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OCD-UK
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Repetitive stuck words, phrases, anyone?

Hello,

My mind keeps repeating certain words or phrases over and over again, involuntary, like it's on autopilot. These are not compulsions since I don't repeat them myself to calm down, on the contrary, they seem intrusive and are making me very anxious, and keep going on this endless loop. For example: "red car, red car, etc"( this is only an example). Sort of like when a song gets stuck in your head, but instead of a song, just words/phrases. Please, anyone has any idea? Is this OCD related? Did anyone experience something like this? or at least something similar?

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Hello tudorborisev,

OCD can manifest itself in a multitude of ways and can occur for many reasons. There is research to show that it can be similar to the 'song stuck in your head' and there can be many reasons for this, serotonin balance etc.

Do you feel that if you do not repeat these words something bad will happen? Or do you get a feeling of dread if you they are not repeated?

Joe

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No Joe, that's the thing. What you're describing are compulsions. But these are not compulsions since they are sort of intrusive and repetitive on an endless loop, and cause anxiety. Feels like my brain does it "by itself" and I don't have any control over it to make it stop.

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I have the same problem but with images in my head for example: cutting my leg over and over again I can’t control it and I don’t want or chose to think about it. It can last up to 30 minutes of the same repetitive image and I can’t think of anything else although I try so hard too!

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Hi tudorborisev. Yes I have had exactly this, and it was terrible. Lasted for months. I had the same thing, didnt repeat them to calm down. They just were repeatative and caused alot of anxiety. I had one word that was constantly repeating in my head over and over. It wasnt a word I particularly care for and scared the heck out of me. Its anxiety.

I can tell you it can get better. I honestly just let it repeat itself as many times over and over until I didnt care anymore. It was hard to learn acceptance. Took alot for me to get where I am now. Everyone has weird thoughts just so you know. Doesn't mean we are horrible people. And if the intrusive thoughts cause anxiety that's because we fear them so much.

Take care

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Thank you so much for replying. And how did you get over it and learn the acceptance? Did you go to therapy, or took meds, or by yourself? I'm currently under treatment with only antidepressants. I'm afraid if I talk to my doc about is, he will add other meds to the treatment, and I'm not sure if I'm willing to go down that road. I tried therapy but I encountered a psychologist that just wasn't for me. I really tried. Maybe I should try others too. I'm glad you could get over this which also gives me hope for the future. Any tips are welcome

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I will try and help as much as I can. I am not a professional nor know much about medication. Just want you to know I have experienced what you are experiencing. I personally dont go to therapy or take medication. My personal choice, although I am not apposed to either. I hear the combination of both can help greatly.

What I mean by acceptance is allowing the thoughts to be there no matter how many times or how often it may repeat itself. And yes it does cause anxiety but I just let it be and continue whatever I was doing. It's not easy but with practice it gets easier. Its not to say I dont have the thoughts still, I do when anxiety is high, but I've learned to let them just be.

Have you looked into any self help books?

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Yes, but most of the books are about classic OCD stuff (washing your hands, etc), or classic intrusive thoughts (violent, etc). I'm like you said, I don't care in particular for these words/phrases, the distress comes from the repetition itself. And wow! Overcoming this like you did, you truly are as your nickname says! Congrats and I wish you a very healthy life ahead! So, do you know such a book that helped you?

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Sorry for the late response. I am not on the forum very often, and I've come down with a cold. Thank you for the praises. I have come along way since last year. Not fully recovered but I'm on my way. I do have the classic harm OCD thoughts, and I also have earworms. Songs that have played over and over. Even just random words. So l believe either way learning to accept is the same approach for all of them. Like Sallyskins said its only when you put meaning to them or care about them they begin to bother you more and cause anxiety. Or visversa.

I've read alot about OCD. I'm no expert, but I wanted to know why I was having such thoughts. The simple answer for me was I was over stressed and those thoughts were manifesting themselves because of it. At first I wanted true diagnosis, but then I realized anxiety comes in many forms and is different for everyone. I just needed help on ways to change my thought pattern and negative thinking. So I used the approach of acceptance. I didnt do anything, i just let the anxiety be there, thoughts, feelings all of it.

I learned that approach from the book by Dr Claire Weekes, Hope and Help for your Nerves. Suggested to me by a member on this forum. I also read a blog from and app called Anxiety no more.

There are different ways to recover and it wasnt over night for me. I have been working hard. Getting back to living a "normal" life. Working, driving and even grocery shopping. All which were extremely difficult for me last year.

Sallyskins has some great recommendations on self help books. I personally believe they help. Maybe speaking with your Dr would be something to look into. Just get an opinion on what you can do to move forward and feel some peace.

Take care

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It's amazing how strong you were and still are. Having the patience and doing the work to recover with no medication from that difficult moment, cause I know how it feels and how hard it really is. Thank you for the advice. I will certainly read and take a look at the tips above. Take care and wish you well !

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Thank you! I wish the best also. You are strong as well, just posting on here takes alot of courage :)

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Everyone experiences odd and often really weird things coming into their head apparently at random. It's OCD that makes people attach meaning to them.

But it must be like having a particularly annoying tune going in your head. Or like having a sort of tinnitus! It should get better by itself, just as tunes eventually do go out of your head. It it doesn't, and goes on causing you distress, perhaps it is something you should go to your doctor about.

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I have had them for years and years but for the last few months they have been really getting me down.

I have OCD and it is anxiety related.

I am on medication but it doesn’t help the repeating.

I wish I had a switch that I could flick and get some peace.

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Exactly how I feel. We're in the same boat. I really hope we'll get better.

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Oh yes, me too

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omg i thought i was the only one !!!!! every morning random thoughts and phrases in my head. If i see traffic lights i have to repeat RED IS FOR STOP GREEN IS FOR GO . Started when i went through a red light when i first past my test .

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