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    Living with OCD

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  1. Sounds like OCD to me! I'm not a professional, but experiencing extreme anxiety surrounding these thoughts coupled with the fact you are performing compulsions to relieve the anxiety caused by these thoughts, that is essentially all OCD is. The compulsions keep you in a never-ending cycle - the more compulsions you do, the more "important" you are making the thoughts seem to your brain, therefore the more your brain will deliver these unwanted thoughts back to you, and around and around it goes. I would recommend an official diagnosis if you think it would help, perhaps give you some clarity. A lot of medication and the type of talk therapy (cognitive-behavioural therapy [CBT]) are used for all 3 of the terrible trifecta; anxiety, OCD and depression, as they tend to go hand in hand to a certain extent. The delivery, depending on your specific ailment, for CBT will depend, but you may very well recognize some of the terms used as you dive deeper into information about OCD. Best wishes!
  2. I was so apprehensive of medication! But now I've been on Paxil 40mg for a couple years, moved up to 50 a couple months ago. Definitely not a magic pill, you'll still have to do the work as I'm sure you expect, but wow did it ever help me. I have a life again. It brings you to a place where your anxiety isn't so debilitating and it's easier to see the thoughts for what they are - junk that deserves none of your time and attention! And once you get better at the skills, you can likely start to wean off. I moved up my dosage recently I think partly due to the pandemic and the strangeness of life, and definitely because I have a new amazing partner and when things are good in my life my OCD can spike. I plan to go back down to 40mg soon, and hopefully next year move down further. But no rush, everyone is different best wishes on your medication journey, I got so lucky that Paxil was really the first trial and it worked. I did have side effects for awhile but they went away. Hope it goes smoothly for you!
  3. I hope you're feeling better hun xoxo remember to be kind to yourself, lots of patience. keep practicing letting the thoughts be best wishes my friend!
  4. I suggest looking up Trichotillomania, an OCD related disorder. Hope it can provide some help! Best wishes!
  5. I get this kind of thing sometimes too! I'll get someone's voice stuck in my head and I start reading in their voice. Or just what someone said like replaying in my head, maybe a word or something. I agree, try not to let it bother you. It's a paradox because the longer it goes on the more you're probably worried and thinking about it, but that is what is keeping it dragging on. It will go away, just let it be there. Don't try to force it out. It'll get bored and leave you alone Best Wishes!
  6. What a great post! I have totally had this! The fear of my OCD going back to where it was. I'm not religious by any means, but I believe in hell cause OCD took me there. When I get that fear, I remind myself of how I got myself out before, and how far I've come and how strong I am, and I tell myself, "You NEVER have to go back there. You don't need to be afraid." It's simple, but I find it helps! Remind yourself how strong you are, remind yourself of the skills you now have. You've got this! Best wishes!
  7. I think being diagnosed can really help for some people. Would give you absolute clarity about what is currently ailing you, therefore clear next steps to take. I've never bothered, for my own reasons. (Ok it's too much money to tell me something I already know lol, but that's just me. I've had OCD my whole life, and if you are unsure, a diagnosis can be very helpful. Also self-diagnosing can be dangerous!) Whether you do or don't is a personal choice, I just recommend doing whatever feels right and whatever you feel will help with recovery. OCD, anxiety and depression are all cousins if you will, and many of the medications used to treat one are used to treat the other (if you were to choose medication and if it were deemed necessary.) If you're dealing with intrusive thoughts and you feel the compulsion to dig deeper into these thoughts and try to "solve" them and they are causing you anxiety, and you have a need for certainty on this "issue," dollars to donuts say you are experiencing OCD. It's extremely common. And if not technically OCD, then some cousin most likely. Cognitive-behavioural therapy is used to treat anxiety, depression and OCD. If you seek professional help, that is likely the type of therapy you will undergo, based on the symptoms you gave. All this being said I am by no means a professional, and I do encourage you to seek a diagnosis if you feel it will help you! Best wishes! PS - I should mention that while OCD stand for obsessive compulsive disorder, many people have struggled somewhat but have not necessarily been deemed "disordered." To retrieve an official diagnosis, OCD will need to cause you a significant amount of distress and/or be disrupting your life in a significant way. But that's not to say that people haven't suffered who don't meet the DSM-5 mark for "significant."
  8. Well said. Certain obsessive thoughts you've had can fade away to nothing, but the type of thoughts, weird intrusive random thoughts, are always gunna be there. Agreed that it's about learning to not engage.
  9. Hey there! Sorry you are struggling so fiercely. Reading about your anguish, I can whole-heartedly relate as OCD has certainly brought me to absolute despair. I feel for you and hopefully we can help. I quoted that piece because I want to mention something really vital and hopefully helpful: There is not such thing as an "OCD thought" exactly. When we refer to OCD thoughts, we are referring to these blasted intrusive thoughts yes, however the thoughts themselves aren't what makes OCD. Virtually even human on the planet experiences weird, intrusive, ego-dystonic (repulsive to oneself) thoughts. So while OCD may being with our intrusive thoughts, those in and of itself don't define OCD. OCD happens when we experience an unwanted thought, and instead of thinking "what an odd thought, I wouldn't do that. How silly." Or just simply not regarding the thought at all, people like us who have OCD tend to latch onto it; it caused anxiety and we must solve this, must do something to take away this anxiety, must dig deeper. We struggle so hard with our need for certainty. The issue is in your need to be absolute certain of what this thought could mean, instead of simply letting it go. (Simply I say, HA! Much easier said than done, I know!) Trust that your anxiety and desire to dig deeper into this "problem" is OCD being a jerk. Everyone gets thoughts that are so out of left field, and I'm very proud to say that I'm beginning to be better as disregarding them. It takes practice, patience and self-love and compassion. Be kind to yourself, as denying yourself compulsions isn't an easy thing to do. But you can start right away! Do everything you can not to ruminate. I know how it can make you feel, the OCD I mean. Just utterly hopeless. I've been there; I thought it would never get better. But trust me, once you start the work, which really is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), it will to get better. Try to keep yourself really busy for awhile, even if it's just going for walks or reading a book. When OCD wants to bully you, just gently bring your mind back to whatever it was you were focusing on before. Do everything in your power not to perform compulsions, as this is how you are telling your brain that you are ok - you don't need to be thinking about that silliness. The thoughts will dissipate. I do recommend professional help with CBT if you find it would be beneficial. Best wishes!
  10. So true, haha this made me smile, I do need to stop it!!!! and thank you so much for saying that, I was thinking that too. my boyfriend has been so supportive, but this will become challenging for him if I keep it up. I've been through this before with a supportive boyfriend, but I reassurance sought soooo much that it became really hard on him I think. Great advice, I'm going to come up with my own little mantra for this OCD. thank you for taking the time to help me!
  11. Thank you so much, I meant to quote a section but I'm not very good at this. I so agree with my mind keep wanting to feed me doubts. Every time I perform a ruminating compulsion or whatever type of compulsion, I feel better for a minute or sometimes not even, and then my OCD has come up with something further or more complicated that now I feel I must confess to! It's such a sneaky bully! Thank you for your response, very helpful
  12. Alcohol has somewhat of a negative impact on everyone's body, however I find for people like us, it hits a little harder. I suspect our brain chemistry makes us more susceptible to the negative after-effects. I've decided to stopped drinking for the foreseeable future; last time I drank which was about 2 weeks ago, it took at least 2 full days for me to feel normal again. I have a friend who deals with depression and the same thing happens to her. I'd recommend avoiding altogether, or setting a limit for yourself so as to not get drunk and feel those horrible hangover pains.
  13. Hey friends, Definitely somewhat of a read, I'm extremely grateful for those who have the time to make it through this xo Right now I'm struggling back and forth with ruminating mostly, and while I know the best thing to do is to try to just let things go, it's so difficult because of the content (isn't it always!) I really love my boyfriend, and recently (this past Thursday) we had a fun game night with a couple friends with drinks and I got drunk enough, not blacking out by any means but I was feeling intoxicated for sure. Anyway, an ex of mine (this relationship ended close to 3 months ago), and it was a DETRIMENTAL relationship. We had been friends before dating, and in the beginning of our relationship and a few times through out he was very sweet, and it did hurt when it ended despite all the bad stuff. I've seen him a couple of times since then, and no issues (meaning I don't recall having feelings or stressing about the interactions), and have texted him and such since then, a couple times getting anxious about what I would say and why, worrying if I still had feelings. So I suppose, I've worried about this before, more so in the first month after the break up, but there are times when it hasn't bothered me. My current boyfriend is fantastic and he has no issue with me being friends with my ex (as long as it would be actually a healthy thing), and this past Thursday game night I was referring to above, my ex texted me out of the blue. I don't recall having been thinking too much about him before. Of course I'm questioning that now but I don't really think I was. And when he texted me to ask me a question, once that was answered, I consciously kept the convo going. I recall thinking to myself whether or not I should and questioning my intentions, and ultimately decided to keep the convo going. I did tell my boyfriend I was texting my ex as well. I now question my intentions. I know I love my boyfriend and have been so worried about screwing it up. I worry though that maybe I was trying to self sabotage?? Nothing "bad" was said exactly, though at one point that night I sent a text to my ex that said something like, "unfortunately we never had the real reallllll convo." We had been discussing our relationship and how it ended kinda thing. And then I didn't message back for hours and when I did, I said that I meant that unfortunately I never broke down my walls, but that regardless we both know we wouldn't have worked out and we both are good with that. But there were hours inbetween, and I feel so guilty like what was going through my mind, why did I have to say it was unfortunate. Cause trust me, in reality, it is FORTUNATE that that relationship ended!! But what I can tell you for sure is that I liked talking my ex. Our convo continued the following day (Friday) and then Saturday, and I definitely did enjoy talking to him and wanted to. I'm not 100% what that was about, but I feel like maybe there were feelings coming up cause I just can't really explain why I would want to talk to him. I tried to explain it as wanting to be friends, but I don't know about that. The more I think about it the more I feel like it was because I felt something in a romantic way. We did get into talking about where stuff went wrong, so I suppose it was an interesting to a degree. But! It only got that far cause I had kept the convo going. I was drinking the first night, but I also know that I enjoyed talking to him sober and wanted to, like I liked it, I just don't fully understand why. I did get a lot of thoughts about him, but I just want to say how much I want to be with my current boyfriend. I've never met someone so perfect for me. The ruminating is coming in where I can't stop telling my boyfriend about this, I've had him read all the texts that went back and forth between my ex and I over those days, and I said that I was sorry if any old feelings fueled anything I said or me wanting to keep talking to my ex. And honestly, I'm now starting to doubt I said this.. even though we were talking about this an hour ago.. But it just doesn't feel like enough, I feel like I haven't said it the right way, or that I've left something out. Like somehow I haven't told him the whole truth. He's been amazing and very understanding, and I don't know I just feel like this can't be over like I did something really bad and wrong, to me it feels almost like I cheated on him or something. It's just been really really hard. It makes me feel horrible and I've been trapped in my head on and off the last few days, and I am not doing great with this Whether or not I had or have feelings for my ex isn't necessarily the issue here, as I know that I would never go back to him, despite those weird thoughts and wanting feelings. Those pass, and I know that. But I feel like they were there, and the fact I chose to talk to my ex makes me feel super guilty. And even though I've talked to my boyfriend lots about this, and he's been really great, idk I'm having a really really hard time getting over this. Like I've been missing something out. Like maybe I'm not admitting there were feelings?? Like I have to declare it as factual?? idk this is a weird ocd thing for me kind of, it isn't in the sense that I have ocd surrounding my current boyfriend because I do not want to screw this up, but just how this one is going. It's really been difficult, I just can't seem to be satisfied and let it go I feel like by doing that I've left something out, and I'm living a lie in my relationship with someone I love and want to be totally truthful toward. thank you for reading, and for any and all help xo I wanted to quickly add that I don't really remember the first night while I was drinking but the days that I talked to my ex sober, there were definitely thoughts and stuff, of a romantic nature, to which after thinking over logically is like WHAT I would not do that!!! Some thoughts more fleeting than others, but just wanted to say they were there. I'm literally so lost with all this, I'm not even 100% sure what answers I'm looking for I just want to be totally honest with my boyfriend and know that I've been honest and then I can move on. I guess I'm also asking if it sounds like I should call it factual whether or not I had/have feelings for my ex or whatever, which you won't be able to answer, but yeah that's basically how spun out I am at this point stressing about this. Uggghhh Thanks again xo
  14. Thank you so much for responding! Definitely nice to hear I'm not alone, but I'm sorry that you're dealing with it too! Yes the pandemic can definitely put us in a situation where we are more susceptible to these types of thoughts. I find that for me, when something is going really well but especially a relationship, my brain finds some way for me to feel like I don't deserve it It's been better for the last while, the thoughts are wanting to bug me again though regarding the situation I posted about. I agree that it will get better with time, thank you again
  15. Thank you both for your responses, I really appreciate it and hope things are well on your end xoxo I've been doing better the last few days, it's hard but trying to just let myself treat it as ocd and not go into ruminating
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