A tendency to over-analyze

Much of my problem stemmed from the fact that I seemed to be too aware of myself and my surroundings. I was hyper-conscious of how I was perceived and how I interacted with others. In fact, so much time was spent analyzing each and every situation that it became tedious, stressful, and laborious to leave the safe confines of my house. Many times, given the choice, I preferred not to put myself through that turmoil and opted to stay in. This made things worse, because I needed real-world practice and exposure to make any improvement.

I was overly conscious of my every move, and how I was perceived by others. This led to distorted and unrealistic assumptions about the real world. My false interpretations were always stacked against me. For some reason, I would never give myself a break. I always assumed the worst when it came to me, and the best when it came to everyone else. I rated other people much higher than I should have, and myself, much lower. This distorted sense of self, and the fact that I was second guessing every move I made, led to an overpowering feeling of anxiety whenever I stepped out the front door.

I needed some way to tone down my thoughts – to stop analyzing everything to death.

It was at that time that I started taking one of the new SSRI drugs. Apparently, millions of prescriptions had been filled for this particular brand, and it had been around a while. I thought I had nothing to lose by at least trying it.

It took about 2 months to really kick in. There were physical side effects, and I was prepared for that. However, I wasnt prepared for the difference it made in my thought processes. It was as if someone had flipped a switch and I was not able to get to that familiar, deep-thinking stage. I was not able to pick apart every aspect of how I governed myself in public. I didnt have that nagging, scrutinizing, over-analyzing, inner voice that was intent on keeping me in my properĀ place.

This allowed me to function surprisingly well in almost all social situations. Initially, I was thrilled at being able to simply carry on without the usual self-doubt and worry. However, I knew that, deep-down, this was not a cure; it was simply a numbing of the senses, if you will. The drug simply blocked those deeper thoughts, it didnt change them.

In fact, it blocked most of my clear, deep thoughts. Had it been able to simply eliminate the social anxiety aspect, I would have accepted that (though even that would still not be an actual cure), but it seemed to numb my entire range of deeper thought. It was an awful feeling, and I decided that I would prefer to have things back the way they were.

This was not the answer I was looking for. I did not want to simply dull my senses; I wanted to change my thought patterns – Big difference.

7 thoughts on “A tendency to over-analyze

  1. MiRut

    Using ‘the drug’ to bridge the move from former life of relative isolation to being ‘out there’ sounds legit to me, even if it shaves a few points off one’s mental clarity. Having the broad brush strokes of social contact under the belt versus the narrow, yet insense, experiences of those deeper thoughts. How deep do we need to go anyway, or could that be the problem- working too hard there?
    Bravo also to ‘going naked’, to taking the drug holiday and resetting the synapses. Take the social lessons learned ‘under the influence’, and sharpen them with the unaided mind. As long as you are in the human laboratory experimenting for good and self worth…

  2. Laila

    I know what you mean! I over-analyze and am in my head too much! I try to please people and I calculate every move I make. I try to determine who likes me and how I could seduce them! I am not kidding. I make sure I look people in the eyes, everything is calculated! Sometimes I feel like I’m a cold person and that I couldn’t ever truly care about anyone.
    I can be shy but I also like to get wild and laugh a lot! I am so confused and I’d like to change myself, I feel like I am way too reserved and afraid to reveal the real me. And I feel like I am never satisfied, I demand PERFECTION about myself but am too easy-going with others!

    Ps. If you’d want to discuss it, ask me for my mail. I think it would be helpful because you seem to have the exact same problem

  3. Helen

    Hi Laila, I see you left that post ages ago, literally years ago, but I completely 100% identify with the way you’ve described yourself and how you react to others – I’m a people pleaser yet I feel like I should never be shocked or offended by what anyone else says or does, as if they’re above me and have more of a right to act however they want to. I know what you mean about feeling like you couldn’t truly care about someone and being cold too, I care a lot about my family and really close friends but sometimes I surprise myself at how dismissive I can be of others if the way they are doesn’t comply to what I want. I can seem very shy but I also love having a good time and laughing etc, but am – in the presence of most people – scared to show my true self.

    So if you get this reply and it still applies now, please get in touch! Because I completely identify!!

  4. Danielle

    Hey Laila and Helen I completely understand where the both of you are coming from. Although, there was a time when I felt at least a bit more comfortable, lately I’ve felt the need to put on mask and look happy for everyone. For some reason whenever I’m talking to someone (and I’ve noticed if it’s someone of authority) I freeze! My mind begins to wander and I can’t focus on the conversation. My head spins, and I experience derealization. I’m simply zone out this is why it’s hard for me to hang out with anyone because I feel like I’m boring the person, and they don’t really want to be there with me. I have terrible self esteem, but perhaps this is because I’ve grown up with parents that have a negative outlook of the world as well.

  5. Ragman

    Danielle, I have exactly the same problem. I experience much of what is expressed on here, but often it is not manifested in the form of “anxiety” per se. Often times I just zone out when dealing with others and have a hard time contributing to the conversation because I’m barely aware of what is being said.

    What do you say when nothing comes to your mind? It’s not like I am too anxious or shy to say what is on my mind, it’s that I’m so focused on what is going on around me that I can barely concentrate enough to respond. Sometimes I just sit and think and try to think of something to say, but it takes so long that the other person continues to talk and I lose my oppurtunity. Then I forget what I was going to say and sit there in silence again.

    I am aware that I don’t talk much because of this and don’t want to bore people so often avoid social interaction because of it. Also, it seems that because I don’t talk much and don’t appear anxious that others percieve me as cold or even stuck up. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I just don’t know what to say much of the time or how to relate.

  6. Kyle

    Hey Laila and Helen, I have that same exact problem! Everything seems so meaningful to me, even the smallest things. It’s bad though because absolutely no one can relate to you. Sometimes I feel so frustrated and confused. If you have heard of or tried any cures (that work) then please contact me. I’m tried of this handicap it puts on my social life and overall sense of happiness. I’m seriously becoming depressed and very anxious because of it.

  7. ENFP

    Guys I’m the same as all of u
    Email me
    Let’s talk
    I over analyze and have issues with eye contact I think I’m going insane at times
    I feel like a uncomfortable freak when I get into these stages around people
    Email me

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