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Had severe depression and reoccurring intrusive thoughts. About to fall from elevator. How to overcome these things?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1980
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During my recent bought of severe depression I had re-accurring intrusive thoughts that God would let any elevator I got into fall and kill me. I prayed for it. Now: yesterday I was in a elevator that fell about 8 feet and then was caught by a backup system. My mind is racing. I know fragged out isn't really a medical term, but that's my best definition. I'm wondering why it couldn't have fallen on down to get me? Was God just slapping me in the face? How am I supposed to ever get on an elevator again? I don't have any clue how to start to working through this....... any ideas.
Posted Wed, 13 Nov 2013 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Karanwal 54 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Forget the tragic accident and move ahead!

Detailed Answer:
Hi there,

Thanks for your query. I fully understand the shock that you have gone through.

It is just one of the several ways, one can console herself : you call it as a forewarning from God; a miracle; or, a sheer coincidence. After all, you have been using the same elevator since ages. It being a machine, is liable to break down/malfunction sometime or the other, like any other mechanical equipment!

Let me put it this way : People who have negative thoughts and apprehensions of impending unpleasant shock, do get such thoughts whenever they sit in a car, cross the road, use an electric appliance, climb stairs, work near fire and so on. Freak accidents can occur at any time and to anyone, due to mechanical failure, human error or someone else's fault/negligence.

Consider the unfortunate mishap as a sheer coincidence. It has had a happy ending. So, close that chapter and forget about it. Overcome misplaced apprehensions and move ahead in life : that's the philosophy of Life. Think POSITIVE : it was God who saved your life as you are destined to live much longer. Your longevity and destiny is pre-determined: nothing can happen to you so long as you are destined to live longer!

Playing extremely safe is NOT the solution. Be brave and face all odds, fight against your phobias.

Only positive thinking and pragmatic approach towards life would eventually bring you back to normal state.

If you continue to have such dreaded thoughts, I would suggest that you consult a Psychologist, who will refine your thought process.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have more clarifications, I will be happy to interact with you.

Fond regards,

Dr. Rakesh Karanwal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had severe depression and reoccurring intrusive thoughts. About to fall from elevator. How to overcome these things? 48 minutes later
"Just forget it"; well wouldn't that be nice. How does one go about that? I believe that's easier said than done. I can't think of much else at this point. I did OK while stuck in there, propped up my knees and took my NTG, and generally sat quiet. When I got out that's when the crying started. I'm crying and cringing at the smallest things. "Just forget it"? Really, that's your answere?
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Karanwal 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
You require a short course of anti-anxiety drugs

Detailed Answer:
Well, Ma'am,

I deeply apologize if I have hurt your sentiments. It was perhaps, a wrong choice of words.

However, I am sure you will appreciate that this is an online consultation service, where the doctor does not have the luxury of having a lengthy, face-to-face interaction, opportunity to examine our patient or help her overcoming the acute mental agony, through a psychotherapy session.

Our professional opinion is based solely on the information/nature of problems provided by the patient. The opinion / advice is given ONLY AFTER going thoroughly through the provided details.

The additional details of your present state, have helped me in fully understanding your present condition. It was indeed a tragic accident and it will take some time before you come out of the traumatic shock. It's perfectly natural. Though easier said than done, restoring your composure is the need of the hour.

I can also imagine the dreaded feeling that you will continue to have, perhaps, for a long time, whenever you step into the elevator. It is part of a normal human psyche.

If you have faith in me and my expertise, I will advise you to consult your Psychiatrist immediately, who will give you a short course of anti-anxiety drug, such as Alprazolam or Clonazepam, which will help you in alleviating your present state. I have nothing more to offer beyond this.

Dr. Rakesh Karanwal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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