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False ocd thoughts urge to throw clothes away

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On 18/12/2018 at 00:03, Phil10 said:

The anxiety makes me feel I’m going mad and I feel trapped it’s not just a chest pain I feel it over takes me and I need to change the sock or my day is ruined I can only stress that enough I honestly feel I will go mad if I don’t do the compulsion 

Look Phil, day in day out I obsess over knives and the belief that I'm going to hurt myself. Have I ever done it? No. Does it feel like I'm going mad and can't escape? Absolutely. I understand how you feel, I think everyone on here does. We are all going through the same thing and from our experience, we are telling you that you anxiety will not hurt you. It's the compulsions that you do which prolong this suffering. Just try it - don't change your sock and let this awful anxiety come. You will see that nothing will happen to you. 

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21 hours ago, Phil10 said:

Yes I have been unable to spend anymore money on therapy but I can use the information I learned in the 7 sessions I had it never worked but I can read over stuff again. And yes I could try more medication and mindfulness that may help. 

Learning is not enough.

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Yes, Phil, you can absolutely get past this. You can get to a point where you can throw dirty laundry anywhere and everywhere all over the house and you won't get the least bit anxious. You can get to the point that you can wipe a sandwich on your dirty pants and happily eat it without freaking out. All of this is possible and entirely doable.

What I want you to consider is that you have been doing the same, negative things, over and over, for a very long time now and you need to understand that it is not working. It didn't work a year ago and it's not working now. It won't work in the future.

Two aspects to doing things over and over. First, you get thoughts about contamination and you do compulsions in response. You do that repeatedly. It's not working. Second, you come here repeatedly, tell us about your latest contamination issue (or repeating a previous contamination issue), we tell you what you need to do, then you tell us how hard it is, and then you come back with another issue. Round and round you go. It's not working.

I really want you to think about this. Your behavior at home and your behavior here on the forum, is clearly not working. You go round and round at home, never getting anywhere, and you go round and round on the forum, again never getting anywhere. At this point, I just want you to come to a realization that what you are doing is not working. If you can come to that realization, then we can talk about changing what you are doing (the hard part, but the most rewarding part).

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26 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

Yes, Phil, you can absolutely get past this. You can get to a point where you can throw dirty laundry anywhere and everywhere all over the house and you won't get the least bit anxious. You can get to the point that you can wipe a sandwich on your dirty pants and happily eat it without freaking out. All of this is possible and entirely doable.

What I want you to consider is that you have been doing the same, negative things, over and over, for a very long time now and you need to understand that it is not working. It didn't work a year ago and it's not working now. It won't work in the future.

Two aspects to doing things over and over. First, you get thoughts about contamination and you do compulsions in response. You do that repeatedly. It's not working. Second, you come here repeatedly, tell us about your latest contamination issue (or repeating a previous contamination issue), we tell you what you need to do, then you tell us how hard it is, and then you come back with another issue. Round and round you go. It's not working.

I really want you to think about this. Your behavior at home and your behavior here on the forum, is clearly not working. You go round and round at home, never getting anywhere, and you go round and round on the forum, again never getting anywhere. At this point, I just want you to come to a realization that what you are doing is not working. If you can come to that realization, then we can talk about changing what you are doing (the hard part, but the most rewarding part).

I agree it’s not working but the forum and theripst have been unable to get into my head the dirty laundry isn’t contaminated. I can see what my ocd is doing I understand that and I understand doing compulsions don’t work. 

However I find it hard to get into my head the item isn’t dirty. My ocd has got worse after therapy and the forum and I can’t put my finger on why. 

And yes putting the washing all round the house not worrying about it may be realistic but I admit I would find that hard. I don’t think I want to be doing that anyway but I obviously don’t want to be throwing away shoes as they touched dirty laundry 

The ocd is wide ranging from hand washing to false thoughts to dirty laundry to questions of life existence ect.

But by simply saying it’s not dirty isn’t really enough. So yes I tried therapy writing stuff down, counting thoughts and none of this worked either. 

Being honest the only way I actually got my old down to a mild form before was by eliminating the anxiety but I have found this difficult given the severity of my ocd. 

But the bottom line is I want to feel clean and safe and i hate the idea something is ruined or I can’t shop at a certain shop due to germ worries. Nothing can stop these thoughts coming and I find it hard not to believe them. 

People mention how I never replaced the door and that’s a good result im forever collecting parcels at the post office as I fear them coming in the letter box.

So yes until I can replace there is no relief and I have found lately that replacing no longer works either so I’m kind of stuck.

I have reread the topic and it’s similar issues and I hear it’s all ocd lies and do your Cbt however it doesn’t seem to be getting through. All I can say is it’s not that easy.

Right now my head believes these thoughts I can bash some away but some I choose not to I have no idea why. All I can put it down to is it anxious state which goes back to having to elimainte the anxiety? With less anxiety the thoughts have less significance and my logical Brain can think better. 

So yes the ocd is a lie well it could be? I won’t denay that. The ocd is very believably though going on a journey can make it almost film like it happened. 

Many people have contamination issues and worry about germs so they clean and do that compulsion. They believe the germs make them ill.

My ocd is slightly different I mentioned false memory ocd as it seems to be a form of that as I’m making stories up in my head the letter box the clothes being dirty they seem real, my head believes it so it actually happened. 

So what I’m saying is I’m not looking for reassurance about the germs or them causing any harm as I don’t seem to have that issue.

The issue appears to be the false memory And the false belief that avoiding stuff like a letter box or shop is the right thing to do. Right now I feel I have to to avoid anxiety. My ocd is very much based on false thoughts and memories. Perhaps it’s a one for all treatment for ocd but online you find different terms like pure ocd and false thought pages. I’m not suite sure it’s a one for all treatment for ocd I believe some stuff works for some but doesn’t work for others. I get that people say the ocd is a lie but I am not ruling that out but right now my head says it could be but also couldn’t be and I don’t quite believe it is a lie as to me the thoughts are real. I believe there has to be a better way to “challenge” these thoughts when they come rather than just say they are a lie. 

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Let me add to what I wrote before. Of course you think things are contaminated. Of course you think dirty laundry is contaminated. But the reason you think that way is because of your past behavior and thinking. This is what is very difficult for OCD sufferers to get their heads around. All those compulsions you did up to now have caused you to believe the thoughts. Every time you do a compulsion, you reinforce the faulty belief in your mind that there was something wrong. The more compulsions you do, the stronger the reinforcement and the more solid the belief is held.

I don't expect you to up and suddenly stop believing that dirty laundry is contaminated. Of course not. But what I want you to do is work really, really hard on curbing and eliminating your compulsions. Stop reinforcing those irrational beliefs in your mind with compulsions. Act like there is nothing wrong, think there is nothing wrong, and slowly but surely your beliefs will change. Do you get that?

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6 hours ago, Phil10 said:

My ocd has got worse after therapy and the forum and I can’t put my finger on why. 

Compulsions.  It continues to get worse because you continue to engage in compulsions.  Every time you replace, every time you ruminate you are reinforcing the connection in your mind that these thoughts are meaningful and worth worrying about.  As long as you continue to engage in compulsions your OCD will continue to get worse.  If you want to change things you have to work on reducing and eliminating the compulsions.
 

6 hours ago, Phil10 said:

I agree it’s not working but the forum and theripst have been unable to get into my head the dirty laundry isn’t contaminated. I can see what my ocd is doing I understand that and I understand doing compulsions don’t work. 

I fear you are waiting for some sudden realization to occur, some moment where you realize "aha, now I get it, its not contaminated!".  Unfortunately, thats not how it works.  You aren't going to simply stop having these thoughts overnight as if a switch was flipped.  Recovery from OCD requires you not to stop having the thought, it requires you to stop engaging with and allowing the thought to dictate your responses.  The path forward is not to wait until you stop having the thought and then get back to living normally, its to live normally DESPITE having the intrusive thought.  If, for example, you believe your chair is contaminated, the goal is not to wait until you believe the chair is NOT contaminated and THEN sit in the chair, its to sit in the chair EVEN THOUGH you still have the thought that its contaminated.  
Put another way, you don't have to believe the laundry isn't contaminated (though its not), you have to choose to live your life as if its not contaminated EVEN WHEN you get the thought in your head that it is.

 

7 hours ago, Phil10 said:

Nothing can stop these thoughts coming and I find it hard not to believe them. 

If you stop reinforcing the intrusive thoughts by engaging in compulsions, absolutely the thoughts can stop coming.  If you do the work of CBT absolutely the thoughts can stop coming.  The reality is before they top coming you will most likely stop caring, the thoughts will become boring so it won't matter if they come or not.  The issue is not that you have the thoughts, its that you have gotten to the point where you think having the thoughts matter, that having these thoughts have meaning and that you HAVE to react to them.  The reality is you don't.  You don't have to do anything when you have these thoughts.  They are just thoughts.  Having a thought doesn't make something real.  The thought is real, the meaning is not.  If I have the thought that i"m a better soccer player than David Beckham does that mean I am?  Of course not.  But the thought was real, I really had it!  So what?  Thoughts don't dictate reality.

And yes, again its hard.  If it wasn't hard you wouldn't have a problem, none of us would. But hard does not mean impossible.  For someone addicted to cigarettes its hard to stop smoking, but people do it.  For alcoholics its hard to stop drinking, but people do it.  For people who are out of shape its hard to run a marathon, but people do it.  For people who don't speak a foreign language its hard to learn one, but people do it.  The vast majority of things in our lives were hard for us at one point, even things as simple as walking or reading or writing.  And the same general approach works for handling all of them, practice, hard work.  And, particularly when you are stopping a bad habit, its a good idea to avoid behaviors that are going to make that harder.  If you want to stop drinking you stop hanging out at bars.  If you want to stop smoking, you stop going on smoke breaks with your friends.  If you want to stop struggling with intrusive thoughts, you stop engaging in compulsions. 

The sooner you start taking steps to combat your OCD, especially reducing compulsions, the sooner you will get better at it, and the sooner you get better at it the sooner you will recover.  Waiting is not going to make it easier, putting it off isn't going to make it easier. As the old saying goes, the sooner the better.

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I don’t always do compulsions though sometimes the thoughts come and I just Believe them and feel anxious yet I can’t stop this? 

Ive noticed my head getting bored of the dirty laundry germs and it’s moved onto my toilet brush and plunger I keep having a thought I touched it and everything is dirty. I engaged in a compulsion to shower last night but today the thought came back and I never did the compulsion the result was anxiety. I know I can’t keep showering every time I have a thought though. 

The issue with my condition over these few months has been ive been unable to brush these thoughts off as irrational? I get lots of them and I do generally brush them off but there seems to be a few times a day I can’t and I have I idea why it’s like a lack of will power? 

But you say if I do less compulsions I get that but I find even not doing the compulsions I have anxiety and people say sit with it but the anxiety has been bad for months I just want to feel well again like in the past I could go days without a worry. My head seems to switch from one worry to another how can I turn this response off? I’ve noticed if there’s is a short spell with no worry I look over past stuff to try and worry over that. 

So yes there seems to be something keeping my worry going and I fear it’s the fear of not being able to move again or the fear somewhere becomes forget contaminated. If you told me yes I can move I imagine I would care less. Again the issue which is halting my recovery is cleaning something isn’t enough I have this urge to replace which goes from an item like an iron board to actually moving house. So i believe the root of this constant ocd comes from the fact I can’t move. So that tells me this issue may be ongoing now? The thing is in the past when I stayed in my first house I couldn’t afford to move either but I seemed to handle it better. I think I just felt a disgust with my home life my house looked fine but it felt disgusting. Every area had a contamination issue. 

So yes I’m just confused as to what I can do to fix this more therapy, relaxation, exercise seems there is on quick fix, seems no long term fix just battling on with the crippling ocd.  

If I could stop the anxiety the battle would be half won. I want to change this but I’m finding it difficult because the ocd has gone from mild to severe and I’ve had to deal with new levels of anxiety I have never experienced before. It’s not as easy to stop believing these thoughts but I can see how stuff which once never troubled me is now. And if the dirty washing germs stop worrying me as much it finds another thing to worry about?

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Also I’ve had lots of the false thoughts and they seem so real my phone and shoes ect feel disgusting and contaminated same situation as the letter box no proof just false lies 

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At least you are starting to see the lies. That's a positive.

The feelings of anxiety after getting a contamination thought is a learned response. You've taught yourself to react that way. Now you have yo teach yourself a new way. It will take time. The biggest thing you can do is not go down the path of compulsions. That slowly teaches your brsin that these thoughts are not worth reacting to.

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2 hours ago, PolarBear said:

At least you are starting to see the lies. That's a positive.

The feelings of anxiety after getting a contamination thought is a learned response. You've taught yourself to react that way. Now you have yo teach yourself a new way. It will take time. The biggest thing you can do is not go down the path of compulsions. That slowly teaches your brsin that these thoughts are not worth reacting to.

The issue is I believe these thoughts a bit though. I know they are lies but I now believe my shoes and phone are dirty and contaminating everything. The worrying thing is I know how much these thoughts can trick me and make me feel ill e.g the iron board and the letter box the thoughts can seem very real so much so I avoid touching stuff or always have thoughts they are dirty. Many have said they can seem real thats the thing they honestly feel real. Ideally I have to challenge these thoughts but can’t seem to. 

The annoying thing is I never use to get so hung up on these thoughts so why has it got worse? Like I say I still bash most of these thoughts off but choose to worry over a select few as I feel I need to worry? I can’t afford a new phone as I worry I touched a toilet brush I would have replaced it twice already once when it fell on bathroom floor and back when I worried my partner touched my bag after her suit case. If I replaced I would be constantly replacing the same item every time the thought came so that’s not ideal?

My ocd is at a point where as I say replacing and cleaning is failing so I’m finding this difficult to see what to do next? I have suffered ocd over ten years and the compulsions have always worked but I believe it’s because my ocd is so intense the compulsions are not working. I’m guessing I’m now suppose to believe everything is dirty? I can’t seem to challenge the thoughts I believe the ocd’s goal is to believe the whole world is contaminated. I don’t know anyone suffering contamination like this even if i never had a toilet brush I get thoughts I put my hand down a toilet. Like if I worry my hands are dirty I was my hands over and over and nothing ever feels right at the moment. My head is making up lies my ocd and anxiety are responding to it thinking it’s real like the thought I end up thinking I had the thought maybe it happened and I slot it in with real thoughts.

Surely has to be some escape from this ocd?

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On 02/10/2018 at 22:05, Phil10 said:

I have been battling these for weeks now 

Few examples:

* I get a thought I pooped myself or peed myself
*I get a clean towel for a shower and I have to take another as I get a thought saying it’s dirty. 
*Some food from the supermarket fridge was wet and I also bought shampoo to my head said don’t eat it shampoo leaked. 
*Thoughts im not clean after going to toilet.
*I take a clean top and get ocd thought that it’s dirty
*Thouhts I’ve not washed my hands even right after washing 
*Thoughts the world isn’t real. 

Sometimes the thoughts in the past were so powerful I would cross the road and worry I was run down?

How can I tackle these thoughts? So far therapy ain’t working. The thoughts just distress me more and I can play out a whole situation in my head and almost believe it. I can make myself 90% sure a top was dirty.

Right now I battle these ocd thoughts daily and worry nobody else’s life is real. The ocd is quite powerful and controlling right now.

I reckon I will give up on therapy soon spend hundreds of pounds with zero results all that’s happening is worse ocd pattens are developing. I’ve stopped my ocd replacing but instead I’m dealing with these false thoughts instead? 

Tonight I had a thought i popped myself so i have the urge to throw my clothes away. I wiped my bum before toilet usually that helps but my ocd tonight said maybe I pooped myself or have a dirty bottom so the urge is to throw away. A few weeks ago this happened and I disposed or my clothes what can I do tonight to stop this?

Phil, I just read through this and man I know how you feel. I suffer from so many of the same things. I can wash my hands and then panic because I think the towel has touched a wet patch on my pants and then I think I should throw the towel straight into the wash and use another towel. I can get through a whole barrel of towels in a day sometimes, it’s really debilitating. I also often can’t go back into my bedroom after going to the toilet much of the time. I used to have to sleep on the sofa at one point if I needed to go during the night but I’m better with that these days. 

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I worry I touched the toilet plunger and brush then my phone and I’m cross contaminating germs I mean I had the thoughts and washed my hands repeatedly but only use the plunger when I unblock the toilet but I fear the phone is dirty as the false thought seems real 

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Sounds to me like we have similar issues. I am desperately trying to get over them. See my towel post from today but essentially I feel like I’m putting myself on a tight rope that isn’t there and you sound to be doing the same. What are the chances you really touched the brush and then touched your phone without washing your hands? In reality? Also, if you wash your hands with soap, I am sure you are fine. 

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1 minute ago, BigDave said:

Sounds to me like we have similar issues. I am desperately trying to get over them. See my towel post from today but essentially I feel like I’m putting myself on a tight rope that isn’t there and you sound to be doing the same. What are the chances you really touched the brush and then touched your phone without washing your hands? In reality? Also, if you wash your hands with soap, I am sure you are fine. 

Yes the chances are very low as I get stressed at the idea of having to use it when I do block the toilet and yes I also go through many towels today it was 4. I keep getting these false thoughts which seem real i feel it’s spoiling my life this ocd behaviour 

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Yep. I know what you are feeling. Sadly, I think we have to come to the realisation at some point that we have to bat away those thoughts and take the risk, acceptable risk, if we are to enjoy life. 

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Phil, sorry to hear you're struggling so much with the thoughts.

6 hours ago, Phil10 said:

I believe the ocd’s goal is to believe the whole world is contaminated. I don’t know anyone suffering contamination like this even if i never had a toilet brush I get thoughts I put my hand down a toilet.

Your first sentence here - that's a good way to get better - to accept that everything is contaminated and that's OK! Also, you're definitely not alone - there are many, many people who are suffering with similar problems, myself included.

Let me just reiterate what many others have said: you've been having these thoughts for years, and you've been performing compulsions that have been validating your irrational fears for a very long time. It's going to take a while before you start seeing a significant change in your thoughts and feelings.

If you want to get better, you need to aim for no compulsions. It's hard - even now, several months after my worst bout of OCD-related issues, I sometimes still clean things a more often than I probably should, but I'm trying my best to stop. Your focus now should be to gradually reduce the compulsions you're still performing (cleaning, replacing etc.) and work towards that magical number, 0. Don't clean your phone. Don't clean your shoes, or the letterbox. In fact, at some point it'd be useful for you to deliberately 'contaminate' your stuff, e.g. by deliberately dropping your phone in the dirty laundry basket, or even dumping a whole load of unwashed clothes over your head, to help you to get used to the fact that there's nothing wrong with the dirty clothes and all this 'contamination' is just an irrational concept in your head.

It's going to take time, Phil - it's a long, hard marathon, and sometimes exposing yourself to your fears really sucks! But that's the only way you'll get better. You have to be patient and stick with it - I wish there were an easy way to cure OCD, but it's just not possible in 2018, and that's something you have to accept.

Edited by bobfish

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Phil, you said your compulsions worked before. You are wrong.

Compulsions never work. Yes, they can bring temporary relief, but they cause more intrusive thoughts, doubt and anxiety going forward. How can compulsions possibly work when they make your overall situation worse?

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1 hour ago, PolarBear said:

Phil, you said your compulsions worked before. You are wrong.

Compulsions never work. Yes, they can bring temporary relief, but they cause more intrusive thoughts, doubt and anxiety going forward. How can compulsions possibly work when they make your overall situation worse?

Because I got relief and then forgot about the germ situation usually. So for me it worked but I’m in a situation now where doing compulsions is failing as I feel just as anxious as before I don’t understand it really as these compulsions would give me that relief temporary or not that doesn’t matter the worry went away. Now I can take a towel and another one and another one and another and still worry perhaps I need to do more reading on ocd but I have not seen any literature which talks about doing a complulsion and not giving relief. The relief has stopped I mean the odd time it works but now I just worry more.

I can only put it down to the intensity of my ocd. I actually get a thought now where I have the ocd thought like if I shower I will still feel dirty so I can either A. Sit and feel dirty or B. Shower and still feel dirty. 

I don’t think this pattern of thinking is normal or natural. Perhaps you can explain why the relief is no longer working and I want to keep doing compulsions after compulsion and never feeling “just right”? Or show some some examples of this faulty thinking or compulsions failing with others as right now i believe my ocd is very unique and gone even beyond normal ocd.

Edited by Phil10

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Look, Phil... for some time you have been telling us your compulsions don't work anymore. Then why in the world do you keep doing them? You want to analyze this phenomenon but that's not going to do you any good.

 

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1 hour ago, PolarBear said:

Look, Phil... for some time you have been telling us your compulsions don't work anymore. Then why in the world do you keep doing them? You want to analyze this phenomenon but that's not going to do you any good.

 

I do them in the hope they will work again. I feel no end in sight changed my clothes about three times today and had three showers and used about 7 towels now. I had got better with this using one towel however it seems a lack of will power

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25 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

How long are you going to hope they work before you get sick of running around in circles?

The compulsions have worked in the past as they gave relief but that relief has stopped because after doing a compulsion I either want to do another or I feel instantly dirty or contaminated so the compulsion failed. Best example is the iron boards I bought 2 and three new irons only to have to return them all.

I agree I am in a loop but I can’t seem to get out it I mean I want help but I am struggling. Right now I feel pretty miserable as my ocd seems to control me. I am the type of person who searches for answers why it is worse ect I’m a deep thinker. I don’t feel I have a clear strategy to beat it even with therapy it was new ways to beat it every session none which worked like writing stuff down no good 

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Phil, all OCD sufferers are deep thinkers, otherwise known as ruminators. Ruminating is a compulsion, as useless as using more than one towel in a day. It gets you nowhere.

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22 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

Phil, all OCD sufferers are deep thinkers, otherwise known as ruminators. Ruminating is a compulsion, as useless as using more than one towel in a day. It gets you nowhere.

Yes that’s true but like I say one week I managed one towel and thought I got over it the week after 7 towels I feel I can’t win?

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