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Ryukil

Stuck in trying to make a choice

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So I'm trying to figure out what to do about my OCD. Whether to try self-help, go to a certain therapist, go to another therapist, how exactly to execute self-help if I do it, etc. But I realize trying to decide something and stick with it is part of my OCD - I'm getting caught up in loops about what the "right" decision could be. However, I do need to decide something and commit to it, correct? I can't just do nothing about my OCD. Whatever I choose, I will doubt it and have to keep myself from falling back into "figuring out" mode. Here's a note I just wrote to myself.

 

"You've gotten trapped in this thing where you think you need to solve problem x before you can do anything else. So, you won't pick up the Greek textbook or look at French because problem x is much more important, it needs to be solved. But the problem with OCD is that you can get stuck in eternally trying to solve something, because OCD won't be satisfied with research, notes, thinking, etc. - there will always be doubts, worry that you're making the wrong choice. Perhaps, in some cases, the whole choice thing is an illusion and there isn't really a choice to be made.
But you're wasting your life. You have to move forward in some direction.
Now when I say "you have to move forward in some direction," does that mean I have to make a choice about whether or not go to [therapist], or do self-help, or do self-help in a structured or unstructured way? It may mean that I should just abandon the idea of making a choice. 
You're tying yourself up in knots."

 

Is there an option besides making a choice and sticking to it? What would that be? I think that I probably need to commit to stopping reading about OCD and treatment methods, because I'm just watching the same YouTube videos over and over, reading the same stuff. I just need to make a leap of faith and take action instead of permitting myself to get bogged down. I have an obsession with recovery itself, and so the ERP for that (I guess?) would be to give up on recovery, but that seems like a bad idea.

I sort of can't go to therapy right now as I have to sort out insurance stuff, so my plan was to do ERP on my own for some time. I guess I can do that, and hopefully the insurance thing will get sorted out so that in a few months I can go to therapy if I find I can't get anywhere. 

Just wanted to know if anyone has analysis of this kind of OCD pattern, where it feels like thinking about it over and over is productive and you're going to finally make a decision about what to do and get started tomorrow, but every day it resets itself.

I think I have decent insight into what's going on here, I just need to put that insight to use and step out of the pattern, in ANY direction (just doing that would be a big step for me and my OCD)...make a leap of faith. "Hug uncertainty," as Mark Freeman says. This video describes very well the pattern I'm locked in: 

 

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You've been here before. You have OCD about recovery. You need to deal with it first, before you tackle your contamination issue.

If you are constantly researching OCD and watching videos, and it's not helping you, which it's apparently not, then why keep doing it.

There is a tendency by some sufferers to get caught up in research about recovery. They spend lots of time doing that and little doing the work to recover.

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How many forums have you asked this on Ryukil? 

What we need to do is simply summed up - no need for debate. 

Practice CBT therapy. 

We don't have to have one to one. If that isn't possible we can have a go ourselves. The basics are regular features of this forum. 

It's all about :

Understanding how OCD works - the C

Changing behavioural responses and practising ERP. The B. 

Which should bring down the disorder, the D. 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Ryukil said:

It also describes what you shouldn't be doing! :)

 

What is the answer then?  (I knew you would ask…)

People find it very illogical when I tell them to stop searching for the solution.  They do not understand that the solution-seeking is the problem. 

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From the article you posted, these obsessions are the things you shouldn't analyse and should just allow to be there in your mind unanswered even though they raise your anxiety. Observing and accepting the presence of the thoughts is mindfulness in practice.

Intrusive Thoughts / Obsessions that preceed compulsive solving:

Your OCD and panic symptoms will continue to increase until you spin out of control.

Your life as you know it is taken away because you become more and more consumed by your OCD.

You don’t understand treatment explanations perfectly enough.

You don’t explain your experience perfectly enough to get the correct instructions back from your therapist.

You’ll lose your job because you cannot function normally.

You’ll lose your relationship because they don’t deserve such an impaired person.

People feel sorry for and pity you because you have lost complete control of your mental health.

These are the behaviours you need to stop doing because they feed the OCD:

Create list of questions to ask therapist when I get fear about my therapy

Asking therapist to repeat instructions

Online research about OCD treatment or medications

Excessive note-taking in session

Re-reading OCD articles or notes taken in therapy office

Highlighting key concepts in OCD books / reviewing highlighted materials

Visiting multiple types of professionals / types of therapy

Researching medications

Reassurance-seeking / Discussing OCD with loved ones

Mentally reviewing any reassuring information gathered

Overdoing homework assignments

Resisting letting go of assignments after therapist has suggested they should stop

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I like what Polarbear said.

 

Ryukil I will be frank with you. This is where you were 1 year ago. You should know the answer. I say this because the recommendations you got then are AS VALID today as then.

Without force behind your theories OCD will win everytime.

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

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Hi Ryukil,

I can completely relate with you, this is kind of where I am in my therapy now. Sometimes exposure makes you so uncomfortable that it makes you question the whole process and you're getting stuck in this idea of getting it "right". Honestly, I don't believe there is a right way of doing CBT and ERP,  I think you kind of figure it out as you go along. You see how things are going, slow down if necessary and pace yourself until you're ready to try more difficult challenges. I personally avoid watching lots of videos or reading too much, there are so many different opinions out there and it becomes a bit of information overdrive, you don't know who is best. I would personally go to see a therapist, maybe a different one from the one you saw before. Even if it didn't work out because of you more than the therapist, it may be good to have a fresh start. You were in residential care right? You could contact them and ask if they can recommend someone for you to speak with? 

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13 minutes ago, malina said:

Hi Ryukil,

I can completely relate with you, this is kind of where I am in my therapy now. Sometimes exposure makes you so uncomfortable that it makes you question the whole process and you're getting stuck in this idea of getting it "right". Honestly, I don't believe there is a right way of doing CBT and ERP,  I think you kind of figure it out as you go along. You see how things are going, slow down if necessary and pace yourself until you're ready to try more difficult challenges. I personally avoid watching lots of videos or reading too much, there are so many different opinions out there and it becomes a bit of information overdrive, you don't know who is best. I would personally go to see a therapist, maybe a different one from the one you saw before. Even if it didn't work out because of you more than the therapist, it may be good to have a fresh start. You were in residential care right? You could contact them and ask if they can recommend someone for you to speak with? 

Brilliant advice. 

Edited by Orwell1984

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I can't really go to a therapist right now for insurance reasons. But I'm going to stop obsessing and start working on obsessions. It'll actually be a massive relief to stop reading and watching so much about OCD. Need to realize I'm getting stuck in the same patterns I've been in for years and make a conscious decision to stop.

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Exactly so my friend. 

It would be best to look to stop asking various sources for help to make a decision when you would best tackle this theme of your OCD by really working on "flying solo". 

You do need to do exposures. But you know the alternative to what your therapist (and my original) therapist had wanted. 

And that alternative works just fine for a whole host of people including me :)

 

Edited by taurean

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You mean the labeling? Like realizing a compulsive thought or urge is OCD and thereby ignoring it?

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You need to do that. But separate to that you do need to work through ERP. 

The alternative way of ERP is understanding that with themes such as harm the OCD takes our true core character values such as love care protection and alleges we could act opposite to them. 

Going into short structured sessions of ERP with that in mind enables us to see the intrusions for what they are - fabrications. Then as we work through exposure to a trigger it will start to lose power and the anxiety response will fall.

Exactly what is intended from ERP. 

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I feel like I can't work with a self-help book due to the nature of my obsession, that I just need to get started. I guess if I just used one book and only that book, and swore off reading anythign else about OCD, it would be okay? Or should I just continue ERP in the way I was doing it in the hospital without using a book?

I would use Freedom from OCD by Jonathan Grayson. Would have to order a copy and get it delivered though and I'm tired of waiting to get started.

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If it was going well the way you were doing it in the hospital and working towards the target of easing down the behavioural response to triggers and their power, sounds good. 

Using what you have learned about how OCD works, shifting towards not engaging with intrusions or giving meaning to them, not carrying out compulsions, then refocusing away - plus working the ERP is the right approach. 

Do that and you ought to make the progress you seek. 

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3 hours ago, Ryukil said:

I can't really go to a therapist right now for insurance reasons. But I'm going to stop obsessing and start working on obsessions. It'll actually be a massive relief to stop reading and watching so much about OCD. Need to realize I'm getting stuck in the same patterns I've been in for years and make a conscious decision to stop.

You dont need to make a decision. Do it NOW

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On 08/02/2019 at 09:23, PolarBear said:

You've been here before. You have OCD about recovery. You need to deal with it first, before you tackle your contamination issue.

If you are constantly researching OCD and watching videos, and it's not helping you, which it's apparently not, then why keep doing it.

There is a tendency by some sufferers to get caught up in research about recovery. They spend lots of time doing that and little doing the work to recover.

1

How do I get over the obsession with recovery? Stop reading about OCD? I just tried to do that and it feels awkward, ungainly. But I guess of course it's going to feel that way. Maybe I should make a commitment to not read about OCD at all for like 1 week or something like that. 

But what's happening is first the obsession with structured vs. unstructured self-directed (which I'm not sure is that much of a distinction), and then obsessing about whether or not I should agree with the thoughts or remind myself that the urges to do compulsions are "just OCD." So I'll start reading about Brain Lock and looking for people who got better from it, then take notes and save them on my computer. 

Obviously I need to stop that.

Edited by Ryukil

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What if I just totally gave up on recovery for a few weeks? No reading about OCD, not trying exposures, just letting go completely?

What I was thinking is I come up with a plan for dealing with the contamination exposures and just execute it, without reevaluating whether what I'm doing is right, but you're saying I should deal with the recovery obsession first? Can I attempt dealing with both at the same time by coming up with a plan and executing it?

 

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What if you just decide upon your own course of action, without having to conduct these compulsive requests for opinion from third parties?

Right now you have a really big need to stop carrying out these compulsions, and start trying to "fly solo",  based on the wise knowledge you have now accumulated. 

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On 08/02/2019 at 18:36, Orwell1984 said:

These are the behaviours you need to stop doing because they feed the OCD:

Create list of questions to ask therapist when I get fear about my therapy

Asking therapist to repeat instructions

Online research about OCD treatment or medications

 Excessive note-taking in session

Re-reading OCD articles or notes taken in therapy office

 Highlighting key concepts in OCD books / reviewing highlighted materials

Visiting multiple types of professionals / types of therapy

Researching medications

Reassurance-seeking / Discussing OCD with loved ones

Mentally reviewing any reassuring information gathered

Overdoing homework assignments

Resisting letting go of assignments after therapist has suggested they should stop

If you stop doing these compulsions in any form whether structures or unstructured, I guarantee you your OCD will improve.

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https://goo.gl/images/fz1kNG

https://goo.gl/images/rKs5o8

hierarchies for OCD contamination. You could put your own SUDS rating on them and target each compulsion separately. I think you need the structure to actually measure your success per compulsion so you can see that you ARE able to beat this.  Yo have so much avoidance going on that I think doing it all in an unstructured way would overwhelm you. 

If an unwanted intrusion relating to any of your fears happens, whether it's the compulsion you're targeting or not, delay doing the compulsion for 15 mins and work up to 30 mins, 45 mins etc. 

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Thanks guys. :)

Need to envision myself posting here in a few months saying I'm much improved and try to make that a reality. 

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