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saddaniels

Uncertain about how to be uncertain & recovery is becoming confusing

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Your OCD is about therapy, about treatment, about ERP and isn't now only about preferences on TV settings.

Your posts (as PB points out) are written versions of rumination, of reassurance-seeking, of a seek for certainty.

Put the TV on however you do, or don't like it (ERP mode).....but then resist the rumination about "How the problem should be approached", that's where the problem has currently moved to.  

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All I want to work on is stopping compulsions. I don't want to work on figuring out whats normal, what my therapist could habituate to, whats right/wrong to like/dislike, what my fears are compared to other peoples, how my OCD may be different from others, etc.

All I want to work on is resisting compulsions, but my brain is telling me its not enough. Its telling me that exposures are just as important as response prevention.

I don't know how to get out of this hole. Working on not ruminating isn't doing anything because I'm still ruminating. It hasn't died down. There is too much of a risk that I'm not doing the therapy correctly no matter what move I make. I sincerely feel like there isn't hope to get better anymore.

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You're not understanding what your intrusive thoughts are. You're trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist and you're not working on the problem that does exist. Until you understand what your problem actually is, I'm afraid we'll just go around in circles.

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I'm here trying not to ruminate over therapy, but I can't wrap my head around ERP therapy & accepting uncertainty. The two counteract heavily. This is how I'm looking at it:

Say I get an intrusive thought that my TV is off. Accepting uncertainty would be to tell myself "Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't." And then to move about my day.

ERP would physically and actually have me expose myself to my TV being off & sit there until I didn't have a problem with my TV settings being off, no matter how little or big they were set off. That is not accepting uncertainty in my eyes.

So back to my obsession with getting therapy just right. I'm confused because am I supposed to accept uncertainty no matter the thought or do an exposure to that thought and get used to it in my everyday living? Its not clear cut and its really driving my mind into a frenzy. 

Edited by saddaniels

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Literally everything. Exercise, trying to focus my mind on what I'm doing in the moment, listening to music, coloring, etc. 

It doesn't help. I cannot accept that I may be doing therapy wrong. If I'm doing therapy wrong, how will I ever get better? If I'm doing it wrong, there must be something I need to fix.

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Therapy shouldn't be as complicated as I'm making it. And OCD has really screwed with it.

Should be as simple as when I get an intrusive thought/obsessive thought to do nothing about it. That should be the "golden rule". 

I hate what the doubt in my head is doing to me.

Edited by saddaniels

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Still ruminating. You need an activity that keeps your mind occupied just enough to not be able to think about anything else. Each time you feel yourself trying to work out your therapy techniques, acknowledge that you're ruminating and move back to your activity. In my experience exercise, colouring, listening to music are not sufficient to keep the mind busy. You can easily colour/jog and ruminate at the same time. Find something like puzzle solving, or a game. I did the Rubix cube and played Solitaire on my phone, endlessly at first. After a couple of weeks I had some amazing high scores. Now I don't need a distraction, but I totally did at first, I was a Premier League ruminator.

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2 hours ago, saddaniels said:

Therapy shouldn't be as complicated as I'm making it. And OCD has really screwed with it.

Should be as simple as when I get an intrusive thought/obsessive thought to do nothing about it. That should be the "golden rule". 

I hate what the doubt in my head is doing to me.

This is exactly what you should be doing about intrusive thoughts. Nothing.

Your TV should be on its factory settings, no wonky settings present. There is no need for an exposure.

Your OCD is centered on you getting better. Your main compulsion is ruminating. That's what you need to work on.

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Agreed this is what I need to work on. My mind gets confused because my therapists had me do exposures for my intrusive thoughts, and my OCD keeps shouting at me that because of this, I need to do exposures.

Edited by saddaniels

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First off, it's OCD telling you that and OCD is always wrong. Again, your OCD theme presently does not seem to be about the settings of things, so why would you do exposures for a problem that doesn't exist? Your current theme seems to be about recovery and exposures so the best exposure you could do is no exposure at all.

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Yes my anxiety was completely through the roof. Remember though that the ruminating is you trying to bring your anxiety down, trying to control how you feel. When you make yourself stop ruminating, you feel out of control, a different kind of fear, I felt a bit like I was falling, but wouldn't allow myself to reach out and try and grab onto something. You need to allow the fear to be there without fighting it and without ANY ruminating. It WILL go down if you leave it alone.

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Thank you. Also, I believe I need some more cognitive work about what ERP is supposed to help you achieve. I'm looking at it from the standpoint that if it makes me anxious, I need to go toward that & habituate to it. Like I'm in control of making myself like something that I don't like through habituation. 

When I thought the main point of therapy what to become comfortable with uncertainty, in all aspects. Maybe the TV is off a bit, maybe it isn't. Maybe the TV is off a lot, maybe it isn't. The point being that I set my TV once and leave it & then I'm not in control of what happens. I've done all I can do. The control is out of my hands.

But then my mind starts telling me that I am in control of what I habituate to. So I start trying to make myself change my likes/dislikes inside my head. I even try to habituate to settings that are obviously off & that a lot of people probably wouldn't accept on their television.

I don't want to keep doing this, but the urge is so strong because I'm beginning to believe that this is what therapy is about.

Edited by saddaniels

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My treatment team used behavioral therapy as the primary approach with maybe 10% cognitive work involved. Maybe thats why I'm so confused about letting things be as they are & instead I'm still working on changing MY behavior/interests/likes/preferences, because I have the belief that everything falls on me. 

Edited by saddaniels

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Why don't you just have a go cracking the ruminating for now. You might find everything becomes a bit clearer once you've stopped stirring it all up.

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Guest ashipinharbor
3 minutes ago, Franklin12 said:

Why don't you just have a go cracking the ruminating for now. You might find everything becomes a bit clearer once you've stopped stirring it all up.

You should try it! Ruminating makes everything worse. Once you stop thinking about it so much, it makes it seem less worrisome.

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I can't stop thinking about whether I'm supposed to habituate to an act or a thought.

If my obsession was that my TV wasn't perfectly lined up, then the exposure would be habituating to it not perfectly lined up. Am I habituating to the act or the thought?

If my obsession was that my TV may be on distressing settings, then what would the exposure be? To habituate to distressing settings? Am I habituating to the act or the thought?

I don't understand this whole act/thought stuff. Who makes the decision on if you should habituate to an act and who makes the decision if you should be habituating to the thought?

Shouldn't you just say "maybe, maybe not" when the obsession hits? Who decided on all this physically habituating to things? 

Habituation doesn't make sense to me. I'm not going to habituate to distressing settings on my TV, so when I get an obsession that my TV is on distressing settings, the rule of ERP is to then habituate to that. If I got a thought that my TV isn't perfectly lined up, yes, maybe I could habituate to it not being perfect, but there is only so far I can go until it becomes ridiculous to habituate to.

I don't get ERP. I don't understand any of it.

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You've mulled over this, over and over and over on this thread, and gotten really helpful advice, go back and reread, especially what PolarBear said about how to handle your current theme. These are just the same recycled questions, and all any answers you'll get are more of the same of what you've already gotten. You want a 100 per cent clear answer – there is none. No one is going to give you answer on the nature of ERP that you will fully accept. Accept that you aren't sure how to do ERP and just go about your day despite the uncertainty. It won't get better until you stop ruminating. You've tried it by ruminating and asking questions and seeking certainty – didn't work. Why don't give something else a shot?

Edited by ohwhyhello

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I want to stop. Desperately. I want to acknowledge that I may or may not be doing therapy the right way and to let that be okay. 

I can't though. If I'm doing the therapy wrong, its on my end to fix it. 

How can I just let go of this? 

CBT and ERP saves peoples lives who suffer from mental illness. If I don't find where I could be going wrong, and if I don't habituate as far as I need to, how am I supposed to get better. In the future, when I get intrusive thoughts about things besides therapy and don't know how to handle them, how do I get better? 

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Here you go again, ruminating. Say, "meh, I don't understand ERP and I never will", and then refuse to engage any further, distract yourself and go about your day. It's the only way. It feels like you need to work it out, find an answer, but that's just OCD. There is no answer and you don't need it to move on. So why not give up the ghost?

Edited by ohwhyhello

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saddaniels, we've been over this until we're all blue in the face. We've given you the answers multiple times. You just keep going back to the same old thing again. I don't think this thread is doing you any good. You're using it as a ruminating tool. You have to change. Until you do, this will continue to greatly bother you. You can't expect to keep doing the same thing and getting a different result.

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8 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

We've given you the answers multiple times. You just keep going back to the same old thing again. I don't think this thread is doing you any good. You're using it as a ruminating tool.

I agree. And if that persists the thread will be locked to discourage any further rumination on the matter. :dry: 

Saddaniels, may I suggest you re-read the whole thread from the start ignoring all your own posts - just read the advice you've been given.

Don't re-read what you wrote because as soon as you do that you're off ruminating on it in your head and the advice that follows bounces off while you think over the same stuff that worried you yet again.

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I agree. This is all becoming repetitive. I'm going to try and implement the advice you've all given me & apply it to my ruminating. I hate the doubt I encounter at every corner of my thinking. The what ifs in my mind are endless at the moment. Hopefully I can get this wildfire to calm down.

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On 03/02/2017 at 01:20, saddaniels said:

Its not falling on deaf ears. I hear you. I need to work on not ruminating over therapy & to stop feeling like I need to do exposures.

Are the intrusive thoughts themselves exposures, maybe? For example: "What if I'm not doing the therapy right?" or "What if my TV isn't lined up exactly?" or "What if I'm supposed to habituate to settings exactly how my therapist would?"

And then the response prevention is to do nothing?

On 03/02/2017 at 00:53, PolarBear said:

Sigh. You could start by listening to us, trying to understand and doing the work necessary. I have told you umpteen times that you must work on your ruminating on this subject. Sadly, it just falls on deaf ears. You just go back to talking about exposures. That's what needs to stop.

Correct me if i'm wrong, but isnt saddaniels response above  exactly what he should be doing? 

Edited by bendylouise

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