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Phil10

False ocd thoughts urge to throw clothes away

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16 hours ago, PolarBear said:

As I've said many times before, compulsions don't work. Sure, sometimes you get temporary relief, but it is only temporary. Soon enough another intrusive thought, another imaginary crisis, pops up and you're back to doing more compulsions. How can anyone say that compulsions work when, in the end, you just keep doing them over and over? That's one thing for you to consider.

The second, again this is old news, is that compulsions make your situation worse. They actually make your overall situation worse than what it is. You've been complaining lately that your OCD is getting more severe than it used to be. There is one reason for that: because you are doing more compulsions now than you did before. OCD brains are broken, in some way that we can't readily define. You do compulsions in response to obsessions. When you do compulsions, it's like that broken brain part says, "Wow, he really paid attention to that thought I sent out. He thinks it's important. I'll send out more of those thoughts in the future!" Do you see? So you get more thoughts about contamination, and that causes you to want to do more compulsions. And not only do you go round and round, but it's more severe... the thoughts seem more real, more dangerous. The compulsions seem to help less and less. You not only go round and round, but you go round in a downward spiral. Just when you think things can't possibly get any worse, OCD shows you they can.

This is the reality of OCD, Phil. And it all hinges on two things: your believing the obsessions (intrusive thoughts) are true and therefore in need of fixing, and your doing compulsions to try and fix the situation. You have absolutely NO proof that there are germs on your iron, ironing board, iPad, watch, bed, towel, etc, beyond the average, everyday germs that are on every surface everywhere. None. That broken part of your brain tells you there is nasty, bad germs on these things, but you have no proof. And you have a choice. For a very long time now, you have chosen to believe the thoughts and that makes doing compulsions seem like the right thing to do. But, you can choose differently. You can choose to see that all those thousands upon thousands of thoughts you've had about contamination were all a lie. They were fake. They were a mirage created by your brain. And they can be dismissed. You can do nothing about them and nothing bad will happen. Sure, your anxiety will go up because that broken part of your brain is going to be screaming at you that there is danger and you MUST do something, but it's just more of the same.

Yes you are correct there is no proof sometimes I wish I could put my stuff under a microscope and check for germs but that might not help either. And yes my ocd brain is broken

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4 hours ago, Phil10 said:

Then im back to the iPad issue I have the urge to buy yet another iPad how can I resist the urge? 

You resist the urge by not buying a new one. It's that simple.

Which is not to say it's easy. But you need to start challenging your behaviour more and sitting through the anxiety. Otherwise things will just get worse.

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2 hours ago, bobfish said:

You resist the urge by not buying a new one. It's that simple.

Which is not to say it's easy. But you need to start challenging your behaviour more and sitting through the anxiety. Otherwise things will just get worse.

Problem is the thoughts don’t go away and sometimes the anxiety sticks around too. It’s not easy to sit with it

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No, it really isn't easy - I understand just how hard it can be. But you've got to push yourself. Every time you give into a compulsion, you make things ever so slightly worse, as you've discovered. I know it doesn't feel like things are getting better while you're struggling with the anxiety, but you'll thank yourself in the long run.

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2 hours ago, bobfish said:

No, it really isn't easy - I understand just how hard it can be. But you've got to push yourself. Every time you give into a compulsion, you make things ever so slightly worse, as you've discovered. I know it doesn't feel like things are getting better while you're struggling with the anxiety, but you'll thank yourself in the long run.

I second what bob fish is saying. The reason the anxiety is so hard to sit with is because every time it comes, you perform a compulsion which you think is providing you relief but it isn’t. Actually what it is doing is making the anxiety stronger and harder to deal with. You have to face it, sit down with it and let it float away. Nothing bad will happen. And as time goes by, the anxiety will slowly release and you will feel better. 

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My ocd thoughts have taken a slightly new twist today as I had a dream I put my hand down the toilet so I woke up worrying my phone was dirty. My hands never smelt of toilet nor where they wet? Maybe they dried but the thoughts again seem real but no evidence to prove it

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Phill, we need to be using this thread to try and move forward and by working on facing your challenges, rather than discussing the problem(s)  It's now run to 17 pages and  isn't really helping you effectively.  The worries are all variations on a theme but are all OCD.  You don't need to consider the variations you have to try and work on identifying the many compulsions you have and then start to work a plan on how to reduce them.  The reason the anxiety doesn't fall is because you are almost certainly continuing with compulsions.

Let's look at today's worry, waking up after a dream and worrying your phone was dirty.  Firstly, you are aware that the cause of the thought was a dream, not reality but it has left you with feelings of doubt.  You have then started to ruminate, to go over thoughts to see if you could find evidence.  You have been checking (smelling your hands), you go back to the rumination, you post on your thread to share your fears and find reassurance.  So you have to accept the cause (OCD + dream), resist the checking and really work hard at spotting when your brain slips into rumination mode and keep gently stopping engagement with those thoughts.  Your brain will pull you back there, probably after only a few minutes.  Be aware of what's happening, it's an ingrained behaviour and you need to actively work at changing it.  Try and work on those things today.  Write down as many compulsions as you can identify.  If they don't seem obvious simply look at he things you do/think immediately following and anxious thought, doubt or fear

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My latest thought pattern is similar to other ones but will mention it anyway

Anything I buy in the shops I take upstairs I have a thought “maybe it went into the bathroom next to the dirty laundry on the floor” so have a pile of shopping of stuff that I have not used as I fear germs. The cupboard is a mess with stuff now. I got stuff for my stag night and I worry it’s been in bathroom and it I take it to the pub it’s will contaminate the pub. 

On an upside I have eliminated my compulsions and stopped doing many of these.

It seems to be replaced by the above or life questions. This has been a pattern with my ocd once I beat the ocd something else fills the void.

Any tips?

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I worry I have to throw towels away as when I was in the toilet my fingers brushed the towel and I worry it could have poo germs on it. I mean I don’t throw away my under wear and tops when I sit on a toilet and touch them but for towels I worry I need to

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6 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

You don't need to worry. That's all a big lie.

Sadly the ocd seems to find new ways to aggrivate me but it follows a similar pattern like “if I don’t throw the towel away all my towels will become dirty” that’s something I have not spoken about as much my ocd tells me the consequences if I don’t do a compulsion to neutralise the issue. 

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Of course it does. But you make a choice to believe the thoughts and act on them. And it is a choice.

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I opted to wash the towels as if I chuckled them away I would worry either way that the bin was contaminated but I worry about the clenliness of the washing machine now. I was in a position where no matter what I do I will ocd here I am not sure I will use the towels.

Like if I go to the toilet I touch my boxers with my hands before I reach the tap to wash my hands and they get washed but can’t seem to tell myself that with the towels.

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Like if I had a poo strain on my boxers I would wash them and not worry yet I worry more about these germs from not washing my hands 

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You need to stop explaining what your thoughts are and what compulsions you are doing. Some is not bad but you do it almost every post.

What are you going to try differently? Because what you are doing isn't working.

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11 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

You need to stop explaining what your thoughts are and what compulsions you are doing. Some is not bad but you do it almost every post.

What are you going to try differently? Because what you are doing isn't working.

I’m not sure I have stopped the compulsions like you said however they have only been replaced by new worries ?

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I kept the towels never chucked them but I’ve put them in isolation in the towel box and put them to one side. I fear the fact my hands after a poo were not clean and brushed that towel so it’s a contamination risk

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I have the same issue with the iron board I have been using the old one but been keen to order a new one again but so far resisted as I know I will worry again I mean I will buy one but it probably won’t solve anything. I just walk around with creased clothes most of the time as I’m not keen on using the iron and iron board 

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If you don't stop doing compulsions, OCD will eventually make you feel that everything is contaminated and find reasons why to support the fears.

Smaller challenge: you need to stop using a towel box.

you need to let the towels be in contact with and 'contaminate' the carpet, bed, every corner of the bedroom. 

Larger challenge: Better yet leave the towels on the bathroom floor and use them to dry yourself. Then carry on with your day, feel contaminated and ignore the urge to analyse and the urge to undo the contamination. 

 

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32 minutes ago, Orwell1984 said:

If you don't stop doing compulsions, OCD will eventually make you feel that everything is contaminated and find reasons why to support the fears.

Smaller challenge: you need to stop using a towel box.

you need to let the towels be in contact with and 'contaminate' the carpet, bed, every corner of the bedroom. 

Larger challenge: Better yet leave the towels on the bathroom floor and use them to dry yourself. Then carry on with your day, feel contaminated and ignore the urge to analyse and the urge to undo the contamination. 

 

Yes the issue is I stopped doing compulsions and they either return or get replaced by another thought pattern as I posted elsewhere when I was having existence questions 

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3 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

Yes the issue is I stopped doing compulsions and they either return or get replaced by another thought pattern as I posted elsewhere when I was having existence questions 

That's the nature of OCD. It will flit from topic to topic but if you see it for what it is and don't answer or analyse the questions, your brain will learn to ignore the temptation to analyse or undo the thoughts.

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What changes are you going to try and target to help move things forward?  We're 17 pages here pretty much stuck on variations of the same theme.  It's not helping to discuss  the very small variations, we have to work with the fact that the anxiety & doubt is all OCD driven and something that needs to be addressed to move forward.  Let's look at ways to face these doubts in a way that's more pro-active rather than explaining each fear/doubt as it happens.  Try & look at all we've discussed and try and see how we might change that

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I have been avoiding some hotels in stayed in years ago due to blocking the toilet I fear going back will get germs on my suitcase.

Also if I buy something new and take it upstairs I worry it’s instantly dirty.

I have situations where something has been “forever contaminated” and nothing can change my thinking cleaning stuff isn’t enough? 

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12 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

I have been avoiding some hotels in stayed in years ago due to blocking the toilet I fear going back will get germs on my suitcase.

Also if I buy something new and take it upstairs I worry it’s instantly dirty.

I have situations where something has been “forever contaminated” and nothing can change my thinking cleaning stuff isn’t enough? 

Phil, this sort of posting is not helping you at all, it is actually helping to support and maintain your OCD.  You say that "Nothing can change my thinking", that isn't true but your thinking will stay like this until you change the way you respond to these fears and currently that is by the use of compulsions.....the use of this thread being a major one.

I'd like you to think about how you can try and address this, what you could do differently when the urge comes to post on the thread.  What sort of feelings might you experience if you resist?  What you can try and do to deal with the feelings of distress etc.  Let's try and move away from posting your thoughts or explaining what you can't do or fear and try and move towards an action plan as to how you can change this :)

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