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Phil10

False ocd thoughts urge to throw clothes away

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20 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

My ocd finds patterns

Phil.....Your OCD doesn't "find" patterns.  These are patterns and rules that you are creating as rituals to try and find safety.....but there is nothing sinister or complex about this (although I know how painful it is) it is your mind that is creating these rules.  In order to break free you have to start disobeying the rules you've put in place.  You have to resist them and start to face the anxiety it will provoke.  I know it's hard....but so is the life you're living now.

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1 hour ago, Caramoole said:

Phil.....Your OCD doesn't "find" patterns.  These are patterns and rules that you are creating as rituals to try and find safety.....but there is nothing sinister or complex about this (although I know how painful it is) it is your mind that is creating these rules.  In order to break free you have to start disobeying the rules you've put in place.  You have to resist them and start to face the anxiety it will provoke.  I know it's hard....but so is the life you're living now.

I will try using the old iron and iron board a bit longer knowing it was a false thought that’s why I’ve not worried my clothes are dirty. I will update on how I get on but I’ve put my new iron and iron board on the spare room to see how I get on. I have told myself right now that I will use the old iron for work and if I go on holiday or wedding new iron but I will hold off as that’s not for many months. 

It’s not often I replace something and delay using it so it’s a new tactic obviously the end goal is I avoid replacing so much stuff. I’m not at a stage where I can accept dirty washing is clean or anything but I have put it to the back of my mind and if the thoughts are false like maybe my shoes tonight went hear dirty washing I will bash these thoughts off. 

I may only last a day with the old iron but I can see what happens 

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39 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

I’m not at a stage where I can accept dirty washing is clean or anything

Perhaps its just a miscommunication, but I want to clear this up in case its leading to confusion:

Dirty washing IS dirty. You do not have to accept that dirty washing is clean.  Getting past OCD isn't about ignoring reality. 
People without OCD, and people with OCD who don't have your type of anxiety also know that dirty washing is dirty.  Thats normal.

The false thought you have come to believe is that because something might have touched dirty laundry its contaminated, and that it can spread that contamination.  Non-OCD people don't replace things like you are doing because of "contamination" from touching something that touched dirty washing.

Again, you have thoroughly bought in to two false beliefs (one core belief and one secondary) that you need to challenge them in order to get better:

  1. That things can become "contaminated" from contact/possible contact with other contaminated things (like dirty washing, shoes you wore outside, etc).
  2. That "contaminated" items must be replaced.

These are the lies OCD has lead you to believe.  Learn to challenge them and start to disbelieve them and you will get better.

So what does challenging them mean?  Does it mean never having that thought again?  No, thats probably not possible.  You can't actively make yourself stop having a thought, simply by trying you are still thinking about it.  A common example is to think of a red balloon.  Ok, next, DON'T think about a red balloon.  Ok, quick check, are you not thinking about the red balloon? Ha, trick question because now you've just thought about it again.  You can, and likely will for some time continue to have the thought that things are contaminated.  You'll continue to have the thought that things need to be replaced.  Thats ok.  Its not ideal, but its ok.  Having a thought does NOT mean the thought is real, remember the unicorn example I used before? I could think about unicorns all day.  I could imagine them in detail.  I could tell myself there is a unicorn right around the corner of my office hallway, but none of that will make a unicorn real.  Just because you have the thought "this is contaminated" does not mean it is.  If you have the thought "the sky is purple and green polkadot" it does NOT mean thats true.  The trick with OCD is accepting that you will have these thoughts but not letting yourself dwell on them.  There are a variety of approaches to mindfully handling this, I prefer the Four Steps approach from Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz (author of the fantastic book "Brain Lock").  The idea with all of them though is to learn to disassociate the thought with the anxiety, to learn to accept the thought as a thought that has no real meaning, a thing you can basically acknowledge but don't have to respond to.  Doing so will be hard at first, like unlearning any bad habit, but if you work at it you will get better and better and it will get easier and easier.  Every time you resist a compulsion, whether its the physical replacement of items, or mental analysis of the situation (called rumination) you'll be taking one more step towards recovery.

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So say I don’t replace something 

e.g I kept my old strimmer and use it for the area next to the bins only 

I kept my front door but I won’t accept any phone cases via the door everything else ok

now the iron and iron board I may try and keep it but on say special occasions I may use the new iron and iron board 

it seems like I’m only half beating the ocd in ways? 

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6 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

 

it seems like I’m only half beating the ocd in ways? 

Spot on. 

What you're doing is trying to swim across an ocean while still keeping your hand on the shore. You stay "safe" but you don't get very far either. 

You need to really start to work on dropping all your compulsions and braving the anxiety. 

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3 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

Spot on. 

What you're doing is trying to swim across an ocean while still keeping your hand on the shore. You stay "safe" but you don't get very far either. 

You need to really start to work on dropping all your compulsions and braving the anxiety. 

:yes:

As GBG explains, you're trying to constantly retain a safety net.  Putting safety measures in place isn't helpful.  You have to understand that your core belief is incorrect and that you feel this way because OCD is making you feel unsafe and that things are contaminated, NOT that they actually are.  You then have to try & do the things you are trying to control or avoid and learn not to react to the surges of anxiety it provokes.

Whether it's clothing or bedding or whatever, that washing that you feel is contaminated is washing that you have been wearing or sleeping in and it hasn't harmed you or anyone else, such is the illogical nature of OCD.  It is the belief you have about it and the reinforcement of that belief (rumination, working out avoidance/control plans) that are causing the problems

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Yes that’s true

Even changing iron boards has not helped as I got ocd that I need a second iron again incase my partner wears an item of clothing twice and I would think it’s dirty. Also I worry about cold and hot safe colours so worry about the colour of the iron board so seems everything sets off my ocd.

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I just thought it would be progress that I never changed the door and it’s onky phone cases I won’t accept via the letter box

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I had another germ issue tonight my mum dropped a potty of urine down herself and got changed but never showered but changed her clothes but my worry is she sat on my sofa? 

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14 minutes ago, Caramoole said:

Sit with the anxiety and try and ride it out Phil

Yes I am sitting here worried about these irons and not knowing what to do. Sometimes I have irrational thoughts like I worried my key has been in my trousers on the dirty pile and I dismissed it but I couldn’t do it the other week with the zipper. My head finds patterns. At the moment I feel I have to be anxious which is annoying 

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On ‎20‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 11:53, Phil10 said:

Im not having CBT now as it was costing too much I had 7 sessions though 

That's a shame because you should have at least 12 hourly sessions minimum, as you'll probably have found sessions 8-12 is where the real magic happens! 

You really need the best quality therapist that you can find/afford to help you, because all this thrashing out of deals and compromise with your OCD is just prolonging the agony and achieving very little.

Edited by felix4

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5 minutes ago, felix4 said:

That's a shame because you should have at least 12 hourly sessions minimum, as you'll probably have found sessions 8-12 is where the real magic happens! 

You really need the best quality therapist that you can find/afford to help you, because all this thrashing out of deals and compromise with your OCD is just prolonging the agony and achieving very little.

Well basically I said to her I will wait and see if I can get any nhs therapy if not maybe come back she said ok could maybe have more sessions while I wait for Cbt. Now I found out I can’t have any Cbt on the nhs and now I emailed the theripst she told try YouTube and apps! My psychiatrist told me YouTube too. 

So there you go I am struggling and nobody seems to give a hoot. At the moment I’m not having therapy as obviously she doesn’t want to see me again despite me paying £40 a session. So basically I will struggle on myself and if need be at a later date I would now have to look for another theripst willing to help me..

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41 minutes ago, felix4 said:

That's a shame because you should have at least 12 hourly sessions minimum, as you'll probably have found sessions 8-12 is where the real magic happens! 

You really need the best quality therapist that you can find/afford to help you, because all this thrashing out of deals and compromise with your OCD is just prolonging the agony and achieving very little.

Not sure if you are ironic or not here, hehe. Even if I do agree with you that a therapist is best to have, because this is so hard anyway.. But I have to say that Phil have to change his mindset, I am afraid you can have all the therapy in the world and still be compulsive. Phil have to really let the idea that all of this is unnecassarily and that the thoughts aren't the problem. To me it seems like Phil is running around solving individual compulsions. 

In this case I would advice some book or something, because I feel like the information isn't there? Could be wrong here, but do you actually understand how OCD works Phil? Or do you think that all those individual problems which emerges is the real problem? Why do you get anxious do you have an idea to why you are getting anxious?

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

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1 minute ago, OCDhavenobrain said:

Not sure if ironic or not. But I have to say that Phil have to change his mindset, I am afraid you can have all the therapy in the world and still be compulsive. Phil have to really let the idea that all of this is unnecassarily and that the thoughts aren't the problem. To me it seems like Phil is running around solving individual compulsions. 

In this case I would advice some book or something, because I feel like the information isn't there? Could be wrong here, but do you actually understand how OCD works Phil? Or do you think that all those individual problems which emerges are the problem? Why do you get anxious? 

That’s a difficult question but I think I understand yes I have read lots on it but do I sit and study it often? No 

My worry is that theripst isn’t willing to see me again so that makes me feel stuck like there is no help? I mean I went a while without therapy before though and can always use forums

Ocd works different for everybody I mean not everyone has the urge to replace something most even with ocd will clean. I hear often that I have to eliminate the anxiety to get rid of the ocd. I think my short term aim has to be to avoid replacing stuff 

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15 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

That’s a difficult question but I think I understand yes I have read lots on it but do I sit and study it often? No 

My worry is that theripst isn’t willing to see me again so that makes me feel stuck like there is no help? I mean I went a while without therapy before though and can always use forums

Ocd works different for everybody I mean not everyone has the urge to replace something most even with ocd will clean. I hear often that I have to eliminate the anxiety to get rid of the ocd. I think my short term aim has to be to avoid replacing stuff 

The thing is that you can get rid of OCD on your own. It is a possibility. 

Could it be that the idea of exposing yourself seems too frightening to you? I mean could it be that you hope that she/he will make it easier to overcome it all? A therapist can see what kind of compulsions you have and then make a plan. He/she can also inform you about OCD and it can be easier when you have support, but there will never be a way around the fact that you are the person who have to feel the anxiety. 

It is pretty obvious what  kind of compulsions which are the worst in your case. Are you sure that they are telling you to "get rid of the anxiety"? 

To overcome OCD you have to do the right thing more often than you do the wrong thing. The idea you are having that you could stop replacing is a good idea, but if you haven't stopped yourself from replacing I am afraid that you haven't exposed yourself. If you did stop yourself from replacing the door that is great, now one have to watch out so she/he doesn't do other compulsions instead of the one he/she didn't do. If you are getting rid of the anxiety by doing other compulsions than you are stuck in the cycle. 

 

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

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33 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

I think you'd benefit from reading brain lock, Phil. 

I will check that one out 

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28 minutes ago, OCDhavenobrain said:

The thing is that you can get rid of OCD on your own. It is a possibility. 

Could it be that the idea of exposing yourself seems too frightening to you? I mean could it be that you hope that she/he will make it easier to overcome it all? A therapist can see what kind of compulsions you have and then make a plan. He/she can also inform you about OCD and it can be easier when you have support, but there will never be a way around the fact that you are the person who have to feel the anxiety. 

It is pretty obvious what  kind of compulsions which are the worst in your case. Are you sure that they are telling you to "get rid of the anxiety"? 

To overcome OCD you have to do the right thing more often than you do the wrong thing. The idea you are having that you could stop replacing is a good idea, but if you haven't stopped yourself from replacing I am afraid that you haven't exposed yourself. If you did stop yourself from replacing the door that is great, now one have to watch out so she/he doesn't do other compulsions instead of the one he/she didn't do. If you are getting rid of the anxiety by doing other compulsions than you are stuck in the cycle. 

 

Well exposing myself to these worries happens a lot I mean kept the front door and I kept the old iron for now. So yes I mean I wish I could replace everything including my house each time I get anxious but can’t so I settle on replacing certain items and finding patterns in my head. On another way the issue with the rucksack I would have ignored :/ 

in terms of anxiety well when my ocd was low before my anxiety was low so I kind of see a link here? 

And I sometimes replace sometimes I resist it. I’m not getting rid of the anxiety replacing because my head is finding other ways to worry

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41 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

I think you'd benefit from reading brain lock, Phil. 

There’s a sample on iTunes so I can have a quick look

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Is it normal to spend hours worrying over ocd thoughts do other people here get that too? Sometimes it feels impossible to be in my mind as all I can think of is the ocd?

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17 hours ago, Phil10 said:

Is it normal to spend hours worrying over ocd thoughts do other people here get that too? Sometimes it feels impossible to be in my mind as all I can think of is the ocd?

Is it normal in general? No.
Is it normal for someone with OCD? It's pretty much the definition of OCD.  
So what do you do? You have to teach your mind not to care about those thoughts.  You do that by working on not responding to them, not giving them weight.  When you notice that you are thinking about your worry, acknowledge that its there, then move on with whatever else you want/have/can do.  The idea is not that you'll never have the thought, or you'll avoid the thought, just that you don't have to respond to the thought.  That includes rumination and analysis, which is hard to do at first, but just do your best that when you catch yourself ruminating to remind yourself its not going to help and refocus your attention on something else.  At first it will seem impossible, you'll be doing it often, but if you keep at it, in time you'll find it becomes less and less of an issue.  In a way its like stopping smoking (or drinking, or any other potentially bad habit). At first you'll think about cigarettes al the time, it will seem nearly impossible not to have one, but the longer you resist having a smoke (or engaging in a compulsion) the easier it will get.  Sometimes you might slip up, but when you do, catch yourself and work on doing better next time.  

BTW, I highly recommend Brain Lock as well, its a fantastic book and really helped me understand and get a handle on my own OCD.

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Yes I read a book called break free from your ocd has anyone read that?

How can I challenge the thought about the safe blue and red colours it spells back to when I had a breakdown in 2016 I became obsessed with religion and superstition with my illness.

and it’s interesting you mention slipping up often I am hard on myself if I slip up. I am also waiting for more beta blockers from the doctors so this would reduce my anxiety a bit. 

So distraction may be the key? At the moment I feel turned over by the ocd and anxiety 

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