The Dangers of Overthinking

Overthinking, especially if you are struggling with addiction or mental illness, can pose a serious danger. Overthinking may be exceptionally common when struggling with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). The difference between occasional everyday anxiety and GAD is GAD causes you to feel incredibly worried and nervous about most things, even things that have little cause for worry or fear. 

Feelings such as these, whether you have been diagnosed with GAD or not, can make it difficult to stay focused on your everyday tasks, make positive decisions, and benefit your health holistically. Suppose you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or substance use disorder and other co-occurring mental disorders that cause overthinking. In that case, we encourage you to seek help or aid them in seeking help immediately. 

When it comes to struggles with addiction, negative overthinking could cause you to turn to further substance use or fall into relapse if you are currently in recovery. Our staff at The Lakehouse Recovery Center possess the training and competence to help you with your mental health and guide you on your path to recovery today.

The Prevalence of Overthinking

GAD is just one of many mental illnesses that may cause you to overthink, and some are more excessive than others. Some of the signs that may indicate you are struggling with GAD, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), include:

  • Worrying about everyday tasks or responsibilities
  • Struggling to control nervousness
  • Having difficulty sleeping or feeling restless
  • Constantly feeling on edge
  • Experiencing headaches, body aches, stomach aches, or other unidentifiable pains

These are just a few of the symptoms you could experience when struggling with GAD. There are a number of other mental illnesses similar to GAD that can cause you to overthink. These include depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and substance use disorder (SUD). 

In general, there is no clear way to know why some fall ill with these mental illnesses, and others do not. In many cases, mental illnesses like these can be caused by a combination of biological, environmental, and even social factors. The brain itself has a natural fear response. By learning why the brain reacts the way it does to these disorders, professionals can produce more effective treatment plans.

Why Is Overthinking Dangerous?

The number one reason why overthinking is so dangerous for you if you are struggling with mental illness is that when mental illness is involved, these recurring thoughts can damage your overall health. For instance, if you are someone with an anxiety disorder and have an episode of panic, you may attempt to cope in a harmful and unhealthy way. This could include a less problematic habit like cuticle picking or a more severe habit like self-harm. If untreated, a coping method like self-harm can lead to infection, further damage to your mental and physical health, or even death.

Overthinking can also be especially dangerous when thinking about past mistakes and regrets. This can be common if you struggle with addiction or SUD. Overthinking about decisions you have made in your past while under the influence or in other circumstances could cause you to feel severe feelings of guilt or shame. Ruminating negative emotions like those can lead you to suffer more from depression, fall even further into substance use, or even cause you to consider suicide. 

It can be challenging to quiet the thoughts in your head, and in many instances, you may continue substance use or other unhealthy habits as a way to calm them. While it may be difficult, a combination of treatment, therapy, and other holistic life changes can help you learn to regulate your thoughts healthily.

How The Lakehouse Can Help 

You may want to consider a treatment program with The Lakehouse Recovery Center because we tailor each treatment program to each individual we treat. If overthinking is severely making your struggle with mental illness worse, we will create an individualized treatment plan to help you with that. Whether it be the treatment methods we use or focusing on healthy techniques to regulate your thoughts, our combination of clinical treatment and holistic practices will help you make the necessary life adjustments needed to maintain long-term recovery.

If you are looking for a treatment plan individualized and tailored to your need to remain calm and regulate negative thoughts positively and healthily, seek help today. Start small by expressing your concerns to a loved one. Conduct research on mental health services you have access to. Finding a program and treatment method that is right for you is essential, but you have to take the first step towards that path. We encourage you to take that step today. 

Overthinking poses many dangers to most individuals but can be exceptionally risky for people struggling with mental illnesses like addiction, substance use disorder, or anxiety. Overthinking can cause your mind to fixate on your past regrets and emerging fears of your future. This can lead to excessive substance use or the continual execution of unhealthy coping methods such as self-harm. At The Lakehouse Recovery Center, we provide each client with an individualized treatment plan designed to help with the biggest struggles in their recovery through therapy sessions and relapse prevention methods that we integrate into our program.  If overthinking and the inability to quiet the thoughts in your head is making your addiction even worse, we encourage you to reach out to us. Call The Lakehouse at (877) 762-3707 to learn more about our offerings, treatment programs, and resources we can provide to lead you to your path to recovery today.