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Sophief

Not getting better.

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Hi everyone.

I haven't been on for a while. 

I've been keeping a record over the past few months of how my OCD behaves and realised a few things. I usually have one obsession spike a month that I either 'solve', make peace with or am able to rationalise. It lasts for a few days and then the rest of the time I have occasional intrusive thoughts that I'm able to manage. 

The 'obsession spikes' have become more intense. I'm no longer able to refuse compulsions as easily. I think it may be because as time goes on the obsessions are about things that are very ambiguous, so there is no way for me to ascertain any degree of certainty. My obsessions are always related to worrying that I may have done something bad in the past. I never have any memory whatsoever of having done anything wrong, it just starts with a 'what if' and it spirals.

Unfortunately, compulsions really took over this time. I spent so long trying to figure out if I had ever met someone that their face is burned into my brain and now there's a degree of familiarity - when in reality, if you had a gun pointed at my head I couldn't tell you anything about them or where we may have met. I have made the classic mistake of getting so entrenched in mental checking that I no longer trust my lack of memory. I'm also pulling in feelings related to other situations from that time period. So, it's all messier than usual. Yet I still can't conjure up any concrete memory. It's all what ifs. I've also gone down the 'what if it's not OCD' route. And the 'what if you're repressing the memory' route.

I know that PolarBear will say that the only way forward is to not do the compulsions and I have been really trying. But it's almost automatic at this point. My brain is constantly doing a background scan to figure out for certain if I know this person, or if I ever met them. When the obsession initially struck, I had no idea who they were - which is what actually kick started the spiral. That's how irrational my thinking is at this point.

This obsession has lasted longer than previous ones and has been more scary and difficult to let go. 

I have a support network at home, so I don't say this to raise any red flags, but I am battling suicidal thoughts because the anxiety that comes with uncertainty is too much to bear. I have therapy coming up but I don't really know how to articulate what false memory ocd is because there isn't a memory per se. I am effectively trying to remember that something didn't happen, which is impossible.

I don't know what the practical steps forward are from this point. I've watched all the YouTube videos about ERP, habituation, refusing to do compulsions, 'leaving the thought there', etc. I've made a list of rational points but that doesn't help because I can't be sure that my rational points are the true reality of the situation. I've tried acceptance. I don't know what else to do.

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I don't know your background which is your business but are you in any type of treatment - especially CBT?

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41 minutes ago, PhilM said:

I don't know your background which is your business but are you in any type of treatment - especially CBT?

Hi PhilM,

I'm due to start CBT but not with an OCD specialist. I'm struggling to find one in my area.

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Sophie you do have to curb and stop your compulsions. You also need to give yourself permission to not know the answers to these what if questions. No matter how hard you try you just can't come up with a certain answer. The key is to stop looking for the answer.

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