Having a wild imagination is ruining my life

Hello I need help and advice.

I have an extremely vivid imagination, which has some positives, especially when it comes to my writing and art. However I feel like my imagination is doing more harm than good for me.

I imagine such awful and very scary worst case scenarios in my head and convince myself they are going to happen to me. It makes me distressed and very anxious and I worry myself so much I make myself physically ill. I constantly live in fear of something truly horrible happening to me. My parents are concerned about me and my constant obsessing and worrying is destroying my relationship with my boyfriend (we've been together nearly 2 years).

So far I have imagined that I will die from a deadly disease soon, I will get cancer and not know about it and then I will die a horrible death, that someone will murder me in the street, I will get kidnapped, I will get locked in someone's basement forever, I will get accused of a crime I haven't done and will have my name and photo blasted all over the media, I will go to prison, I will get burned alive, someone will throw acid at me in the street, I will be a victim of a horrific assault or accident and will be disfigured, I will get raped and contract HIV or herpes, I will live in poverty after Brexit.....all these crazy things. Neurotypical people have constantly told me these worries are absurd but I somehow have come to a conclusion as to why each of those things will happen to me in the future. I spend all day and night worrying and thinking about them - I don't sleep, I have bad eating patterns, my house is a mess, I don't look after myself and I never get anything done due to my constant obsessing and panicking and overthinking these horrific scenarios. 

I am seeing a counsellor again next week for the first time in years. I just want these thoughts to end I am so so sick of feeling like this. 

  • By my standards and the people I mix with, you sound pretty normal.

  • I can totally relate to that. And after years of intensive hard work and introspection, I got rid of the dark thoughts, but all they did, is they went extreme in the opposite direction! Lol! My god, I thought the only person I can talk to is Einstein! I don’t want these minions under my feet! Lol! I thought I was going to build an empire! 

    But the good news is, the hard work paid off because it brought me to a place of middle ground. It’s made me more balanced and somehow more stable and it’s giving me the space to consider things more carefully instead of having a head full of never ending thoughts. 

    It’s like I live life in the slow lane now yet the slower I go, the more I achieve and the less clutter I have in my head and the clearer my focus gets. But it has its price. I’ve been on benefits now for two years, but I won’t put a foot towards work until I’m ready, which isolates me from a lot of people. But I’m willing to pay the price because this is my life we’re talking about. I did the whole trying to fit in business and it didn’t work for me, on any level, otherwise I wouldn’t end up in such burn outs. So this time, I’m finding out what does work for me. And to do that. I had to get rid of the constant thinking. It takes hard work, but it’s possible. 

  • Hi, my partner does this all the time he used to get quite angry and aggressive as he had run so many scenarios in his head he had already decided what was happening (normally way off the mark) he used to worry about the silliest things like if I took longer than expected at the shop obviously something had happened to me or the kids not just a long que in the shop! He would think that I left or one of the kids was hit by a car 

    He is not diagnosed with asd but over the years we have come to strongly suspect it,

    He has had to put alot of effort into stopping the thoughts and convincing himself he is just over thinking things he has dramatically improved but he will still plan every aspect of a conversation in advance considering all the replies he may get 

  • This is just a case of needing inspiration for your thinking time.

    Choosing negative scenarios is easy because you only have to look at news or films or books for inspiration. It's more effort to come up with positive scenarios.

    I suffer from ultra-vivid dreams so what I do is write along list of 'nice' scenarios to direct my dreams and flesh them out somewhat so they are fresh in my mind to blot out any negative thoughts.

    Maybe you might start your list with something like winning a nice amount on the lottery - where would you go, which cities would you visit, where would live? Which country and why? Where would you like to go for a holiday? What car would you have? How would you do your perfect Christmas? What would you really like to do for you birthday? The list is endless and full of nice thoughts to explore more.

    It's quite easy then to fill your imagination space with nice, exciting, fantasy scenarios rather than negativity.

  • My mind is quite similar. I often worry I've got or will get a serious illness or get into trouble for a crime I didn't commit. I got a speeding ticket recently and went into mass panic that I would get 3 more and lose my license. I barely slept for a week worrying. I'm well aware the worries are irrational but it doesn't stop them. I do find if I keep my brain occupied I don't get the worries anywhere near as much unless a specific thing has happened. Completely sympathise. Its a horrible way to feel. It's night time that is difficult for me. Seeing a counsellor is a good step I think.

  • Thank you all for the responses. It always shocks and amazes me how some people assume those on the spectrum lack imagination, I have the utmost vivid imagination compared to a neurotypical and I know of plenty who are on the spectrum who are extremely creative and imaginative as well.