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Becoming obsessed with thoughts - things getting worse (Merged Thread)

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Past few days I have been googling and become obsessed that god controls my thoughts or I worry where the thoughts come from or that I am infact some kind of robot? Anybody else had this?

I also became obsessed with solipsism in the same way a few months back and found it hard to get over. Again I find myself in a pickle with these deep thoughts?

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Hi Phil,

I am kind of going through something similar at the moment, although not really about thoughts per se, but more about doubting whether the world is real, etc. I spoke to my therapist about it a little and it seems to be another form of doubt. Is the world real? Am I real? Are my thoughts real? How do I know they are real? This is a big area of uncertainty because you can never truly prove that you or your surroundings are real and that can be a scary thing, which triggers your OCD. So I think these thoughts are just another way that OCD is making you afraid of uncertainty. 

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16 minutes ago, malina said:

Hi Phil,

I am kind of going through something similar at the moment, although not really about thoughts per se, but more about doubting whether the world is real, etc. I spoke to my therapist about it a little and it seems to be another form of doubt. Is the world real? Am I real? Are my thoughts real? How do I know they are real? This is a big area of uncertainty because you can never truly prove that you or your surroundings are real and that can be a scary thing, which triggers your OCD. So I think these thoughts are just another way that OCD is making you afraid of uncertainty. 

Yes I have had that kind of ocd too where I worry my world isn’t real and I am the only one who exists but my ocd seems to have switched to this form of existence ocd 

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41 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

Yes I have had that kind of ocd too where I worry my world isn’t real and I am the only one who exists but my ocd seems to have switched to this form of existence ocd 

I guess that is just the nature of OCD, our minds are clearly creative and come up with new ways to test and frighten us. I think that even though the nature of your thoughts is somewhat different, it's important to keep in mind that the underlying problem is still the same - it's all OCD. 

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Phil, Phil, Phil. You just said to us that you keep doing this thing and it's not wotking... it's msking you worse. Then why in the world do you keep doing that thing?

Stop Googling!

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9 hours ago, PolarBear said:

Phil, Phil, Phil. You just said to us that you keep doing this thing and it's not wotking... it's msking you worse. Then why in the world do you keep doing that thing?

Stop Googling!

Yes I mean it hasn’t helped I feel quite awful not human, numb and anxious when I have these kind of thoughts but I believe it’s ocd based as I become obsessed with them 

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31 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

Yes I mean it hasn’t helped I feel quite awful not human, numb and anxious when I have these kind of thoughts but I believe it’s ocd based as I become obsessed with them 

You could be experiencing some form of depersonalization, it's just another manifestation of anxiety where you essentially start to feel detached. But as you say, it is all still OCD and nothing new or different. 

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1 hour ago, malina said:

You could be experiencing some form of depersonalization, it's just another manifestation of anxiety where you essentially start to feel detached. But as you say, it is all still OCD and nothing new or different. 

Yes I’ve had all the spaced out, foggy and detacted feelings due to these thoughts and feeling that you are not alive? Not very pleasant 

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11 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

Yes I’ve had all the spaced out, foggy and detacted feelings due to these thoughts and feeling that you are not alive? Not very pleasant 

I get that a lot too, I really hate it. Just hang in there and keep reminding yourself that it's nothing more than anxiety. 

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I’ve been feeling awful past few days. I almost feel like a brain in a jar with no control over my thoughts. 

Sometimes it feels impossible to be in my head with all these negative thoughts popping around 

I’ve become obesssed about where my thoughts come from

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5 hours ago, Phil10 said:

I’ve become obesssed about where my thoughts come from

They come from your brain, some you can control, some you can't.  In the end though, a thought is just a thought, we are still free to choose our actions.

The human brain is really quite remarkable, and the amount of things it can do is astounding.  Scientists and engineers have spent trillions of dollars and hours trying to replicate some of the things our brains can do automatically.  Take image recognition for example.  If you look around a room you can identify things effortlessly: a chair, a tv, a dog, a window, etc.  Computers, even the most advanced ones STILL can't replicate the level of image recognition that people do without actively trying.  The way that all works is that our brains do a lot of the processing automatically.  Our brains are CONSTANTLY taking it all the inputs from around us, sights, sounds, smells, and filtering them and trying to determine what is important and what isn't.  And as amazing as the process is, its not perfect.  Consider being in a crowded room, lots of people talking, lots of noise.  Suddenly you hear your name and you respond.  But why?  Why does the sound of your name get your attention, when the sound of someone elses name you can effortlessly ignore?  Because your brain knows that responding to YOUR name is important, but responding to someone elses name isn't.  So it automatically tries to filter out the unimportant signals and only let your conscious mind know about the important ones.  But its not perfect.  Sometimes your brain THINKS it hears your name even if it doesn't, and alerts you to that.  You listen for a second, realize it was a mistake and go back to what you were doing.

Maybe it would help to think about it this way.  Imagine you are the CEO of a large corporation, very large.  Its literally impossible for you to know EVERYTHING thats happening in your company all the time.  So what do you do?  You assign people to handle various tasks for you and you setup rules on when they should and shouldn't inform you of things.  You make the important decisions.  Your brain works the same way, surfacing only what it thinks are the important decisions for you to make.  So you are the CEO, and you've got a secretary who handles all kinds of requests for your time.  A good secretary will alert you to the important things and mostly keep the unimportant things from bothering you.  The same is true for a person without OCD.  Their brain secretary does a good job of keeping the unimportant things from getting in the way.  Unfortunately OCD people have a not-so-good secretary.  She is prone to let people in to your office that aren't actually important.  Here's the difference between a non-OCD person and an OCD-person.
A non-OCD person says "hey, you're not supposed to be here, get out!" and the secretary learns their lesson.
An OCD person says "hey, are you supposed to be here?  Well if the secretary let you in it must be important." and the secretary learns the wrong lesson,  they think "Oh I guess that person WAS important after all.  Next time i'll be sure to let them in."

You can not control all your thoughts.  You never could, you never will be able to.  We like to think of our conscious self as completely in control of our brains, but the reality is, a lot, probably the majority, of thoughts that occur in our brain are automatic and outside our direct control.  For example, maybe your grandmother grew a particular type of very fragrant flower in her garden.  Whenever you visit her you'd smell that particular flower.  Overtime you came to associate that flower with your grandmother.  One day, you are walking down the street in another city and you happen to smell that flower.  Suddenly you are reminded of your grandmother.  Now you didn't ACTIVELY decide "ok now i'm going to think about grandmother", instead an automatic pattern matching process happened in your brain, outside of your control.  After you have the thought and become aware of it consciously you can choose to continue thinking about your grandmother or refocus on whatever else it was you were doing.  But the thought will probably linger for a little bit before fading away.  The same is true of intrusive thoughts.  They happen beyond our control.  We can't actively STOP ourself from having a thought, even thinking about stopping a thought is just thinking about that thought.  Having a thought doesn't mean the thought matters.  I can have the thought that I might die of a heart attack.  Whether or not I have a heart attack is completely independent of that thought.  Maybe I will, maybe I won't, but having that thought doesn't mean anything.  People have thoughts about things all the time that mean nothing.  Stephen King writes horror novels where terrible things happen.  In order to write those novels he has to have those thoughts.  But that doesn't mean he WANTS bad things to happen to real people.  It doesn't mean he will DO those bad things to real people.  Its just a thought.  Your contamination fears are the same.  Just because you think "what if the the world is all a computer simulation" it doesn't mean that it is.  Having that thought is just having that thought.  It doesn't make the thing you think about any more or less likely.  You don't have to solve the question it poses.  You don't have to give in to the anxiety and doubt, even thought it FEELS like you do.  You can choose to say "well, thats interesting, but I don't want to spend time on that thought just now thanks".  You probably will still feel the tug of anxiety "but but but what if....".  You don't have to answer that question.  You are free to say "I don't care.".

A thought is just a thought, the only way it can control our choices is if we decide to let it do so.

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4 hours ago, dksea said:

They come from your brain, some you can control, some you can't.  In the end though, a thought is just a thought, we are still free to choose our actions.

The human brain is really quite remarkable, and the amount of things it can do is astounding.  Scientists and engineers have spent trillions of dollars and hours trying to replicate some of the things our brains can do automatically.  Take image recognition for example.  If you look around a room you can identify things effortlessly: a chair, a tv, a dog, a window, etc.  Computers, even the most advanced ones STILL can't replicate the level of image recognition that people do without actively trying.  The way that all works is that our brains do a lot of the processing automatically.  Our brains are CONSTANTLY taking it all the inputs from around us, sights, sounds, smells, and filtering them and trying to determine what is important and what isn't.  And as amazing as the process is, its not perfect.  Consider being in a crowded room, lots of people talking, lots of noise.  Suddenly you hear your name and you respond.  But why?  Why does the sound of your name get your attention, when the sound of someone elses name you can effortlessly ignore?  Because your brain knows that responding to YOUR name is important, but responding to someone elses name isn't.  So it automatically tries to filter out the unimportant signals and only let your conscious mind know about the important ones.  But its not perfect.  Sometimes your brain THINKS it hears your name even if it doesn't, and alerts you to that.  You listen for a second, realize it was a mistake and go back to what you were doing.

Maybe it would help to think about it this way.  Imagine you are the CEO of a large corporation, very large.  Its literally impossible for you to know EVERYTHING thats happening in your company all the time.  So what do you do?  You assign people to handle various tasks for you and you setup rules on when they should and shouldn't inform you of things.  You make the important decisions.  Your brain works the same way, surfacing only what it thinks are the important decisions for you to make.  So you are the CEO, and you've got a secretary who handles all kinds of requests for your time.  A good secretary will alert you to the important things and mostly keep the unimportant things from bothering you.  The same is true for a person without OCD.  Their brain secretary does a good job of keeping the unimportant things from getting in the way.  Unfortunately OCD people have a not-so-good secretary.  She is prone to let people in to your office that aren't actually important.  Here's the difference between a non-OCD person and an OCD-person.
A non-OCD person says "hey, you're not supposed to be here, get out!" and the secretary learns their lesson.
An OCD person says "hey, are you supposed to be here?  Well if the secretary let you in it must be important." and the secretary learns the wrong lesson,  they think "Oh I guess that person WAS important after all.  Next time i'll be sure to let them in."

You can not control all your thoughts.  You never could, you never will be able to.  We like to think of our conscious self as completely in control of our brains, but the reality is, a lot, probably the majority, of thoughts that occur in our brain are automatic and outside our direct control.  For example, maybe your grandmother grew a particular type of very fragrant flower in her garden.  Whenever you visit her you'd smell that particular flower.  Overtime you came to associate that flower with your grandmother.  One day, you are walking down the street in another city and you happen to smell that flower.  Suddenly you are reminded of your grandmother.  Now you didn't ACTIVELY decide "ok now i'm going to think about grandmother", instead an automatic pattern matching process happened in your brain, outside of your control.  After you have the thought and become aware of it consciously you can choose to continue thinking about your grandmother or refocus on whatever else it was you were doing.  But the thought will probably linger for a little bit before fading away.  The same is true of intrusive thoughts.  They happen beyond our control.  We can't actively STOP ourself from having a thought, even thinking about stopping a thought is just thinking about that thought.  Having a thought doesn't mean the thought matters.  I can have the thought that I might die of a heart attack.  Whether or not I have a heart attack is completely independent of that thought.  Maybe I will, maybe I won't, but having that thought doesn't mean anything.  People have thoughts about things all the time that mean nothing.  Stephen King writes horror novels where terrible things happen.  In order to write those novels he has to have those thoughts.  But that doesn't mean he WANTS bad things to happen to real people.  It doesn't mean he will DO those bad things to real people.  Its just a thought.  Your contamination fears are the same.  Just because you think "what if the the world is all a computer simulation" it doesn't mean that it is.  Having that thought is just having that thought.  It doesn't make the thing you think about any more or less likely.  You don't have to solve the question it poses.  You don't have to give in to the anxiety and doubt, even thought it FEELS like you do.  You can choose to say "well, thats interesting, but I don't want to spend time on that thought just now thanks".  You probably will still feel the tug of anxiety "but but but what if....".  You don't have to answer that question.  You are free to say "I don't care.".

A thought is just a thought, the only way it can control our choices is if we decide to let it do so.

Yes that’s very true

But it’s scary when you sit there and think deep about stuff maybe it’s true maybe it’s not but the ocd always goes with the fact “it must be true” I had the thought so it must be true or I can’t remember if I put that item near dirty washing so I must have. My head is picking these patterns and going with it. The god controlling my mind is another thought with no proof seems to be a pattern with my thinking. 

My ocd is quite happy to worry about life questions and contamination that’s my theme. 

But it’s a new year so I want to tackle this ocd better. I know it’s ocd I’m suffering so I have to do what’s best to fix it. I mean I’m avoiding the compulsions now so that’s good but sometimes it still wins.

For some time I have lived in fear of what will I do next? As it seems like we have no control yes we do have some control but I think it’s the worry and fear of doing something irrational that’s the scary bit and the bit which keeps the anxiety going.

I guess I have to get my head round thoughts come from my brain. The ocd tells me all sorts of lies. The ocd is about keeping you safe but it also makes you feel miserable and trapped and like you need to worry. I wish I could let go of these worries 

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One thing to remember is, it doesn't matter if something comes close or even touches dirty laundry. It doesn't matter if you can't remember because it doesn't matter if it did.

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19 hours ago, Phil10 said:

The ocd is about keeping you safe 

OCD has nothing to do with being actually safe, that’s part of the lie. The compulsions you are engaging in aren’t making you safer, it’s an illusion of safety. Instead they are trapping you and robbing you of living your life. 

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Thanks for the replies

So how can I shift this idea that god is controlling my thoughts, sitting filtering into my head and me effectively being a rebot or puppet on a strings? And how do I trust free will? 

Even if we control thoughts there may be no free will. It’s all very confusing and makes me feel awful and anxious 

 

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Stop thinking about it. Sitting there trying to figure it out is the compulsion and will only make your situation worse.

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6 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

Stop thinking about it. Sitting there trying to figure it out is the compulsion and will only make your situation worse.

Yes I have been trying to watch some videos to relax my thoughts but I think they all come under existential thoughts. Now I can the sure I may struggle to rid the thought even solipsism was a hard one to shift but this seems worse. I can think up anything and it can seem awful if it was true but like I say my head is going with the worst case scenario each time 

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I have been trying to forget these thoughts not done anymore googling but the thoughts linger “god controlling thoughts and free will” similar to solipsism and it’s an existence based worry.

How can I shift it? The thing is all these worries whether its contamination or existence they are pretty awful they feel awful and make me feel bad whatever the thought it just feels bad. 

The issue with the god thing is I become obsessed with the mind and where thoughts come from and free will and it lingers at the back of my head? Guess it’s because I have an ocd condition? I mean I guess we would all ask these questions surely though I have found solipsism was asked more than the god controlling us thoughts.

So can anybody give me any advice as it feels pretty awful having these thoughts ?

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2 hours ago, Phil10 said:

The issue with the god thing is I become obsessed with the mind and where thoughts come from and free will and it lingers at the back of my head? Guess it’s because I have an ocd condition? I mean I guess we would all ask these questions surely though I have found solipsism was asked more than the god controlling us thoughts.

So can anybody give me any advice as it feels pretty awful having these thoughts ?

The issue is that you are engaging in compulsions, that you are googling these things and dwelling on them, and ruminating on them, and spending time on them.

You can't force yourself to stop having a thought, the harder you try the more you are thinking about it.  If you want a thought to go away then you just have to ignore it.  If it happens to pop in to your head, you just let it sit there, the more you react to it, the stronger it will become.  So you go about your day even if the thought pops in to your head, just let it be, like a song that gets stuck, and keep doing whatever it is you are doing or want to do instead.  Don't try and analyze it, don't try and decide what it "means", don't try and stop thinking about it, just let it sit there without engaging it.  It will fade away as you ignore it.  You can't answer the questions you are asking, thats an impossible task.  You could spend the rest of your life pondering the meaning of existence, or the nature of God, or what not.  Some people enjoy that, others don't.  If you don't then don't do it, thats all.  You don't have to answer these questions.  You don't have to know "for sure".

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But do you agree these thoughts are pretty awful to have as like many with ocd? The problem is they seem so real and awful it’s hard to dismiss them? 

Its easy to say not dwell on it but with anxiety and ocd that’s what you do. My mind no longer feels my own due to the ocd thoughts. 

Letting a thought just sit there is very hard especially when you have an anxious response from it. The information struggles to get through to me so even therapy might not work right now. All I can hope is one day it gets better as it’s hard to find a solution that works? 

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Waiting around for things to get better is setting yourself up for diaster. OCD tends to get worse over time. Plain and simple.

You dug yourself into this hole. Only you can dig yourself out. You need to learn to think and behave differently.

You've had a lot of good advice on this forum. It's up to you to put it into practice.

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1 hour ago, PolarBear said:

Waiting around for things to get better is setting yourself up for diaster. OCD tends to get worse over time. Plain and simple.

You dug yourself into this hole. Only you can dig yourself out. You need to learn to think and behave differently.

You've had a lot of good advice on this forum. It's up to you to put it into practice.

Ok do you think I should go back to the expensive therapy which only worked slightly? Or do self help? 

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6 hours ago, PolarBear said:

Waiting around for things to get better is setting yourself up for diaster. OCD tends to get worse over time. Plain and simple.

You dug yourself into this hole. Only you can dig yourself out. You need to learn to think and behave differently.

You've had a lot of good advice on this forum. It's up to you to put it into practice.

What alarms me is I worry I have no control over my mind and I worry about not being in control? Or it being controlled by some entity above me like a robot? Pretty worrying but equally it is just as worrying having a contamination worry.

Like I say all these thoughts are pretty awful so hard to ignore. 

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5 hours ago, Phil10 said:

Ok do you think I should go back to the expensive therapy which only worked slightly? Or do self help? 

It's all self help. A therapist teaches you what to do, as we do. But you actually have to do it.

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1 hour ago, PolarBear said:

It's all self help. A therapist teaches you what to do, as we do. But you actually have to do it.

I have booked another appointment with the theripst to see if helps. Not seen her since November and money is tight but feel I need the help. 

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