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saddaniels

Stuck, again trying to figure out if me wanting things a certain way is OCD

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I agree with you PolarBear. I thought the main approach to getting better is to accept uncertainty, which I have accomplished with my TV settings. Now, what wouldn't be accepting uncertainty would be to deliberately screw with the settings & leave them that way forever. Just sounds miserable to me. 

 

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I agree. So why don't you spend some time now working on not ruminating over therapy, exposures and how to get better. Spend your time doing other things and chill on the ruminating. When you catch yourself ruminating, stop it and then refocus onto something else. Give it a try for a while.

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I'm trying the not ruminating thing & it backfires every time. I don't know whats wrong with me. Tried watching a film & all I did was ruminate throughout 90% of it thinking "I need to do an exposure, because setting the TV on the setting I don't like would cause me anxiety." OCD is definitely attached to my therapy when I cannot enjoy a film because of intrusive thoughts about how my TV is "too comfortable" to watch. At the same time however, I do feel like I may still have an obsession with the settings of things, its just that compulsions around the settings of things have diminished. So, I need to work on this therapy obsession nonsense first, but at the same time, I feel like watching the TV on the setting I don't like shouldn't cause me anxiety to the point where I can't enjoy the TV either. Its like a 2-in-1 thing with therapy being the thing I'm having the biggest obsessions & compulsions around. I'm so confused and stuck. I try to stop ruminating, but its extremely hard when the thoughts in my head are screaming to me that I'm screwing everything up. Its hard to tackle an obsession of therapy WITH therapy. Its extremely hard. I'm not sure what is OCD talking about therapy & what is actual therapy anymore. 

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Don't feel discouraged after a day or two. It's taken you a long time to get to this point. It's going to take a while for you to get unstuck. 

Stopping ruminating, or at least slowing it down, takes practice and time. You have to try, try and try again.

It's also important that you start to change your mindset. Tell yourself it's okay to screw up your therapy. It's okay to mess up and not be perfect. This is the cognitive side of CBT.

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I'm starting to think that maybe I should go back to residential treatment. I'm in a pretty bad place. Hopefully, we can work the ins & outs of this irrational obsession with therapy & get back to the basics. Part me is scared to go back, but maybe I could get some closure on some things and untwist these faulty beliefs with my concept of therapy.

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8 hours ago, PolarBear said:

Tell yourself it's okay to screw up your therapy.

Immediately, when I read this, I felt a jolt of dread come over my body. This thought scares me to death. All of the techniques, all of the compulsions I might be doing are too great of a risk to not ruminate over. I have taken my therapy to an OCD level and I'm afraid it will never come down :( guess this goes to show that your OCD can literally attach onto ANYTHING, even the therapy that is supposed to help you. How discouraging.

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"OCD is here. OCD is there. OCD is everywhere I make a single move. Whatever I am doing, it must be OCD. I must be doing a compulsion in someway. Technically, I must be."

^ Right there is the problem. Just like someone with contamination may go overboard on "technically there is germs" I'm going overboard on "technically, this is a wrong move & I'm not taking care of OCD the way I should." I really hope a therapist will understand what I'm talking about. I really hope I can find someone who gets it.

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6 hours ago, taurean said:

I think we get it, and it's horrible for you. 

 

Yes, you guys get it, but what if a live human being close to me never gets it? What if I never find a therapist who understands that the very tactic of tallying my compulsions & keeping track of my OCD is the very problem itself.

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What if, then? You`re ruminating now. You will never find an answer that will satisfy you. It`s your ocd talking. Try to let it go!

Edited by Foreigner

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Update:

Today is a good day. I was able to get through a whole film with about 60% of my attention focused to it, and for that, I am grateful & glad. Gonna try to not analyze what just happened, but I'm guessing I put into place the choosing not to ruminate technique and it worked.

Thank you PolarBear, taurean, snowbear, Ashley & everyone else on this forum who have been ever so gracious to provide support. Think I'll start to post on some other threads besides my own for awhile :) 

Edited by saddaniels

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Hi Exsufferer,

I'm delighted to hear you're free of OCD and thank you for volunteering to help those still suffering by answering questions. :) 

The link to your external site has been removed to protect our forum users' best interests. OCD-UK encourages people to discuss their problems here on the forum where they can receive multiple replies and a variety of viewpoints rather than on off-site places or by private message which offer only one opinion. 

Thank you for your co-operation. 

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2 hours ago, snowbear said:

Hi Exsufferer,

I'm delighted to hear you're free of OCD and thank you for volunteering to help those still suffering by answering questions. :) 

The link to your external site has been removed to protect our forum users' best interests. OCD-UK encourages people to discuss their problems here on the forum where they can receive multiple replies and a variety of viewpoints rather than on off-site places or by private message which offer only one opinion. 

Thank you for your co-operation. 

Hey thats ok. I am so excited to meet other ex-sufferers. #OCDexsufferercommunity #OCDeducation

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Still trying hard not to ruminate over all of this, but I find myself getting beaten down every day.

Keep thinking of my therapist asking me "Would it make you anxious to set it on a setting you didn't like?" And the answer is yes. ERP is really confusing, because I know I don't need the settings to be "Just right" in order to watch my television, but I am allowed a preference. And I'm pretty sure it would make ANYONE, not just someone with OCD anxious to go against something they didn't like & then habituate to it. Because why would they when they could quickly switch it back to their preference and then go on with their day.

I'm really starting to think ERP is not for me.

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Feeling like a complete failure right now because I'm not able to habituate to the following exposure:

So, I've been able to conquer not having my TV set "exactly right". I've done exposures where I set the TV a little off and it doesn't bother me. However, I just thought of an exposure that my therapists had me do in treatment, and that was to stretch my TV screen out & make it blurry with the settings so that I'm really only getting 50% of the picture on my television.

I have tried & tried not to care that I'm only getting a 50% picture, but the anxiety is too much. I really just want to set the TV back to what is reasonable/how I like it when I'm doing the exposure of cutting off the picture, but I know the purpose of an exposure is to get comfortable with that exposure to where I'm not supposed to care that I'm losing a large chunk of picture. What I don't understand is that if someone without OCD were to cut off their TV picture so much, they would just set it back. I don't know anyone who would go to the extremes on cutting off their TV picture and actually be okay with it.

I'm in a hole trying to make myself anxious with exposures, but some exposures, especially the extreme ones where a good chunk of the TV screen is cut off, don't make sense to me & I feel like a sub-human because of that. Maybe I don't deserve to get better.

Edited by saddaniels

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My fear of my TV being set on a distressing setting has come true & my therapists want me to be okay with it. Boy, how OCD is winning right now, laughing in my face, telling me that I have to habituate to distressing settings & like them/not care in order to move forward. I don't understand where I'm going wrong.

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5 hours ago, saddaniels said:

I'm in a hole trying to make myself anxious with exposures, but some exposures, especially the extreme ones where a good chunk of the TV screen is cut off, don't make sense to me

Making your TV screen blurry and cutting off half the picture makes no sense at all. :no: 

But this isn't what your therapist asked you to do and it's not what exposures are about. Nobody but yourself has told you to do this.

Your thinking is very confused just now, misinterpreting advice and twisting things as you over-think what exposures are about. You've become fixated on exposures and it's halting your recovery instead of helping.

Take a step back, stop doing any exposures for now and set your TV so that it has a clear picture which fills the screen. 

Don't overthink this, just sort the TV to a normal setting and leave it there. 

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13 hours ago, saddaniels said:

Feeling like a complete failure right now because I'm not able to habituate to the following exposure:

So, I've been able to conquer not having my TV set "exactly right". I've done exposures where I set the TV a little off and it doesn't bother me. However, I just thought of an exposure that my therapists had me do in treatment, and that was to stretch my TV screen out & make it blurry with the settings so that I'm really only getting 50% of the picture on my television.

I have tried & tried not to care that I'm only getting a 50% picture, but the anxiety is too much. I really just want to set the TV back to what is reasonable/how I like it when I'm doing the exposure of cutting off the picture, but I know the purpose of an exposure is to get comfortable with that exposure to where I'm not supposed to care that I'm losing a large chunk of picture. What I don't understand is that if someone without OCD were to cut off their TV picture so much, they would just set it back. I don't know anyone who would go to the extremes on cutting off their TV picture and actually be okay with it.

I'm in a hole trying to make myself anxious with exposures, but some exposures, especially the extreme ones where a good chunk of the TV screen is cut off, don't make sense to me & I feel like a sub-human because of that. Maybe I don't deserve to get better.

Why are you doing these exposures? Where did this suddenly come from? We worked together for weeks and I thought we came to an understanding that you didn't need to do any exposures to do with your TV yet here you are doing them again. What happened?

Remember we went over (numerous times) that you are allowed to have a preference and no exposure is needed. You just threw that out the window and started doing exposures again. For what?

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Well, I settled on the preference because I liked it that way, but then ended up doing one compulsion where I checked it again. For that, I felt I needed to do an exposure and couldn't just let the compulsion slide. Also, I'm supposed to habituate to all of my exposures and not care how my TV is set. Thats the point of ERP right? They taught me in therapy that I shouldn't care how my TV is set. I should be able to watch it on any setting without needing a preference. Its becoming too much but I feel like I must become comfortable enough with my exposures to not care how my TV is set. And if I do a compulsion after setting my TV, that must mean I still care, so I need to make myself not care.

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Sigh. You've basically undone all the work we've done over quite a time period.

Edited by PolarBear

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1 hour ago, saddaniels said:

Well, I settled on the preference because I liked it that way. 

There is no requirement to do exposures when we have settled on how we like it. 

And any compulsion on and around that is something to resist, that is all there is to it. 

Punishing ourselves beyond that is what causes all the trouble. 

Wind back to this point where you were with PolarBear. Everything else beyond it simply ignore. 

 

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I agree with Polar Bear. You seem to be back at square one, with the same skewed thinking about what you're 'supposed' to do which you started out with weeks ago. :(  Your skewed thinking seems to me to boil down to a false belief you need to undo compulsions in order to get better. 

You can't undo a compulsion. I don't think this fundamental message has sunk in yet. 

When you try to undo compulsions by doing exposures, you're actually doing a second compulsion on top of the first and just calling it an 'exposure', but it's nothing of the kind. Calling it an exposure doesn't make it an exposure. 

This ingrained belief that you need to react by doing an 'exposure' (second compulsion) is where you're tripping yourself up. Next time you do a compulsion, do nothing more. Don't react. Don't try to undo it or counteract it. Let it go. 

You don't need to react after every compulsion you give in to. Just note the slip, let it go and resist the compulsive urge again next time. No 'exposure' necessary. No reaction necessary. These self-defined 'exposures' (which are really further compulsions) means your attempt to help yourself get well is actually what's keeping you stuck.  

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When I was in treatment, my therapist had me watch this short video clip of a bad streaming experience. I agreed to participate in this exposure, but now I think I shouldn't have. If the purpose of this exposure was to get me comfortable watching my TV on bad quality/miserable settings, I don't think I could ever habituate to this nor should I have to in order to get better. Maybe my therapist wanted to desensitize me to the thoughts I was having when watching my TV that something was extremely wrong with it, I don't know. Don't think I could watch a full movie/tv show like the clip above and become comfortable with it.

I am fixated on exposures right now. The OCD has a tight grip on them right now. Telling me that if I don't habituate to bad quality settings, then something is wrong with me/I don't deserve to get better. AND OCD keeps bringing me back to the above clip saying "Well, your therapist wanted you to habituate to this exposure, so you're supposed to habituate to watching your TV on screwed up settings."

The next time I get an intrusive thought watching my TV that something is wrong, I'd rather just dismiss it than have to do an exposure, but then I feel like I'd be doing ERP wrong.

I acknowledge this is a mess. However, the more I reason about how much of a mess it is, OCD grips harder. I'm seriously afraid I'm never going to get out of this nonsense.

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