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Pranjali

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4 minutes ago, Pranjali said:

Thank you GBG. I do not know what to say, it feels so hopeless the road to recovery right now. Anyway, if it is not asking for too, much can you explain what this means? I apologize but I did not understand how does self punishment make me feel worse? I am unable to comprehend this one.

Because I personally feel (I could be wrong yes), for all this while it is the self punishment and the thought of carrying out is killing me from inside. Really I tell you! That's why I am asking for clarification here. 

I am sorry :(

No need to apologise - it's hard!

Ok well - what is driving you to want to punish yourself? Why are you doing it?

Edited by gingerbreadgirl

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1 hour ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

This is where you go round and round and round trying to sort through everything, pin it down, put it in a nice labelled box.  But unfortunately - as you are discovering - the more you ruminate, the more anxious, guilty and uncomfortable you feel.  This is because compulsions teach your brain that this obsession is very important and needs to be "fixed" before you can move on. 

Also, in this case as rumination refers to going round and round to figure all this out -but like you shared your experience - where you were convinced about something - so am I. How do I not do this at all? I mean where do I start? It is not that I am going in circle to analyze this really, believe me it is the conviction that is ingrained in my through months now.

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9 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

No need to apologise - it's hard!

Ok well - what is driving you to want to punish yourself? Why are you doing it?

Hmmm..thanks for understanding.

What is driving me towards self punishment is that - I truly believe that I cannot be in my fiance's life anymore because I do not deserve to be in his life after cheating on him. The episode of cheating is something I cannot just cannot get over, I have tried for months now and therefore the idea of self punishment follows - because - if I am not with him or don't get to be with him (of course it will hurt me like crazy as well), but then that is what I deserve right - my mind has come to accept that that would be the only way I would settle for my misdoings for that is morally right. 

I don't know if I have been able to put down in words, I hope I have been. I am really in a mess and now scared that this thread too might be discontinued. Please let me know if it is not clear.

Edited by Pranjali

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11 minutes ago, Pranjali said:

I do not deserve to be 

that is what I deserve right? 

So you're punishing yourself because it feels morally correct, you deserve it. So you carry on punishing yourself because if you stopped it would be morally wrong, letting yourself off the hook. 

So the self punishment becomes compulsive because even if you've cheated, you've punished yourself so you've not got away with it, you've not let yourself off the hook. 

The self punishment therefore is to make you feel like a morally good person on some level. This is why it is compulsive - you are trying to resolve it, ease  your fears about being a bad person. 

A question - how would you feel if you stopped punishing yourself? Anxious? Uncomfortable? Why not give it a try and see?

Don't worry about the thread bring closed. It is so hard in the beginning to get your head round all this. 

Edited by gingerbreadgirl

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2 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

So the self punishment becomes compulsive because even if you've cheated, you've punished yourself so you've not got away with it, you've not let yourself off the hook. 

The self punishment therefore is to make you feel like a morally good person on some level. This is why it is compulsive - you are trying to resolve it, ease  your fears about being a bad person. 

Thank you for the clarification. It is taking some time honestly for me to process this because and then face it. I read your message but was thinking about it for sometime. Thank you again for investing time and energy in this. Indeed.

So essentially what you are saying is in my case, self punishment is a compulsion because it is being used by me as a mechanism to 'fix' or 'resolve' my misdoings/me as a bad person. Is that how it is?

Secondly, I hope people on this forum do not get angry - but then my query if you agree with my first point that if self punishment is a compulsion to fix my wrongs, isn't that how it is supposed to be? You fix things which you damage? Even if that means suffering/punishing yourself for your mistakes?

So the self punishment becomes compulsive because even if you've cheated, you've punished yourself so you've not got away with it, you've not let yourself off the hook. I did not follow this genuinely.

I feel pathetic nagging so much here and I am sure most of the people here feel this too is a compulsion but trust me it is not..I am not looking for reassurance, rather here I want clarity on what is what, at least would like to know what is happening with me.  

Thank you.

 

Edited by Pranjali

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Firstly - there is no way anyone here would ever be angry with you for posting.  We all understand the torment of OCD - we have all been where you are and we know how immensely difficult it can be to find a way forwards.  So no more apologising :) - we're here to help, and we'll help you find a way forwards out of this nightmare.

24 minutes ago, Pranjali said:

isn't that how it is supposed to be? You fix things which you damage? Even if that means suffering/punishing yourself for your mistakes?

OK so firstly - no I do not believe that's how it's meant to be.  I don't believe anyone should be condemned to a lifetime of self-torture for any reason.  But this isn't really the issue here.  The issue here is that you have no evidence of any wrongdoing.  None whatsoever.  You are condemning yourself to a lifetime of misery (and believe me, that is what OCD amounts to if you continue doing compulsions) on the basis of - what exactly? A feeling you have.

There is no evidence of wrongdoing, none whatsoever - and yet there is a mountain of evidence this is OCD.  Everything you are experiencing is an extremely common run-of-the-mill symptom of OCD.  Right down to the doubt you are experiencing OCD. 

Edited by gingerbreadgirl

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2 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

 

Firstly - there is no way anyone here would ever be angry with you for posting.  We all understand the torment of OCD - we have all been where you are and we know how immensely difficult it can be to find a way forwards.  So no more apologising :) - we're here to help, and we'll help you find a way forwards out of this nightmare.

OK so firstly - no I do not believe that's how it's meant to be.  I don't believe anyone should be condemned to a lifetime of self-torture for any reason.  But this isn't really the issue here.  The issue here is that you have no evidence of any wrongdoing.  None whatsoever.  You are condemning yourself to a lifetime of misery (and believe me, that is what OCD amounts to if you continue doing compulsions) on the basis of - what exactly? A feeling you have.

There is no evidence of wrongdoing, none whatsoever - and yet there is a mountain of evidence this is OCD.  Everything you are experiencing is an extremely common run-of-the-mill symptom of OCD.  Right down to the doubt you are experiencing OCD. 

Hmmmm thanks a lot GBG for understanding really..Yea I do not have any evidence to pin point as such. And as I understand, carrying out compulsions is what aggravates OCD and makes the person stuck. But what I am really not able to follow is how is punishing my own self a compulsion?

Compulsion is an activity which gives you some sort of relief against your anxiety but of course for a short time only to realize you are anxious and in the same trap. Right? But what I am saying is in my case punishing my self is not giving me any relief; yes it is not helping either but as strange as this sounds I do not get why is it unhelpful?

I insist on knowing this primarily because believe me for the past few months the idea of self punishment has gripped me a lot and the thought of continuing to punish myself (i.e moving away from my fiancé which I really do not want to) is the first and last thought of my day.

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You are getting hung up on this point about self punishment and this in itself is a compulsion, you are trying to figure it all out. You need to leave this issue alone, leave it unsolved and uncertain and a huge weight over your mind. Just leave it there, let your brain do whatever. You need to step back from it and stop trying so hard to pin it down - no matter how many answers you get it will never be enough. 

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9 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

You are getting hung up on this point about self punishment and this in itself is a compulsion, you are trying to figure it all out. You need to leave this issue alone, leave it unsolved and uncertain and a huge weight over your mind. Just leave it there, let your brain do whatever. You need to step back from it and stop trying so hard to pin it down - no matter how many answers you get it will never be enough. 

Hmmm I am slightly lost here. I am trying to make sense out of this.

My biggest problem in my mind has been the thought of cheating and then that feeling driving the idea of self punishment..the idea of acting against my own self and hurting someone I know.  These have been my core nagging  issues..all these three issues have gnawed me for weeks and months.

Yes I do not have evidence, but then seriously it is not that I am stuck for no reason on self punishment or it is not even that I am analyzing this like I said. (I have passed that stage to be honest and like you, by now I am convinced that this instance happened). I do not ruminate as such anymore i.e trying to figure out things, in fact there there is strange acceptance/belief that I did mess up and need to fix it like any another individual who falters.

So I just that I cannot understand for the love of God understand what is wrong in punishing yourself? How is it a compulsion? I just cannot wrap my head around this. I am worried to push this so much on this forum but I reiterate me asking this in particular is not out of another compulsion, where and how is self punishment a compulsion? What about it makes it a compulsion ?Where do I go? It is driving me crazy the lack of understanding on my part about nuances of my behavior.

I don't know what to say, I feel like I am moving in circles here but really these issues are something which have nagged me for months now and I have been struggling for months.

Thank you.

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Why does it matter whether it is a compulsion? Does it matter? It is behaviour which is not helping you or anybody else - it serves no purpose and just makes you miserable. That is the key point. 

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46 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

Why does it matter whether it is a compulsion? Does it matter? It is behaviour which is not helping you or anybody else - it serves no purpose and just makes you miserable. That is the key point. 

This is the obsession I mentioned - creating lots of boxes and needing every one ticked. Overthinking what, to us, seems a typical OCD problem. 

Then creating a new box...  and so it goes on. 

We just want to help you get better. Nothing more. And that is something we can do from our own learnings and experiences. 

GBG is right. It actually doesn't matter, because it is part of the overall obsessive-compulsive experience that is holding you back. 

Try simply summarising what you need to do now in order to recover. Try leaving out the frills and those boxes that have to be ticked ( they don't). 

Keep it just as short simple and focused as you can. 

You will be amazed. When we do that, just focus on only core, key, elements, we start seeing an achievable goal - though the path to it will still need plenty of effort. 

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58 minutes ago, Pranjali said:

So I just that I cannot understand for the love of God understand what is wrong in punishing yourself? How is it a compulsion? I just cannot wrap my head around this. I am worried to push this so much on this forum but I reiterate me asking this in particular is not out of another compulsion, where and how is self punishment a compulsion? What about it makes it a compulsion ?Where do I go? It is driving me crazy the lack of understanding on my part about nuances of my behavior.

Hi Pranjali, what I can see, is that you have OCD with an infidelity theme also known as Cheating OCD. Sufferers of this theme of OCD have an exaggerated fear of either themselves or their partner cheating. In some cases, they become self-convinced the cheating is true in spite of flimsy or the lack of evidence.

In OCD terms, compulsions are actions performed to obtain relief from distress, in this case, it is guilt. Guilt is one of the most intense emotions felt by sufferers of this theme. Often you will heard sufferers constantly ruminate and nitpick their memories to prove they have cheated or break up with their partners because they feel their partners don't deserve someone who has cheated. Breaking up or wanting to break up is seen by the sufferer as a way to punish themselves (self-punishment) and make amends.

However, this a fallacy because this act of self-punishment is a compulsion performed to gain relief from guilt that was caused by an intrusive thought aka an obsession. Performing such a compulsion only serves to prolong and keep the intrusive thought - compulsion cycle alive. The relief gained is only temporary and the guilt will return much stronger in intensity, the guilt will not go away because the obsession of having cheated remains with the sufferer. The sufferer will need to perform more compulsions to seek the relief that will be harder and harder to obtain.

 

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10 hours ago, Pranjali said:

I could never perceive self punishment as a compulsion!

 In response to your message, I would like to have clarification - is the idea of self punishment an obsession or is it a compulsion? Have I gotten this right - Because I am obsessed about feeling guilty for what happened, my compulsion is to punish myself endlessly in order to feel that I got what I deserved? Is this how you all see it or the other way round? Or is that I am obsessed with punishing myself and my compulsion is something else? I am not sure..

In broad strokes, the obsessive thought gets stuck because for whatever reason our mind can't flip the switch to "ok, satisfied" mode.  This leads to feelings of doubt and anxiety.
The compulsion is an attempt to get that feeling of things being "ok, satisfied" that our brain isn't getting about the obsessive thought.  Based on what you've described, you have an intrusive thought/idea/obsession that you are a terrible person, that you have done something awful.  The self-punishment is an attempt to resolve the anxiety around that doubt, you feel by punishing yourself you are proving you aren't a monster.  The issue is not that self-punishment is NEVER a reasonable thing to do, sometimes we SHOULD feel bad, we SHOULD hold ourselves accountable for our actions.  The issue is that you are carrying out that behavior to an unreasonable degree.  Again I go back to hand washing.  Its normally something you SHOULD do, but when done too much it goes from reasonable and rational to harmful and dangerous.  Assuming for the moment you DID cheat on your fiance, then yes, it would be reasonable that if you were a decent person you would feel bad about that and you would punish yourself to a degree.  But it is not reasonable that you would punish yourself permanently, nor that you never deserve happiness.  So even IF you really did cheat on your fiance, your behavior since then is not within the norm, but it IS completely inline with someone with OCD.  Having OCD and admitting/believing you have OCD isn't an excuse, it doesn't let you off the hook if/when you do bad things, but it does mean that sometimes you will respond to a thought in a way that doesn't match up with reasonable behavior.

To put it another way, you are putting forth what is called a false dichotomy, a scenario in which there are two and only two choices.  In your case its either
A: You did something wrong and deserve to be punished for it.
B: You didn't do something wrong and only feel like you did because of OCD.
But there is a third option thats also possible:
C: You did something wrong AND you have OCD, so you are reacting in an irrational fashion and punishing yourself way too hard.

Personally, I'd put my money on B, I think its very likely you never cheated and you only have come to believe you might have because of OCD.  But even if thats not the case, I am confident that if its not B, then its C.  I'm as convinced as I can be that you have OCD, i'd bet money on it.  Because if you DONT have OCD, you have done an incredible and amazing job acting like someone who does.  So unless you've spent an inordinate amount of time researching OCD and OCD sufferers and are for some bizzare reason fooling us all intentionally then yeah, its OCD.

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10 hours ago, Pranjali said:

The evidence part hit the nail to an extent but like you said I do not want to see the lack of evidence as a proof that this is OCD. And as I understand, at this stage it is not possible for me to seek this evidence from my side, isn't it? A person without OCD would probably feel relieved that they are in a safe place as there is lack of evidence. So in this backdrop, what you mean is the entire idea of 'uncertainty' related to the uncertain evidence? 

A person without OCD would not come to believe, after the fact, that they had done something without strong evidence to convince them otherwise.  They would need to two things:
1. A reason to believe that they were in a condition not to remember the event itself right after it happened (say, they were totally drunk)
2. A reason to believe that some event occurred during the time they don't remember

The default assumption is not relief that they didn't do something awful, its that absent evidence they did something awful, there's no reason to even entertain that idea.

For example, every night I go to sleep, as most people do.  It is a theoretical possibility that i commit actions during the night that I can't remember.  Therefore its possible that I have done awful things in my sleep, perhaps even murdered someone.  Yet when I consider this scenario I don't think "Oh thank goodness there is no evidence to prove I murdered someone".  Instead I think "how ridiculous is it to even consider the idea i murdered someone with no proof!".  I could come up with an endless list of hypothetical scenarios for things that happen when I sleep that I am unaware of.  But I don't worry about them because the odds of any of them happening remain virtually 0.  I have been given no evidence whatsoever to suggest i am doing things in my sleep, so why should I even consider it?

Consider the following scenario:  I walk up to you on the street one day and accuse you of murdering my best friend.  I offer no evidence to prove you did it, instead I demand you prove to me and the police that you didn't murder my friend.  Do you think it would be reasonable for the police to detain you and investigate you?  Do you think you would believe that you really did kill my best friend?  I've offered you no proof to back up my claim, why would you even consider it?  The answer is you shouldn't.  And you shouldn't believe an intrusive thought just because you feel like you can't be 100% certain its NOT true.  If you had really done something wrong, where is the evidence?  Where is the indication that you should even entertain the idea that this thing happened?  Do you have actual reasons to believe you met with this guy?  Or, instead, do you feel like it must be true, because if it wasn't you wouldn't even consider the idea?

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1 hour ago, St Mike said:

Hi Pranjali, what I can see, is that you have OCD with an infidelity theme also known as Cheating OCD. Sufferers of this theme of OCD have an exaggerated fear of either themselves or their partner cheating. In some cases, they become self-convinced the cheating is true in spite of flimsy or the lack of evidence.

In OCD terms, compulsions are actions performed to obtain relief from distress, in this case, it is guilt. Guilt is one of the most intense emotions felt by sufferers of this theme. Often you will heard sufferers constantly ruminate and nitpick their memories to prove they have cheated or break up with their partners because they feel their partners don't deserve someone who has cheated. Breaking up or wanting to break up is seen by the sufferer as a way to punish themselves (self-punishment) and make amends.

However, this a fallacy because this act of self-punishment is a compulsion performed to gain relief from guilt that was caused by an intrusive thought aka an obsession. Performing such a compulsion only serves to prolong and keep the intrusive thought - compulsion cycle alive. The relief gained is only temporary and the guilt will return much stronger in intensity, the guilt will not go away because the obsession of having cheated remains with the sufferer. The sufferer will need to perform more compulsions to seek the relief that will be harder and harder to obtain.

 

I think this sums up key elements quite simply. Which in my view is the way forward. 

 

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12 hours ago, dksea said:

A person without OCD would not come to believe, after the fact, that they had done something without strong evidence to convince them otherwise.  They would need to two things:
1. A reason to believe that they were in a condition not to remember the event itself right after it happened (say, they were totally drunk)
2. A reason to believe that some event occurred during the time they don't remember

The default assumption is not relief that they didn't do something awful, its that absent evidence they did something awful, there's no reason to even entertain that idea.

For example, every night I go to sleep, as most people do.  It is a theoretical possibility that i commit actions during the night that I can't remember.  Therefore its possible that I have done awful things in my sleep, perhaps even murdered someone.  Yet when I consider this scenario I don't think "Oh thank goodness there is no evidence to prove I murdered someone".  Instead I think "how ridiculous is it to even consider the idea i murdered someone with no proof!".  I could come up with an endless list of hypothetical scenarios for things that happen when I sleep that I am unaware of.  But I don't worry about them because the odds of any of them happening remain virtually 0.  I have been given no evidence whatsoever to suggest i am doing things in my sleep, so why should I even consider it?

Consider the following scenario:  I walk up to you on the street one day and accuse you of murdering my best friend.  I offer no evidence to prove you did it, instead I demand you prove to me and the police that you didn't murder my friend.  Do you think it would be reasonable for the police to detain you and investigate you?  Do you think you would believe that you really did kill my best friend?  I've offered you no proof to back up my claim, why would you even consider it?  The answer is you shouldn't.  And you shouldn't believe an intrusive thought just because you feel like you can't be 100% certain its NOT true.  If you had really done something wrong, where is the evidence?  Where is the indication that you should even entertain the idea that this thing happened?  Do you have actual reasons to believe you met with this guy?  Or, instead, do you feel like it must be true, because if it wasn't you wouldn't even consider the idea?

Thank you so much for this long well explained post. I have been trying to break it down to gain clarity and I really appreciate that you gave parallel examples. It is too too too early to jump the gun but after reading the post, I get a feeling that as there is no evidence, the entire impression of me having cheated would come across like a lie because I do not have any evidence to substantiate my claim. And like @St Mike mentioned maybe (still unable to make peace with it hence maybe) OCD sufferers try hard to look for evidence to prove that they did cheat instead of letting it go for the lack of evidence. I am sorry I am rambling but just venting out as I have been trying to reflect on this since last night. Thank you once again.

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12 hours ago, dksea said:

Having OCD and admitting/believing you have OCD isn't an excuse, it doesn't let you off the hook if/when you do bad things, but it does mean that sometimes you will respond to a thought in a way that doesn't match up with reasonable behavior.

This part in particular hit me because my I am not able to convince myself that my reaction/behaviour (degree of self punishment) is exaggerated and unreasonable given that I am not able to prove that I did cheat. 

Am I rationalizing here or that is how it is? Or again me asking this very question indicates that I have the doubting disease! :/

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12 hours ago, dksea said:

Personally, I'd put my money on B, I think its very likely you never cheated and you only have come to believe you might have because of OCD.  But even if thats not the case, I am confident that if its not B, then its C.  I'm as convinced as I can be that you have OCD, i'd bet money on it.  Because if you DONT have OCD, you have done an incredible and amazing job acting like someone who does.  So unless you've spent an inordinate amount of time researching OCD and OCD sufferers and are for some bizzare reason

Haha good one. As much as I cannot believe it, I think most of the people in my life have their bets on this is OCD. 

So if I could what you all are saying here (out of your experiences, observations and expertise) is that compulsion is an activity carried out to relieve you from anxiety, but it is fleeting in nature and as much as it does its job in the short run with/of an exaggerated relieving behavioural response (of self punishment), in the end it does not help my case because my obsessions (memory about the event) may not vanish. In fact as I gather from all your posts (so so so difficult to embrace and accept it) that my compulsion (punishing my own self) comes across baseless if I do not have evidence to prove it. It feels like a viscious cycle and feels never ending to move of this trap.

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12 hours ago, dksea said:

The issue is not that self-punishment is NEVER a reasonable thing to do, sometimes we SHOULD feel bad, we SHOULD hold ourselves accountable for our actions.  The issue is that you are carrying out that behavior to an unreasonable degree.  Again I go back to hand washing.  Its normally something you SHOULD do, but when done too much it goes from reasonable and rational to harmful and dangerous.  Assuming for the moment you DID cheat on your fiance, then yes, it would be reasonable that if you were a decent person you would feel bad about that and you would punish yourself to a degree.  But it is not reasonable that you would punish yourself permanently, nor that you never deserve happiness.  So even IF you really did cheat on your fiance, your behavior since then is not within the norm, but it IS completely inline with someone with OCD.  Having OCD and admitting/believing you have OCD isn't an excuse, it doesn't let you off the hook if/when you do bad things, but it does mean that sometimes you will respond to a thought in a way that doesn't match up with reasonable behavior.

So you feel my response of self punishment is exaggerated and unreasonable. But then what would have been the reasonable response in normative terms? I mean who and how to decide the degree of your compulsions? Why is my behaviour punishing my self unreasonable in my case? I feel pathetic :(

Of course one may say stop the compulsion completely but for all these months my concern stems from why not, why and how is this unhelpful? Is it sounding cynical? Why should get away with something, make yourself feel fine and happy for what is not right and is terrible?

I am sorry :( please do not delete this thread :(

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14 hours ago, St Mike said:

Hi Pranjali, what I can see, is that you have OCD with an infidelity theme also known as Cheating OCD. Sufferers of this theme of OCD have an exaggerated fear of either themselves or their partner cheating. In some cases, they become self-convinced the cheating is true in spite of flimsy or the lack of evidence.

In OCD terms, compulsions are actions performed to obtain relief from distress, in this case, it is guilt. Guilt is one of the most intense emotions felt by sufferers of this theme. Often you will heard sufferers constantly ruminate and nitpick their memories to prove they have cheated or break up with their partners because they feel their partners don't deserve someone who has cheated. Breaking up or wanting to break up is seen by the sufferer as a way to punish themselves (self-punishment) and make amends.

However, this a fallacy because this act of self-punishment is a compulsion performed to gain relief from guilt that was caused by an intrusive thought aka an obsession. Performing such a compulsion only serves to prolong and keep the intrusive thought - compulsion cycle alive. The relief gained is only temporary and the guilt will return much stronger in intensity, the guilt will not go away because the obsession of having cheated remains with the sufferer. The sufferer will need to perform more compulsions to seek the relief that will be harder and harder to obtain.

 

Thank you so much for a detailed response. Indeed. One of the most well explained responses. Like I mentioned my problem has not been rumination now (it was before) but it is the anxiety of punishing my own self and the consequences it would have. 

How and why to give up the effort of self punishment? Because as you put it, that would not fetch me much. It might make me feel like I deserve this but it would last only for sometime and the obsession would not leave me.

At the cost of sounding bizarre (which I have said and felt for the past so many months), why should I deserve to move on or let go? Why should I be happy?

Sorry :(

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16 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

You are getting hung up on this point about self punishment and this in itself is a compulsion, you are trying to figure it all out. You need to leave this issue alone, leave it unsolved and uncertain and a huge weight over your mind. Just leave it there, let your brain do whatever. You need to step back from it and stop trying so hard to pin it down - no matter how many answers you get it will never be enough. 

Dear GBG, thank you again for your response. Was just wondering, what is the first step towards not carrying out compulsions? I mean if someone says don't think of self punishment etc, it is more likely that a person will tend to think more on those self loathing themes.

Also, I mean if it was a hand washing or checking theme, may be a person can reduce the number of times and intensity of washing o cleaning. But my compulsions have been different and I have struggled due to them. Iwould like to know how do I stop punishing myself because that compulsion has become automatic to me as I am convinced about my wrongdoings, where and how do I start. How do I unconvince myself?

Thank you again for your time and help.

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1 hour ago, Pranjali said:

Was just wondering, what is the first step towards not carrying out compulsions?

Hi Pranjali

The simplest (but not easy) way to steer yourself away from a compulsion in the beginning is:

  • firstly, notice when you are doing it.  Acknowledge to yourself "I am carrying out a compulsion (by punishing myself)"
  • secondly, make a commitment to try to stop doing it, despite the anxiety you feel
  • thirdly, find something else to pay attention to - it can be anything.  A book, a game, thinking of animals beginning of every letter of the alphabet (one of my favs :) ) - just anything that will occupy your attention
  • fourthly, when you feel your brain wanting to go back to the compulsion (which it will) - gently steer it back onto something else, over and over.

This isn't a long term solution (you can't distract yourself forever) but I think it is a good method to use in the very beginning when compulsions are so ingrained. 

 

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4 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

Hi Pranjali

The simplest (but not easy) way to steer yourself away from a compulsion in the beginning is:

  • firstly, notice when you are doing it.  Acknowledge to yourself "I am carrying out a compulsion (by punishing myself)"
  • secondly, make a commitment to try to stop doing it, despite the anxiety you feel
  • thirdly, find something else to pay attention to - it can be anything.  A book, a game, thinking of animals beginning of every letter of the alphabet (one of my favs :) ) - just anything that will occupy your attention
  • fourthly, when you feel your brain wanting to go back to the compulsion (which it will) - gently steer it back onto something else, over and over.

This isn't a long term solution (you can't distract yourself forever) but I think it is a good method to use in the very beginning when compulsions are so ingrained. 

 

Hmmm this sounds so difficult rather bordering on impossible, seems like an impossible journey. I feel hopeless a bit about this now :( I will try

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19 hours ago, taurean said:

I think this sums up key elements quite simply. Which in my view is the way forward. 

 

Thank you Roy :)

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