Jump to content
Phil10

Becoming obsessed with thoughts

Recommended Posts

11 hours ago, PolarBear said:

What you are doing is not working Phil. You keep posting about your situation, over and over again. You ask for help and support. We give that to you. You go back to posting about your situation. Round and round you go.

Yes but I need help for these thoughts. Simply ignoring them is not working. My mind no longer feels my own?

Share this post


Link to post
28 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

Yes but I need help for these thoughts. Simply ignoring them is not working. My mind no longer feels my own?

OK we have said it before but here is a short summary. 

I am not sure whether you got to see this brilliant British situation comedy in the states, but the girl leading the French resistance in the TV show "'Allo, Allo" would whisper to Rene the cafe owner :

"listen very carefully, I will say this only once". 

So why not copy and paste this little piece, and use it as a guide? It's based on my own experiences as a sufferer and what I have picked up here, from OCD-UK, therapists and self-help books and workbooks. 

Our OCD forms core beliefs per theme based on falsehood, exaggeration or revulsion. 

These core beliefs spawn obsessive (O) intrusive thoughts on a theme which cause an adverse behavioural reaction : an alarm alert to the "threat" the OCD suggests, distress (Disorder), and the urge to carry out compulsions to "fix" the distress (C). 

Quickly the alert leads to more distress and catastrophic thinking - we fall into a continuing circle of distress - and the compulsions only result in us giving belief to, connecting with, the intrusions (and thus the underlying OCD core belief) making the OCD more powerful and the intrusive thoughts more frequent. 

This will show you how only trying to ignore the thoughts will not be successful. We need to "take a leap of faith", believe what we learn about how the OCD works (and briefly summarised above) is the real truth, not what the OCD is saying to us. 

And that whatever type of OCD we may have, the OCD core belief will appear to non-sufferers as "worthless irrational irrelevant nonsense" - everyone gets such thoughts, but they laugh at them and ease them away, forget them. 

So, believe what is going on in this cognitive side of CBT. 

Schedule ERP in short, structured sessions - working up a hierarchy of intrusions from least anxiety provoking. 

Move on to the next one when, after necessary repeats, the anxiety has died down. 

Concurrent to this, and outside of ERP, work on resisting compulsions. When an intrusion comes just think "oh that's just my silly obsession" then gently, but firmly, refocus your thinking away elsewhere. Keep on regularly doing this until refocusing becomes automatic and the power and frequency of the intrusion fades. 

So there you are. Looked at with any complexity stripped away recovery looks one whole lot easier doesn't it?

But the hard work has to be done by the sufferer themselves, though a significant other can be very helpful - especially as a marker for what is a normal reaction rather than an OCD one. 

I have enjoyed writing this piece (I am in the coffee lounge at my health club after a gym and swim) and am myself going to copy it as I suspect I can use it to help others too. 

Good luck Phil 

Roy. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
26 minutes ago, taurean said:

OK we have said it before but here is a short summary. 

I am not sure whether you got to see this brilliant British situation comedy in the states, but the girl leading the French resistance in the TV show "'Allo, Allo" would whisper to Rene the cafe owner :

"listen very carefully, I will say this only once". 

So why not copy and paste this little piece, and use it as a guide? It's based on my own experiences as a sufferer and what I have picked up here, from OCD-UK, therapists and self-help books and workbooks. 

Our OCD forms core beliefs per theme based on falsehood, exaggeration or revulsion. 

These core beliefs spawn obsessive (O) intrusive thoughts on a theme which cause an adverse behavioural reaction : an alarm alert to the "threat" the OCD suggests, distress (Disorder), and the urge to carry out compulsions to "fix" the distress (C). 

Quickly the alert leads to more distress and catastrophic thinking - we fall into a continuing circle of distress - and the compulsions only result in us giving belief to, connecting with, the intrusions (and thus the underlying OCD core belief) making the OCD more powerful and the intrusive thoughts more frequent. 

This will show you how only trying to ignore the thoughts will not be successful. We need to "take a leap of faith", believe what we learn about how the OCD works (and briefly summarised above) is the real truth, not what the OCD is saying to us. 

And that whatever type of OCD we may have, the OCD core belief will appear to non-sufferers as "worthless irrational irrelevant nonsense" - everyone gets such thoughts, but they laugh at them and ease them away, forget them. 

So, believe what is going on in this cognitive side of CBT. 

Schedule ERP in short, structured sessions - working up a hierarchy of intrusions from least anxiety provoking. 

Move on to the next one when, after necessary repeats, the anxiety has died down. 

Concurrent to this, and outside of ERP, work on resisting compulsions. When an intrusion comes just think "oh that's just my silly obsession" then gently, but firmly, refocus your thinking away elsewhere. Keep on regularly doing this until refocusing becomes automatic and the power and frequency of the intrusion fades. 

So there you are. Looked at with any complexity stripped away recovery looks one whole lot easier doesn't it?

But the hard work has to be done by the sufferer themselves, though a significant other can be very helpful - especially as a marker for what is a normal reaction rather than an OCD one. 

I have enjoyed writing this piece (I am in the coffee lounge at my health club after a gym and swim) and am myself going to copy it as I suspect I can use it to help others too. 

Good luck Phil 

Roy. 

 

Thanks :)

Share this post


Link to post

The issue I have right now is my head dodges between germ worries to questions of life/free will and being controlled themes when I stop worrying and have satisfactory answers for one it switches back to the other? So my question is how can I get myself to a position where I can have neither of these worries? Obviously I can’t stop thinking about these thoughts but I can just sit there and the thoughts pop up?

Share this post


Link to post

I had a variation on this issue Phil in that, when I was managing to move on from an original new trigger, the OCD dredged up old triggers from the past and would roll them out again - one by one - so that my episode of OCD was maintained. 

This is where adding mindfulness into the therapy mix was spectacularly helpful for me. 

Why? Well, as explained to me by the "mindfulness-based CBT for OCD" therapist I sought out, we do all our obsessing and carrying out compulsions in what she called the active "doing" part of the brain, and when we are able to switch our mental focus so we are thinking only in the benign "just being" part of the brain, the obsessing and carrying out compulsions chain is broken. 

Then shifting focus into mindfulness within the "just being" part of the brain slips us into a state of mind where we are thinking just in the present, in the moment, just on what is immediate to us. 

I practiced doing this in my lunch hour. When I walked out the office door I took that as the cue to suspend active thinking about my work and its concerns, and focused just on my surroundings, walking, my planned destination and what was going on purely just around me. 

When I returned to the office, the external door was the "portal" for me to ease back into my work mode. 

When I learned from my therapy teacher how to easily make this mental switch when needed, I could shift out of that spiral of perpetuating triggers. 

As I said before, I have been more or less free now of OCD for two years, after adding this mindfulness approach to my CBT. 

So it can work, I truly know it can; but remember, we still need to work our CBT including ERP on the obsessions and compulsions themselves or they can still flare up and are latent,  not resolved. 

Share this post


Link to post

Phil your aim shouldnt be ol how to stop the thoughts, if that truly is what you believe you have to do I have good news for you -- CBT have huge potential for you.

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

Share this post


Link to post

Ok, I don't know what happened there. Sorry

Phil your aim shouldn't be on how to stop the thoughts, if that truly is what you believe that you have to do, then I have good news for you -- CBT have huge potential for you. 

And Phil all of this thinking that you can't do this and you can't do that because it will trigger anxiety in you, I am sorry but that is the purpose and needs to happen before anything gets better for you.

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

Share this post


Link to post

OCD restrictions lead to the compulsion of avoidance. By deliberately doing what OCD says no to, knowing OCD is lying and exaggerating, we gradually remove that anxiety and can carry out that task again. 

I had a problem with TV screens and posters on the London transport network. I could see disturbing stories, posters for violent theme films, that could trigger me and cause anxiety. So I wanted to avoid - but then I couldn't travel to work or to see clients. 

Through carrying out structured ERP my brain no longer scans for such things, and if I see them then I don't make an OCD connection with them. They just don't register anymore. 

Carried out correctly, in conjunction with the learnings from the cognitive side of CBT, ERP works. 

But we have to expose ourselves to the anxiety - that short-term pain brings long-term gain :yes:

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, Phil10 said:

So my question is how can I get myself to a position where I can have neither of these worries?

No matter how many times you ask the question its going to be the same answer: CBT

And that doesn't mean simply going to a few sessions with a therapist, thats like just going to the gym and expecting to get in shape just by being there and talking to a physical trainer.  You have to actually do the work.  You have to actually do exposures.  You have to do it daily, over and over, just like exercise.  If you don't want to do it, if you are too busy to do (as you have said in the other thread), well thats up to you, thats your choice to make.  But if you want to get better that is how.  CBT.

Share this post


Link to post
39 minutes ago, dksea said:

No matter how many times you ask the question its going to be the same answer: CBT

And that doesn't mean simply going to a few sessions with a therapist, thats like just going to the gym and expecting to get in shape just by being there and talking to a physical trainer.  You have to actually do the work.  You have to actually do exposures.  You have to do it daily, over and over, just like exercise.  If you don't want to do it, if you are too busy to do (as you have said in the other thread), well thats up to you, thats your choice to make.  But if you want to get better that is how.  CBT.

 and as I said earlier, adding mindfulness to it may break you out of the switching themes. 

Edited by taurean

Share this post


Link to post

My contamination fear has been playing up again 

What happened was on holiday I packed a suit case with dirty Laundry then I had touched a suitcase wheel without washing my hands so I fear despite no dirty washing touching it that the germs from my hands went on the wheel and it’s passing these germs and contaminating the cities I am visiting? Nobody can say it’s not spreading germs perhaps my partner would have touched the case before without the washing her hands but my fear is the worst as its the wheel which can transfer germs everywhere! 

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, Orwell1984 said:

When is your wedding?

It is in July 

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Phil10 said:

My contamination fear has been playing up again 

What happened was on holiday I packed a suit case with dirty Laundry then I had touched a suitcase wheel without washing my hands so I fear despite no dirty washing touching it that the germs from my hands went on the wheel and it’s passing these germs and contaminating the cities I am visiting? Nobody can say it’s not spreading germs perhaps my partner would have touched the case before without the washing her hands but my fear is the worst as its the wheel which can transfer germs everywhere! 

The idea that an unbroken chain of contamination connects with whatever is OCD's case, not ours Phil. 

Work on exposure around "breaking" those links, it will be difficult but it is what you need to do. 

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, taurean said:

The idea that an unbroken chain of contamination connects with whatever is OCD's case, not ours Phil. 

Work on exposure around "breaking" those links, it will be difficult but it is what you need to do. 

So do you think the suitcase is contaminated? I seem on a loop really I worry about health anxiety then existance worries like being controlled then dirty laundry germs I guess atleast it’s all the same themes maybe makes it easier to treat?

Share this post


Link to post

As I understand it, the actual themes themselves are irrelevant, as it's the 'thought pattern' OCD traps the sufferer into that is what needs addressing, not the content of the thoughts; therefore treatment of OCD is the same regardless of theme (although obviously if you do exposure exercises it would be related to one or more of your themes) however much it may seem like your themes are the problem, it is actually the anxiety you feel in response to them you need to work on, if that makes sense. Us reassuring you your suitcase is fine would only strengthen the OCD pattern, and would only give you temporary relief before your mind latches onto something else to ruminate on. When I was younger (before I knew I was suffering from OCD) I literally used to regularly go to my Mum with a list of all my obsessions, because I thought her reassurance made them 'better', only to then fix on something new to worry about almost immediately. I have contamination OCD as well, and I have been finding lately that I often find it helpful to say to myself 'if you can't see and smell anything harmful/disgusting there, chances are there's nothing to worry about.' and leave it at that. I don't know if that's any help at all but keep trying, you can get through this :):clap:

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, Phil10 said:

So do you think the suitcase is contaminated? I seem on a loop really I worry about health anxiety then existance worries like being controlled then dirty laundry germs I guess atleast it’s all the same themes maybe makes it easier to treat?

There is no contamination, Phil. It exists only in your head. 

Share this post


Link to post
On 20/02/2019 at 00:07, PolarBear said:

There is no contamination, Phil. It exists only in your head. 

I have been a bit frustrated as despite not writing all my worries down on here and my ocd being a little better I still have these thoughts about various things on a daily basis. I am frustrated as in the past I could fully get over these. I can be sitting just having niggling worries about worrying about sitting on my suitcase stuff I use to do, or I would wear clothes twice on holiday to breakfast I now fear doing this despite all the other worries no longer worrying me. I seem to still have issues with dirty Landry or just touching anybody’s clothes or my clothes since my head became obsessed with dirty laundry. So yes what I’m saying is I want my ocd free life back but it’s provioing difficult I mean I can ignore the thoughts but I am struggling like I have these false thoughts that I blocked toilets in some hotel rooms even though it wasn’t true? 

Share this post


Link to post
35 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

but I am struggling like I have these false thoughts that I blocked toilets in some hotel rooms even though it wasn’t true? 

You know rationally that is not true.

It's no different to me, as a teen, thinking I had burned down a hotel because I had, when I stayed there, spilled a drop of lighter fuel on a sheet. I had the compulsive urge to ring them up to check they still existed. How daft that seems now. 

Or some harm had occurred because I lost a ten pence piece that rolled under the shelving in a supermarket. 

How did I deal with those intrusions as a child, then young man? I realised that they had to be complete nonsense so stopped that line of thinking by refocusing away until the intrusions left me be. 

And yes, in contamination OCD the only contamination is in the mind of the sufferer. 

Share this post


Link to post

It was years later that I learned I was a sufferer from OCD. But how I dealt with those intrusions at the time was the correct way, I now know. 

Share this post


Link to post

Yes one thing I have struggled on with my holiday is my rucksack touching my suitcase. I use to sit on my suitcase and not worry but now I can’t. Anyway going through security my rucksack touched the suitcase so I fear I have to buy a new rucksack. I never use to worry about the outside of a suitcase being dirty but lately this is an issue I have had. Perhaps I won’t need a new rucksack but I have had a bad tendency to keep replacing rucksacks of late?

I also got stressed on the metro as the wheels of my case touched my shoes so this was another issue for me.

I am finding it impossible to keep to my ocd standards on holiday due to how busy some cities are 

Edited by Phil10

Share this post


Link to post

Phil, the OCD "standards" are actually restrictive rules that no one else would give any thought to. 

You no more need to replace your rucksack than I need to replace my mobile phone, which I just laid on the table in my local cafe. 

It's stuff and nonsense to anyone but someone who not only has contamination OCD, but also your particular take on contamination OCD. 

This is a chance to "break" those rules, and realise that nothing bad will happen as a result. 

Resistance is NOT futile in standing up to the compulsions "demanded" by OCD. 

Share this post


Link to post

A few weeks ago I got some jeans delivered the courier put them in my garden storage box however my ocd said that she put them in the bin and the lawnmower and strimmer and tools need replaced. This is similar to what happened with my front door I believed the envelope came from the bin so it seems my ocd is still operating like this making stuff up as it goes 

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...