21 Debilitating Things That Chronic Overthinkers Experience

woman in black long-sleeved shirt facing grass field
Cristina Pop / Unsplash

1. Whenever they sit down to make a plan for creating their ideal future, they often think, “I need to prove that I am worthy of others’ time and attention. This means I have to do the work of ten people that inspire me, surpass the work of people that criticize me most, and also individualize the crap out of my existence.”

2. They often experience a very intense feeling of paralysis when they try to exert more of their willpower to do something, and this results in them feeling drained and unable to accomplish the long list of things they would like to have finished by the end of the day.

3. They nap too much because they expend too much of their energy overthinking every small detail and action, but after they wake up, they beat themselves up for it. The process of mentally beating themselves up drains them again, so they return back to a state of paralysis.

4. They think too deeply about small comments that people around them make and feel as though all these comments are rooted in maliciousness.

5. They get easily frustrated with anything that isn’t planned and having to accommodate those who make unexpected changes.

6. They hate being late, but they are chronically late because they always go back to their homes to check over everything (if the stoves are turned off, if their gadgets are in a place that’s hard to find, if all of the faucets are completely shut, if the windows are locked, if anything valuable is in plain sight, if the home is theft-proof enough, etc.) before they go about their day.

7. They allow people’s criticisms of them to debilitate them for weeks, months, and even years. They ruminate over everything that people have criticized them for.

8. They overanalyze the meaning of life and want to do something existentially profound, but this holds them back from experiencing any joy it the moment because they somehow believe that they haven’t done anything worthy enough to be remembered a hundred years from now.

9. They obsess over the gruesome details of their pain along with everything they’ve been traumatized by and hold grudges against themselves for not being healed fast enough.

10. They seek faults in those that are generally well-liked by everyone they know and brutally criticize these people in their minds.

11. They also ruminate over their own faults and brutally criticize themselves for not measuring up, not being where they think they should be in life, and not allowing themselves to be content with what they have, where they are, or what they do.

12. They cower and enter into a state of internal trauma whenever they are in the presence of authority figures because they have an unresolved issue with authority figures, which stems from the (often traumatic) way they’ve been treated as children.

13. They often suffer from a powerful combination of insomnia, sleep deprivation, anxiety, depression, emotional paralysis, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and fatigue because they are constantly at war with themselves, their circumstances, their present, their past, and their future.

14. They have a difficult time coping with major life changes and often dissociate from these changes and try to do things to numb the pain they feel from having life happen to them in a way that they have no control over.

15. They experience frequent panic attacks whenever they are forced to do something they feel uncomfortable with or anything that they are not naturally good at.

16. They wake up most days with a feeling of dread and an overwhelming sense of sadness that makes them feel like they can’t function. At all.

17. They make an effort to get better and move on, but they approach recovery with a militaristic mindset, which actually hinders them from changing their life for the better because they try too hard to force every aspect of their lives to change all at once at a superhuman speed and this results in them burning out, sleeping more to overcompensate for the extreme exhaustion, and going about the following months returning back to their original state of anxiety and discontent.

18. They overplan everything to the point of nauseating and headache-inducing excess and often don’t get much done because they are always second-guessing themselves, their intent, and the hypothetical results that they can’t stop worrying about.

19. They catastrophize the end result of anything that will change their lives for the better, especially if the thing in question has no predictable outcome or is something that isn’t conventionally “secure.”

20. They associate many of their small, unrelated mistakes with their entire self-worth and life legacy. They worry that they will be remembered for all of the little mistakes they’ve made, so they whip themselves to be as perfect as they possibly can be, but they end up going nowhere in their attempts to make their lives look perfect to other people because these external things and feelings of how they will be perceived do not solve internal problems, they only make them worse.

21. They overthink their lives, ruminate over their past, forecast a bleak future for themselves (and the millions of details and hypothetical situations that come with it), and second-guess their thoughts, all while being reactive to what’s happening to them, so much that they cannot see the present reality for what it is or see themselves as they truly are. TC mark

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