Overthinking

Hi There, I am Austin and I Got a stroke in the end of January 2024. with the stroke I also had a heart failure after playing some football with my friends (Who could have thought). I have been in hospital for a couple of months but I have been discharged. My talking and speech when flustered and the same has been frustrating. I have improved with my rehab but My mind is slow. I can walk after the rehab but i can’t walk at a regular pace. And I am trying to go to sleep. once a question enters my mind, I overthink and try to but it has troubled me. If everyone has some advice I would be grateful.

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@Austin.nd hi Austin and welcome. From what you say it sounds to me like you may perhaps be
experiencing post stroke anxiety, which is very common. If it’s preventing you from sleeping then it could be worth speaking to your doctor about it with a view to possibly seeing a psychologist. If you don’t feel that it’s bad enough yet you could first try reading up on self help anxiety control methods such as meditation techniques which may provide a solution for you. As I said, what is happening to you is not unusual, but there are ways of dealing with it. You can also search this forum by using the spyglass search tool at the top of the page and you will find that you are not alone, there are lots of other people discussing the same subject.Hope this helps, best wishes.

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Hi @Austin.nd

You’re extremely early in your stroke journey so you will be experiencing compensations and changes for many months.

Some factors may be permanent but most maybe all will improve especially if you put effort in. The aspects of emotion, PTSD, anxiety etc are very common.

Stroke impacts increasing when you’re tired or flustered or emotionally charged is pretty common. You’ll probably find it improves over time but is likely to always be a factor

If you look for mindfulness techniques - that is to say techniques for focusing on positive thoughts so as not to leave space for the gnawing imponderables or upsetting thoughts - you will find much of potential help; there is a lot on here about sleep and you can find it with the magnifying glass/ Search tool

Caio
Simon

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One of the common techniques used is to concentrate on your breathing. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Really concentrating on this and perhaps counting backwards from 300. It’s a difficult task and it stops the brain thinking about something else. You might find that the tension that exists in your body with overthinking eases, you can feel it leaving you.
Mindfulness really.

Those other thoughts are like someone you don’t get on with coming round for a chat and once they are there, you could be “talking” to them for hours, even if you don’t want to. Best to ignore them and keep them out. Distraction, bit of comedy, a routine that distracts your brain before going to sleep. Reading perhaps?
Write down 3 good things that have happened that day ? What’s the funniest thing that happened?

The body has had a truly awful shock but hopefully over time, you will be able to process it and see the positives. You have survived, that in itself is something to celebrate and feel very good about.

You are not alone with this. It’s hopefully about turning your brain from running at 150% to 50% through distraction and chilling.

Hope this helps

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Hi & welcome @Austin.nd sounds like you’ve had your share of troubles that’s for sure.

I found after my stroke that everything I did was slow. My brain just couldn’t process it any faster. You are still early on in your recovery so there is liads of time for improvement yet. Keep.practising your walking & the speed should come as the re-learned walking becomes more automatic.

All the best.

Ann

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Shwmae Austin,

After the stroke, I developed obsessive behaviour and this also applied to thoughts, this impacted greatly on my bedtime routine. I’ve mentioned auditory biofeedback on here a few times, that is giving the brain audio cues to signal it to do something. If my mind starts to go down a negative rabbit hole, I shush it out loud, this signals my brain to divert it to thinking about something else. That’s one technique that is connected to the theory of behaviourism. The other technique I use at night is compartmentalising thoughts. I have thoughts I call Day Thoughts, thoughts I call Bath Thoughts, and thoughts I call Night Thoughts. If I start deliberating over something I don’t want to at night, I tell myself that this is not a night thought but a day thought, and I can spend as much time during the day on it as I like, but not at night. I have things I like to muse over at night that are either fairly mundane like guiding my thoughts through the steps of something I need to do the next day, or I allocate my mind to thoughts that are fantastical and not based in reality. I also keep a bottle of lavender oil beside the bed, and if my mind is reeling, I take a big sniff from the bottle and do some Zen breathing exercises (controlled breathing), so bring my mind back to the here and now.

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Hi @Austin.nd and welcome to the forum. All your stroke issues will improve over time!

You are still in the very early months post stroke but as we have all found out, recovery is a marathon not a race.
Keep up with daily walking if you can and you will pick up the pace over time as your leg muscles strengthen…a half hour to an hour will do.

Sleep for me was virtually none existent in the first months and my mind was a whirl of spinning plates.
It did improve over the first year post stroke and by about 18mths I could get a good 8hrs.

It’s just your brain has a lot of damage to repair, some remapping to do, a lot of mental/physical functions to relearn.
It’s got a lot to do so your mind is going to be slow and sluggish.
You just don’t see all it has to do behind the scenes so be kind to yourself and cut it some slack :wink:

You’re getting there! And we know that because you are on here!

Write it down!
Any time questions or thought invade your mind, get into the practice of writing them down if you can. Keep a notepad and pen beside your bed or use the notes app on a smart phone/ipad if you have one.
Then put them out of your mind 'til morning…or until another one invades so you repeat the process. The in the daytime you can share those thoughts or queries on here or with your partner/gp/physiotherapist/whoever.

You can also improve/retrain your speech by regularly reading out loud, books, letters, even the shopping list.
And maybe join your local stroke or aphasia group if there are any in your area. They can be a big help just in boosting your confidence.

I think we all have had our confidence dented after our strokes and it needs time and some work to rebuild too and being with other stroke survivors does a lot to help with that.

You can ask almost anything on here, and it doesn’t matter if it has been asked before, there will always be someone with an answer to help you see things from a different perspective or help point you in the right direction :wink:

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Hi @Nicster44 & welcome :slight_smile:

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