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  1. Paradoxer I see. I'll do my best to sweat it out for now. Thank you.
  2. "We can choose to behave like a non-sufferer (and should). Yes its harder, but its the right choice. If you do it often enough then you start to behave more like a non-sufferer, the anxiety becomes less and less of an issue. But you have to act like it doesn't matter BEFORE you'll feel like it doesn't matter. Fake it til you make it. If you wait to act until you feel better you'll probably be waiting a long time, possibly forever." Thank you Dksea. This is what I want to do. As you said, though, it's very difficult. Regarding the grocery store scenarios, I've had irrational thoughts like that. These thoughts about the app, though, don't seem as far fetched. The very nature of the app seems like it lends itself to people seeking relationships that they wouldn't do if the app were not anonymous. If a user wants to try and set up a meet with someone who it would not be appropriate to be in a relationship with, because that other person is not single, or for whatever reason, there will be no consequences to the pursuer in attempting to set up the meeting. The other party wont know who has attempted to meet them until they've expressed mutual interest in the other person and until the two meet face to face somewhere. In the examples with the store, the conduct described is harmless in 99.999 % of situations, and it's not possible for people to live without engaging in such conduct. With using the app, all though it would probably mostly be used for harmless conduct, there is a much higher chance (say 20% even though I know it's not possible to put an exact number) that it would cause conduct that is not socially acceptable. It could be harmless fun but I worry it could open a pandora's box. At the same time I enjoy trying to build something and learning about coding while working on the project. I know I have OCD, but given how the app works, are my concerns legit?
  3. I felt good for a while but today at work I kept getting distracted asking myself questions like "What if I get punished for making an app like this?". Even if I want people to use it in a non harmful way, what if some people use it in a way that breaks up their family? Is there a way I can decide to finish the project but not let it interfere with my main job?
  4. Thank you for the feedback Paradoxer and Dksea. Sometimes it's hard for me to tell whether it's OCD that's being the arbiter of morality or not. True, the rule of thumb can be applied to decide whether it's really something immoral or if it's just ocd.
  5. I posted about this issue about a year ago, and wanted to follow up: Last winter I had an idea for an app that I thought would be cool: a social media app which allows you to select from your contacts (i.e. phone contacts, facebook, instagram, etc.) a group of people who you would enjoy having a surprise meeting with. If they are also using the app and choose you, it brings you to an anonymous chat screen where you can chat with that person for the purpose of setting up a time to meet, but you wont know who they are until they show up at the meeting place (you'll only know that they are among you contacts and that you both wanted to meet each other). It could be used for dating and for finding out if you have a secret admirer, or it could be used to just organize surprise gettogethers. I'm also thinking that while the app itself might be fun to use, people could use it for things like cheating on their spouses and partners. It could facilitate this because in a regular situation, where people are just using something like facebook, there would be a social barrier to asking certain friends to meet (i.e. those who are in committed relationships with other people). For example, on facebook a user would likely restrain himself from reaching out to certain people (e.g. a boss, or the ex girl friend of his friend) because if the recipient of the invitation wasn't interested, it would be awkward the next time they met. With this app, though, it stays anonymous until both people select each other to be in each other's surprise meet pool, and no one will know who the other is until they actually meet at the agreed time and place. The app doesn't have to be used, though, in any objectionable way. It could also be used by people in the gay community who might otherwise feel uncomfortable approaching another member of the same sex not knowing for sure what that person's sexual orientation is. Even though I am not gay, this would be an ethical use of the app, or at least not unethical. I've been working on it on and off with a programmer for about a year, but I don't know if I should finish it due to the above ethical concerns, and it's not clear how much use it would find in the general public in any event. Last time I posted about this issue another forum member told me to just finish it, and then later on see how people are using the app, and that it's not my problem anyway if people choose to use it in a wrong way. The thing I didn't mention, though, is I initially got the idea for the app as a result of something ethically questionable: there was a woman who I knew for years that I liked and wanted to ask out, but she was married at the time and still is. I didn't want to ask her unless I knew she also liked me, then I got the idea for the app. I now think that was a dishonorable intention I had, but I've realized there are many ok ways that the app could be used, and that there could be a legit market for it. That's why I've continued. Does the fact that my original idea for how the app should be used taint the whole thing, and is it a reason for me to stop the project? That also brings up another question which is in the title of this post: how does someone create a set of ethical standards to live by that is helpful to them and others, and at the same time doesn't become an obsessively long list? I think everyone should have some list of rules that they live by, but the list should be limited or else it could become a big hindrance. For example, most people live by the rule not to kill others, and not to intentionally cause physical harm to others. Most people have a few others at least on their list, and some rules that are unique to them. When OCD takes over, though, the list can get out of hand. I for example, at the peak of my ocd, would not sit in a car that had leather seats because I thought it was cruelty to animals, and would sometimes walk home far distances rather than get into a car that had them. I still respect people who don't eat meat or wear leather, and I myself still observe some related rules- like I wouldn't wear a fur coat, for example. AT one point in my life, though, I had set so many rules for myself that progress in any area was very difficult. Regarding the app, it's hard for me to know if I am having second thoughts on finishing it because of legit ethical concerns, or because of OCD. I suppose I could just live by the rule to not intentionally harm others, or do something that I know will directly cause harm to others. I could tell myself that the only harm that this app could cause (i.e. potentially breaking up someone's family) would be indefinite, since I don't know what the chances of that happening are, and also indirect (since it would be based on conduct of others that I don't have control over. I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts on this issue.
  6. I’ve realized that this is OCD and it’s not bugging me anymore. I appreciate the help. Gingerbg I also wanted to say that in my last post, where I wrote the definition, I wasn’t trying to be sarcastic. That was just my ocd making me check.
  7. Hi BT. I read a previous recent post of yours. Sorry that OCD is being a bully to you. Remember though that that’s just what it is.
  8. The thought that you might have taken it is 100% ocd. Even if you did take it, which you didn’t, you gotta live your life now and stop letting this ridiculousness stop you from enjoying your life (no offense- ocd has also taken a lot of my time too). Steven Phillipson and Jeffrey Schwartz are two of my favorite ocd writers. Dr. phillipson has a quote: accept the fact that ocd is trying to sabotage your best interests. Don’t tell your girl friend any of this. Maybe if you know her for a longer period of time you can tell her that you’ve had ocd generally, but if you do that it would just be to have a shoulder to lean on, not to carry out a compulsion by confessing to something. Of course you cant find anything on the internet about whether its cheating because many of the ocd thoughts we have are only had by us. Just looking on the internet to research this is carrying out a compulsion and is making the ocd stronger.
  9. Hi Harry, You are having some Pure O. If I am understanding you correctly, you don’t actually have a compulsion to go back to your girl friend’s house, you just keep ruminating “what if I did” or “what if I want to”? In either case treat the thoughts as just mental noise that will go away on its own. It’s not the thought itself that is an issue, because everyone has random thoughts that pop into their head, it’s how you deal with them that matters. If you respond to the thoughts by saying something like “I wonder if this means I am a bad person” or “Why do I keep having these thoughts”, you are saying to your mind that these thoughts actually have importance. If you say though, “this is just an OCD spike” and “I’ll let you take up as much of my space as you need” the ocd will “see” you don’t really care and will go away. The thoughts might come back but treat them the same way. Spikes can only take up a small amount of your time each day. It’s the ruminating part that can make you waste a lot of time.
  10. Regarding what dksea said, I agree that it sounds like OCD. The conclusion I'm getting here is that I have a choice to make, to either tell them what happened if they ask or not to say anything, and that I need to choose now and then stop obsessing over it. Is that a good way to approach this? I probably just wont say anything, but for the future try to be honest in my dealings. It's a tough choice for me though. I want to feel "solid" about my character. If I don't feel that way, my lack of confidence comes out at work. For example, a couple of clients had recently been almost two months late on paying me for a substantial amount of work that I did, and I still had a lot more work to do for them. I wasn't even trying to convince them to have me do the work, I disclosed the cost in advance, and gave them alternative options that may not involve the need to incur costs. I thought, though, that because my misstatement on the application makes me a liar, I don't really have the right to be firm on asking them to pay me. I decided to just give them the benefit of the doubt and give them time. Eventually they made a part payment which is better than nothing. I think I made the right choice with them, but the fact that I was feeling like maybe I shouldn't even have gotten paid at all is a result of the application. Also, another aspect of this which could be playing into my OCD, is part of my job involves trying to find out the truth of what happened- e.g. is someone telling the truth about whether or not they owe money (or that they borrowed money, stole money, etc.). I have to either make a convincing argument to a court that they aren't or that they are (which is less often). How can I be arguing about these things if I'm a hypocrite who myself didn't tell the truth on an application to get my law license? I wasn't sure myself if that's considered a suspension or not. I think my school may have called it that, but I don't remember. I just looked it up in the dictionary lol and it says suspension is "the temporary prevention of something from continuing to be in force or effect". It may have a legal definition as well, but I haven't checked into that yet (it's not my area of practice so I don't come across the issue). Thanks again for the responses.
  11. My main concern now is what to say if they ask. The thing is they may not even ask about it at the interview. If they do, and I tell them that I gave a false response to one of the questions on the application, I open myself up to the risk of not getting admitted, and also to further consequences (how bad the consequences would be I don't know). I know, though, that if I just don't say anything, or if I say I was never suspended, no one could ever find out because my principal at the time purposely did not let the incident go on my record. I'm just worried about the psychological effect it will have on me knowing that I said something that wasn't true in an application like that. Thanks.
  12. Thank you for the helpful responses. I want to clarify that it’s not so much guilt from what happened in 1993 that’s bothering me, or even the fact that I didn’t disclose it on my application. It’s the fact that when asked if i was ever suspended I affirmatively denied it. Does that make my dilemma more legitimate? Also, I will need to go in for an interview with the board before getting my license, and am worried they will question me on the truth of my application.
  13. Hello. I'm in a bit of a quandary. I'm a lawyer, and in this profession there are two big things lawyers can lose their professional license over: stealing money from clients and lying under oath. Sometimes I think my OCD might play into my profession a bit by making me think that I have to be ethically flawless in order not to feel like a hypocrite in front of a judge. For ten years I've been only licensed to practice in Massachusetts. It's been my goal for a few years to get my license in other state. Finally, I decided to fill out an application to get my license in a state outside of MA. The paper work and process has been taking a while. Because I've practiced in MA for at least five years, though, I wont need to take a new bar exam. Anyway, there is a part on the application which asks if I've ever been suspended from school (not including elementary school). In 1993, when I was 13 and in middle school, I was sent home for a week for pulling the fire alarm. A group of boys who I ran into in the hallway were challenging me to do it (which is not an excuse for me to have done it). I felt really bad afterwards when I realized the disruption that I caused. Anyways, I think that being sent home is considered a suspension, but I checked the box that said "no" where it asked about prior suspensions and signed it under oath. Now every day I am feeling bad about it. How can I represent clients, I tell myself, and talk to judges with a straight face when I've said something untrue under oath? On the other hand, I tell myself well I'm honest when I work in court in front of judges, and I am fair to clients, I don't rip them off, I don't steel from them, etc. Part of me says why should they be asking people about things that happened in middle school, and how could they deny someone a license because of something that happened at a very young age so long ago. I can't figure out if OCD is making a big deal of not reporting the middle school incident, or if I really now need to write a letter to the board that received the application and tell them about the incident. I could say that I remembered it afterwards. If I do this it will also be a lie because I remembered the incident before signing the application. At least, though, I'd be letting them know what happened. If I write back and tell them the complete truth: i.e. that I got suspended and didn't initially put it on the application even though I had remembered it at the time, then the consequences could be severe: they can not only deny my application to practice in their state, they can also contact the board of bar overseers in my state and inform them that I lied on an application. If that happens, I could loose my law license permanently. Please let me know what I should do. I have no other way to make a living besides practicing law. My family and I moved into our first single family home last January, and me loosing my law license now could be a disaster. At age 39 it wont be easy to remake myself. Btw, loosing my law license is a big theme for my OCD in ways other than this as well. E.g. I think of all kinds of technicalities that could potentially lead to me being disciplined by the board of bar overseers. Thank you.
  14. I definitely understand the level of OCD that relationships can cause.
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