Dear Dr. Archer,
How do I remedy my mental illness?
I have horrible, devastating and fearful thoughts and images of beast-slaying for eating purposes. These images play out repeatedly in my mind at the start of my day when I'm getting out of bed and getting ready for work, going from room to room.
Then I continue to work, and these images keep repeating themselves until I can bring joyous, positive thinking in my mind. By that time my work is done and my valuable time has been wasted.
This is affecting my health and making me weak. Help!
The key here is to find a pleasant theme in your mind to replace these negative thoughts. Think of a place you know, perhaps a tranquil mountain meadow, a bubbling stream or a seashore with waves washing the beach. Make this your special place and when negative thoughts come along, replace them with this image.
If you need to find an image, google these pictures (say, ‘waves on the beach pictures’ or ‘mountain stream pics’) online, there are many.
If you try this for a couple weeks and it doesn’t help then I suggest an appointment with a psychiatrist. You may be suffering from OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but the only way to be positive is an evaluation by a doctor.
The thoughts you are having would be obsessions and if you have rituals to counter act the thoughts these would be compulsions. If this is the case, meds could help. Once the medication begins to take effect, you should see a decline and then these images will disappear.
If everything checks out and you do not have OCD, Masudur, then you need to simply put your mind up to the task of thinking of other things. I know you're fighting this at work, but keep it up. Distract yourself with things that require concentration.
The mind is an amazing reflex organ, and thoughts carry an incredible amount of power. It can get your attention stuck on one thing so you feel like you have no power to control it. With constant practice, things will get better, although it can be a tough, slow road. Good luck.