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Everything posted by Joewest439

  1. Joewest439

    Perfectionism about moving on

    I think that's where I've been going wrong, I've been trying to voluntarily take X amount of time to drill 'they are just thoughts' into my mind, even when the thoughts don't pop up themselves. But it's more important to handle them as such when they actually occur, right?
  2. Hello everyone, So I'm really having trouble at the moment with an obsession that's been bothering me since last Autumn. It's an obsession about being rid of the obsession, if that makes sense, a sort of awareness that I'm not free of it yet, ie 'will this stop', 'do I need to think this way to overcome it', 'do I have to remind myself it's just my OCD when it occurs to me / when it doesn't occur to me', etc. I went through a similar thing to this for just as long about a year ago and I eventually managed to let go of it, even when it occasionally kept occurring to me later on here and there. I know in my heart that the only way out of this is to not interact on any level with it, but I find it pretty much impossible, as the doubt keeps creeping back into my mind and it'll sit there continuously even if I don't dwell on it. When it does creep back in, I can't help feeling that it's necessary for me to somehow remind myself just how meaningless the whole thing is. The logic being that realising it's pointless should make it easier for me to let the doubt recede, rather than just sitting with the fear and half believing it. However, I've already tried every justification there is, ie 'it's just OCD', etc. It all just seems to sustain the whole ordeal. It's tearing me apart at the moment, I can't hold down a job, I've had 9 in the past 10 months actually. CBT and all the other known therapies have no effect on me, believe me I've tried them all. The last obsession I had like this one only ended as I increasingly stopped responding to the doubt, it seems like the only way again. I know I have to simply let it be, especially considering all my attempts at using various little forms of justification to do so have not worked, but it just feels like there has to be some sort of helpful method I could employ to assist me, as if just sitting with the doubt is so unnecessary. But I think that's just OCD telling me that really and nothing has worked so far, but it just feels like something should work. I'm really struggling here, ignoring it seems so simple, but also so undoable. I feel so alone in this. I just can't let go... What do I do when the dread and the doubt inevitability returns? Just sit with it and wait for it to pass? I think I already know the answer and me thinking in such specific terms is just further OCD...
  3. Joewest439

    Perfectionism about moving on

    So am I right in saying that the cognitive aspect should just be to refrain from ruminating & analysing and the etc? I just get confused in terms of the cognitive options. When you say Cognitive Work, are there any specific facts I am required to make myself realise? Such as 'it's OCD' etc. I've sat there trying to ingrain these realities into my mind but it doesn't seem to make any difference. Can you see my problem with this? I think I tend to view sitting down and making myself see 'it's OCD', as an actual necessary cognitive task in order to get past this. This is how I tend to view cognitive work.
  4. Joewest439

    Perfectionism about moving on

    The original obsession was a ritual I couldn't stop performing for months. I stopped doing it around 3 months ago now but it's typically mutated into an obsession about it still lingering in my mind, a sort of awareness, an unspecified dread. As far as the cognitive side goes, this is what I'm asking, what should I do exactly? Telling myself it's OCD or it'd silly etc hasn't been working, so what else is there? The only thing that worked last time I was in this kind of situation was to try to completely ignore the dread, pure and simple. So do I do that again? Or incorporate a certain cognitive work also? And if so then what exactly?
  5. Joewest439

    Letting go

    Hi all, Can someone help me with something. I'm having real trouble letting go of another aging obsession. I keep using various means of justifying why I should let it go, ie it's OCD / it's pointless / it's silly / it's not necessary, etc. This never works. It always seems to prolong things, when I try to make myself see these obvious points. But it's hard for me to simply ignore the subject without using one of them. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  6. Joewest439

    Handling obsessive thoughts

    I see what you both mean. For me, it's hard to know the best way forward. Whenever I remind myself of some form of justification (ie 'it's just my OCD / I've been over this obsession X amount of times already), it seems to fall upon deaf ears. It's almost like justification on any level isn't even relevant to the recurrence of the obsession. I find that responding to the obsession in any way seems to fuel it. I think the best thing to do is nothing, whilst KNOWING and TRUSTING that it's all just silly nonsense, rather than reminding myself that it is because of this or that reason why. I also think that changing the subject IN CONJUNCTION with not reacting to the obsessions is useful, if not essential. But only as a by-product of not reacting, rather than an act of frantic avoidance...
  7. Hey guys, Just wandering how the majority of you go about handling their repetitive obsessive thoughts. Do you find it useful to remind yourselves 'It's just my OCD / this doesn't really matter / this obsession is silly'. Or is it more practical to avoid these justifications altogether? Also, when repetitive obsessive thoughts arise, is it advisable to gently change the subject in your mind? For me, it seems like harmless common sense to do so, as the alternative seems to be to dwell on the obsessions. But some claim subject changing is an act of avoidance, which is no good. Any ideas?
  8. I agree. On the face of it it seems such a simple means to an end. But I'm sure something will pop into my head in doing it again that will breathe further life into the obsession. Ie: 'That attempt didn't count,' 'I didn't visualise it that time,' 'That time makes me feel like it can be seen,' 'I still haven't done it enough.' And I'm sure even after checking it again and staying home, there's be some form of new sub obsession in this whole topic. So I can't see it being any kind of short cut. Very tempting but I think I'd be falling for a trap...
  9. Hi all, I wanted to get some advice on performing compulsions. For a good few weeks I was making the mistake of performing a certain compulsion in the street, crossing the road each time in order to do it. It was a thought checking compulsion, trying to remember a sequence of thoughts in a certain order. I eventually managed to persuade myself to stop, after approximately 75 failed attempts at remembering the sequence. In the couple of weeks that followed, the obsession typically became one of a lingering fear that the obsession will never fade. I've experienced this type many times. A few days ago I began to consider the possibility that if I were to now just go back there after all this time and perform the ritual again a few more times, then it might make me realize that it's a truly pointless task. The logic being, I'd have then already tried going back to try to check it yet again after a long absence, so would then know it's still futile. Thus, I'd no longer consider checking it again an option anymore, which would make it easier for me to move on. Usually when I realize the pursuit of checking is futile, the obsession goes away. However, I don't want to take a giant step backwards and possibly make it even harder to let go of the whole thing. It feels like a gamble. Any advice will be greatly appreciated
  10. So, here's my current situation. A couple of months back, I began a new form of treatment for OCD here in Ireland. It's called Brief Strategic Therapy. For my day to day obsessions, it truly works, it's quite miraculous actually and I can't recommend it enough. Honestly, since starting the treatment, any urge to perform a new compulsion more or less evaporates immediately. However, I have a problem. Just before I began this treatment, I was fighting an obsession in which I kept performing a physical ritual. I kept doing it for weeks, but eventually forced myself to stop about a week ago. It then quite typically mutated into the familiar 'Will this one ever fade away' obsession. I've now got it into my head that when I usually move on from a long obsession - it's because new day to day obsessions creep back in and therefore replace the long one. A form of convenient assistance, in a way. But now that I seem to have pretty much cured my day to day new urges, there's no way of any new ones latching onto me, thus rendering me immune to the assisted moving on that a new obsessions would bring. It's like I feel that moving onto new obsessions, which I now can't seem to do, is a prerequisite of leaving the last one behind. And now I feel in limbo. I keep telling myself to do the obvious thing and wait it out and not obsess about this, which would just make it worse. But I also do feel that in the past, a big contributer to leaving obsessions behind has been down to new ones eventually replacing them... Can anyone relate to this apparent requirement for obsessions to be replaced, in order to forget them? Or have any valuable input into the matter?
  11. My brain now tends to block out anxiety provoking memories of past obsessions, as they begin to unfold. They are ceased from progression both automatically, as well as by my own choice. Is this healthy?
  12. Hi all, So I'm not in a great way at the moment. Over the past few months, I've become pretty solid at letting intrusive thoughts just be there. I've been able to let obsessions go that never felt like they'd ever leave me. Unfortunately, that familiar feeling of unspecified dread returned a few weeks ago and I haven't quite been able to shake it yet. I read an article saying that we must not avoid and suppress intrusive thoughts. Typically, I now find myself scrutinizing how I manage every intrusive thought I get. I know I usually do the right thing and simply don't react, but there are one or two past obsessions that almost effectively killed me, so when they pop up, I understandably feel great anxiety and stop myself from thinking about the topic. I feel this is a justifiable action, but can't for the life of me decide wether I'm foolishly suppressing the thoughts, or heroically not letting myself dwell upon them. I don't tend to try and avoid them as soon as they pop into my head, more like after a few moments, which suggests I'm simply stopping myself from obsessive speculation. I just find it difficult to identify wether I'm experiencing an involuntary intrusive thought, or wether I'm voluntarily dwelling on that intrusive thought. So consequently, I can't tell wether allowing such thoughts to be there is actually allowing myself to dwell and speculate over them. On the flip side, I keep thinking avoiding dwelling on them is actually suppressing them. You know? Surely it is wise to change the subject on such sensitive topics, the alternative being to speculate over them once again.
  13. When certain past obsessions pop into my head, I feel anxious that I will once again become attached to them, like they are sensitive topics, and so I try to 'change the subject'. Is this method counter productive? I mean, could it be an act of avoidance, that is spurring the obsession to keep popping up? I feel that not changing the subject in my head would inevitably result in getting reattached to the obsession, so I feel like I don't know which way to turn. It feels like common sense to me to change topics, but also feels as if it's an act of thought suppression? Thanks
  14. Thank you both, it makes more sense to me now. I should have been a little more specific in my question too. I have consistently let obsessions great and small go, in recent times. When I am distanced from them, it's a lot easier for me to feel unmoved by them when they reoccur to me now. However, when they do pop up here and there, I feel a great fear, like I must change the thought pattern immediately, lest I become reattached to the obsession. Like it's very sensitive material that plagued me for so long, so I dare not think about it. Now, is this avoidance of past obsessions making them recur more? I feel doing the opposite and letting the thoughts just be there is bound to result in me getting reattached again.
  15. I find it very hard to distinguish between what is the acceptance of intrusive thoughts, and what is ruminating. I mean, the advice I get generally suggests the we should accept, not avoid intrusive thoughts, but isn't this very close to deliberately dwelling on them and pressing for further thoughts? Aka ruminating? On the flip side, isn't the act of not dwelling on them a form of avoidance, which we apparently shouldn't be doing? I feel like the margin between how we should manage intrusive thoughts and how we shouldn't is very fine. Like they're one and the same. It's confusing me.
  16. Hey people it's been a while, Just curious to see if anyone else experiences the same annoying thing I do. Concerning obsessions that stick for a while: when I resist the urge to remember the specifics of the obsession or I realise the obsession is stupid, I then experience an intrusive thought that can only be described as a sudden revealing of what I'm tempted to try and remember. I mean, it's infuriating, I do the right thing and decide to live without working it out, and I'm then apparently shown a split second of the memory in question that could so simply solve it, it's torturous. Makes me feel like I'm this close to remembering it, throwing the temptation to work it out into overdrive. It's like OCD is teasing me. Is this just a false memory trick? It only happens involuntarily, delving into it more never shows more.
  17. Hi people, I was wandering if anyone could recommend a medication that's actually renowned for decreasing symptoms of OCD. I've been on Mirtazipine (Remeron) for a few years, on various doses, and am pretty sure it's doing nothing for me. It's an anti depressant, which I do not believe is specifically designed for OCD. I know medication is not a cure, but if there are some out there that are effective in decreasing the frequency of obsessive thoughts then it'd be good to hear about them. Thanks
  18. Joewest439

    Best medications?

    Yeah the only other one I briefly tried was Citalopram, and they made me feel instantly horrible, really restless and anxious, which has put me off SSRI's in general, but perhaps there are others out there that would suit me better. I am tackling the condition in the other recommended ways too, but am also keen to find a med that'll perhaps bring on a state in which the obsessive thoughts occur to me less often. It's interesting, when my mind is occupied, like when I'm at work or playing football, I'm almost free of such obsessions. But when I'm bored or alone, it's a breeding ground for OCD. I actually expect the thought onslaught to begin, and it snowballs, although I am much better prepared to deal with it behaviorally now. Maybe there's a med out there that will reduce this expectation of intrusive thoughts.
  19. Hi everyone, I've been doing some research on CBT, and am still a little confused. Is ERP a part of CBT, or a separate approach? I understand the concept of ERP, and think it would suit my specific situation. As for the CBT model in general (notably ABC), I'm not sure it'll help me, as it feels a bit like over thinking in itself, and perhaps defies the point of the concept of not responding (ERP). Are CBT and ERP separate from each other? And more importantly, is it necessary to do both? Can ERP be utilised alone?
  20. Joewest439

    CBT or ERP, or both?

    Definitely. This is an avenue of thinking that I have explored many times, that I have these flaws, maybe even scary flaws. But I know I'm above average overall in terms of who I am and in my conduct in life. I keep feeling: 'Well, if I truly do accept that I may have these questionable attributes, then why do these obsessions about what I've done still cling to me?' It makes me wonder if I really do accept it at all. I don't know how I can accept these potential shortcomings any more than I already have done, but it doesn't seem to quell the anxiety they cause me. On the other hand, I'm not even that sure I care (or ever really did care) about potential dark parts of me in the first place. It's confusing. In summary, I find it difficult to tell wether core beliefs about myself are what still bothers me, or wether it's purely an OCD obsession, which I am just so damn used to hanging over me. I suppose both scenarios would require the same treatment?
  21. Joewest439

    CBT or ERP, or both?

    That is true. I think I got over the instances of the past because I gradually accepted that I was a child who was going through hell. That has always been my excuse for the behaviour. But regarding the more recent resurgence of the behaviour a few months ago, I can't apply the same excuse for it. It's thrown the core belief of having a nasty nature right back into the mix. As I mentioned, I believe the resurgence was due to an overwhelming fear that I would become that person again. Overwhelmingly strong fear that I would do something violent, then the influence of this fear would result in me actually becoming violent, even though I didn't want to. Almost felt like a physical version of Tourettes. And the fact that it's not an occurrence that seems to relate to OCD makes it even more alarming. I'm struggling to get a foothold in the cognitive side of things with this, I'm just not sure how to actually change my perception into a positive one, without delving into the impossibility that is looking for certainty, you know?
  22. Joewest439

    CBT or ERP, or both?

    It's an interesting point about OCD latching onto things one fears. I feel it would be useful for me to give a brief explanation of one of my obsessions. I have suffered with huge problems with core beliefs about my character, mainly due to unacceptable things I did as a child, during a period of great trauma. This resurfaced a few months ago and I actually started to do those things again, as an adult. I do believe the very reason for this was because I was so anxious that I would do so, as hard that may be to understand. Almost like an obsession I would turn into that person again, resulting in a compulsive violent outburst, as a result. Ie 'I mustn't do that' = Does it. Shortly after this, in a completely different situation one day, I experienced what I would normally have considered to be just another intrusive thought, but due to the recent self doubt I described above, I just couldn't let it go. I think this is a prime example of what you explained regarding OCD latching onto fears. Of course, I cannot be sure that I am blameless, that it's purely OCD, that I don't have another mental health problem. My point is, how does one go about the cognitive side of things, when their obsessions are based on core beliefs about themselves that apparently could well be true? What would be the cognitive approach, when the obsession has apparent actual evidence about one's self doubt? I don't mean to use this site as therapy, but it is the only place where people seem to understand the condition properly.
  23. Joewest439

    CBT or ERP, or both?

    Thank you all for your responses. I think we may all be resident experts by now in some ways lol. It seems to me that the cognitive side is based being educated on how OCD operates. It's interesting about Snowbears observation that my not reacting to the thoughts is me regarding it as 'it means nothing'. For me, I'm not sure I feel that way. When I let the thoughts be, at no point do I do so because of any consideration that they are meaningless. I still believe they could well hold merit, signify danger, and so on. But I let them be anyway. Whenever I go down the route of rationalising what is happening, doubt creeps in on however I try to do so. Perhaps it's the mere act of not responding to the thoughts that defines my interpretation of them? Rather than any logical 'answer' I may use when the thoughts arise? This is how I struggle, I find it difficult to distinguish between permissable healthy cognitive interpretations, and self reassurance. Know what I mean?
  24. Joewest439

    CBT or ERP, or both?

    Thanks for the responses. The thing is for me, it's the cognitive part I struggle to grasp. What I mean by this is, to change ones belief about why one is having intrusive thoughts, wouldn't that be ultimately classed as an act of reassurance?? I hear that trying to rationalise thoughts or recognise them as OCD are things to be avoided. But perhaps I'm being too strict. In a nutshell, I find the cognitive approach to be contradictory to the only approach that sometimes works for me, which is to not react at all to the thought. What are people's thoughts on this notion? Polar bear?
  25. Can anyone recommend any web reachable CBT experts or people who can help me? All the 'specialists' in my area seem to know less than I do about OCD, and books do not address my specific circumstances. Perhaps there's a website service or something. I know CBT is probably better applied in person, but I'm rather optionless here. Having recurring intrusive thoughts that those intrusive thoughts will never fade is not something I can find much information on so far. I no longer respond with compulsive ruminating, but I hear CBT can also help with the interpretation of intrusive thoughts. Thanks people