it up. doing that would lower ur risk of getting HIV. and to monitor yourself and know whether you have it or not, you can get tested so you can know you can still protect yourself and now that they have the swab test, you can get tested without fear if you have the fear of needles like myself. ^_^
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:53 AM GMT
    7Famark said
    meninlove said How about this? Clear the slate and start fresh, in other words, wait the full six months, get tested, then from that point on, don't do anything that you know will make you feel uncomfortable later.

    -Doug


    So never have sex? Great idea.



    lol, wut? Sex is a lot of things! Everything from frottage to anal, from oral to mutual masterbation, and then there's cyber-sex we hear so much about.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:53 AM GMT
    meditation is a great way to deal with negative thoughts. another way to get over ur fears is to wrap it up. doing that would lower ur risk of getting HIV. and to monitor yourself and know whether you have it or not, you can get tested so you can know you can still protect yourself and now that they have the swab test, you can get tested without fear if you have the fear of needles like myself. ^_^
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:55 AM GMT
    i have OCD...so i kinda get what you are feeling...i had to go thru therapy and be on medicine..it took me many months to even be able to use a butter knife at the supper table...i hope you can get some relief from your anxiety....
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    Dec 29, 2011 12:56 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    7Famark said
    meninlove said How about this? Clear the slate and start fresh, in other words, wait the full six months, get tested, then from that point on, don't do anything that you know will make you feel uncomfortable later.

    -Doug


    So never have sex? Great idea.


    Hymmmm... I'm sort of on the fence, are we getting trolled or punked?

    I see members trying to provide support and advice and all I see in return are sarcastic smart ass remarks.


    Yes, because this isn't the proper forum for helping him. The proper forum is in an office of a licensed psychotherapist who is trained to deal with just the sort of responses the OP is making. And I think you should let him off the hook. He has already explained that his fear is irrational and he knows it. In other words, he is currently unable to profit from the advice that the well meaning guys here have offered.