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Orwell1984

Why do some people refuse to treat their condition as OCD?

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I can't work it out. Surely if you're desperate to not have the disorder, you would force yourself to do what it takes to recover?? Any thoughts? It would be great to debunk the reasons why people talk themselves out of it. 

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It floors me that some people believe their problem must be worse than OCD. It must be sociopathy, psychosis, or they are just really bad people. It's as if OCD is considered by some to be less severe than something else.

OCD is an incredibly debilitating disorder. It's bad enough.

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That is a really good question and I'm really surprised at how often it comes up. I was so relieved when I got a diagnosis - to have a name and explanations for all the weird and awful thoughts that I've spent my life dealing with really changed things.

I think that for a lot of people, OCD seems like the logical explanation but everything in their being (their emotions, bodily reactions etc) are telling them that their fear is real. So accepting that they have OCD seems like a denial of reality and, thus, like they aren't keeping themselves safe from the real fear.

I also think that some people are so afraid of confronting these fears that it's easier to deny having any problem at all. Sure, OCD feels horrible but its familiar.

It's kind of like asking why people refuse to go to the dentist when they have a toothache or why they want to lose weight but refuse to go to the gym. We may see the right path but find reasons not to take it. 

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That's nicely put Malina. 

But perhaps it's just the fiendish make-up of the disorder. 

A 1%, even a 0.005% chance that the fears are true, not OCD, creates the doubt that sustains the belief that we don't have OCD at all :confused1:

The way to overcome this is probability. We need to accept the probability that our intrusions are just the worthless nonsense of OCD. 

Once we are able to do that, we are rockin' and rollin' :)

 

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Good question indeed, Orwell!

I guess there must be a whole range of different answers, such as

  • Having OCD about having OCD.
  • Being dismissive over the tried & tested methods of getting better, & believing that there is an easier fix.
  • Misdiagnosis in a small number of cases.

 

 

Edited by felix4

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4 hours ago, malina said:

I was so relieved when I got a diagnosis - to have a name and explanations for all the weird and awful thoughts that I've spent my life dealing with really changed things.

That was my reaction as well!

 

3 hours ago, felix4 said:

I guess there must be a whole range of different answers, such as

  • Having OCD about having OCD.
  • Being dismissive over the tried & tested methods of getting better, & believing that there is an easier fix.
  • Misdiagnosis in a small number of cases.

Yup, that sounds about right.  

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I think that when people identify that they have OCD they feel a temporary moment of relief and expect that having this knowledge will make them feel better, that they have the answer.  They then find out that the fears and doubts remain just as strong, that trying to face their particular fear causes just as much anxiety and is terrifying and they try and avoid working through and facing that anxiety.  They continue the search for that "thing" that will make this stop, that will make them feel better.......sadly, as we know, there is no magic bullet.

What makes one person react differently to another?  I suppose there are many reasons ranging from personal coping skills, effective support from family/friends, good support from professionals, willingness to apply themselves to the discipline and difficulty of making changes to their approach......these are just a very few of the things.

Sadly, whether it's today, next month, next year or a decade on........The answers, the way to conquer the restrictions, to beat OCD remain the same.

I think we too as a community have to take care that we don't support compulsions.  The level of knowledge and support we see these days is fabulous.  There are some wonderful explanations and advice given and as we know, it can often take many times and many different explanations and suggestions to inspire confidence in a sufferer.......but sometimes, the explanations have to be reduced and the sufferer has to take that advice and start to apply the changes rather than continually seeking the elusive answer that they feel will solve the problem

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1 hour ago, Caramoole said:

There are some wonderful explanations and advice given and as we know, it can often take many times and many different explanations and suggestions to inspire confidence in a sufferer.......but sometimes, the explanations have to be reduced and the sufferer has to take that advice and start to apply the changes rather than continually seeking the elusive answer that they feel will solve the problem

I think this quote from Caramoole sums up why I raised my topic elsewhere on this forum yesterday. 

It would be wonderful to see more of us accepting that carrying out compulsions just makes things worse not better; just strengthens the belief in and connection with OCD. 

And following the excellent guidance from fellow sufferers here. 

There is no "philosophers stone" to hand here that turns the "base metal" of OCD into the "gold" of freedom from it. 

No instant fix, no sugar-coated pill that turns obsessional thinking off. 

But there is CBT. And, as I well know, it works. But it does need that initial cognitive understanding of how OCD works and, if necessary, taking the leap of faith that it is all the "worthless nonsense" of OCD that is the reason why the person is suffering - and it isnt real - but the falsehoods exaggeration or revulsion created by OCD. 

Edited by taurean

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9 hours ago, taurean said:

That's nicely put Malina. 

But perhaps it's just the fiendish make-up of the disorder. 

A 1%, even a 0.005% chance that the fears are true, not OCD, creates the doubt that sustains the belief that we don't have OCD at all :confused1:

The way to overcome this is probability. We need to accept the probability that our intrusions are just the worthless nonsense of OCD. 

Once we are able to do that, we are rockin' and rollin' :)

 

I think what Roy has said here probably sums it up for me. x

 

9 hours ago, felix4 said:

Good question indeed, Orwell!

I guess there must be a whole range of different answers, such as

  • Having OCD about having OCD.
  • Being dismissive over the tried & tested methods of getting better, & believing that there is an easier fix.
  • Misdiagnosis in a small number of cases.

 

 

Yes maybe ocd about having ocd too. x

Can people be misdiagnosed with ocd? x

 

Edited by Saz

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57 minutes ago, Saz said:

I think what Roy has said here probably sums it up for me. x

 

Yes maybe ocd about having ocd too. x

Can people be misdiagnosed with ocd? x

 

Of course they can. What does it matter to you? 

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

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1 hour ago, Saz said:

Can people be misdiagnosed with ocd? x

 

I think much more probably they are misdiagnosed as NOT having OCD when they do. 

The knew logo of OCD-UK in itself was planned to bring clarity. 

The O in OCD is obsessional thinking on a focused theme. I liken it to our field of vision, substituting the mind for our eyes. An obsession enters the field of mental vision, and our focus locks onto it and won't let go, repetitively going over and over it (this is the "brainlock" from Jeffrey Schwartz's book of the same name). 

We then experience the urge to carry out compulsions (the C) to "fix" this obsessive repetitive very focused thinking. But the compulsions just help us give belief to /connect with the obsessional thoughts - and they get stronger and more frequent. 

All this leads to the disorder (D) with anxiety and distress maintained by a vicious cycle of obsessing compulsing and catastrophising. 

Sufferers will do much better looking for how their thinking and behaviours follow this pattern of OCD, and not playing into its hands by looking for reasons why their obsessional thoughts just might be true. 

Edited by taurean

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29 minutes ago, taurean said:

Sufferers will do much better looking for how their thinking and behaviours follow this pattern of OCD, and not playing into its hands by looking for reasons why their obsessional thoughts just might be true. 

:yes:

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3 hours ago, Saz said:

Can people be misdiagnosed with ocd?

This would be an intrusive thought that you need to let just be there and not respond to. I know, it's hard X

 

2 hours ago, taurean said:

Sufferers will do much better looking for how their thinking and behaviours follow this pattern of OCD, and not playing into its hands by looking for reasons why their obsessional thoughts just might be true. 

Roy's advice is the advice you need to take Saz. Look at the patterns of your behaviour instead of the content of the intrusive thought

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I agree with what people have said about getting OCD about OCD. The fear ls could range from 'what if I have been misdiagnosed' to 'am I doing the therapy right or am I reassuring myself'. I got so caught up in this myself, I had so many books and pamphlets about OCD, none were alike and I picked holes in all of the differences. The best thing was to 'keep it simple, stupid' and go with 'Brain Lock' the book which combined mindfulness, acceptance, tolerating the thought and observing the way our thoughts go, by looking at the patterns and behaviours we do.

I guess that there is a level of burnout with the recovery process as it is so mentally draining and emotionally taxing, maybe this is why people give up at the final hurdle. I think this is why we need to do nice things for ourselves and get proper sleep and nourishment to sustain the energy levels to fight this thing and recover

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24 minutes ago, Orwell1984 said:

I think this is why we need to do nice things for ourselves

There was a small feature on this type of approach/thinking on the BBC breakfast programme.  I didn't catch the beginning of the interview but there was some professor/specialist who was saying that research shows that this is beneficial to physical & mental health.

Quick Google....found it https://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_703807_en.html

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14 hours ago, malina said:

So accepting that they have OCD seems like a denial of reality and, thus, like they aren't keeping themselves safe from the real fear.

I think this is the biggest reason why people don't start recovery because this is the biggest fear. Once people come to terms with this particular fear, then the rest of the recovery process can begin. This is why the 'cognitive' part of CBT is much needed

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19 minutes ago, Caramoole said:

There was a small feature on this type of approach/thinking on the BBC breakfast programme.  I didn't catch the beginning of the interview but there was some professor/specialist who was saying that research shows that this is beneficial to physical & mental health.

Quick Google....found it https://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_703807_en.html

It's brill how they are doing research to give concrete evidence that it works :) 

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I found a 2015 study which is a bit shocking. It is about how accurately clinicians are able to diagnose OCD. The shocking part is that only half of the 208 physicians recorded in the study were able to diagnose OCD correctly. That means the other half were unable to diagnose OCD and misdiagnosed the OCD sufferers with something else!

 

Misidentification rates by theme: 

- homosexuality (84.6%), <- The highest rate was for clinicians labelling people as gay rather than realising they had OCD obsessions about being gay. 

- aggression (80.0%),

- saying certain things (73.9%)

- paedophilia (70.8%)

- somatic concerns (40.0%)

- religion (37.5%)

- contamination (32.3%)

- symmetry (3.70%)

 

And because the OCD sufferers were misdiagnosed, they didn't receive the right treatment.

46.7% did not receive CBT

8.6% did not receive SSRIs

And antipsychotic medications were prescribed more by the practitioners who hadn't recognised the OCD in their patients.

12.4% of the study sample who were misdiagnosed were prescribed antipsychotics

whereas when the study sample were correctly diagnosed with OCD, only 1.9% were prescribed antipsychotics. 

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/26132683/

This is why I value this forum so much. I think I've learnt the most about recovery from this forum and the information has been a lot clearer than some I've paid to be told. Importantly, there's info on OCDUK about sourcing a reputable therapist for OCD. 

 

Edited by Orwell1984

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Social stigma and also ocd and anxiety are similar disorders so its hard to properly diagnose ocd. 

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Thats not surprising, Orwell. Sad, but not surprising.

Yet we can see OCD from a mile away.

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1 hour ago, Phil10 said:

Social stigma and also ocd and anxiety are similar disorders so its hard to properly diagnose ocd.

I completely disagree with you on that one.  I think that OCD is pretty straightforward to diagnose

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Absolutely. I think with the right knowledge of what to look for it's pretty easy to separate out OCD from the other various anxiety disorders. 

Sadly some of us have one of those as well as OCD e.g. black and white thinking, or diminishing the positive (both negative thinking distortions inducing anxiety) - but to a competent healthcare professional such as a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist there should be no difficulty in spotting these by asking the right open questions and, usually, asking the sufferer to keep a specific type of thought log for a few days,which they can then analyse. 

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I feel like for me I never feel like my OCD is bad enough or debilitating enough that I can call it OCD and that if I did so I would be mocking people who genuinely suffer from it or making light of a serious subject which causes me lots of guilt for thinking I have it, which means that I won't talk about it because I constantly fear I am faking it. I also have bad anxiety which means I am too scared and anxious to go to the doctors alone or even talk to people in my life about possibly having OCD.

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3 hours ago, Phil10 said:

Social stigma and also ocd and anxiety are similar disorders so its hard to properly diagnose ocd. 

OCD is very easy to diagnose, if you know what you are talking about.

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