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Anxious about things that haven't happened

Community Member

Hi all

I'm new to this forum and looking for some short-term relief before I seek professional help.

I have an over-active imagination and coupled with my anxiety, I tend to imagine horrible things that haven't/may never happen.

For example, the other day I was driving on a busy road, there was a bus coming in the opposite lane and a dog ran across the road. Me and the bus both missed the dog (not really that close) and I subsequently pulled over, chased the dog down and then called the owner to come and collect him.

Despite knowing that the dog was safe, I could not stop thinking about it for the next two days. What if I had hit it? I could never live with that. What if I had seen it get hit? I would never get that image out of my mind. What if I wasn't there at the right time/place, would someone else have pulled over? And it just goes on and on and on.

This is just one example, but I'm like that with everything. I make sure all major electrical items are off before I leave the house because what if one of them sparks causing a fire. What if I accidentally lock myself in a room at home and would have to wait hours for someone to find me? It would be funny if it wasn't so disruptive to my life/mental health.

Inevitably, these anxious thoughts always lead to what I call a "depression hangover". It's a vicious cycle.

Can anyone relate and how do you deal with it?


4 Replies 4

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi lookingforpeace,  welcome to the BB forum,

During my first major mental challenge in 1988 I visited an occupational therapist. When he asked me my thoughts during the week I'd answer him with all the thoughts I had recalled. He would constantly ask me..."is that realistic"?

Fast tracking 26 years later and I often ask myself that same question when my wild imagination is working overtime.  It works for me. I constantly readjust my thoughts and discard the ones that are highly unlikely to occur.

Our imagination is a way for the brain to not make similar mistakes. To enable us to preserve our lives....for survival.  Maybe your thoughts are over the top there.

It isnt so unusual. You are not alone. Professional help will assit you in this regard.

And keep asking yourself if you are being "realistic".  It helps.

Thanks White Knight.

I've been practising this all week and it has been hugely helpful.

One thing I've noticed is that when I ask myself "Is this realistic?", sometimes my mind responds with "No, but it CAN happen", but I have been managing this internal dialogue much better than I thought I would. I suppose it's about challenging your thoughts and accepting that they don't define you.


thank you again, I truly appreciate it.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

I've literally just jumped on here, not even knowing if what I'm  feeling is anxiety or not or whether I'm just a nut. 

Your issue sounds quite similar to mine. An over active imagination. 

I'm constantly stressed about how much power I use or how much petrol I use or how much water I use, this stresses me out because I feel so strongly as if the world is going to end sometime in my lifetime. That we'll run out of oil and our society will crumble or something ridiculous like that.

Long story short, I can relate to being stressed about stuff that's hasn't/ won't happen. Thanks for sharing. I guess my problem is anxiety!

Thanks for sharing Ned, sorry I didn't see this post till now.

i can totally relate to what u just said. I suppose we can never run out of things to worry about. I hope u are finding ways to manage it