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saddaniels

Uncertain about how to be uncertain & recovery is becoming confusing

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I thought of another example:

If you get an intrusive thought that there is a virus on your computer, you accept the uncertainty that there may or may not be, but get on with your life. You don't expose someone to getting a virus on the computer. That's ridiculous. I believe its the same for settings you don't like. Why wouldn't you just accept the uncertainty that your TV may or may not be on the settings you prefer, rather than expose yourself to wrong settings.

I hate the whole idea of exposures because you're supposed to habituate to physical acts, yet aren't supposed to do them forever? What? That makes zero sense. Why would you even attempt to habituate to physical exposures in the first place if you weren't going to apply them to your life.

Edited by saddaniels

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41 minutes ago, AttemptingToHeal said:

Whether you're sure they're wrong or just think they might be, you're still worrying about something totally irrelevant that doesn't need to be paid attention to.

There is a huge difference here though. One is accepting that TV settings may or may not be how you prefer them & moving on, not knowing. One is accepting settings how you don't prefer them, getting comfortable with not having a preference. The second sounds like torture if I'm being honest.

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It's the feeling you get. You get discomfort. He's telling you to put the settings off so that you feel the discomfort. You then sit there and allow that to fade away. That's habituation. If you got that feeling of discomfort because you did it accidentally and weren't sure, you'd still get discomfort and still be supposed to sit there and let it fade away. He's only getting you to purposefully set the settings to be off so that you can create that discomfort and get used to it, otherwise you'd just have to wait until you get that discomfort by accident.

If you knew you had a virus on your computer of course you'd do something about it, but if you constantly feared it for no reason, you should accept that you're worrying without reasonable need. If someone had a fear that things coloured red were contaminated, then they accidentally touched something red, they would be supposed to not clean their hands and ignore the discomfort. Chances are though that wouldn't happen very often, especially if they were used to avoiding red things. So they'd be instructed to touch something red, feel the discomfort, and ignore it. Then when the discomfort goes and they haven't washed their hands, touch something red again and repeat the process. Once they no longer care about red things, then the work is done. They wouldn't be supposed to go touching everything that's red for the rest of their lives if that's not their preference, there would be no point in that.

It's similar to learning to drive. Part of the point of that is to get used to sitting in a car, using it, being comfortable with the controls. The point is not to learn how to sit in a car for a certain number of lessons. You wouldn't, once you'd passed your test, go through the exact same driving lessons any more. As someone has already said, to get used to having all your settings wrong is living life ass backward. Your settings aren't wrong, and that's what you need to realise. Preference is fine, a belief that something is wrong for no reason is not. A person with fear of contamination from touching red things would need to realise that touching a piece of red paper will not contaminate them, and teach their body to not react. However if that piece of paper was smeared with dog sh*t, they wouldn't be expected to touch it, they wouldn't be expected to drink red chemicals they find, they are simply learning not to attribute meaning to an irrational fear. Touching red paper to give you a disease is an irrational fear. Touching red paper covered in dirt isn't. The fact that your controls can be in a wrong setting is an irrational fear. You're not learning to set them so loud it hurts your ears or so quiet you can't hear it, you're learning to let go of your irrational fear. OCD is the same thing always, no matter what it is applied to, the stimulus always causes worry about something irrational, and there is always a need to do something to fix that, when in fact nothing should be done.

If you still don't understand it after this I suggest you talk to your therapist about it, and get him to clarify exactly what you're supposed to be doing, and the purpose of it. I can see what you're trying to express, but I can also see how you're missing the point. I hope he can help you with that.

Edited by AttemptingToHeal

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7 minutes ago, AttemptingToHeal said:

nce they no longer care about red things, then the work is done.

So I'm not supposed to even have a preference toward any settings. I'm supposed to be indifferent & not care at all. Wow. I hate this therapy, but I guess I'll keep torturing myself.

I understand what you're saying, but it just comes back to how this therapy is flawed & how we're supposed to habituate until we're numb & have no feelings or care about things anymore.

Edited by saddaniels

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10 minutes ago, AttemptingToHeal said:

If you got that feeling of discomfort because you did it accidentally and weren't sure, you'd still get discomfort and still be supposed to sit there and let it fade away.

^ This sounds 1,000,000x easier than purposefully putting my TV on settings I don't like & habituating to it. Not knowing if your TV settings are off, sitting with that uncertainty and moving on is completely different than setting your TV settings off purposefully & habituating to them. What human being on this planet is actually going to sit and habituate to settings they don't like until they don't have a preference anymore?

I really just want to say screw exposures because they make zero sense to me, but of course, I must be doing something wrong if I say that. I must be in denial some way. I must find where I'm messing up. I must make myself be a robot. I must no longer care at all about the way things are. I must longer have a preference. I guess I'll just be a freaking slave to this therapy for the rest of my adult life & never amount to anything except being anxious for the rest of my life.

Edited by saddaniels

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45 minutes ago, AttemptingToHeal said:

They wouldn't be supposed to go touching everything that's red for the rest of their lives if that's not their preference, there would be no point in that.

 

45 minutes ago, AttemptingToHeal said:

Preference is fine, a belief that something is wrong for no reason is not.

Bold for emphasis.

Edited by AttemptingToHeal

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13 hours ago, saddaniels said:

You are saying  its the thought you habituate to, not the action.

Exactly. 

Quote

But why would a therapist say "I want you sit here with this setting being certainly off & habituate" They obviously want you to habituate to the action, not the thought.

Where do you get this 'it's obvious what they meant was...' idea from? :confused1: 

They haven't specified habituating to the action. You've interpreted what's been said as meaning something 'obvious'. But you interpreted it wrong and now you're stuck on that wrong idea and refusing to budge from it. 

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why can't I just accept that my TV may or may not be on perfect settings, and then decide not to engage in compulsive behavior by taking a "so what" approach.

You can do this! :yes: In fact this is what we've been telling you to do.

It's only you who convinces yourself this 'so what' approach isn't enough so you go on to add 'exposures' and do further compulsions. And it's these self-imposed additions that keep tripping you up.

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But you are saying the whole purpose is to habituate to a thought, not an action?

Yes.

'Habituate to the thought' is another way of saying, 'Let the thought be there and do nothing in response.'

Accept that no response to the thoughts, no action at all, is the correct response and it is all you have to do - nothing more. 

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Why on earth has a therapist not told me that I'm supposed to be habituating to the thoughts and not the actions? Wow. Now that I think about it, I find it extremely unethical that they would ask me to physically set my TV off a bit & habituate to that action instead of asking me to habituate to my thoughts of "Maybe the TV is off, maybe it isn't." I cannot believe it was a thought I was supposed to be habituating to this whole time. 

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You keep going on and on about the settings of things but you're missing what your OCD is about. You don't talk at all about the fact that your current OCD theme has nothing to do with the settings of things and everything to do with doing therapy perfectly. You're completely missing the point. You are getting intrusive thoughts that you must do exposures and you must do therapy a certain way or (I don't know what 'or', is it that you feel you'll never recover properly?). This is what you need to work on. I've told you this countless times but you aren't addressing it at all.

Your intrusive thoughts are about doing therapy right, about having to do exposures when they aren't necessary. Your compulsions are mainly ruminating. You do it constantly, trying to figure out how to do your therapy perfectly, analyzing what exposures mean, etc. That's what you need to work on -- stopping those compulsions.

You're just running around in circles. You are fixated on exposures and what they mean and how they should be done but you aren't actually dealing with the OCD.

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But how can I deal with the OCD when I'm possibly doing the therapy wrong? Exposures are done for a reason, which is to get people to see that there is no danger to what they fear, like the TV being set off a little bit, or low quality settings, etc. When I hear a therapist tell me "habituate to these low quality settings," I hear "get used to these settings being low quality & not care at all whether they are low quality or not." That's what I hear. And I'm only human and I feel like I should be allowed a preference for settings. Yet, exposure therapy tells you to not care either way, basically.

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Sure, if I get an intrusive thought that my settings may be off, I can accept the uncertainty that they may be & move on. What I cannot accept is that they certainly are, like what is done through exposures. However, exposures are done for a reason, so if I don't habituate to my settings being off & not care either way, then I'm doing the therapy wrong 

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You know I'm only human & have preferences, but I feel like exposure therapy teaches you not to care either way, at all. And its killing me. It is killing me. There is only so far I can go until I lose what makes me human. Until I really can't habituate any further to things being off. I care if things are off. I do. But wouldn't any human? I hate what this therapy has done to my brain.

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Guest ashipinharbor
3 minutes ago, saddaniels said:

You know I'm only human & have preferences, but I feel like exposure therapy teaches you not to care either way, at all. And its killing me. It is killing me. There is only so far I can go until I lose what makes me human. Until I really can't habituate any further to things being off. I care if things are off. I do. But wouldn't any human? I hate what this therapy has done to my brain.

It's not teaching you not to care, its showing you that they are only thoughts, and that nothing is ever 100% certain.

Once you accept those facts, you can start to move forward.

Also, your last few posts are nothing but rumimations. What you wrote isn't what you need to focus on. All that's important are realizing the aforementioned statements, and stopping compulsions.

Edited by ashipinharbor

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It's not your therapy. You are completely ignoring the fact that your OCD right now is about doing therapy perfectly and doing exposures when you don't need to do them. I have repeatedly said that but my words are falling on deaf ears. You're trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist and you're completely ignoring the real problem.

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1 hour ago, ashipinharbor said:

It's not teaching you not to care, its showing you that they are only thoughts, and that nothing is ever 100% certain.

 

Okay, this sounds nice & reasonable. But, why would a therapist ask you to set the TV settings off and habituate to the anxiety caused by this? Because I am now certain that the TV settings are actually off, it isn't just a thought anymore. Wouldn't a more reasonable exposure be to sit with the uncertainty that the TV settings may or may not be off & to not perform compulsions?

Edited by saddaniels

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Same thing with grammar errors. My therapist had me turn in a paper where I actually screwed up the grammar. I physically messed with the grammar and made it incorrect. Now, in the real world, when I'm writing a paper, wouldn't it be more reasonable when I'm worrying about grammar errors to accept the uncertainty that maybe I did mess up on grammar maybe i didn't and to move on without going overboard on compulsions? The exposure of actually screwing with the grammar and turning the paper in makes zero sense to me, but, its what my therapist had me do as a physical exposure. When you ask patients to perform a physical act of screwing things up, they are actually screwed up, its not just a thought anymore. And maybe I'm crazy, but I can't do these physical exposures for the rest of my life. I can accept the uncertainty that things might be off, but I can not make myself physically screw things up & be okay with this. WHAT HUMAN WOULD BE OKAY WITH THIS? No one. So why is this therapy so unethical in teaching people that its okay to screw things up. No big deal. Living your life screwing things up makes zero sense to me, but this is what physical exposures teach.

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47 minutes ago, saddaniels said:

But how can I deal with the OCD when I'm possibly doing the therapy wrong?

45 minutes ago, saddaniels said:

then I'm doing the therapy wrong 

As Polar Bear said, your obsession has become about doing therapy right. 

Trouble is you've created a confused and contorted idea on what you think therapy ought to be. But you've interpreted what you were told by your therapist in a skewed way and keep coming up with the wrong idea about what 'doing therapy right' actually means.

You have to let go of the nonsense you've created for yourself out of what past therapists said and be prepared to start again from scratch with an open mind. Maybe then you'll be able to take on board the clear and straightforward advice Polar Bear and others have repeatedly given you. 

Forget about 'habituating'. Forget about 'exposures'. Clear your mind of everything you believe therapists have said to you. 

Forget about trying to do the therapy right. Despite all your efforts to 'get it right', you're actually not doing any therapy at present. At the moment all you're doing is ruminating, going over and over every thought in your head. 

So let's start from scratch, from the basics.

When thoughts about settings, exposures, habituating, preferences, therapy or anything else related to your recent thinking comes into your head, ignore it ALL. 

Let it be there without engaging with it. Don't ruminate, don't try to figure anything out. Distract yourself by doing something else. 

When the urge to go back to figuring things out strikes again, keep your mind and hands occupied with other tasks. 

That's step one of therapy and you need to master that step before you can move on to anything else. 

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6 minutes ago, snowbear said:

But you've interpreted what you were told by your therapist in a skewed way and keep coming up with the wrong idea about what 'doing therapy right' actually means.

How do you interpret "Screw with the grammar purposefully and turn the paper in" wrong? He actually wanted me to physically mess with my grammar, screw it up, and sit with the anxiety. This was done as an exposure. And you are supposed to habituate to exposures until you don't care anymore. Well, call me crazy, but I can't habituate in the future to screwing up my grammar and turning in my paper to a college professor.

I don't see how my thinking is skewed when therapists have told me to actually screw with my grammar as an exposure & to not care.

When you do exposures like this, you aren't exposing on the thought, you are exposing on the action, because you are doing an action. you actually are messing the grammar up.

Edited by saddaniels

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Doing something physical & being told to habituate to it by medical professionals sends the signal to the brain that you are supposed to not care about things being off/messed up. Of course I'm freaking out right now. I was told by medical professionals that I shouldn't care whether things were off/messed up hence the physical exposures. Why else would you do physical exposures where you actually messed things up.

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Its not an uncertainty thing anymore. You are actually & certainly messing things up & are supposed to habituate to them being messed up. Exposures are unethical & should never be taught to another human being.

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We give you straightforward advice on what to do in the here and now to help yourself and you reply by dredging up some nonsense you've been ruminating over. :dry: 

Your therapist isn't here today. If they were they'd be telling you what we're telling you, not going over old ground that's now irrelevant.

10 minutes ago, snowbear said:

Forget about 'habituating'. Forget about 'exposures'. Clear your mind of everything you believe therapists have said to you. 

You need to start concentrating on the present and the problems you're dealing with now, not on what was said in the past. 

And right now your biggest problem is ruminating, going over everything any therapist ever said to you. Let it go.

Distract yourself from these thoughts by doing something practical. Ignore them. 

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I see you've completely skipped over my recent posts in favor of arguing and writing down ruminations. If you're not going to at least try to understand what we're saying, what's the point?

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I guess there is none. I'm trying for someone to empathize with what I'm saying about how physical exposures make no sense & are extremely scary/dangerous to the psyche. I agree with habituating to not knowing whether something is off/messed up. What I don't agree with is habituating to something actually being off/messed up. It makes no sense & its very confusing when medical professionals tell you to habituate to a physical act like that physical act is normal/you should have no problem doing it in the future. I'm scared. I'm so scared because this is what my therapists wanted me to do & I CANNOT DO IT. So because of that, I feel like I don't deserve to get better.

What you guys are saying makes complete sense, but it doesn't change the fact that I did these exposures in the past & was supposed to habituate to them. I don't know why I ever agreed to habituate to them. It was all ludicrous. 

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