Intrusive sexual thoughts

barefoot

Sponsor
I'm not really sure where to put this post, so have put it here for now as it tends to happen when I am stressed/triggered/in a not great place so I guess it could count as a sign of dysregulation?

I'm also not really sure how to describe this, so I'm sorry in advance if this sounds a bit clumsy/weird/awkward (probably a reflection of how I feel about it!)

Something I find is that when I get very stressed/triggered/not feeling in a great place, I get...what I suppose are intrusive thoughts? About sex.

They are not flashbacks to things that have happened. They are not conscious thoughts/fantasies about sex. They are like snapshots of split second moments...images/words/sounds that are sex-related. And they pop up and maybe play on a loop for a while (sometimes for a long while - like, on and off for days). And I find them...sometimes just frustrating...other times really distressing.

I don't intentionally think them. They just pop up in my brain. But they can be really distracting because, I might be sitting watching TV, working, having a conversation with someone...and then it's just there...and it can play along in the background for quite a while because I haven't found out to stop them. So, I have to try really hard to concentrate on what I'm watching/my work/my conversation to try to ignore this sort of sex soundtrack that's going on in the background. If I try to distract from them by going and doing something else...the thoughts mostly still crop up....they are often just a random word or couple of short phrases or quick images, and they just seem to be able to play in the background whatever I'm trying to do.

I'm not sure if I'm explaining this very well?!

The thoughts/words/sounds etc themselves are not generally unpleasant. They are not really anything much. Fairly benign moments. But the invasive, intrusive nature of them and the inability I seem to have to control them...it becomes very stressful and can be distressing.

Having said they are generally not very unpleasant...the past couple of days, this has been happening. And the thoughts are related to my therapist. Which is highly unpleasant to me! Because I don't think of her in a sexual way...I don't want to think of her in a sexual way. So, the fact that she is suddenly caught up in one of these looping sex tape/soundtrack things, that I can't seem to get a grip on and stop, is making this one feel more uncomfortable and anxiety-making.

Does anybody think they understand the sort of thing I'm talking about? Does anyone have the same/similar? Does anyone have any thoughts/tips about how I can feel more in control when this happens and, ideally, how I stop/reduce the thoughts. I am finding it very stressful, frustrating and exhausting.

Not sure if relevant, but I have been thinking for a while that I may have ADHD and I am currently on a very long waiting list to be assessed. I don't know if this feels like something that could be more of an ADHD thing....so, again, and thoughts/tips welcome!

I am hoping it might calm down later in the week. I am having a surgery this week and am experiencing anxiety around that, so I imagine why this intrusive sex sound track thing is cropping up again at the moment (I don't know why the intrusive loops are always sex-related even when that's not related to what's actually going on?!) So, hopefully this lot will be over soon, after the procedure. But it would be good to have some ideas of how to deal with it in the moment, now, or ready for next time!

Thanks for reading and any thoughts welcome!
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
methinks i know of what you speak and the way you wrote it resonates loudly with me. in my own case, they are attached to rampant hypersexuality and have been heavily theraputed. an equal amount of therapy has been applied to my more generic intrusive thoughts. the duo have been a fiercesome team of beasts to manage.

at present, i am plying awareness and radical acceptance. when i remain mindful that i am managing an unhealthy psycho tick, the intrusive thoughts and their erotic side effects can even be quite pleasant. i lean heavily on my peer support network for reality checks to accentuate the mindfulness.
 

barefoot

Sponsor
Thanks for responding @arfie

they are attached to rampant hypersexuality and have been heavily theraputed
Is hypersexuality…can that just be about these sorts of impulsive/compulsive intrusive thoughts? Or does it involve…err…action too? My libido is pretty low these days. So, it’s not really like I’m generally feeling an urge to actually ‘do’! It’s just sometimes this seemingly unstoppable onslaught of thoughts, thoughts, thoughts.

Do you mean they’ve been heavily therapeuted in terms of you’ve discussed these kinds of thoughts with your therapist? If that’s what you mean and if you don’t mind me asking - how did these conversations go and what came out of them for you? I’m assuming something helpful? Did you go into detail about the thoughts you have? The content?


when i remain mindful that i am managing an unhealthy psycho tick, the intrusive thoughts and their erotic side effects can even be quite pleasant
Do you mean stop trying to fight them/stop them and accept and then they can be enjoyable? There is sometimes an erotic charge that accompanies them…but like a combination of erotic charge and anxiety…and that combo makes it confusing and uncomfortable and more anxiety-making somehow, so then, in the end, I just become desperate for it to stop.
 

Friday

Moderator
Not sure if relevant, but I have been thinking for a while that I may have ADHD and I am currently on a very long waiting list to be assessed. I don't know if this feels like something that could be more of an ADHD thing....so, again, and thoughts/tips welcome!
If so? (And, Cha. It’s a perfectly normal thing with ADHD) The best tricks I know of:

- You can’t control the 1st thought, but you CAN control the 2nd.
- (For combined type) When my body is moving, my mind is still; when my mind is moving, by body is still.
- For more control? Add a stimulant. Whether espresso or doing cartwheels
 

Friday

Moderator
Really?? Add stimulation, rather than trying to calm? Blimey…I might need to take up caffeine again!
Yep. It’s part of the med trial to determine ADHD -vs- Bipolar.

People with ADHD have “opposite stimulant reaction” / a paradoxical reaction to stimulants. They will still wake you up in small doses, but? It’s clarifying & soothing & too much will put you to sleep… rather manic & jittery & too much will give you insomnia.

It’s why ADHD meds are all (except 1) stimulant based. Amphetamines are by far the most popular, folllwed by methylphenidate family, but even cocaine is Rx’d, or coca-tea recommended… and most of us self medicate to some degree with caffeine, nicotine, adrenaline.

It’s also the easiest way to explain why ADHD & Bipolar Disorder never co-occur. Give someone who is bipolar a stimulant? You’ve just drop kicked them into a manic episode. The 2 disorders share so many symptoms it’s often reeeeally difficult to tell which is which… until you add an upper and watch what happens. Do they suddenly become very “normal”? Or manic/delusional/psychotic?

((Because of the politics of labeling, it’s not a straight reversal, but generally speaking the same holds true of giving someone with ADHD bipolar meds. Antipsychotics cause psychosis, mood stabilizers cause dysreg, and antidepressants provoke suicidal depression.))
 

barefoot

Sponsor
It’s why ADHD meds are all (except 1) stimulant based.
Ah, of course, yes, I knew this. Sorry, having a dense moment there and not connecting the dots! But that was all interesting info, thanks.

Also funny to realise: when I get stressed (and am sort of hyped up because I’m stressed/hyper stimulated) I always want to reach for a can of Coke! And always thought that was counter-intuitive (surely I ‘should’ be doing something less stimulating/more calming) But maybe this now makes more sense.

Though if I have much caffeine these days, then I can’t sleep…!

As I say, no ADHD DX for me as yet. Unless I pay to go privately, it’ll likely be another 18months or so before I get my initial appt. But the more I research, the more ADHD (esp inattentive aspects) really resonates and seems to fit.

Just wish I could switch my brain off for a while. But I’m sure plenty of people on this forum wish the same!
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
Is hypersexuality…can that just be about these sorts of impulsive/compulsive intrusive thoughts?
hypersexuality is obsessive sex. i am a child prostitution survivor. to waaaaaaay over-simplify, i was basically acting out compulsively. yes, i have a pretty mean ocd streak. the hypersexuality is one of the more socially acceptable ways my ocd asserts itself. well. . . it was way back in the 20th century when people were smarter than phones. menopause was a tremendous relief for me. my hypersexuality is much easier to manage without the hormonal input.

Do you mean they’ve been heavily therapeuted in terms of you’ve discussed these kinds of thoughts with your therapist?

i've probably talked it out more with my peer supporters. i mostly view therapists as reference books that never leave the library. they are chockful of good, solid information, but it is my peers in the trenches i trust to have my back and feel like i can really open up to. i keep it clinical with the pro faction. biology is one of my passions. clinical works for me.
 
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