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These memories I have in my head about events in the past keep distracting me to the point that I can't even focus on work because my mind keeps automatically tuning in to it too much. I haven't kept them off my head for years. Do any of you guys experience the same?
 

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I guess it happens to me sometimes. But it's like dropping something heavy on my toe; the throbbing stops after a while. Sometimes the individual pulses of throbbing happen over months/years, but I'll eventually forget that I remember, and I will decide that I don't need to remember it again since I know that I have worked through it.

I have no method to work through anything though. I just ride it out. Eventually other things take precedence. It's interesting to think about how chemical the process of remembering and feeling actually is. Are you in a time of congruence with that memory? Could that memory be acting as a tool to aid some present issue? As of now, I hardly remember any detail about my last significant relationship and breakup. I know that it was very painful, but I feel comfortably numb right now. When I get into another relationship, I know my brain will provide me with plenty of similarities, disturbances, and warnings from that relationship to guide me, though I may not like it!
 
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Yes I often do. A lot of the times, it means I haven't stopped to fully analyze the situation or come to terms with my feelings. In order to accept it and move on, I usually need some time to sort through my feelings, ask myself why I feel the way I do, and see if there's anything that can change what happened. Until I do that, something will constantly keep bugging me. I remember one particular issue that kept pestering me and after analyzing what happened with a fresh perspective, I realized it was my conscience that kept bringing it up.
 

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Glad it is not just me. I relive and rehash awkward situations and social stumbles regularly. Some are from decades ago. They'll pop into my head at the strangest times, and I'll sometimes grunt out an involuntary emotional response when it hits me. It happens enough that I have rehearsed responses ready when people ask what I'm thinking about. It happens with work, too. Usually when I'm under stress with a deadline approaching on a complex project I'm struggling with. I figure it is my subconscious mind working out the solution, so I just go with it.
 

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I don't think there's much that can be done about that. Learning how to meditate might help you observe the mechanisms that start up those invasive thoughts. I've never had any luck with meditation though, given my tendency to mock all that new age hippy junk. Like, it just feels cheesy to me.
 

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Very often. Too often! I've had to take time to step back and really analyze why this happens. A lot of the time, it's because I feel people judged me then, and even if they are no longer in my life, they still "remember" that and keep judging me. Which is ridiculous because 1) what's happened has happened and 2) who really cares besides me?

It's a matter of realizing that I'm either too hyper focused on something that was not a big deal, or I need to learn how to forgive myself more when nothing can be done.
 

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These memories I have in my head about events in the past keep distracting me to the point that I can't even focus on work because my mind keeps automatically tuning in to it too much. I haven't kept them off my head for years. Do any of you guys experience the same?
Many people get this in their teens and 20s. It can get pretty bad in teens and contribute to social anxiety and general anxiety. It's a form of mild PTSD: some event that never quite integrated and 'healed' in your mind, partially because we all live such fast lifestyles right now that we don't stop and pay attention to our emotional space and disregard it, and partially because people are very impressionable in teens and early 20s so even basic events can trigger all kinds of emotions that the person cannot deal with. So these memories keep haunting you like a bunch of ghosts that never found their peace. The way you 'put them to peace' is by processing and integrating them, and instead of brushing them off as something annoying and 'in the past', doing the opposite - giving them room and opportunity to slowly integrate. This can be done by focusing and intensely meditating on any such memory to figure out why exactly this memory is bothering you and processing associated emotions at a slower pace. This is similar to PTSD getting treated by a technique called EMDR, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, which basically involves the PTSD person focusing on the triggering memory while being in a state of meditation or distracted trance involving eye movements. Focusing on the memory helps people to emotionally process it, and then it subsides. Several sessions of about 20 minutes usually make the memory subside if not dissolve completely. So if they are bothering you too much look into EMDR. You can run similar type of sessions on your own by teaching yourself some simple meditation techniques, no eye movement is even required.
 

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This happens to me a lot. Honestly it seems like my mind always finds something to be intrusive to me. I can't even claim it was a recent event.

I just try to process the memory. This is a combination of two things: Allow myself permission to feel those negative feelings, then try to think about how I'm in a better situation/moved on from the event.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Many people get this in their teens and 20s. It can get pretty bad in teens and contribute to social anxiety and general anxiety. It's a form of mild PTSD: some event that never quite integrated and 'healed' in your mind, partially because we all live such fast lifestyles right now that we don't stop and pay attention to our emotional space and disregard it, and partially because people are very impressionable in teens and early 20s so even basic events can trigger all kinds of emotions that the person cannot deal with. So these memories keep haunting you like a bunch of ghosts that never found their peace. The way you 'put them to peace' is by processing and integrating them, and instead of brushing them off as something annoying and 'in the past', doing the opposite - giving them room and opportunity to slowly integrate. This can be done by focusing and intensely meditating on any such memory to figure out why exactly this memory is bothering you and processing associated emotions at a slower pace. This is similar to PTSD getting treated by a technique called EMDR, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, which basically involves the PTSD person focusing on the triggering memory while being in a state of meditation or distracted trance involving eye movements. Focusing on the memory helps people to emotionally process it, and then it subsides. Several sessions of about 20 minutes usually make the memory subside if not dissolve completely. So if they are bothering you too much look into EMDR. You can run similar type of sessions on your own by teaching yourself some simple meditation techniques, no eye movement is even required.
Kinda makes sense that I may have some type of PTSD tho. I've had five years of emotional neglect when I used to live with my extended family. My therapist says that my emotional neglect counts as being in the trauma spectrum. However, I sometimes doubt whether or not I actually have it.
 

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Many people get this in their teens and 20s. It can get pretty bad in teens and contribute to social anxiety and general anxiety. It's a form of mild PTSD: some event that never quite integrated and 'healed' in your mind, partially because we all live such fast lifestyles right now that we don't stop and pay attention to our emotional space and disregard it, and partially because people are very impressionable in teens and early 20s so even basic events can trigger all kinds of emotions that the person cannot deal with. So these memories keep haunting you like a bunch of ghosts that never found their peace. The way you 'put them to peace' is by processing and integrating them, and instead of brushing them off as something annoying and 'in the past', doing the opposite - giving them room and opportunity to slowly integrate. This can be done by focusing and intensely meditating on any such memory to figure out why exactly this memory is bothering you and processing associated emotions at a slower pace. This is similar to PTSD getting treated by a technique called EMDR, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, which basically involves the PTSD person focusing on the triggering memory while being in a state of meditation or distracted trance involving eye movements. Focusing on the memory helps people to emotionally process it, and then it subsides. Several sessions of about 20 minutes usually make the memory subside if not dissolve completely. So if they are bothering you too much look into EMDR. You can run similar type of sessions on your own by teaching yourself some simple meditation techniques, no eye movement is even required.
This is super interesting! Do you have any resources that go into this theory (bolded) where PTSD like memories bubble up for certain individuals in their twenties? Is there a name for this? Or is this more like a personal observation? I'd love any other knowledge you have on the subject!

@Kisuke, I, too, highly recommend EMDR.

We can grow so accustomed to our troubling past memories that we kind of "accommodate" them...to the point where they integrate into our lives, making us feel normal when we're likely pretty mediocre...by that I mean, reinforcing negative thought patterns with time. These patterns become a habit that we don't even see ourselves creating, and they can heavily impact our lives. I know for myself, I buried my trauma to the point where I would have never even defined it as traumatic either, up until I started having symptoms of anxiety :blue:

Once you open the door to those past memories, it can be really tough to deal with...I felt like a dam that was ready to burst whenever I mentioned my past to anyone. EMDR is certainly not easy and requires a lot of mental strength, but it's definitely worth it, especially with the right therapist.

The downside is that it can be tough to find someone who is certified and on your insurance, depending on your area. For me, it ended up being pretty expensive. I've heard EFT is somewhat similar and can help in dealing with these memories when they appear in the moment...there are videos on techniques for it all over the internet.
 

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I struggle with anxiety and racing thoughts sometimes. What @ButIHaveNoFear said resonated with me: "I have no method to work through anything though. I just ride it out. Eventually other things take precedence." In addition to that, KNOWING that other things will eventually take precedence in my thoughts helps me. Trying to stop it when it comes seems futile. I just know that the wave will eventually break... and I will get to take a breather... before another one forms.
 

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The first drop of water in a glass is very important to me. I don't want to spill the drop, and I don't want to drink it. Or else I will have nothing left in my glass. My trick to limiting the effect of unwanted memories. Just add water.
 

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Yes, intrusive thoughts happen to everyone. I asked my sister once about this whole topic because she's a psychologist, and she told me that while at uni they studied this whole thing of the intrusive thoughts and how the entire human population has them, and for some people they're really rough, like the person becomes paralyzed.
I used to be one of those paralyzed, but no longer, thank god.

How do I deal? When I catch myself in pain (because the memory triggers huge pain, of course) I go "Oh, it's just the memory, okey..." and I feel soothed -not 100%, but certainly by half. Because realizing that it's a memory, and I'm not actually living the experience in the flesh, is a relief. My imagination is so strong that when a memory hits, I completely lose sight of my five senses, I don't even see my reality, all I see is as if I am inside the memory experiencing the thing. So having the awareness that it's not real... it helps.

From there, I just get quiet and breathe, because I still feel the emotional pain from my lower belly to my throat, and it's quite intense. Sometimes it's so intense that blood in my brain does weird things, and I feel like I could pass out if I'm not careful. So I just breathe and try to engage my 5 senses in the current reality, thus escaping my head gently. Gently. I can't deal with loud noises or bright lights or fast moves that completely disrupt my brain when it feels so raw.
If I'm so freaked out that I can't stay in my 5 senses, I will seek a human being around me to anchor myself in reality, I will go in search of a hug, or ask them something random so we can talk about things unrelated to my mental state, so it balances itself out with a 5-senses distraction. Usually a hug is the best option because it's the quietest option. Problem is I'm very particular about who I allow into my personal bubble :/ so oftentimes I just deal by myself cause the people around aren't people I want to hug, u know.

This all sounds quite dramatic, but it's the reality of being scarred by life tbh.
 
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