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Pranjali

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8 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

You're right it is so hard :( but possible, you have to really grit your teeth and refuse to play ocd's game. 

Have you read any books about ocd? X 

Hmmm..I feel hopeless but trying to hang in there..really difficult..anyway I have ordered for this book 'Break Free from OCD'

Edited by Pranjali

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I was wondering if it is not a far shot to ask everyone here - are there books written specifically on compulsions?

Cheating as an obsession and self punishment in particular actually (just could have related to it maybe)

Thank you in advance.

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I'm not sure it would be possible to write a book on compulsions without considering  the role of obsessions - they interact with each other and don't exist in isolation. The book you've ordered should do a good job of explaining the role of compulsions - try not to get hung up though on looking for an example exactly like yours. Ocd is all the same, no matter what the theme. 

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2 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

I'm not sure it would be possible to write a book on compulsions without considering  the role of obsessions - they interact with each other and don't exist in isolation. The book you've ordered should do a good job of explaining the role of compulsions - try not to get hung up though on looking for an example exactly like yours. Ocd is all the same, no matter what the theme. 

Thank you GBG for your understanding and help through this.

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10 hours ago, Pranjali said:

Why to give up the effort of self punishment?

You must understand that you have a condition that causes intense distress. Intrusive thoughts are part and parcel of daily life, a person without OCD usually dismiss them rather effortlessly, an OCD sufferer can't. As the sufferer's mind get consumed with the intrusive thoughts and the distress caused, they want to find ways to get relief. In cases where guilt is involved, sufferers might want to perform actions to punish themselves to appease the intrusive thought in the vain effort to find relief. I.e. breaking up with partners, excessive praying and confessions etc. These compulsions performed do not right any wrong nor do they bring forth insight but instead help perpetuate the intrusive thought and the irrationality that comes along with it.

Life is already hard enough without OCD. Unless we are psychopaths or sociopaths, we often feel bad and remorseful when we do something wrong or when we hurt someone. As a spiritual person, it is my belief and indeed my philosophy in life as long as we learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating the action that caused harm or hurt, self-punishment is unnecessary and counter-productive to personal growth. So it doesn't matter whether it was something you did in real life or something hyped up by an OCD afflicted mind, self-punishment is not the answer.

 

10 hours ago, Pranjali said:

why should I deserve to move on or let go? Why should I be happy?

Why should you not be happy and why should you not deserve to move on and let go? You will find the answer after you've changed the way you perceive your intrusive thoughts. That can be done through therapy and/or self-help. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by St Mike

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On 23/11/2018 at 21:22, St Mike said:

You must understand that you have a condition that causes intense distress. Intrusive thoughts are part and parcel of daily life, a person without OCD usually dismiss them rather effortlessly, an OCD sufferer can't. As the sufferer's mind get consumed with the intrusive thoughts and the distress caused, they want to find ways to get relief. In cases where guilt is involved, sufferers might want to perform actions to punish themselves to appease the intrusive thought in the vain effort to find relief. I.e. breaking up with partners, excessive praying and confessions etc. These compulsions performed do not right any wrong nor do they bring forth insight but instead help perpetuate the intrusive thought and the irrationality that comes along with it.

Life is already hard enough without OCD. Unless we are psychopaths or sociopaths, we often feel bad and remorseful when we do something wrong or when we hurt someone. As a spiritual person, it is my belief and indeed my philosophy in life as long as we learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating the action that caused harm or hurt, self-punishment is unnecessary and counter-productive to personal growth. So it doesn't matter whether it was something you did in real life or something hyped up by an OCD afflicted mind, self-punishment is not the answer.

 

Why should you not be happy and why should you not deserve to move on and let go? You will find the answer after you've changed the way you perceive your intrusive thoughts. That can be done through therapy and/or self-help. 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your responses. Thank you for making this case specific..as much as it could kill me from within, why would punishing myself not make it right for the wrong of cheating? Wouldn't my brain feel like yes this is what you deserved?

 

 

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Also I had another concern nagging me for a few days now..after this ordeal of cheating, guilt (which of course still persists), just recently I have not been able to feel intimate with my fiancé. Things were fine before and even after I returned from Europe. My fiancé is understanding but I feel anxious at the thought of being physically close (or after) to my fiancé. I have not felt this anxiety before and now I feel extremely uncomfortable/anxious/guilty both ways, being intimate with him or even not being able to feel that drive. I feel miserable but my fiancé does not deserve this. I am sorry to be so blatent about issues here on this forumb butit has started to bother me. He has been cooperative all this while but why after so many years am I feeling anxious of being physically close to him? I have spoken my psychiatrist about this and she opined that one could due to medication due to an extent and another could be due to anxiety as a result of OCD. She was like I am sure your fiancé is understanding and you can take it slow..but really how is this OCD? I anyway feel guilty about cheating on him and now current feeling just worsens it. I do not know what is wrong with me, I do not ever want to lose my fiancé.

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On 23/11/2018 at 13:51, Pranjali said:

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.

Yes, the compulsion provides temporary relief at the cost of strengthening the obsession in your mind.  You are, in essence, training your brain like you would train an animal.  The classic example is Pavlov's dogs.  In case your not familiar with the classic experiment, basically the scientist, Pavlov, would ring a bell and then give the dog food.  Eventually simply ringing the bell would cause the dog to salivate like he was being given food.  The association between "bell" and "food" in the dogs mind had become so strong the food didn't even need to exist for the response to happen.  Likewise you are building a connection between the thought and anxiety in your mind when you engage in compulsions.  You are telling your brain "hey, this thought is important, lets pay attention to it!"

Not only does engaging in a compulsion not help in the long term, it makes things WORSE in the long term by strengthening the obsession.  To use a different example, lets say you take out a loan of $1,000 at 5 % interest.  Each month you pay the minimum amount of $25.  So first month, you pay and now you only owe $975!  But wait, there's that pesky 5% interest, so you actually NOW owe $1,023.75  MORE than you originally borrowed.  Each month you pay $25, each month the amount you owe grows.

It IS a vicious cycle, but the good news is you can break the cycle, you just have to do things a bit different than what seems normal.  Thats what CBT is all about, learning how to approach the problem in a way thats effective.  IN a way its a bit like a chinese finger trap, not sure what you'd call them in India, but if you are unfamiliar with them you can do a quick search.  Basically its a simple woven device which you put two fingers in, either your own or two peoples.  Because of the way its woven, the more you pull on it the tighter it becomes,  you want to pull your fingers apart but doing so only traps them further.  The trick to release it is to push your fingers closer together, the seeming exact opposite of what you want, BUT when you do the trap releases and you are able to free your fingers.  Likewise in OCD the way to confront it is counterintuitive to a degree, but will work if you give it a chance and put in the work.

 

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On 23/11/2018 at 14:00, Pranjali said:

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 :(

Again, i want to mention I doubt you did something wrong, but lets say for the purposes of this post you actually did cheat on your fiancé. Here is what I believe a reasonable course of behavior would be:

First, to admit to yourself that you did something wrong.  Ok, so far so good.

Second, admit to the person you harmed you did something wrong.  Again, this is something you have done.

Third, seek, if possible to make amends to the person you wronged.  For example if you broke an item belonging to someone, replace the item.  Obviously for an emotional act like cheating you can't undo what happened, and you can't buy a new level of trust, but if the person is willing you can take steps to earn back that trust by showing them you have learned from your mistake.  its important to be reasonable here, it would be wrong, for example, to subjugate yourself permanently to the person, becoming their slave or allowing them to use your cheating to get what they want out of you forever.  But you can take reasonable steps to show that you are sorry for what you have done.

Or its possible they may not be able/willing to do that, in which case you need to do the one thing you can do for them and leave them alone.  Each situation is different so there is no perfect answer but that should give you an idea.

Fourth, its ok to feel guilt and regret about what you have done for awhile, but not forever.  You still deserve happiness because you are a human being and what you did, while bad, would not be unforgivable.  You admit your mistake, you reflect on it, learn from it, try to make amends but you must eventually move on with your life and that includes finding happiness again.  Endlessly punishing yourself would help no one, and would be a waste of your life.  You can not change the past, but you can learn from it and make better choices in the future.

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5 hours ago, dksea said:


First, to admit to yourself that you did something wrong.  Ok, so far so good.

Second, admit to the person you harmed you did something wrong.  Again, this is something you have done.

Third, seek, if possible to make amends to the person you wronged.  For example if you broke an item belonging to someone, replace the item.  Obviously for an emotional act like cheating you can't undo what happened, and you can't buy a new level of trust, but if the person is willing you can take steps to earn back that trust by showing them you have learned from your mistake.  its important to be reasonable here, it would be wrong, for example, to subjugate yourself permanently to the person, becoming their slave or allowing them to use your cheating to get what they want out of you forever.  But you can take reasonable steps to show that you are sorry for what you have done.

Or its possible they may not be able/willing to do that, in which case you need to do the one thing you can do for them and leave them alone.  Each situation is different so there is no perfect answer but that should give you an idea.

Fourth, its ok to feel guilt and regret about what you have done for awhile, but not forever.  You still deserve happiness because you are a human being and what you did, while bad, would not be unforgivable.  You admit your mistake, you reflect on it, learn from it, try to make amends but you must eventually move on with your life and that includes finding happiness again.  Endlessly punishing yourself would help no one, and would be a waste of your life.  You can not change the past, but you can learn from it and make better choices in the future.

Hi dksea 

I really don't want to criticise and I think your advice is generally amazing and you are very knowledgeable about ocd, more so than me!

But I have to say while the above advice is excellent for a non-ocd setting I don't think It works for someone whose ocd revolves around this kind of thing. I suspect you wouldn't advise someone with hit and run ocd to admit wrong, tell the police and apologise to the family then move on. I think the above advice is an attempt to resolve feelings of anxiety and guilt rather than to leave them unresolved which I think should be the aim with this kind of ocd. Yes guilt and regret occur in normal life but this is not really about normal life. A non-ocd sufferer wouldn't put their arm in the toilet but an ocd-sufferer may do this to challenge their ocd. Similarly I think pranjali should not be looking to find ways to resolve this but to work at leaving it unresolved. I'm saying this mostly because I can imagine other sufferers reading this thread and interpreting it as advice to confess to their partners etc. which I don't think should be the aim here. 

Sorry if I have misinterpreted or if I have confused things further, I just felt I had to say something. Gbg x 

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Hmmm..thank you @dksea and @gingerbreadgirl for your inputs. Yea I have already told my fiancé a multiple times but he sees nothing off there. I knew not that it was a compulsion. But what I infer from both your posts is - punishing myself forever and being away from my partner is an exaggerated response due to OCD? Or is that now I have started use this as an excuse to run away from realities?

I want to ask people on this forum one doubt- my psychiatrist has told me that my OCD dwells around OCD with sexual thoughts. As I understand through this forum, more than which theme, all of this comes under OCD as an umbrella term. As I said I am on medication, is it possible your OCD can aggravate when you are taking the medication? Today morning I got very scared - when I was freshening up, changing and going for work- I started to feel and believe I was with someone hence I started changing and getting ready. I just told my fiance that I feel guilty and I am sure I will tell him again what I feel..maybe now this was a compulsion but I could not resist..maybe all this sounds insane from the periphery, but I am kind of perplexed, is this aggravated OCD or something else?

I ask a lot of questions here and I am sorry about the same but it is taking time to approach this calmly.

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Has anyone gone through this (No this is not reassurance seeking process) - there was a time when I used to think about that night every minute and crying at the thought of it. Nothing else could occupy my mind. Distractions helped but just to an extent.

And what happened is steadily and strongly I was convinced that I did cheat on my fiancé. However, when I started my medication, after a few weeks I realized that I could actually concentrate on the present and the now! I remember that particular evening I felt extremely unusual about what I was feeling. I had not been able to live the present or be in the present moment for months.

So the point is what I feel currently is I do not go back on the night to ruminate it which I used to in the very beginning- through months currently there is conviction/self punishment urges rather than rumination compulsion? Is this progressive response or regressive response? 

Your personal experiences and insights would be valuable. Thank you once again.

Edited by Pranjali

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1 hour ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

But I have to say while the above advice is excellent for a non-ocd setting I don't think It works for someone whose ocd revolves around this kind of thing. I suspect you wouldn't advise someone with hit and run ocd to admit wrong, tell the police and apologise to the family then move on. I think the above advice is an attempt to resolve feelings of anxiety and guilt rather than to leave them unresolved which I think should be the aim with this kind of ocd. Yes guilt and regret occur in normal life but this is not really about normal life. A non-ocd sufferer wouldn't put their arm in the toilet but an ocd-sufferer may do this to challenge their ocd. Similarly I think pranjali should not be looking to find ways to resolve this but to work at leaving it unresolved. I'm saying this mostly because I can imagine other sufferers reading this thread and interpreting it as advice to confess to their partners etc. which I don't think should be the aim here. 

Sorry if I have misinterpreted or if I have confused things further, I just felt I had to say something. Gbg x 

You are correct, this is not specifically advice on how to handle false-memory OCD, it was more an attempt to help Pranjali understand the difference between punishing one self endlessly IF a mistake is actually made, vs what a reasonable level of guilt response would be.  Sorry for any confusion.

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51 minutes ago, Pranjali said:

I want to ask people on this forum one doubt- my psychiatrist has told me that my OCD dwells around OCD with sexual thoughts. As I understand through this forum, more than which theme, all of this comes under OCD as an umbrella term. As I said I am on medication, is it possible your OCD can aggravate when you are taking the medication? Today morning I got very scared - when I was freshening up, changing and going for work- I started to feel and believe I was with someone hence I started changing and getting ready. I just told my fiance that I feel guilty and I am sure I will tell him again what I feel..maybe now this was a compulsion but I could not resist..maybe all this sounds insane from the periphery, but I am kind of perplexed, is this aggravated OCD or something else?

OCD is OCD, while the themes can vary from person to person, the underlying pattern is basically the same, obsessive thoughts and compulsive responses.  And the treatment pattern is more or less the same too.  If you can ride a blue bicycle you can also ride a green or yellow bicycle, the color doesn't really matter, same with OCD. 

When you say you are on medication do you mean medication for OCD or medication for something else?

Some people do experience heightened anxiety at first when taking SSRI's for OCD (the standard medicine used), most of the time it fades after the body adjusts, in some cases it doesn't and you move on to trying the next SSRI (there are a few different ones).  A medication that works well for one person might not work well for another and vice-versa.  Unfortunately the best way to determine which is the best for you is trial and error.

It is frustrating to deal with OCD, it seems like you should be able to reason your way out of it, and non-sufferers might think it is a bit "insane", but those who understand, either through learning or through first hand experience, know that its not our fault we experience these anxieties.  Just like a person with asthma has lungs that don't work quite right all the time, a person with OCD has a brain that isn't quite working as it should.  The good news is our brains are quite flexible and by taking the right approach (CBT, possibly with the help of medication) you can learn to compensate for this.  

Resisting compulsions, especially at first is a difficult task, and it can feel impossible, but if you make the effort and work at it, in time you will find you get better and better at it.  Maybe you weren't quite able to do it this time, but next time you can try to do better.  Maybe you lasted 15  minutes today, tomorrow see if you can get that up to 30, etc.  Recovery isn't going to happen overnight (unfortunately), its a marathon, not a sprint, so you don't have to get it perfect the first time.  The goal is to try and improve over time.

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Thank you for being there..and offering your inputs..yes it is difficult to do away with the compulsions..I have just bought Break from OCD book, let's see how that goes. Thanks again :)

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23 hours ago, Pranjali said:

Thank you for being there..and offering your inputs..yes it is difficult to do away with the compulsions..I have just bought Break from OCD book, let's see how that goes. Thanks again :)

You are more than welcome!  I am really pleased there are forums like this thanks to groups like OCD-UK.  I am a little jealous since we did not have them when I was young and first learning about OCD :D

I hope you find the book helpful, it is very highly regarded and a great choice! 

Don't worry about asking questions and all that, it can take a while to fully accept and understand the nature of OCD and treatment, and even now I still find ways to improve my responses to it.  Do your best and I think you will see positive results before you know it.  It sounds like you have a great support system as well.

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On 27/11/2018 at 13:27, dksea said:

You are more than welcome!  I am really pleased there are forums like this thanks to groups like OCD-UK.  I am a little jealous since we did not have them when I was young and first learning about OCD :D

I hope you find the book helpful, it is very highly regarded and a great choice! 

Don't worry about asking questions and all that, it can take a while to fully accept and understand the nature of OCD and treatment, and even now I still find ways to improve my responses to it.  Do your best and I think you will see positive results before you know it.  It sounds like you have a great support system as well.

Thank you @dksea for your positive words. Yes the book has arrived and I shall read it soon. To reply to one of your previous posts, the psychiatrist has prescribed 60mg fludac and 50 mg Serta (3 in a day). Yes resting/not carrying out compulsions feels actually so unusual and wrong that it feels like you are a different person today who has not been carrying out the compulsions and it feels wrong. But like the posts say here guess it is all about conditioning your mind - de-condition the mind first, un-condition it from the ingrained beliefs (which feels like a lifetime of a task), keep reconditioning it.

Thank you again.

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On 25/11/2018 at 14:04, Pranjali said:

Also I had another concern nagging me for a few days now..after this ordeal of cheating, guilt (which of course still persists), just recently I have not been able to feel intimate with my fiancé. Things were fine before and even after I returned from Europe. My fiancé is understanding but I feel anxious at the thought of being physically close (or after) to my fiancé. I have not felt this anxiety before and now I feel extremely uncomfortable/anxious/guilty both ways, being intimate with him or even not being able to feel that drive. I feel miserable but my fiancé does not deserve this. I am sorry to be so blatent about issues here on this forumb butit has started to bother me. He has been cooperative all this while but why after so many years am I feeling anxious of being physically close to him? I have spoken my psychiatrist about this and she opined that one could due to medication due to an extent and another could be due to anxiety as a result of OCD. She was like I am sure your fiancé is understanding and you can take it slow..but really how is this OCD? I anyway feel guilty about cheating on him and now current feeling just worsens it. I do not know what is wrong with me, I do not ever want to lose my fiancé.

Any insights on this? Not sure where I am headed and how I feel about it. Guilty and miserable for being a total mess and affecting myself and others.

Thanks.

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13 hours ago, Pranjali said:

To reply to one of your previous posts, the psychiatrist has prescribed 60mg fludac and 50 mg Serta (3 in a day).

Ok, it looks like those are both SSRI's, so thats the standard for treating OCD from the medicine side.  You might find it easier to use the generic names for the medications on the forum (Fludac = fluoxetine, Serta = sertraline) since the name is different in many countries (in the US for example fluoxetine is known as Prozac).  No worries, just a helpful hint :)   I hope those are helping you feel better, I was on Fludac/Prozac/Fluoxetine when I first developed OCD and it was a big help for me.

 

Quote

Yes resting/not carrying out compulsions feels actually so unusual and wrong that it feels like you are a different person today who has not been carrying out the compulsions and it feels wrong.

Yes, its true, after awhile they become such a normal part of your routine they feel almost "natural".  Of course the same is true of basically any change in behavior, be it exercise, diet, or starting/stopping other habits.  Keep up the good work, before long it'll feel normal NOT to do the compulsions :)

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On 25/11/2018 at 17:34, Pranjali said:

Also I had another concern nagging me for a few days now..after this ordeal of cheating, guilt (which of course still persists), just recently I have not been able to feel intimate with my fiancé. Things were fine before and even after I returned from Europe.

 

On 25/11/2018 at 17:34, Pranjali said:

I have spoken my psychiatrist about this and she opined that one could due to medication due to an extent and another could be due to anxiety as a result of OCD. She was like I am sure your fiancé is understanding and you can take it slow..but really how is this OCD? I anyway feel guilty about cheating on him and now current feeling just worsens it. I do not know what is wrong with me, I do not ever want to lose my fiancé.

Sorry, missed this post earlier, but your psychiatrist is telling you pretty much what I would.  Medication's like SSRI's can have an effect on our sex drives, it might be temporary while you adjust to the medication or it might be a long term side effect that, if it becomes troublesome, means you have to try a different SSRI, its troubling of course but very very solvable problem if thats the issue.  And again to agree with your psychiatrist anxiety can have a not insignificant effect on sex drive too.  You are going through a lot right now emotionally and physically due to the OCD, its not at all unusual that your going to be affected.  Its thoughtful of you to consider your fiancé, but its also important that you focus on getting well again, then, if this remains a concern you can look at it too.  Overall it sounds like your psychiatrist is very knowledgeable so I'd trust their advice :)

This whole OCD thing is pretty new to you and you are asking a lot of the same type of questions that all new sufferers do, trying to understand this troubling and unfortunate condition, and thats totally ok.  But I want to mention some things for you to keep in mind too.  

First, is that its fairly common for OCD sufferers, or sufferers of any kind,  to seek reassurance.  We want to know that our problems are real, that they aren't something to be super worried about, etc.  We want to be better!  But for OCD sufferers there is a trap too as reassurance seeking can become a compulsion.  We ask a question, we get an answer, but then the doubt creeps in, so we seek to get the answer again, just to be sure.  Ok two times, but maaaaaybe i should check again.  Soon you find yourself asking the same question over and over seeking to be told its "normal" or "ok".  Often this is accompanied with slight modifications to the question like "ok, I asked this before, but now I noticed this other small thing, is it STILL true?".  Its totally 100% ok to ask questions once or twice, I don't want you to think you can't ask here or ask your psychiatrist stuff, but just keep in mind that if you find yourself asking the same question (or almost the same) time after time, its probably a compulsive response because your OCD leads you to doubt the answer you were given.

Second, also fairly common in OCD suffers is to analyze things compulsively.  Of course we want to solve the problem, but often that leads us to ruminating on our thoughts and situation almost endlessly.  Again its ok to try and seek answers and understand the situation you are in, but be careful about spending too much time going over and over and over the situations in your head.  Its a very easy trap to fall in to (I still do it, all these years in I have to continue working on not doing that), especially as many OCD suffers are also bright, inquisitive people.  We want to "solve" the problem that is our OCD in a conventional way, and unfortunately the way to solve it is a bit unconventional and not the sort of thing that can be fixed by an "aha" moment of finding that perfect understanding or perfect answer.  Part of overcoming OCD involves accepting that we will feel doubt about things and sometimes there is nothing we can do to make that doubt go away 100%.  Its frustrating, I know, but good to keep in mind that you don't have to have all the answers, especially right away.

Now I definitely do NOT want to discourage you from posting here and seeking help, you've been asking some very good questions and I think its genuinely helping you to get the perspective of fellow OCD sufferers, at least I hope so!  So try not to worry (yeah, try right?) and keep doing your best.  Just some things to keep in mind as you go forward.  Best wishes!

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On 29/11/2018 at 05:58, dksea said:

And again to agree with your psychiatrist anxiety can have a not insignificant effect on sex drive too.  You are going through a lot right now emotionally and physically due to the OCD

Just a query (with apprehension about if I should ask but then I do not think this is a compulsion as such), you know people talk about ERP and how face it and let the thoughts and anxiety pass through and one must not react..do it successively..I am wondering if I had to apply ERP in this case and try to be close to my fiance by actually an effort to sort of 'brave it' (feels criminal to even say this after dating him for these years). But is that how ERP works? Or that is a completely different ballgame? I mean when I read about ERP, this is how I tried to contextualize. Again, as usual doubt still remains if this is OCD or just a genuine fear, but I reckon it is better to suppress the doubt part.

Thank you for your understanding through this.

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On 29/11/2018 at 05:58, dksea said:

 

Sorry, missed this post earlier, but your psychiatrist is telling you pretty much what I would.  Medication's like SSRI's can have an effect on our sex drives, it might be temporary while you adjust to the medication or it might be a long term side effect that, if it becomes troublesome, means you have to try a different SSRI, its troubling of course but very very solvable problem if thats the issue.  And again to agree with your psychiatrist anxiety can have a not insignificant effect on sex drive too.  You are going through a lot right now emotionally and physically due to the OCD, its not at all unusual that your going to be affected.  Its thoughtful of you to consider your fiancé, but its also important that you focus on getting well again, then, if this remains a concern you can look at it too.  Overall it sounds like your psychiatrist is very knowledgeable so I'd trust their advice :)

This whole OCD thing is pretty new to you and you are asking a lot of the same type of questions that all new sufferers do, trying to understand this troubling and unfortunate condition, and thats totally ok.  But I want to mention some things for you to keep in mind too.  

First, is that its fairly common for OCD sufferers, or sufferers of any kind,  to seek reassurance.  We want to know that our problems are real, that they aren't something to be super worried about, etc.  We want to be better!  But for OCD sufferers there is a trap too as reassurance seeking can become a compulsion.  We ask a question, we get an answer, but then the doubt creeps in, so we seek to get the answer again, just to be sure.  Ok two times, but maaaaaybe i should check again.  Soon you find yourself asking the same question over and over seeking to be told its "normal" or "ok".  Often this is accompanied with slight modifications to the question like "ok, I asked this before, but now I noticed this other small thing, is it STILL true?".  Its totally 100% ok to ask questions once or twice, I don't want you to think you can't ask here or ask your psychiatrist stuff, but just keep in mind that if you find yourself asking the same question (or almost the same) time after time, its probably a compulsive response because your OCD leads you to doubt the answer you were given.

Second, also fairly common in OCD suffers is to analyze things compulsively.  Of course we want to solve the problem, but often that leads us to ruminating on our thoughts and situation almost endlessly.  Again its ok to try and seek answers and understand the situation you are in, but be careful about spending too much time going over and over and over the situations in your head.  Its a very easy trap to fall in to (I still do it, all these years in I have to continue working on not doing that), especially as many OCD suffers are also bright, inquisitive people.  We want to "solve" the problem that is our OCD in a conventional way, and unfortunately the way to solve it is a bit unconventional and not the sort of thing that can be fixed by an "aha" moment of finding that perfect understanding or perfect answer.  Part of overcoming OCD involves accepting that we will feel doubt about things and sometimes there is nothing we can do to make that doubt go away 100%.  Its frustrating, I know, but good to keep in mind that you don't have to have all the answers, especially right away.

Now I definitely do NOT want to discourage you from posting here and seeking help, you've been asking some very good questions and I think its genuinely helping you to get the perspective of fellow OCD sufferers, at least I hope so!  So try not to worry (yeah, try right?) and keep doing your best.  Just some things to keep in mind as you go forward.  Best wishes!

This is so well put @dksea. Hmm thanks for the motivation but trying, trying at the moment. I am anxious about my wedding , I have always dreamt of marrying him and I have felt anxious about thinking what future holds. And the anxiety has been aggravated by this instance of Europe which has been diagnosed as OCD. There are times when letting go off particular thoughts feels guilty. Yea I won't repeat guess everyone has their issues and we can only fight it out.

Thank you.

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On ‎28‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 10:39, Pranjali said:

To reply to one of your previous posts, the psychiatrist has prescribed 60mg fludac and 50 mg Serta (3 in a day).

Hi Pranjali,

Have you got that correct?... I am no expert, but that seems like a strange combination of medication!

I understand that treatment may differ around the world, but it seems strange being prescribed 2 different types of SSRI at the same time? Having said that, do as your psychiatrist says, and hopefully someone else more knowledgeable can confirm if this is normal.

 

Take care.

 

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23 hours ago, Pranjali said:

Just a query (with apprehension about if I should ask but then I do not think this is a compulsion as such), you know people talk about ERP and how face it and let the thoughts and anxiety pass through and one must not react..do it successively..I am wondering if I had to apply ERP in this case and try to be close to my fiance by actually an effort to sort of 'brave it' (feels criminal to even say this after dating him for these years). But is that how ERP works? Or that is a completely different ballgame? I mean when I read about ERP, this is how I tried to contextualize. Again, as usual doubt still remains if this is OCD or just a genuine fear, but I reckon it is better to suppress the doubt part.

Thank you for your understanding through this.

ERP stands for Exposure and Response Prevention (sorry if you already know that) so the idea is to expose yourself to a feared situation, either in reality or through imagination depending, and avoid neutralizing behaviors, to just sit with the anxiety and let it pass.  The idea is that you've become overly sensitive to the trigger and with this therapy you become desensitized.  Usually ERP is a progressive process where you start small and work your way up.  For example, a person who fears contamination might start by standing in a public bathroom and enduring the anxiety without leaving.  Once they are able to do that successfully you ramp it up, now they have to touch the toilet seat.  Next may be to sit on the toilet seat.  Etc.  The idea is that by enduring the situation you train your brain to recognize the lack of danger.

Your anxiety stems from your fear of having cheated on your fiancé in Europe.  It isn't possible to travel back in time and relive the time in Europe obviously.  Meanwhile it would be a bad idea to have you actually cheat on your fiancé  on purpose now, much like it would be irresponsible to take someone who has anxiety about swerving their car in to traffic and have them actually do that.  So in your situation the ERP approach would probably be imaginary exposure.  The way that works is you write down a detailed description of your feared scenario, basically imaging the worst possible situation.  Then you either read it or record it and replay it over and over many times, forcing yourself to experience the situation and feel anxiety but not allowing yourself to engage in compulsive responses.  

I'm guessing you probably think that sounds like a terrible idea, obviously the LAST thing you want is to think about cheating on your fiancé, thats where this whole problem stems from right?  Or you are thinking, "wait, I don't want to become ok with that thought!".  So first, ERP is not right for every situation, and even when it is used, it may not be right for you right now.  Its often best to do ERP in coordination with a trained therapist, so perhaps if/when you do ERP it will be when your therapist thinks you are ready.  Meanwhile, the idea is not for you to become OK with the thought, the idea is for you to be able to dismiss the thought as not something to panic about because it is just a thought.  The reality is you already do this about potentially terrible thoughts you would never ever ever want to be ok with.  For example, you probably could, if you wanted to, imagine murdering someone.  You would probably find the thought unpleasant, but you wouldn't panic about it because you know its not something you want to do.  You would dismiss the thought as meaningless.  Being able to dismiss a thought as not important is not the same as being ok with committing the action in the thought, a distinction that can be hard for OCD sufferers to get at first (it was tough for me!).

To get back to your situation for a minute, its possible that if one of your intrusive thoughts is causing you to avoid intimacy with your fiancé that engaging in intimacy could be done as a form of ERP, but I would be careful about taking that route.  For one thing it might be hard on your fiancé if he feels like you are forcing yourself to be with him, and it probably wouldn't be super enjoyable for either of you. For another, it might not be the most effective approach.  I'd definitely discuss those concerns with your therapist and see what they recommend.  Obviously you want to get back to your "normal" enjoyable life and its great that you are concerned not just with yourself but your fiancés happiness as well, but understand that you are going through a difficult experience and it may take time to get things back to a "normal" place.  Its great to care about him, but also important you care about yourself and your recovery.  That will be best for everyone in the long run.

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