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Does Anyone Else Have A Racing Mind?

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by She Cat, Jul 11, 2007.

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  1. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    I'm not even sure if this is part and parcle with PTSD, but I know that I don't have ADD, or HD so I can rule those out. My mind won't stop. It's been like this since I can remember. I have NO problem concentrating ( for a few minutes) and no problem completing a task. The thing is...My mind never seems to stop. I can think of a thousand things a day, and yet do everything I have to. I have never been able to do relaxation tapes or relaxation therapy, because I can't get my mind to shut off. :crazy-eye Even tried hypotherapy. That was a waste of time....

    I had yrs of where I cauldn't sleep because of it, but that is better now too.

    So if anyone has any thoughts I would appreciate it bunches....


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  3. sparta21

    sparta21 Member

    Wendy, my mind is like Hamsters on crack running on a wheel. I'm always thinking 75 thoughts at once. I also used to have trouble sleeping from this. I usually can only slow it down for sleep. Then I start up again. Sometimes I think bad thoughts about myself and other times I'm just thinking or worrying about "something". Kinda sucks sometimes really. OOPS! My mind is racing now. I'd better go catch it.:crazy-eye
  4. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP
    Premium Member


    I loved "my mind is like Hamsters on crack running on a wheel" Actually you might be on to something with that theory. LOL!!!! That's exactly how I feel.. Well not like a hamster... But my mind. The ten thousand thoughts at once, all day long. Sometimes I actually tell my mind to just SHUT UP!!! The friggen thing never listens.

    I really do wonder if it is part of PTSD or if I'm just nuts.....

    Anyone else with any input????

  5. Josh77

    Josh77 Active Member

    I have the same problem, Wendy

    i have the same problem. The only differtence is that i have ptsd AND bi-polar disorder. i think that it's normal for us (people with ptsd) to worry and have racing thoughts. I, too, have lost much sleep because of it! Have you tried deep breathing; clearing your mind; thinking about something relaxing, etc... We can train our minds to relax if we try hard enough at it!
    i know i haven't told you anything spectacular, but try to clear your mind, breathe deep, and relax. Let us know how it works out.
    I have trained my mind to relax, and i know that anyone can; you just have to have patience with it.

    Good luck and God bless,
  6. Shinigami_Shimai

    Shinigami_Shimai Active Member

    God, that has been a problem for me all my life. As an artist/writer this means I have thoughts about stories and art work as well as thoughts about life circles in my mind and they battling for who gets the most attention.

    I've found that I need to focus really hard if I'm going to get any writing done so I sit down from time to time and jot out a list of my thoughts, this sometimes stops a few of the thoughts because they have been logged away. I keep a log of a lot of my thoughts and dreams to keep check on them, one never knowns when they might be useful for a story. It sometimes helps and worked rather well when I could not get a nightmare out of my head. The only problem that I've found is that listing everything has ended me with 8 novels being worked on all at once, if I had not finished 5 in the past few years I would be going insane right now. Having my mind work on several projects at once can be useful at times, but it is a matter of getting control of those thoughts and explian to each one that they will have their time to step forward when I get the other thought out of my head, example I will tell myself that if I get a few chapters of my worries out on paper I can move to that new art piece that have been haunting me and then I can worry about the other things that want attention. I also find that playing music works to slow the thoughts down because it gives my mind something else to pay attention too, that or I would listen to Hitch Hiker's Guide late at night because it was hard to think of anything else while listening to that insanity.

    Anyways, I hope you find a way around this issue.

    Well, jaa ne

  7. babygurl

    babygurl New Member

    i have this too!!!gosh its so annoying irritating etc etc

    My mind racing especially when im about to relax..during the day when i keep myself occupied, everything seems ok..when the nite comes, its time to goodness!!i think all sort of thing..the past, present, future..i dont know if i worry abt me i think im just thinking...its a normal thinking for me..sometimes i cant get it out of my head like if i watch a movie that i can relate to myself..

    With this mind racing..i have been having sleep problem for a long time a light sleeper..i dont even know if i even sleep at nite..coz my mind constantly thinking abt stuff..when i get so frustrated..when nothing tryna clear my thinking, listening tu soothing music, even change my eating habit..i will turn to "XANAX"..gosh that helps terms of not thinking so much and calming myself so i can get sum sleep..

    Isnt it frustrating not being able to sleep when u want to..and not being able to just doze off and forget the world..i'd do anything to have that!!
  8. veiled

    veiled I'm a VIP

    It goes with bi-polar and PTSD. It takes extra time and work to learn to control through relaxation tapes and meditation. My therapist described it well (she has PTSD too) she called it monkey brain but was quick to say she did not coin the term. But that is exactly what it feels like since it jumps all over. Years ago my mind could not get certain thoughts out and I was told I had mania since I did not say what was stuck in my head, but said my brain won't "shut off".

    I suggest do not give up on the tapes, it can take months and full days to finally get there to shut off. She also described when I was finally able to block out my world and thoughts to hit total silence as "blissing out" (she said she hates that term but it is accurate). I do not even try to sleep without my meditation CDs going. It is a long hard road to get there but very normal.
  9. kkoehler

    kkoehler New Member

    Oh good grief the rumination. Yes, its kept me awake. No, I've not found a Cure for that. Alcohol to get drowsy is not a good thing. Yes, I've tried other things but am still controlled with the racing thoughts which are always negative. They drive me out of bed from which I was attempting to fall asleep. I try to be quiet while doing stuff around the house until I get tired even if that means falling asleep watching the news. There've been countless times I don't even make it to sleep only to sleep during the day. I call them Depression naps since the dreams during those naps are morbid if not out right nightmares. A vicous cycle. If and when I manage to fall asleep, I have play back messages or my mind is saying negative things. In other words, when I go to therapy, any good feedback I heard from the therapist is therefor over ridden by my mind saying negative. Her postive words only last a day or two at best. Its going to take a long time I can see to over write the negative thinking even while I'm unscious during sleep. Talk about getting out of the wrong side of the bed every day. Its draining.
  10. Grama-Herc

    Grama-Herc I'm a VIP

    The racing mind in my head has a mind of it's own and that drives me crazy. Can't shut it off and can't shut it up. I also jump from chore to chore. I start cleaning the bedroom, take a glass into the kitchen and the next thing I know I am sorting old photos. We are a scattered lot aren't we? I was always told as a child how scatter brained I was and did not really know what that meant---but I sure know now!!! Unfortuately, I am using meds to shut this uncontrolablr mind off. Nothing else has worked for me and as long as doc allows this to go on and gives me the meds, I'm gonna take them. It's the only way I can sleep at all. And on busy racing nights I need to take 2 pills. I don't like doing this but after all the mind and body needs to sleep eventually or else we fall over. So I guess we are all in the same boat. But I keep my sanity by recalling that all the great people were nuts. Picaso, Dali, etc. All creative people are wired diferently, that's all
    anni likes this.
  11. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    Great line, Sparta! I know this feeling well.

    In addition to PTSD I also have ADHD. I've had that since childhood. All of the tricks I learned to deal with the ADHD became pretty much null and void when the PTSD jumped into the mix. I've had to relearn a whole new bag of tricks for keeping myself focused.

    My mind will race to the point that I just stop. Mentally and physically. I try to catch it before it gets so far out of hand that I do shut down. Stress levels being high makes it tougher to keep it together. One of the reasons I write so much is that that has become an outlet for me. When things are running around my head and each loop around they get bigger, if I write then they (the thoughts) are out of my mind and on the paper and I can get back to what I was doing.

  12. randr320

    randr320 New Member

    Mind spinning

    hey wendy,

    I know how you feel.....I sometimes think that I'm five steps ahead of someone in a mind has skipped the subject we're on and is on to the next interest of sideline of that an effort to curb some of my Hypersensitivity(sp?) I startted to read some of the Dali Lama's books.....not too sure about some of it but the meditation part was usefull. I find that if I just stop and follow some of instruction to meditate that it gives my mind a rest for at least a few minutes......they say you have to really practices to reach the full benefits.....I'll take what I can get though. If you're interested in leqrning more drop me a PM and I'll shoot you over some of the stuff from the book.
  13. EmeraldRiver

    EmeraldRiver Member

    I still catch myself doing exactly what you described sometimes. It is SOOO annoying when I can't shut my mind up. It has taken me 3 years to find a meditation tape that is right for me. (Or it might be that it took 3 years for me to calm down enough to LET any of them work.)

    Now I am finally at the point that I can take some deep breaths and concentrate on nothing for a minute or so, and that seems to stop the racing quite well, and control it for a long period of time....except at bedtime. Then all bets are off and I might as well not even try. So I try to read when I should be sleeping instead. At least that way there's no room for my meandering thoughts, only the book unfolding in my mind.
  14. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member
    Premium Member

    I too have a racing mind She Cat. Generally when I feel threatened by someone or of the possibility of something happening, and when I am triggered or hurt by someone or something.

    These predominantly are the times when I obsessively think and my mind races, as I attempt to figure things out, try and sort and sift and make sense of it all, and try desperately to find a solution, protect and/or fix myself.
  15. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member
    Premium Member

    Wendy, I'm just wondering if this is still so for you and also thought I'd bump this question up, just in case there are others with minds doing the same thing.

  16. JohnnyM53

    JohnnyM53 Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Hi Wendy

    Yup I did racing thoughts and do have a mind that won't shut down.

    In my case, racing seems to be PTSD-related, and "won't shut down" part brain conditioning and disturbed sleep pattern.

    My mind was going full steam ahead all the time but because of traumas and Abuse, the thoughts were going so fast it was overwhelming (extreme stress).

    When I started using CBT techniques 20 years ago, I noticed my thoughts were generally slowing down.

    I was diagnosed bi-polar 5 years ago and it made sense at the time because I was experiencing hypomania.

    And now that I have near-zero stress because I retired medically, they don't race.

    Now I've gone off and on my meds a lot because I often felt they made me worse. Plus, Dr. Besel van Der Kohl stated that those with C-PTSD were often misdiagnosed as bipolar.

    SO I went off my meds two months ago and found that, while I have no stress and no racing mind, my mind simply wouldn't shut down at night. So I think my mind was pre-conditioned to think at high speed to survive and it became a way of life.

    My pdoc put me on a small dose (10 mg) of Abilfy, which I take in the morning, and I generally fall asleep within 15-20 to minutes.

    I thought for years I had, because of concentration problems, ADD or ADHD, because I scored 64% on a test, and normally only a score of 36% is needed to qualify for a diagnosis.

    So bottom line if you ask me, racing thoughts and mind are probably, for traumatized individuals, a normal, conditioned pattern of operation of the brain that can be improved with less stress, mediation, CBT, meds, etc.

    You aren't going crazy.

    And we're very good at multi-tasking, though in my case I still have poor concentration except when highly motivated.
    goingonhope likes this.
  17. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    I still have the *racing mind*, but my Memory is slipping...LOL!!!!!! Age related, stress related, PTSD related, who knows.....I guess I don't mind the racing mind so much, cause I can't remember......

    I think it is stress related, and the more stress that I have, the worse it gets. The more I stress about it, then my memory gets worse too. Vicious cycle......
    anni likes this.
  18. onebravegirl

    onebravegirl Well-Known Member

    I have always had a racing mind. I felt a good dozen steps ahead of conversations, even books and movies. Figuring out people quickly was always my "specialty". I don't consider it a bad thing, and I am so used to it now that it usually doesn't tire me anymore.

    I will say though, that for me when ever I got EXTRA fast in my thinking and reactions it was when I was about to recall something new about my traumas. Almost like my body was preparing me for the shock of it. It became my Que to get ready for it. It got so predictable that I could judge how rough the memory was going to be by how fast my mind would race. I learned to batten down the hatches before the storms would hit.
    It worked for me.
  19. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member
    Premium Member

    Lately my mind has been racing so friggin fast it's crazy. It didn't slow down until sometime this evening. Last night was crazy. Found myself telling the T how I was sweating and tense as iron last night and explosive at any perceived error in my husband's thinking. My God, looking back at it, it was like I thought it was a life and death need that I be heard, and that I be allowed to instruct. It was nuts with my mind racing a mile a minute, yet seemingly making much sense. If I wasn't he couldn't have listened to me as well as he did, but it was the intensity and Sargeant like authority to provide such info. and give such instructions the way that I did, that was and is scary.

    The racing mind and my hypervigilance last night really should've had me hospitalized and/or chemically restrained.
  20. just me here

    just me here Guest

    I am a problem solver, my Dad was the same way, my kids show signs of it too. We all just can't walk away from a good challenge wich is good, or an impossible to solve personal problem like "why did that person behave like that?" or " why didn't I get chosen for that job?" wich is very bad.

    It serves me well in my job, I work on a problem until I solve it, sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes driving, sometimes while I am mowing the lawn. But my mind is always going, and when I am faced with a true dilemna, with answer A or answer B both fighting for the final decision, it can become almost as if I can hear an audible buzz until I lose the concentration or go on to something else. My trick is to try to keep challenging ideas to work on and try to switch over to a positive and creative thought when I feel the negative stuff coming on.

    Lately I am working out the details of a homemade generator that I am hoping will run quieter than what I can buy, OR I am thinking about how I have to drive with the idiots every morning and wether it is worth the extra gas to drive the big truck or save the money and drive the subcompact risking death to save cash, what a lousy way to have to get to work, I wonder if the cops are even aware of the kind of aggressive driving I see every day, people that drive like that have probably never been in an accident, maybe they need one, if this is my sole interaction with society in general I am ready to check out, how long till it gets me just like the hundreds of unknown unnamed victims I saw as a firefighter, on and on and on until I have been mulling it over for hours and don't even realise it.

    I am betting that this kind of borderline obsesive thought is pretty typical for PTSD. I have been struggling with trying to find the final answer to problems I faced 27 years ago, and I can get just as worked up about it now as I did then. Isn't that really the essence of PTSD? Never being able to attain a final resolution but reliving and rehashing bad experiences searching for answers and closure over and over until it dominates our lives?
  21. anni

    anni Bucephalus ( an old war horse )
    Premium Member

    Oh my, you sound shredded with this, I'm sorry. Everyone is so different with so, so what is the dynamic for me, might be just nonsense, hence irritating to you. That essence of PTSD thing-replaying endlessly until there's a resolution. For me, it's just that the resolution ended up having to be something that didn't make any sense but that has to be ok. There wasn't any 'sense' to the whole thing, so looking for some finite answer was tto hard, draining, exhausting and futile beyond belief. Why did he, THAT person, do all those things to me, for so long? Because he was an *sswipe of horrible, bullying, sociopathic, powermongering 'human' being and liked it. Why wasn't I protected? because the system in broken. Why did he pick me? Because he could. For me, it wasn't so much a matter of not being able to find a resolution, but finally, finally figuring out the FINAL answers were ones I hated, but answers all the same and i could reject them just because they weren't what I wished to discover at the bottom of all this mess, you know? Please do know that this is me, and so terribly subjective. One can't speak for others, or just assume what is correct for my peace is correct for yours. It all still shatters me, if give it the energy but know I can't, since the answers will be exactly the same.

    I do hear what you're speaking of in the need to find solutions and work through other things thoroughly, too. Perhaps there's a secondary spin on that also, however, if one thinks about it. Why is it neccesarily unhealthy to at least wish to correct that which is wrong, or broken, or unjust? Yes, there must be a balance somewhere because of the sheer futility of being able to act on every, single instance-I have that overwhelming, head will pop off feeling myself over these things frequently. It just plain has to be enough, to do what one can, know they've done that, and perhaps influence others down the same road, if that makes any sense. I can't imagine as a firefighter how often your efforts were quite certainly THE 'enough' for those who needed it. If I'm way off on this, please do ignore. I just kind of thought I recognized some of what you were saying.

    Again, sorry if this is way off. When one is feeling shredded, it's flatly frustrating and annoying to have anyone grab the wrong end of the stick and begin poking one with it, so to speak!

    I'm also more than a little curious on the success of your generator. Ours is on it's last legs and boy do we need it back here in the boonies. My husband would think it a high treat indeed to also create one out of thin air and whatever magic it is he bangs together down in that big shed. Take care!

  22. just me here

    just me here Guest

    No, I am Ok with the stick you poked me with! A little needed perspective. I use the obsessive thoughts about traffic and inconsiderate drivers as an example of the kind of bad problem solving I find myself buried in on my worst days. I do have a racing mind and for the most part I can harness it for good rather than evil, like the generator or one of the machines I design and build at work. The generator is just a 12 volt for charging the batteries in our travel trailer, but I am mounting it on the rear Bumper in a box with foam insulation to quiet the mechanical noise of the 3 horse engine, and running the exhaust through a double wall pipe straight up the back so it exits above ear level and if aimed at open sky will have nothing to reverberate off of. the outer wall of the double wall pipe will be the exhaust for the cooling air I will draw in with a powered fan, adding to the fan on the engine, both fed through a baffled duct. Total price so far is 25 bucks for a servicable engine, and 15 for an alternater. I need a battery, and a peice of 4-5 inch stainless tube about 7 foot long and an electric radiator fan, still looking and thinking, designing and analysing the potential for problems.
    Beats the alternative of thinking about all the negatives in my life, past and present. They used to tell me I was Depressed, now I realise that a close call in traffic could remind me of all the adrenaline I ever fealt as a driver or as a firefighter responding to an accident scene, and I would be "background " thinking about it for days, weeks, months. I literally can't go anywhere without seeing the bodies and the dismemberments and the helicopter landings and loadings and crying mothers and stumbling drunks. I am so glad I don't do it anymore, I am hopeful that this PTSD diagnosis will lead me to an effective way to get those memories farther in the background.
  23. anni

    anni Bucephalus ( an old war horse )
    Premium Member

    Funny, I have often wondered why my husband did not react more to the traumas he's had in his life. He's had a few, and severe, but also a terribly analytical mind and the aptitude to implement solutions, as it sounds you have. If you do not mind, I am going to show him your design, since suspect he'll genuinely recognize exactly the dynamics and possibilties. Good grief the price of these things had gone UP-silly, isn't it? At any rate, I think my point is, I've often thought he has this sort of self-healing 'thing', for want of a better phrase, where being enables to do these solutions-ie making a generator out of thin air, must do something which gives his head some satisfaction and closure, if that makes and sense, apart from the distraction. He's always doing it, too, which is why your generator caught my interest. Thanks for that description, by the way, and know he'll know exactly what's up there! At any rate, of course it does not provide the final, absolute solution for you, but as a positive, productive means of channeling the racing mind must at least give one something satisying that was accomplished out of all that.

    Not to sound TOO much as if putting these workers on a pedstal, but have often, oten wondered how EMT's firefighter. police, first responders do deal with what they must see. We get to drive past the cleaned up accident- all that's left is the skid marks, maybe some bits of glass but the cones and police tape have been removed. There's always some emergency worker, when they show these on the news, holding up a tarp to shield 'us' from whatever awfulness occured to a human. We then get to gloss it over and continue our lives.I do always thing well that's nice but some human, trained or otherwise, had to make sense out of the unspeakable- was on the other side of that tarp. I think we call them 'public servants', which is a stupid term, I think-implies they HAD to do this, and have to, instead fo having chosen it at some point probably to genuinely HELP. I think it also serves to further distance the public from the realities of these jobs, you know? So dry! I'm saying zero of anything helpful here so will shush, but hope I am certainly in no way at all a unique person. If I have had these thoughts, then many. It's not a 'yay rah' sentiment, but just a respectful acknowledgement that what you did was daily pretty much above and beyond in the real sense of the word. Just appreciated, although know that might not be helpful.

    I'm not sure exactly where I'm going with speaking of the racing mind, except that I can't help but feel one's head sometimes looks for ways to get OUT of this, sort of behind our backs, if that makes sense, too. I guess the ability to channel this towards that generator, and positive solutions ( as hokey as that sounds, and believe me, I know it does)and away from the futility 'out there' is where it;s tough.The other possibly annoying thing, because it's something everyone says including me, is that some forms of therapy can sometimes ( underlined) put to rest those images one is plagued with. I say annoying because if you've already 'been there' that sort of comment will make you wish to fling the computer somewhere irretrievable. You are obviously very bright plus already stated you're a solution-finder so would imagine you've explored those options-plese don't fling, was adding it just-in-case! :)

    I think I said I'd shush several hours ago and really will now. Thanks much for sharing the generator. He's at present 'fooling around with' his words) the prospect of getting more power into the storage battery from the little solar panel by harnessing something or other down at our creek. I can't explain it properly, he's having a blast so I just make him lunch and nod like I understand what he's talking about.

    Thanks again, and please excuse of zero help, which honestly realize may not have been!

  24. seedling

    seedling I'm a VIP

    I've always "thought" myself out of stressful situations, to find a solution or make sense of it. Now, with PTSD, I've started to feel that I'm not going to be able to think my way out of it, that I need to actually stop that at times. So, then, I do the opposite and think that my propensity to think is something bad.

    Saw an interview with a guy who just wrote a book, about 60 yrs old, and he very confidently said "Well, I'm a brooder you know. And you know what that means, I sit around in the dark and think about things." Made me laugh and realize that, hey, if you're a brooder that's OK, there's other people like that too.

    It's hard with PTSD to know what parts of myself are good/bad/neutral and how to just be honestly the way I am and keep to the good side of my natural traits.

    Just me here - I like your idea of using your thinking for good rather than evil, that pretty well sums it up :).
    anni and just me here like this.
  25. anni

    anni Bucephalus ( an old war horse )
    Premium Member

    I wonder how many honestly worthwhile books were written by those who brood in dark corners and whose head's ended up 'brooding' their way out of the dark, if you know what I mean?

    Without wishing to come across terribly like some terminally perky cheerleader ( you know the type ) I have a big 'thing' about light being born out of darkness. Philosophical hence arguable as hell but true in the end, I think.
    monkeynutz likes this.
  26. seedling

    seedling I'm a VIP

    Anni, I've been thinking lately about "and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it." So, cheerlead away all you want :)
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