Dwelling on the past? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-12-2009, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Dwelling on the past?

I do this almost obsessively. I constantly think about something after it's happened, replaying the scenario several times in my mind and wondering what would've happened had I done something differently, etc.

This isn't just issues, though. And that's what makes me feel like this could be a real problem. Because it happens with almost anything. Hell, if I have a social interaction with someone I don't know, that same night I will lay in bed, replaying it over and over trying to think of what I could've done differently, even if nothing went wrong.

So, anyone have any idea what causes this?

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 12:19 AM
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And you're only 16. Just imagine all the past that I get to dwell on at 36, having entire decades of failure & wasted years to think about.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 12:25 AM
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Yes, an all to familiar problwm that I can relate to. I think the trick is to shift your thoughts onto something else. Turn those negative thoughts into goals and that will give you something to focus on. Taking your mind off those thoughts that have been plaguing you.

I'm a proud Aspie with ambitions.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 01:09 AM
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my sa only comes at certain times and certain situations, but lately i been really stressed out, kinda giving it power over me by worrying so much about getting an attack and worrying i might get super nervouse and shakey and not knowing when its gonna come,why and who will see. So today i was talking to my Psychology professor after class since its the last day, i was asking questions about working in the psych feild and he was telling me stories and we were talkin for like twenty mins in the class room and then we walked out together continued to talk longer in the downstairs lobby, as he continued to keep talkin to me for some reason i got a weird vibe it felt like he was kinda lookin at me(its my fault tho, i still shouldnt have gotten an attack regardless). So at this point like after 30mins as he kept talking and looking at me i felt like he can prob see through me, hes a psychologist, he sees me getting nervouse now, he is noticing my mood changing all of a sudden, hes prob wonderin whats going on why does she look nervouse all of a sudden, we were just having a great conversation. So all these thoughts were making me feel the need to flee, so when another student we both knew said hi but kept walking i kinda just took that quick pause to kinda just cut off the conversation in the middle of him getting all deep with me and while im doing this my mood is changed, all nervouse and edgy now and i know he can see it. so afterwards i was upset with myself, replaying it in my head, wondering what he was thinking. And i was so stressed out that i couldnt do anything, and then i realized WHO CARES!? seriously this is my life even if he didnt notice it so what?? whats gonna happen? NOTHING. im the one making it a bigger deal then it is, im thinking about this while he is going about his business def not loosing sleep over it ya know?! in that moment i just thought i have power over this and this doesnt have power over me. and that was it, i got over it and continued my day happily. ...We need to remember that we are in control and not let "it" control us, even if we do think we did something stupid, really who caresss !! laugh it off...nexttt
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 01:26 AM
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alllllll the time

drives me insane that I just replay stupid **** over and over and over

really embarrassing stuff stays in my head for forever, and daily stuff like a conversation I have with someone I go over bunch of times picking it apart and thinking about what I shouldve said and how the conversation wouldve gone if I said that.

i know how annoying it is
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 03:46 AM
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I suggest checking out Eckart Tolle. He discusses living in the present and letting go of the past and the future. Some really profound stuff and I think you'd get a lot out of it based on this thread.

"The power of now" is the name of the book.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Orchid20 View Post
Hmm. Yes. I think I read somewhere that this is a trait of OCD. Obsessive thoughts, doubting your own actions...
Oh, wow, didn't realize this was OCD related.....I don't have OCD, but I may have one OCD tendency or 2, but I do have an issue with dwelling on things or replaying stuff my head that has happened, what I could have said differently, how I could have explained things better.......

It hasn't been as much of an issue as it has in the past...I don't know if that means I'm getting over it, or if I'm just overlooking stuff.....
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 10:38 AM
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While it is a symptom of OCD on some levels it is also a symptom of SA. If it's social situations you are obsessing over it's mostly likely what it is. I used to do this all the time, I still do but not to the same level that I used to.

Last night I was going to class and a woman stopped and asked me directions to the bookstore. I was confused by her accent for a second, my heart was pounding and wondering why she chose me (they ALL choose me, I must look personable or something), and I kinda stared at her a moment and asked her to repeat herself. Then I puzzled over it a moment, gave her the directions the whole time thinking "i'm going that way myself, why don't I just walk with her? But then she'll want to talk to me, I don't want to do that, crap." So i gave her the directions and proceeded to walk slowly so she wouldn't know I was following her. In crossing the courtyard I saw her go in and talk to the lady at the info desk who directed her exactly where I told her to go, I waited outside until she passed so I wouldn't bump into her.

I turned that interaction over and over in my head many times since then wondering if I should have just walked her there, did I give the instructions clear enough? Did I look like I had no idea what I was talking about since she had to stop at the info desk? etc. etc. I just have to tell myself I did the best I could and force myself to think of something else. It takes a lot of effort and practice but eventually you get better at it.

I still think about the and worry what I could change but it no longer keeps me up at night.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 03:50 PM
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I can't believe people are missing it but it is a huge, huge, component of depression as well... lol
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 06:31 PM
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Pretty normal for both sa and depression. Used to do that all the time about relationships, social situations, purchases just about anything i did was a source of constant thinking about how i did it, if i could have done it better, what went wrong. I learned the best thing to do is not dwell on it even though it can be hard, learn from the experience and move on the best you can.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraShy View Post
And you're only 16. Just imagine all the past that I get to dwell on at 36, having entire decades of failure & wasted years to think about.
How is having a stress conditon from early stress being a failure? You simply made different choices and chose to avoid the stresses.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by PurpleMoon View Post
While it is a symptom of OCD on some levels it is also a symptom of SA. If it's social situations you are obsessing over it's mostly likely what it is. I used to do this all the time, I still do but not to the same level that I used to.
Oh good, cuz it is social situations that I obsess over so I guess this dwelling on the past thing is more of an SA thing for me than it is a OCD thing.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 09:30 PM
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I do that when I'm depressed. I seem to be trying to think where I went wrong and how I could have avoided my situation.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-19-2009, 08:11 AM
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I do that too a lot. I should have said something different. I shouldn't have looked away from the person. I should have done this and that- I replay it over and over until I feel like an idiot for what I did.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 03:59 AM
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I "dwell" only to understand, although after being mentally abused for years. I noticed a tendency to recall bad experiences and feel fear over specific certain social situations. It's really stupid when coupled with a nervousness around new people. The recall and feelings of dread, shame, guilt, and worthlessness are annoying. Although, I've come to control those thoughts better.

What I mostly have is regret and anger and unresolved issues of justice. I'm thinking political activism might be the only road to satiate the need for justice and coupled with my talents it's probably a good road to work through some unresolved feelings.

A good year or two of strong personal growth, and I'll be back to where I was before the abuse.
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