Ha! I was just going to suggest this. I swear by DBT - it helped me SO MUCH with anxiety and worry. It's so stinkin' practical - even my BFF who doesn't need therapy told me she thought everyone should take DBT LOL ^^
I need to know this as well (your number 2, I mean). It's not anything drastically irrational, but ever since I was in a terrible car accident two years ago - I cannot drive without the fear that someone will just turn out in front of me or side-swipe me or something else like that. It makes my driving jerky and erratic, having to slow down all the time when someone is waiting to turn after I pass an intersection (what if they turn out in front of me?!) and braking constantly whenever I see anyone's tail lights in front of me (what if I rear end them?!). I am just tired of being afraid. :-( I am glad you asked this question.
I know exactly how you feel.
I have a tendency to picture the worst possible scenario all the time, especially when I'm driving. My sister explained it kind of like this:
You know when you practice a conversation in your head, it never turns out that way in real life? Because you've already thought how something is going to go, you've pretty much imagined it away. So I can let myself think about how I'm going to have a blowout and smash into a tree, then rest assured that I've eliminated that possible scenario. I don't know if that makes sense, but it helps me.
As for your number two... holy shit, I'm the same exact way. I feel that fear and panic until I see what I think might be dead. On time my father was following me home and I couldn't see him anymore and I was convinced to the point of driving all the way back and that he didn't get in a car accident. And last night I repeatedly checked to make sure my cat wasn't dead.It's like if don't check, it's going to be the time that it really happens. :-\
Let me know if you figure it out
If you irrationally think everyone is dead when you don't get what you instantly expect then it might be time to talk to someone about it. Or try being positive and reinforce the negative thoughts with something positive. "Bus is two minutes late? It must be traffic." Honestly that would be the first thing that crosses my mind. To constantly think something bad must had happen gives me the impression you need some sort of 'excitement' to make your dull life interesting. How often have you found people dead? Probably not enough to make it a regular fear that everyone is dropping like flies.
"Honestly that would be the first thing that crosses my mind. To constantly think something bad must had happen gives me the impression you need some sort of 'excitement' to make your dull life interesting. How often have you found people dead? Probably not enough to make it a regular fear that everyone is dropping like flies."
I'm not sure if it's the same for the OP but it's that line of thinking that really pushes my fears. Inner dialog:
Irrational: Omg, they're dead.
Rational: Don't be fucking stupid, people rarely die, why would they die now?
Irrational: Yeah but you never know! People can die at any time, for any reason.
Rational: It's probably something completely rational, like they're in traffic, they didn't have their phone on, they're busy... etc. etc.
Irrational:.... Maybe... but if I don't find out right now its going to be the time they really are dead.
Rational:They're Fine! Seriously Stop it! Stop thinking like this!
Irrational:What if I didn't check right now and they're still kind of a live and now I can't even be there to tell them I love them and hold them, and they die alone thinking I don't love them enough to come find them?
Rational: Stop it! Stop it!
Irrational: I have to check, I have to check, I have to check, what if I don't? What if they are dead? What if I don't get to tell them I love them? What if they're alone or hurt and I don't find them and they die because I didn't call the ambulance on time? What if they die and it's all my fault?
Rational: Fine check! Just fucking Check!
The whole time in my body it feels like I just found out they died. I also do this with anxiety attacks with the belief that a stranger is in the house and will get up several times to check it out. Each time thinking that if I don't it'll be the time that happens.
Usually the only thing that lets me rest is checking three or four times and then making myself stop it and when nothing happens for a few minutes I usually let it go.
Perhaps it is a need for excitement, but its hard to think of it that way when you're trying to convince yourself that everything is most likely okay and to stop doing what you're doing and stop thinking the way you're thinking and that thinking makes you believe further that it is going to happen. Maybe next time a "They're dead" thought is triggered I'll think, "Seriously are you that bored?" It might help, who knows?
That sounds like a lack of focus and basically a distraction from reality. I don't think telling yourself you are bored would fix the problem. I think there just needs to be more substance in a persons life that they don't occupy all their energy on bullshit.
I have anxieties too if I focus too much on crap. I find focusing on what I can do for myself makes me a lot happier.
I agree, that if I'm focused on something else I have these anxieties a lot less, and typically in the day I do better, but at night, when I'm supposed to be sleeping sometimes it can be a lot more difficult.
On the other hand, I imagine even busy people can have these irrational fears/thoughts.
Typically my nightly plan is to preoccupy my mind with talking to my SO before bed. But I think my anxieties have always been pretty mild, I can have an anxiety attack when I don't manage my workload but besides that I usually see the upside to things and believe everything will turn out alright. I also don't fear death. I sort of shrug it off as just part of the cycle of life and when it happens it happens. I can't control it and I am not about to worry about stuff that is out of my control.
I don't worry about me dying as much as other people dying and I think its the belief that I /might/ have been able to help or comfort them that bothers the shit out of me. I try to watch cartoons while falling asleep since no SO to chat up, works well, but god forbid anything goes bump in the night. XD
We are all alone when we die. What is most important is that we show love and respect towards our loved ones while they are alive.
this will sound like shit advice - but what if they were dead? i mean, if something bad were going to happen to them what could you do about it? probably nothing. unless you have some kind of medical training (or at least more than basic first aid) youre at best slowing down blood loss or stabilizing them till EMS or first responders get there. and thats assuming there is a crisis and you can intervene/rescue them, instead of a recovery scenario.
so if you accept the fact that theres nothing you can really do about it...at least for me it makes it very freeing. if my SO doesnt pick up the phone and i worry hes dead...well, if hes already dead theres nothing anyone can do. and if something bad has happened...what would i do? start driving around looking for his car? check the police scanner for possibile hostage situations? investigate the likelihood he was kidnapped for randsom? like theres SO many scenarios i could imagine why he wouldnt make it home...but in 99.99% of those...theres nothing i could do to help him. so why worry about something i cant change?
imo, the irrational kind of fear/anxiety is over things you have no control over or impact on and possess no ability to influence or change.
also, i have a very firm grasp on how short life is and how much i value my time on this planet. and when i worry and get worked up over something, after it fails to come to fruition, i think about how much time i spent being upset and for literally, nothing. i dont want to spend what little time i have being upset about things that didnt actually happen. i feel like i have wasted too much of my time being upset over things that didnt matter.
this sounds like ocd or some other type of anxiety disorder to me. i do the same thing. cbt and certain antidepressants are supposed to be very effective in treating this.