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  1. This is really interesting, thanks for sharing. I always wondered what would happen to a person’s OCD if they had to live through a time of ‘real’ danger.
  2. Every little thing can’t just be boxed off neatly as ‘OCD’ or ‘not OCD’. That’s far too simplistic. We are people, who have thoughts and emotions about all manner of things. I don’t see a reason that you need to decide whether feeling sad about the death of a child ‘is’ OCD. If you feel that you are thinking about it too much then you could try to implement some of the tools useful to help you to stop overthinking, and this will probably ease your mood. Any attempt to try to connect this to your false memory fear is unproductive in my opinion. Of course you will have thoughts and feelings that are ‘not OCD’ (to be crude) - it has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not your memory is true or false.
  3. You’ll have a great time in Europe. Are you Interrailing? Where are you planning on visiting?
  4. I agree with Lost, it’s working on your confidence to have your own opinion of what is right and what is wrong, and how you should behave that seems to be key. I suppose you fake it til you make it, or maybe there are other strategies. Let me know if you find any!! As you know I struggle with this at work - if anyone I think is ‘better’ than me disagrees with me or suggests I have done something not quite prefectly I freak out! But it’s one thing saying ‘be more confident’ and it’s another thing actually doing it!
  5. Whereas I would go the complete opposite, and say ‘maybe it’s true’!
  6. Overcoming your OCD is about taking the risk to accept your fear as true, but WITHOUT doing compulsions. So no tests. That’s why it’s very difficult. No one knows that their fear isn’t true. Else they wouldn’t be scared.
  7. For me it really the mentally letting go that was key. That allowed me to experience the anxiety that came with resisting the compulsions. I can totally see how important that is now because I did this with most of my themes successfully. But recently an old theme reared it’s head, and when I tried to apply the same tools that had worked on other themes I found I couldn’t do it. I realised that I couldn’t commit to letting go of that one, and therefore I was allowing myself to carry on with my dysfunctional thinking on the subject. Until I feel able to let that one go and accept risks in that area, I know things won’t improve. Tips for if you do decide to go for it, are to really try to get to know your anxiety. Don’t spend the whole time thinking ‘this feels so bad, oh god when will it end’. Instead, be interested in it. How does it feel? Is it physical? Where do you feel it? What kind of feeling is it? Does the intensity go up and down? Remind yourself it will go down. I did treat it a bit like dog training at first - it’s SO hard to not ruminate, so I was strict every time I felt myself drawn to ruminate. And above all, be excited! You are going to shake this off once and for all! You are changing how you think! You can succeed! It does work! I promise you it really does!
  8. The sooner you can stop the merry-go-round of rumination in this one the sooner the fear will die down. Try it as an experiment. Accept the worst fear may be true, and then refuse to engage in any rumination or compulsions. Feel how the fear feels. Experience the fear with curiosity. Know that it won’t last forever. You can put an end to all these spikes if you come to see how the fear will go and the worry will fade. Once you have succeeded once, it makes it much easier to do it the next time and the next.
  9. Hello! Sorry to hear you’re struggling. This theme is one of mine, so I know how you’re feeling. I did successfully manage to tackle this one. Really the only way out is to let go. Firstly you need to recognise that there is NO WAY that you can control the universe to such an extent that you can 100% guarantee that you will never harm anyone. Nobody can. So secondly you must decide whether you feel able to commit to what needs to be done for your own welfare, and to rid yourself of this burden that weighs you down, intrudes on your happiness, and whittles away at your confidence. This acceptance and commitment are really key to being able to do the work that is needed. The good news is though that if you do feel ready to let go, it is truly possible to live with the risks that are all around all of us. At the minute it sounds very much as though you are asking people around you for external reassurance, which makes me think that you are probably engaging in internal reassurance seeking dialogue with yourself when you get triggered. Know that this makes it all worse, not better. The goal is not to engage. But of course this is not easy, it’s scary. When I tackled this, I simply refused to engage in any reassurance seeking behaviour whosoever. This meant no texting people under other pretenses to check whether everything was ok and that they/their child weren’t dead, absolutely no internal reassurance to myself, no asking for reassurance etc. You will get HUGE anxiety. Because I had committed to stamping this out I persevered through it, it almost became like some kind of a thrill ride, experiencing these surges of adrenalin, but knowing that they would go down. The key really is to let the risk in. I think if you can not accept this then you will struggle to be able to make the necessary behavioural changes. This is what holds me back on a final lingering theme that I have, so I know how hard it is to let go. But I promise you there is a world out there where you can live alongside the risk of harming someone and be happy.
  10. To draw parallels with the sausage example: you have your child’s friend for tea. They have a nice time. You make sausages for tea, as you have done many times before. They eat the sausages, the sausages are nice. The children carrying in playing, and then the other child goes home. You think nothing more about sausages that night as you have no reason to think any more about it. The next day you wake up, a bit tired and you have a cold coming. You have a bit of background anxiety that has come with the tiredness and cold. You start to wonder why you are feeling anxious. You suddenly remember that one time you read about a person who had got food poisoning from a sausage. You made sausages last night. And fed them to a child. Did you check they were cooked through? You can’t remember. You desperately try to remember. You start to think about that child getting sick, and it all being your fault. Imagine if that child died. You start googling how long it would be before the symptoms of food poisoning show. You have images of the insides of the sausages coming to your mind - were they cooked? Or still pink? Sometimes sausages can be pink and ok. But what about these ones? Surely the mum would phone if the child was sick. But you read that sometimes symptoms of food poisoning can take weeks to show up.... etc etc...
  11. Well exactly - none of our fears would scare us any more once we know they won’t/haven’t come true. The problem is that they morph into new fears, unless we address the dysfunctional thinking that causes them. We need to learn to think in a healthy way, in order not to let our lives be ruled by ‘what ifs’. All the fears that everyone has on here have the potential to be true. The poisoned sausage, the scrape with a HIV infected syringe, getting sick, being murdered...there’s no 100% guarantee that any of those bad things won’t happen to us. But we have to live our lives applying the same fear/risk ratio as we do with the other risks that we aren’t obsessed with. I’m not scared that I will get a vomiting bug so I don’t spend all my time trying to work out how to avoid vomit, how likely it is that I have come into contact with germs etc. Unfortunately until we make a commitment that doing our compulsions is not the right thing to do, we won’t get better.
  12. Saz, if a person posted on here a fear of ‘what if the sausage I fed to my child’s friend gives her food poisoning’, do you think the advice should be to wait to see if the child gets food poisoning, and then if they don’t then go ahead and treat as OCD?
  13. Maybe if you treat the OCD, you will be able to see the reality of whether you have had a trauma a bit more clearly? And take it from there. OCD clouds everything.
  14. Well I think you know what you have to do - is there a reason that you think it’s important to try to work this out that’s stopping you treating this as OCD?
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