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  1. I think that I would try and not trust anything but learn to sit with the uncertainty (sounds awful I know). I find that when we start trying to rationalise the intrusive thoughts, we try and reassure ourselves with ‘I know that it wasn’t this… ‘ etc but this still fuels the OCD. It’s false comfort and it still doesn’t truly reassure us and so the cycle continues. I often know that deep down the obsession isn’t true or happening but it still latches because the thought of it is horrendous to me. I wouldn’t try and reassure myself with it though - a compulsion that still won’t work. Another ‘what if’ or ‘but’ pops up. Try and accept that your thoughts aren’t fact. Just because you thought something that was incredibly distressing doesn’t make it true, just as thinking something really positive wouldn’t make it happen either.
  2. I get this a lot because OCD loves uncertainty and no one can be certain about childhood. There’s so much to be uncertain about and as we can’t travel back to the past, OCD loves to try and make us do that and mentally review whatever memories which then become distorted and even more confused. What you do is leave it alone like any other thoughts. You are here in the present right now and you’re not in the past. Focus your attention if you can to the present and accept that you’ll never truly know what happened or didn’t happen and that’s okay. I often find that I crave a brand new slate and I want to know that I’ve never done anything wrong ever and want to be absolutely certain that’s the case. This is impossible and also not human. We are human and we are not good or bad and we are not our actions. Give yourself permission to leave the memories or perceived memories alone and continue with your day. Analysing it will only make it more uncertain and often more distressing. I can start with a seed of doubt if doing something potentially wrong or making a mistake and the more I analyse it, the more I’m convinced I deserve to be in prison and that it’s unforgivable without even knowing whether or not it actually happened. It always ends in me in despair and panicking, asking for reassurance and checking the internet which only serves to make me more unsure and convinced of what a bad person I am. Try to stop the analysing now before it becomes deeper because it will only add more doubts. Don’t fight them or wish the thoughts away but accept that they’re there. You don’t need certainty on it and you can cope and will handle things if they happen - you don’t need to prepare for hypotheticals.
  3. I know it’s hard but once the what ifs and questions start, the best thing to do is leave them be and try not to answer them. No answer will be enough and there will always be more. OCD can make you doubt EVERYTHING. I’ve had things that I was pretty certain about turn into the most doubtful thing in my life and filling me with terror because I ruminated, checked and asked for reassurance. It never helps. I also used to involve others in my doubts a lot and it often made it more complicated and caused them to doubt things because I was so convinced of something. This was prior to realising I had OCD and others thought it was helpful. It’s not though. Id recommend explaining to your partner about how OCD works and how reassurance will make it worse, no matter how they think it will help you. By trying to figure things out, it’s created more doubts and made your brain think that this is of extreme importance and needs sorting quickly. You’re chasing certainty that doesn’t exist. It’s really difficult I know and all instincts drive us to problem solve but when the what ifs creep in (what if that was a dating site etc), try and sit with the uncertainty of it and I know your anxiety will rise but that’s okay, it will come down again without the compulsions. Be kind to yourself and try and focus on the present. No amount of checking will be enough.
  4. Thanks @taureanand @northpaul. Hope you’re both doing okay too.
  5. I've been through this recently and I think my best advice is to remind yourself of how the compulsions ALWAYS make things worse. I think when were feeling bad again, the temptation is there to fix it with compulsions and because we've been doing better it becomes harder to remember why it doesn't work and our brains automatically starts the rumination process and compulsions. A lot of my old intrusive thoughts popped up too - OCD is good at throwing things at us that it knows gets our attention. Then we start analysing them again and the compulsions start and it becomes more difficult to stop. It's like an addiction to needing certainty and once you start, the urge becomes stronger. When you find yourself getting these feelings/thoughts, remind yourself that you've been through this before and to try and let the thoughts and feelings be. Giving them attention gives them importance and the urge to go over them again starts. Try and do something good for yourself and practice self compassion. I find that we often become unkind to ourselves and shame ourselves when we need the opposite. We are human and deserve to be happy, just like everyone else. It's okay to feel anxious and uncomfortable and it will go down on its own. The compulsions will only fuel them.
  6. I've been back on the practicing non engagement with the intrusive thoughts and continuing my day as best as I can, which has been working well. I had a form trigger over the weekend and whilst I did check once, I refrained from more checks and sat with the very uncomfortable uncertainty. When the what ifs came, I tried my best to not answer them and I'm feeling much more positive. Still a way to go on building it up again but it doesn't feel impossible like it did a few weeks ago. Anxiety is high but I'm not giving it compulsions to fuel it but choosing to do something creative and fun instead - like sorting and decorating my house that I've been putting off for ages!
  7. I have these kind of thoughts too. I still cringe about random things I said even with things from 20 years + ago and obsess over them until they turn into something worse in my mind. I've found that if I deal with it as soon as I get the first thought and let it go, it helps. Once you start analysing them, a completely innocent and normal remark can turn into something sinister because our brain is trying to look at it at all angles and gain absolute certainty that nothing was wrong with it. If you learn to let it be at the first instance (or the first few times it pops in your head) and not give it any meaning then it will pass by. Try to watch the self reassurance because that gives it more meaning and something to argue against. Gently remind yourself that it was just a thought and you don't need to analyse it further. Try and work on the uncertainty - maybe it was or wasn't bad but ultimately it doesn't matter. It was 10 years ago and you're here now in the present. If something needed attention, it would have been dealt with at the time. Try and focus on what you're doing now or what you'd be doing if not doing compulsions. Try and do that instead and let the thought be there. It will pass on its own and the anxiety will come down.
  8. Same! I much prefer staying home now. I used to feel like I had to go to parties because everyone else was but it was exhausting! A night in with a film and pizza sounds perfect!
  9. Hi Carly, Sorry to hear you’re struggling - it’s really hard but it can get better. I’ve found that starting small helped me and building it up. I acknowledge that it’s really difficult for me and try and practice some self compassion. It sounds like you’re doing a lot of rumination and I know how exhausting that can be. It’s good to do other things when the thoughts take over but try to let the thoughts just be and not fight them whilst doing the things that you’d want to do. What would you want to be doing if you hadn’t had that thought that triggered you? Choose to do it anyway. It’s hard and the thoughts will cycle around but they will pass on their own. Compulsions never work 😞. It latches on to the things that matter moats to us because it gets our attention. So in your case your family and religion. The thoughts stick because you’ve given them meaning. Thoughts are just thoughts and no matter how real the threat feels, they’re just thoughts. Let them pass as other thoughts would. When I’ve looked deeper at what I’m fearful of it’s often about being judged or that I’ll be perceived to be not good enough as a parent or person or anything really. It sounds like you’re struggling with this too. Building up your self esteem and self worth often goes hand in hand with self compassion. Be kinder to yourself. Talk to yourself as you would others. It’s hard but it takes practice, a lot of small steps and faith. It will get better, it will take time but you will get there 😊
  10. I can see that false comforting is one of my biggest and hardest compulsions. It’s what drives me eventually to checking and when I was doing better in recovery, I could catch it quickly and refrain. I’m going to work on identifying this quicker and bringing myself back to the present as much as possible but thought I’d mention in case it helps someone else. Often when the intrusive thoughts start, I get lots of what ifs and worries and doubts that make me really anxious. I immediately start to reassure myself in the sense of ‘well that couldn’t have happened because of….’, ‘you’d never do that or mean that’, ‘ that’s normal and everybody does that’ ‘that won’t happen because…’ etc etc etc….. These never work. As soon as I start this then my brain comes up with an argument for each of them. It will fester and come up with new potential problems that are linked loosely to the obsession and start new ones, sprouting off all sorts of distressing what ifs. This then leads to me asking others for reassurance because mine didn’t work. Then their reassurance gets pulled apart so I turn to physical checks and looking online/calling to check. I can see that if I’d have just let the thoughts be at the start, they’d have passed by on their own. By trying to apply logic and the desperate need to feel better then they become stuck on a loop. I’m aiming today to identify this when it starts (already this morning) and allow myself to get on with my day instead.
  11. Thanks, Constant thoughts of forms popping up but I’m managing to refrain from checking online which is good. Catching the rumination as fast as I can and keeping focus on the present as well as I can 😬.
  12. My mind is constantly want me to check the forms that I did again from a few weeks ago and I keep wanting to check I’ve not missed or done anything incorrectly on them (despite countless checks). I want to Google constantly to check and seek reassurance but I know that keeps me stuck so instead I’m having a big organising mission. Organising is something I enjoy but I’ve been putting it off lately because of all the ‘important’ things that OCD has wanted me to solve. I’m going to start with small goals and build it up again as this worked well last time. Today’s goals are to: Drink more water Sort a room out Do something fun with my family Put my phone away for parts of the day (the hardest one for me) I don’t know why but when I write them down on here, it means I’m more likely to do them. Hope everyone else is doing okay and that you all are doing something nice for yourselves today. No matter what OCD wants you to do/believe - you deserve to have a good day!
  13. Thanks, Yes definitely. I need to start doing all of that again too. I’ve been strengthening the doubts lately and despite knowing what I need to do, I’ve been doing the opposite and sinking further into OCD. I was doing better again and got myself a new hobby to help boost some positivity and focus elsewhere but I need to keep at it more. I haven’t had any SSRIs either so not sure how they work but I’ve found that jogging and getting outside helped. I just keep forgetting to do things that are good for me! Hope you’re doing okay
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