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    Living with OCD

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  1. Hi @Summer9173 just to say I completely empathise and believe it will pass! I got covid a couple of months back and had the same experience. Not contamination based but it very much set off my sense of ‘doing everything right’ and ocd fears about moral behaviour. As I started to feel physically better this passed too. Covid in some senses made me face the exact uncertainty I struggle with regarding harm - unintentional but uncontrollable. But Hang in there, take care of your body and know you’re not alone!
  2. Maybe this works for many people who do not experience intrusive thoughts or inflated sense of responsibility and guilt. Most of us here have issues with that and don’t always have the tools to ‘rationalise’ as you suggest. The physical symptom you suggest is already an interpretation we must question in my view. Recently I spoke with a friend who was reviewing an ‘incident’ from his past. As someone who doesn’t have OCD he was able to: place it it context, recognise he was one of many responsible people, compare the gravity to actions of others and weigh its significance, decide he would act differently next time and let it go. I on the other hand spent 5 years analysing an ‘incident’ and taking ‘rational’ actions in response to it which included avoiding my friends, changing cities, missing out on job opportunities, relationships, carrying out daily compulsions and damaging my physical health. In better health I can recognise the ‘incident’ was a very muddled interpretation of an event that may not have happened. My ‘rational’ responses were compulsions aided by an overwhelming sense of wrongness or guilt. @NJ321 as has been suggested by others, do your best to allow yourself to move on. There is no answer to the question of ‘why’ because it has been posed in the content of a condition that doesn’t play fair. Try and carry out activities that allow you some distraction and as @determination987 suggests, give yourself permission to move on.
  3. Hi @anthu, I suggest you go. It would be avoidance not too and I have found that while I sometimes get anxious before exercise for other ocd reasons, once there my mind has space to wander, the exercise is quite meditative in that I am forced to focus on something immediate, rather than my thoughts.
  4. Hi Ma, I’ve been reading your posts for a while and I’m sorry things are so difficult at the moment. I hope it’s ok for me to respond here because I just wanted to say it’s not square one - though I know the feeling! It’s helped me to try and consider bad days as just that. Some days when recovering are harder than others and we tend to assume that means the others will be too. But you’re working hard at this and today is a new day. Try and leave last night there and focus on letting the thoughts go today. Wishing you strength.
  5. Hi @adam2112, welcome! I am sorry for everything you have been struggling with, but that’s great you’re seeking help. I think many of us find that with the right treatment and resources even things that seemed ingrained for so long can change in ways that greatly improve our quality of life! I found this resource helpful while I was waiting for support. Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT - Book by Fiona Challacombe and others Wishing you well for this.
  6. Hi @ConfusedSoul. I’m sorry for the challenges you’re facing and what you have been through. I similarly had years of making choices through my illness, experiences which impacted on my sense of self and ability to speak up for myself when most necessary. In my experience, recognising that you no longer want to make decisions dictated by this fear as you have is a big part of recovery! Wishing you so well for when you start therapy. One book I found helpful was ‘break free from OCD’ if you are looking for resources in the meantime.
  7. I’m sorry it sounds really difficult and like it’s been such a challenge to get the right support. Your frustrations make sense to me! Am following cos I’d be curious what other’s advice is too.
  8. @ocdjonesy- did they say what a formal diagnosis means? I have often wondered this in the context of work and RA also. Does it require a medical doctor to diagnose this?
  9. Hi @dyman I took the same approach as others - check once and send (no avoidance by saving for ‘later’), thinking what is reasonable in the context, different task to follow work which means I cannot stay late. i won’t say I have never caved into the desire to check again later, but in general this has helped reduce the 4+ hours a day I lost to checking work tasks - I got my nights and weekends back!! Interestingly, the more I did this the more my confidence has increased - so I do not actually feel the same compulsion to check more basic tasks anymore. I’ve also, as a result of this approach had what was my ‘worst’ thing happen - I sent a form with a substantial error on it. I realised that not only was this possible to fix, no one was bothered because I am known to be a careful person, and I had the tools to address the situation quickly and without any fuss. The error in the end has taught me more than my avoidance of them did!
  10. I found the OCD stories podcast helpful at some points. Particularly episodes with CBT therapists.
  11. Well depending on: where we live, how our compulsions manifest, how dependent others are on us, our past experience of bullying/shaming about mental illness, our social identities, whether we have some kind of public facing responsibilities etc… we are all likely to have different understandings of how much people care. however the point was really about whether/why saving compulsions for later was unhelpful.
  12. Yep! Something I’m working on too. I do think as we’re working on things like this it’s ok to plan a little - scheduling some tasks (however mundane, but ideally nice) instead of keeping hours free to catch up on checking!
  13. Well, on a positive note this tells us that we do have the ability to resist compulsions. Likely when we are mindfully on other tasks. But as you say your mind is still focused on the thoughts, I guess worth trying to catch if you are carrying out mental compulsions instead. Often when I would proudly say ‘I didn’t do X compulsion until I got home!’, my therapist reminded me that the ‘I don’t have to do this now’ logic still maintains the idea that the thought requires a response. kinda like how ‘I won’t have a cigarette now’ is not the same as ‘I don’t need a cigarette.’
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