Tick ​​or disease: Where are the differences?

If you check ten times, if the stove is off, the steps counts with each stair and is afraid of crowds: Is this still normal? How to recognize real diseases – and what helps.

“In the morning, I close the front door five times and then close again, before I leave the house”

The classic: is the door closed? All windows closed? The coffee maker and the stove off? “Such thoughts often come over you when you are under particular stress, for example, because of a vacation trip,” says dr. Sigrid Krause, chief physician of the Mediclin Specialist Clinic for Psychosomatics and Behavioral Medicine in Bad Münder. “You definitely do not want to miss something, and it makes sense to leave home as safe as possible.”

Even if you perform such security rituals daily, there is no need to worry. It only becomes problematic when the actions no longer produce a feeling of reassurance, but pressure, guilt and despair prevail. “Compulsive patients sometimes have to perform rituals for hours or, if interrupted, start all over again,” explains the expert. “Often the partner is also asked to dispel doubts, to control things again.” Affected parties realize that their behavior does not make sense, but they can not stop it. Then the quality of life suffers greatly, families live and job are impaired.

What to do?

Make a contract with yourself and say, “I’ll just turn the key over once, then I’ll go, I trust I can do it.”

When do you need help?

If you do not want to be against the constraints at will, spend a lot of time with it and have suffered a lot for at least two weeks.

“Sometimes I wake up in the morning and seem sad for no reason”

“Although many people are irritated when they feel downcast for no apparent reason, I think that is an expression of a healthy, diverse emotional spectrum, we live in a fun society, in a good mood and in the pursuit of happiness Much more honest and relieving, it is, however, to allow even sad phases, “said the assessment of Sigrid Krause.

By the way, sadness, unlike many think, is not necessarily the key symptom of depression. Although some sufferers also experience excessive, uncontrollable crying. Basically depressives complain but rather an emotional emptiness, feel numb and emotionally limited. And when men are affected, they also stand out in part by an extraordinary irritation. “An important distinction between” normal “mood and depression : If I am not morbidly depressed, a positive experience like a holiday or a nice gesture – my best friend baked a cake – can cheer me up do not even react to a huge profit, “says psychiatrist Sigrid Krause.

What to do?

Keep a close eye on it and watch carefully if it is possible to influence one’s own mood by external factors.

When do you need help?

Immediately, as soon as suicidal thoughts turn up. And even if you are not capable of adequate emotional reactions for days and weeks.

“I deliberately avoid situations because they worry me, such as large crowds”

Not every person has to bungee jumping or romping on a rock concert between thousands. So it’s fine to give up something that may be fun for other people. Everyone has their own individual feel-good zone. “I would question: How pronounced is your avoidance behavior and what areas of life does it affect?” Advises the expert. Suppose you are afraid, with the car driving through a tunnel or on a bridge: Do you now take every day a huge detour to get to work? A warning sign would also be if you ask more often the partner or family members to accompany you or to do things for you. Or if avoidance spreads.

“At first, you might just be missing out on concerts because you do not like crowds, but meanwhile, you find yourself avoiding the weekly market or shopping center either because of some uncomfortable tension or even panic. Ask yourself if other people also perceive the situations as scary. “ Frequent thoughts like “Where can I get help quickly if something happens?” and “How do I get out of here, where is the emergency exit?” may indicate an agoraphobia, colloquially called claustrophobia.

What to do?

To a lesser extent: See if you can not stand the tension in the given situation without withdrawing from it, and overcome it with frequent repetition.

When do you need help?

If the fear keeps you under control for at least two weeks, you no longer do things that you’ve always enjoyed until recently.

“I imagine sometimes quite figuratively, how my family something terrible happens”

Just when there is a big change in life, fear-ridden thoughts pile up. Maybe you recently took on more responsibilities in the job, bought a house, moved to a new city. If you leave your usual path, the world seems suddenly more uncertain than before. And at such moments, fears that affect the family, health, or financial situation can emerge and occupy one more.

“If it remains with occasional horror scenarios and lets you calm down in conversation with your partner or friends, I think that’s alright,” says Sigrid Krause. “If I hear nothing but catastrophes from morning to night, and every time there is a ringing of a telephone or a police siren, then I will startle up or interpret a cold as the forerunner of a deadly disease.” This could be an indication of a generalized anxiety disorder, with those affected constantly overly concerned and on permanent alert. “

What to do?

Distinguish between “having worries” and “worrying”. For real problems, you can seek solutions or demand assistance. Ruminating for the sake of musing just exhausted.

When do you need help?

If you have no control over the duration and frequency of worrying over a period of at least two weeks, and calming words do not help you.

“Often I count anything, for example stairs, fence posts or parked cars”

“It’s probably a kind of self-pacification, because counting provides structure and security, and children often develop such counting rituals, sorting things by color, or rocking rhythmically before falling asleep, usually with stress reduction,” explains Sigrid Krause. Sometimes such behaviors are also linked to magical thinking: if I count ten red cars to the next corner, then nothing bad happens to me!

Such thoughts give the affected person a feeling of power, as if one could avert evil telepathically. “Do you feel fundamentally unencumbered and not disturbed in your everyday activities, I would say: no problem,” said the psychiatrist. “However, some people are tortured with very serious obsessive thoughts, for example, fear that they harm their loved ones, which is in any case in need of treatment.” Often, such thoughts occur in situations of upheaval, for example when one had to cope with a loss or after the birth of a child.

What to do?

Do you tend to magical thinking, try to win a lottery by the power of your imagination alone. It will not succeed – just as you can not keep anyone mentally clean from good or evil. If your counting tick annoys you: maybe you can replace it with something else, like a breathing exercise?

When do you need help?

If you are plagued by destructive and very frightening thoughts for more than two weeks. Since constraints tend to spread, seek help early.

Would you like to read more about the topic and talk about it with other women? Then check out the BRIGITTE community’s “Personality Forum”!

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