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Does anyone here have OCD? And any advice soooo appreciated...


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I have ocd but I never really accepted that I have it, or talked about it, mostly because I went most of my life not knowing there was a name for it! I've had it on and off my whole life (and when I say on and off I mean that the "off" times were just less severe, but it never really went away.) I've not been diagnosed by a doctor, but I know 100% that I would be if I were to go to one.

 

OCD is torturous for those that have it. It's a very widely misunderstood disorder that many people tend to not understand if you don't have it. It's a disorder that doesn't make sense. So one may worry about one thing but not be bothered at all about another.

 

Also, I get a little annoyed when I hear people say, "Oh, I'm soooo Ocd!" when they think that it bothers tham when a painting is crooked or something. ](*,) It's not necessarily perfectionism. OCD comes in many different forms and it's unique to each individual that has it. There are many diferent sypmtoms.

 

I've had extreme worries and guilt feelings since I was about 3 or 4, and I'm 27 now. I've had times where it was very bad and then there'd be times when it was very manageable for years, and then times when it was absolutely agonizing. My boyfriend recently bought me an OCD workbook so that I could try to help myself. Reading it has made me see that there are actually names for everything I've done in my life related to OCD.

 

My symptoms, in the form of obsessons and compulsions, have been and most still are hyper-responsibilty, confessing, hoarding, checking, and avoidance. Hyper-responsibilty and confessing and checking being the most severe for me. There are only a few symptoms of OCD that I DON'T have. The needing things to be PHYSICALLY in order and perfect are one of the symptoms that I don't have.

 

Guilt has been the common theme throughout my whole ocd. And always towards other people. Never myself. I don't worry about myself. I feel responsibility/guilt towards other's well-being. I think of things and thoughts that snowball that wouldn't even OCCUR to people w/out ocd, because they are not thinking that obsessively about things they know deep down probably won't happen. I try to prevent things that may harm someone I care about in the future. That's a form of hyper-responsibilty.

 

I'm very rational when it comes to myself, but if it could in any way affect anybody else, I'll obsess over it and perform a compulsion to relieve my mind. I do things at home and at my boyfriend's house too. I have to check things sooo many times like kitchen cabinets and water faucets and caps to containers for fear that something bad could happen as a result in the future. I think of every possible bad scenario and try to prevent it. It's exhausting.

 

Anyone on here have ocd? It'd be great to know if there are others out there that have similar problems with ocd that I have....

 

Also, ANY tips or words of advice for kicking this thing would be SOOOOOO appreciated. I'm going through a pretty bad time with it, and I could take all the help I could get!

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Also, ANY tips or words of advice for kicking this thing would be SOOOOOO appreciated. I'm going through a pretty bad time with it, and I could take all the help I could get!

I think the only thing that will help is to seek professional counselling. I don't think reading any books on the topic will "cure" you, especially if this has been long term. I guess people here can give you some tips etc, but I highly doubt it's going to get rid of the problem. I strongly advise you get proper counselling.

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Yes, I've thought about it. And I might...I'm just kindof reluctant to do so, even though I know I probably should. It's just that doing the workbook doesn't hurt in the meantime. It can only help. The book helps with cognitive behavior therapy...which is what a doctor would have me doing anyway, at the very least.

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hey hun. I have been diagnosed with OCD as well, and it really controlled my life for a long while. I had both OCD and an eating disorder so they kind of got all mixed up together, to the point where I couldn't tell where one disorder started and the other ended, not that it really matters.

 

I had a "weird" version of it. Besides being weight/ food/ body/ calorie OBSESSED, I also picked my skin all the time, and plucked out my hair. I would pick for hours on end until I wasn't even recognizable. I would then have scabs and holes in my face for weeks, and would refuse to leave my house, much less go to school, sporting events, out with friends etc. I couldn't see a pore without thinking that I had to "clean" it. When I went to treatment for my eating disorder they also helped to treat my OCD. I was put on a trio of medications that have helped so incredibly much. It took litteraly years to overcome everything, and I still struggle with food and with picking, though not nearly on the same scale. I have a life now, I can go out with friends, I had lasar treatment to get rid of my scars so you can't even tell anymore that I picked so bad. So my life has gotten so much better, but I remember days when I thought I would be better off dead.

 

I remember wishing that I had a different "form" of ocd. Like why did mine have to manifest in a way where I destroyed myself? Why couldn't I be a clean freak, or wash my hands obsessively, or do something like a person with "normal" ocd did? Though of course nobody who suffers from any of it thinks it is normal or ok. I guess I just was confused how my behaviors could even be classified as ocd, I didn't realize behaviors could manifest themselves in any number of ways.

 

I am so sorry you are going through a hard time. I still struggle with the eating, but not as much with the ocd anymore, so things won't always be this way. The things that helped me the most was lots of therapy, finding the right medications and doses, and time. If you need anything i'm here!

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Thanks so much mandyc! I'm so sorry to hear all that you went through. It's great that you've gotten better!

 

I totally understand what you mean about wishing that one had a different form of ocd. I always wish that mine didn't have to be a form that deals with other people., (example, confessing, preventing any harm to them) I'm always thinking that my ocd would be easier if it just involved myself.

 

Thanks again!

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Hello! I have OCD and, just like you, haven't been diagnosed. I was able get most of my problems under control for a good ten years, but recently they've been coming back, and I haven't had time to really deal with it mentally as I'm too busy with other things. While I'm sure counseling can help, I was able to defeat most of it on my own. How? It's all in your head... literally.

 

I don't think it's curable in a sense that you can rid yourself for life, but if you learn how to take control of it, the tendencies will diminish over time. The way I deal with it is to tell myself what I know to be right, and no matter how much my mind tells me to do something else, I refuse to let the urge take over. The best way to do this is to direct your mental awareness to things as you do them as opposed to looking back after the fact.

 

For example, say you want to check to make sure you turn the stove off before you leave the house. Put extra effort into making sure you turn the stove off when you're done using it. Conscientiously remind yourself to check, and you'll know in your head that the stove was off. You'll know because you thought about doing it (it wasn't out of habit). Once you know that it's off, no matter how many times you want to go back and check, don't give in. That sounds easy, but in practice it's hard, and you probably know this.

 

What I've found is that, over time, if you can slowly wane yourself off of that certain urge to check (because you know the status of whatever you want to check), you will slowly take control. I've also found that solving one area of OCD has helped in other areas as well.

 

The other thing I've found is that by forcing myself to be aware of what I'm doing and subsequently forcing myself to think a certain way, I've really learned a lot about myself. It's brought me down to a reality-based mindset instead of a what-if mindset. The best way to approach this mentally is to simply recognize that your conscious mind is a lot stronger than your subconscious mind. While you may have a feeling to do a certain thing or obsess over something, the action needs to be carried out consciously. Just use that active thought and refuse whatever you feel you need to do, and you can overcome it.

 

For me it probably took a few months of constant fighting, but I was able to live relatively free of OCD for many years. I haven't cared enough recently to exert the energy needed to fight the urges, but I know that with enough desire to rid myself of the problem, I can get it back under control.

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aireyc-

 

Thankyou for taking the time to reply! I'm really going to try that. I keep trying to make myself do things to desensitize myself, but I almost always go through with the compulsion anyway. You're right, it is SO hard!

 

One of my biggest problems is trying to convince my brain that a certain thought is an ocd thought rather than a normal worry thought that anyone would be worried about. I always end up second guessing myself and thinking that it wouldn't be worth someone else's safety for me to be wrong about it being just an ocd thought, and so I do the compulsion, or whatever it takes for that worry thought to be relieved in my mind. That is my biggest obstacle. ](*,)

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What would happen if you stopped checking the kitchen cabinets, faucets, and caps?

 

I used to have terrible OCD. The checking was beyond exhausting. You wouldn't believe the crap I put myself through.

 

You can't think your way out of OCD; the mind's ability to "reason" becomes your enemy. All logic becomes circular and unhelpful. What you can do is behave your way out of it. And that starts by ceasing all rituals.

 

Believe me, I get how much that would stress you out. But in my experience, it's the only way these things end. They're not just a coping mechanism for the anxiety you're carrying around; they also contribute to and drive that anxiety (as they do for any sufferer of OCD).

 

Whatever it is that you feel driven to "check" - don't. This requires that you accept a degree of risk. You must accept that something bad could potentially come of it. But life is full of risks, and you know deep down that these efforts aren't helping anyone. So my advice, again, is as simple as it is daunting; cease the checking rituals.

 

After the fear comes relief; profound relief. And soon you realize that no great disaster has come of the cessation of these rituals. It's beyond freeing.

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Lucius-

 

Thankyou for your reply.

 

I am trying and will try even harder because I am determined to get rid of this. Ocd is ruining parts of my life.

 

I also hate how my main obsessions/worries have to do with telling others about things that could affect their safety. Confessing in this form is one of my main compulsions. The guilt that something bad could happen years from now because of my not telling them, is soooo overwhelming. That added guilt is such a horrible feeling that is sooo hard not to neutralize..but I'm trying to resist, and will try even harder.

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Lucius-

 

Thankyou for your reply.

 

I am trying and will try even harder because I am determined to get rid of this. Ocd is ruining parts of my life.

 

I also hate how my main obsessions/worries have to do with telling others about things that could affect their safety. Confessing in this form is one of my main compulsions. The guilt that something bad could happen years from now because of my not telling them, is soooo overwhelming. That added guilt is such a horrible feeling that is sooo hard not to neutralize..but I'm trying to resist, and will try even harder.

 

Can I have an example of these confessions? What sort of thing is it that you feel you must tell a person?

 

A large part of overcoming anxiety is deciding to take risks. To take the risk that someone might get hurt as a result; to take the risk that you might get hurt. To realize that bad things happen everyday, and that we have much less control than we think we do. All we ever really control is our own outlook on life - our state of mind. And that's precisely why OCD is so tragic. It rends your state of mind; it tears you up from the inside.

 

Sometimes it would take me 20mins to leave a room - because I had so many different, ridiculous, arbitrary little rituals I had to perform before I could. When I was writing something in class, I'd feel I HAD to write back over my script - perfectly - after every word I wrote. I'd have to sit a certain way, sleep a certain way. A hundred other things. For longer than I'd care to remember. But I still remember the day it all stopped. My anger - my outrage - finally outweighed my fear. I was furious that I was so tortured; downright angry. That anger turned into a kind of knowing hubris. Hubris toward my fears - toward my demons. I accepted every possible disaster scenario readily, angrily, and refused to cooperate with the rituals. I didn't "try" to stop - I just stopped.

 

And guess what happened? Nothing. I realized that this whole damn time I'd been caught in a prison without walls; I had been scaring myself mercilessly, for so long, for no reason.

 

But it all starts with accepting the risk, and the fear, and the possibility of disaster - and refusing to bow to it. It requires self-esteem and inner confidence.

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Lucius-

 

An example would be that, say that, if I saw a speck of something in someone's food that wasn't a part of that food, I would tell them, just in case that speck could somehow in some way hurt their insides in some longterm way. If I don't tell them, I feel ultra guilty. That's just one example. A million little things like that happen to me everyday. Or if I think I might've shifted a dial or something in someone's car while putting my coffeecup down in the cup holder, I'll tell them so as not to cause the car to somehow become dangerous in the future because of something that may snowball from that little shift of the dial. Alot of my confessions are to relieve the thought that some little thing could snowball into bigger things that could affect people negatively in the long run. My confessing it allows me to think that I've at least "warned" them about something that could cause future harm. I also avoid letting myself see things /do things that could trigger an obsession, for example, going grocery shopping for my mom. If I buy anyting that I know anyone but myself will use/eat, I obsess about the "saftety" of it, a.k.a.- open parts in containers/specks on food/not completely sealed packages, etc...

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I've had a bit of trouble with OCD like stuff in the past. In more recent years I've had trouble with depression and anxiety. I still have some axiety issues that I'm working on.

 

For a while I was having trouble with checking - checking heater was off multiple time and door was shut. I don't know a whole lot about OCD. And you can probably approach it from several different angles.

 

For me, along with some other anxiety issues I had, I tried to get to the root cause of the problem, or what pyschologists might call 'core beliefs' that were contributing or causing the problem or whatever. I looked at why i was checking the door and the heater. because someone might break in or the flat might burn down. Was I really that worried about that on the surface level. Not really, because where I was there wasn't likely to be theft, and as I was a student I didn't have much stuff to pinch anyway. Same with the fire idea. So if the flat burnt out? It wasn't flash anyway, and the owners were inssured. This is some time ago now and my beliefs and stuff have changed since. But sure - the landlord lived in the same residence (big house). Being over consciensious on an unconscious level I was worried about what they would think of me if there was a fire. How angry they would be. How they might not like me any more. Same with being burgled - my father was always grumpy about people not being careful. He might get grumpy if my stuff got stolen. Could I afford to get more stuff. Blah, blah.

 

There were some themes coming through - fear of rejection, fear of failure and being judged or criticised. Fear of not having my needs met. These beliefs were influencing my OCD behaviours.

 

So I have worked a lot on self-esteem and self confidence stuff. Also, recognising that a person's worth is based on their innate need for love and respect not performance. This is my personal belief. And it is a PART of what relates to self esteem - on a sort of spiritual level. So what - I get burgled - okay bad stuff - but it doesn't alter my esteem or worth as a person. Even if I forgot to lock the door - nobody's perfect! And if other people don't understand that that's their problem! They're expecting too much. My flat burns - again, well I didn't do it on purpose, it happens to some people. Sure it doesn't mean you just stop caring - there's a middle ground. But such things do happen because stuff happens and people aren't perfect. It doesn't alter the worth or esteem of people who it happens to.

 

There's another interesting factor here - well I think. We aren't in control of all factors in life. Sometimes our memory might fail us and we forget to turn off the heater and some series of events that are unlikely to occur happen and cause a fire. Is it always our fault. Well, when it comes to some misfortune it isn't our fault. And even in this case, we can't be perfect, nobody is, so stuff might happen and maybe they are factors that are beyond control. Accepting that was might not always be 100% in control also helped me. I'm not responsible for everything. So who is? I dunno. God? Maybe. That depends on your personal beliefs I suppose. I don't believe in God so much in the conventional sense but I choose to believe in a higher power in the universe and maybe that power is ultimately responsible.

 

OCD is probably more likely to show up when we're more stressed, I'd guess as we tend to resort to our 'survival brain' when we're stressed. That is, our more complex thinking brain is put on hold. Thus we might be more likely to revert to habits or survival and protective type fight and flight behaviour like OCD.

 

Hope this makes some sense.

 

CBT might also help with OCD.

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Ah yes, that's familiar thinking. Very familiar. I feel for you, mermaid44.

 

You are of course aware that this behaviour is unnecessary, though, yes? It's worth asking, because some people actually think that these things represent real risks - others know that they don't, but feel it anyway.

 

My advice would be this: try going a week or two NOT confessing these things. During that time, accept the risk that you might inadvertently impact someone negatively. See how you feel afterwards - and don't succumb even a little! Ride it out. See if it helps you gain some perspective over this. If big changes feel too daunting, take baby steps. Hell, start with just one day and build on that. But dip your toes into a normal level of accountability and see where it takes you.

 

Be patient with yourself, and be more forgiving too. Accidents happen - there's no cause for guilt. Think about how you'd feel if somebody accidentally hurt you. You'd forgive them, right? So don't you deserve the same compassion and forgiveness - even if you were to cause an accident? Aren't other people every bit as compassionate and forgiving as you yourself are? Let go of the over-accountable, guilt-ridden mindset. Practice being bold, patient, and self-loving.

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Thanks Treeclimb for your reply.

 

 

Lucius-

 

Yes, For most everything that I obsess about, I do know, deep down, that they are unnecessary worries. I think it's just that, if there is even a hint of a possibility of any danger to someone else's future, or even the smallest doubt about the safety, that that is enough for me to feel that responsibility and guilt because of the fact that it could affect someone else. I know this because when I compare it to the way that I DON'T obsess about anything affecting MYSELF, I can see the difference. I don't worry about, for example, me acidentily eating something out of a broken container, because I'm very rational when it comes to me. That is proof that I am capable of thinking rationally, and that the ocd is what tells my brain to second guess things when it comes to my specific form of ocd of worrying about others getting harmed.

 

 

Thankyou soooooo much Lucius, for all your help. I really appreciate it.

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I've been OCD for as long as I can remember as well. Mine's mixed with a bit of Bipolar, though. I've just started seeking counseling, but I'm not sure which happened first, because OCD doesn't quite sum up all of my disorder. I've heard medication works wonders for certain people, and for some it's all about counseling. But like someone already said here, it's all in your head. It's all about fears and anxieties, albeit irrational ones, that have taken over what others would consider a "normal" thinking pattern. Your brain's been trained to simply work differently, to the point where it's become detrimental. That's just my thoughts on you, but do know you're not alone, and OCD may be a pretty disabling disorder at times, but it's easy enough to work with and manage.

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