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AlexSmith

Can someone please help me on this !!

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I Have been diagnosed with OCD . in my younger years iv'e suffered with HOCD and my recent one i got over is Checking doors , handbrakes , gas stoves ect . it would cause visual intrusive thoughts if i didn't check them .

Now i have got a new obsession which seems to be cheating OCD . I recently gone out and had 4 beers which is nothing to me . some girl came up to me and asked me do you know where my sister is i laughed and said i don't know who your sister is and walked away . I started walking home and had a voice all of a sudden appear in my head saying what if you kissed that girl who came up to you . i panicked !!! and got home fell asleep and woke up in the morning obsessing over it . It started creating real feeling scenarios in my head which i believed . Obsessed over it for a week and felt so much unnecessary guilt the more i thought of it the more real it felt . Then Saturday came and i had a work party . I've always felt comfortable drinking in my bosses house environment . I got a little silly and drunk to much . so some parts of the night were blacked out . this scared me . i don't get to that point ever ! when it came to Monday i was Still obsessing over the situation where the girl came up to me . So i done the worse thing and asked my friend on text about it and he said NO YOU DIDN'T MATE you laughed and walked off . So i was very confused why my mind played this trick on me .

Soon after that message i started to do a bit of research about this and found so many people who suffer with this . But this is when it got really scary , because i sorted that situation out , i got this horrible Image or vision of some sort in my head of having sex in my bosses toilet with one of my work friends wife she does have a jokey flirt with me but that's in front of her husband and he does'nt care because its harmless he laughs at it . It was a sudden image/vision which was blurry . What i don't get is , there was no (what if ?) . it was a sudden / striking vision what felt real . i panicked . went to his house i went into the toilet . the toilet is so small . theirs basically no room for sex in there but my mind still believed it happened . i ruminated and obsessed over it for 2 weeks . Until i had a family occasion and my ex partner was their . i had a few drinks but none to effect me . she came over and hugged me . literally 10 minutes later i had a panic attack ,  i had a voice in my head saying your'e going to worry about that now . following day i had visions of it happening . found out it wasn't true by asking again . i know reassurance is a bad thing . A few more have happened after this which all turned out to be false as well . 

But what scares me the most is , is the sex one because that attacked me all of a sudden with a blurry vision/image straight away After the first situation got sorted out with the reassurance . Does this sound like Cheating/false memory OCD ?  is it trying to attack my relationship with my New girlfriend who i love a lot ? 

Some advice would be really helpful on this  , much appreciated Alex . 

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1 hour ago, AlexSmith said:

Have been diagnosed with OCD . in my younger years iv'e suffered with HOCD and my recent one i got over is Checking doors , handbrakes , gas stoves ect . it would cause visual intrusive thoughts if i didn't check them .

Now i have got a new obsession which seems to be cheating OCD

Hi AlexSmith

That's great that you were able to get over some of your past OCD themes--did you do it through CBT/ERP?

If so, then you know how you need to start dealing with new themes that pop up...

Are you seeing a counsellor at this point?

I find it tricky when a new theme pops up for me because ocd is tricky and I start to wonder if it is ocd this time or is it something real...

As you rightly point out, reassurance seeking is a compulsion that will only make things worse in the long term.

So try not to do that and instead apply the same methods you applied in getting over past ocd themes.

The process is not an easy one as I'm sure you know, but it's the only way to go to get over this in the long term.

Wishing you well

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This is really simple. You had intrusive thoughts, aka obsessions. They popped into your head, you didn't want them and they caused you distress. They caused you to fo compulsions: ruminating, asking a friend for reassurance, Googling.

It's just OCD.

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hello you two . thanks for replying . i am currently having CBT , which is nice talking to someone about it . 

I am pretty sure this new obsession is OCD . What i dont get is previous intrusive thoughts started off with a voice in my head saying did you just kiss her or what if you kissed her ect .

but what im scared about is can a intrusive thought / false memory attack you first with a image/vision and then make you ruminate on it ? 

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to then try and figure out if its true or not ? plus the fact i was drunk makes it feel more real so i have no idea if this one is true . just feels like OCD attacks what you cant be certain of .

 

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Woah. Stop trying to figure this out. That is OCD at work. If you have obsessions that cause distress and then you do compulsions, you have OCD.

Stop trying to figure out if it's true. You won't be able to but you'll spend, days, weeks, months, years spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere.

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I understand that , but what im asking is polarbear is can it attack you with a image/vision instead of a voice in the head saying what if first ? because the image/vision felt real because it attacked my mind all of a sudden after finding out the previous one wasnt true . does a obssesion like this attack you once , a believed fear on the same obssesion has died down ? 

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Alex, it's all OCD.

An obsession can be an intrusive thought, image, urge, impulse, feeling that causes distress and leads to compulsions. It's really that simple. Don't get caught up on the belief this is somehow different. It's not.

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thanks for the reply again and the help . also another question why does a intrusive thought feel like it has happened ? because alot of peoples intrusive thoughts are something like if they pick a knife up they visualise stabbing someone , why does mine happen in the past events ?

 

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Alex, it's just another form of OCD. Yes, we classify it as false memory OCD or cheating OCD, but it is still OCD. Who knows why one sufferer gets intrusive thoughts about cheating and another gets thoughts about contamination. Perhaps something from your past, a comment or remark, stuck around. We really don't know. 

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one last question , is it possible to believe a intrusive thought ? like think oh no i actually might of done this , but then find out int was false ? sorry for asking so many questions i just want to know how to cope with this better ?

 

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Of course sufferers believe intrusive thoughts. Or at least err on the side of caution. Why else would someone who has washed their hands with bleach wash them again? Because they believe their thoughts that their hands are still not clean.

How you deal with this is enact sound CBT principles, foremost identifying the compulsions and working hard to stop them.

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still dont understand why , the sex thought just flashed a image / vision in my head suddenly it just had effected me so much , literally can't cope with why it just happened out of thin air , i hate it . its effecting my daily routines at work and have constant feeling of guilt , because it makes you beilieve that it might of happened . and mainly it effects me nd my relationship with my partner .

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it happened 3 days after the party , i deffienlty would of remembered if something bad happened before that i know thats a reassurence question but it makes sense , thioguh

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You are asking for reassurance. For the last time on this subject, you are complaining that this image/thought just popped up in your head, as if that makes it not be OCD. But obsessions, by definition DO pop up in your head. They come out of nowhere. They are intrusive, meaning they pop up, they are unwanted.

Edited by PolarBear

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I don't want to discourage you, Alex. I've been around a while and I've seen people become trapped by a misguided belief that their problem is somehow different from OCD. This can literally become an obsession in itself and lead to years of self torture.

Take a leap of faith that this is just OCD and start working on correcting your thinking and behavior so you can free yourself from this.

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Hi Alex, welcome to the forums, sorry to hear you are going through a rough time right now!  Hang in there, though you can get through this.

7 hours ago, AlexSmith said:

still dont understand why , the sex thought just flashed a image / vision in my head suddenly it just had effected me so much , literally can't cope with why it just happened out of thin air , i hate it . its effecting my daily routines at work and have constant feeling of guilt , because it makes you beilieve that it might of happened . and mainly it effects me nd my relationship with my partner .

Something I see a lot of people misunderstanding/misbelieving about OCD is that there is a difference between "real" thoughts and "OCD" thoughts.  One big reason is that people believe that having a thought must MEAN something, so they want the "bad" thoughts to be fake, caused by something external, like OCD.  
Here's the honest truth, basically everyone has so-called "bad" thoughts.  In fact they probably have a lot of them.  So why aren't more people bothered by them?  Why don't more people react and struggle the way OCD sufferers do?  To answer that question we need to talk about how the human brain works.

Your brain is CONSTANTLY getting a huge amount of information pumped in to it.  Every sight, every sound, every smell, all of that is being fed in to your brain, 24/7.  Fortunately for your sanity the brain is also generally very good at filtering that information automatically.  Ever notice how you can be bothered by something for a little while but then you kinda forget about it?  Like you are sitting in the office/classroom/your house and a clock on the wall is ticking away?  At first you notice it and it seems annoying, but before long you get distracted and then you stop even noticing it anymore.  Humans are very very good at this sort of thing, we are very good at learning to ignore things around us.  But you don't want to ignore everything, sometimes you want to pay attention to whats going on around you, you want to be aware of whats going on.  Our brains can do that too.  Imagine you are at a party.  Its pretty crowded, there are lots of people, lots of talking, and so a lot of background noise.  Suddenly you hear your name.  You perk up, turn your head towards the noise and see your friend.  Now you weren't actively listening for your name, you were focused on something else, mostly tuning out the background noise.  But your brain, that clever little machine WAS listening, and while it was busy filtering out the noise you probably don't care about, its learned over time that your name IS an important cue, so when it hears your name it alerts your conscious mind and you know to focus your attention.  Like the mail room of a business, the workers know to throw away junk mail but to make sure anything with your personal name on it gets delivered to you.

So what does all that have to do with OCD?  Everything!  All day long, in every persons life tons of things are happening in their brain all the time.  MOST of it they never even notice.  Some of it they might notice, but realize is not important and ignore it, only some of what they notice is worth spending effort on.  Some of the thoughts the brain generates are "bad" ones.  For example, one thats happened to me more than once.  I'm driving down the road, i see some people walking on the side walk.  The thought/image pops in to my head of swerving off the road and hitting them.  Now I would never EVER do something like that, I know how wrong it is and I would feel awful.  So why did I have the thought?  Why would I think about something like that?  Maybe its because of seeing a movie with a similar scene or playing a video game where that happens.  Maybe it was a scene in a book or even something I saw in the news.  Or maybe its just the natural thought process of our brains imaging all sorts of different possible outcomes in any given moment, outcomes we almost automatically narrow down to 1 or 2 acceptable options.


So I'm driving along, when suddenly that image pops in to my head.  At that point I can take two paths.  First, I can recognize it as ridiculous and ignore it, going on about my day (a day which includes no intention to murder anyones).  Second, I can dwell on it and panic, believing its an important thought that I really want to do.

The first path is the right one, and its what most people do automatically most of the time.  How?  The short answer is their brain.  In side a normal persons brain is a sort of switch if you will. It automatically turns off the worry section when an unwanted, but meaningless thought passes through.  The brain knows its unimportant, acknowledge it as such and you move on.

Unfortunately for people with OCD something is not working quite right in our brains.  For whatever reason sometimes a thought will get "stuck" in our head and that when the OCD cycle starts.  The thought doesn't go away like its supposed to, the feeling of being "ok" doesn't trigger like it should.  Now that thought sticks around and you continue to feel unsatisfied, like something must be wrong, like this thought must MEAN something, otherwise you wouldn't be worried about it right?  So the worry creates the belief the thought is wrong, which creates more anxiety, which makes you feel worse, which makes you think the thought is even more meaningful.  Wash.  Rinse.   Complete.

So to recap, EVERYONE has the kind of thoughts, the difference between an OCD suffer and a non-sufferer is that our brains don't work right sometimes, and as a result we feel increased anxiety about certain trigger thoughts.  The thought is "real" in the sense that EVERY thought we have is real, but it doesn't MEAN anything.  Its garbage, it should have gotten filtered out. Unfortunately OCD sufferers sometimes have trouble with thoughts getting filtered out automatically so we have to learn how to manage them manually.  Over time, with practice, you get better and better at that and before long those thoughts no longer bother you, because you have retrained your brain to recognize them for what they are, meaningless garbage.

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1 hour ago, AlexSmith said:

anyone ? can a intrusive thought/ false memory make you think you have actually committed the image / vision ? 

Yes, there are people on this forum that believe that an intrusive thought and false memory are real, but they aren't real. That's what OCD does. It makes you believe the unbelievable. You need to treat it as OCD as convincing as the thoughts may seem. It's the only way out of this. Accept the presence of the thoughts, don't analyse them and try to refocus onto other things. 

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17 hours ago, AlexSmith said:

the false memory felt so real , and it makes me believe it . it just came in to my mind out of know where . 

Thoughts can, and do pop in to our mind seemingly out of "nowhere" all the time.  The reality is our brain is constantly processing thoughts, constantly making connections.  We don't realize it because most of it happens in our subconscious.  Every so often one of those ideas floats up to the top of our mind and we notice it.  What seemingly comes out of nowhere may in fact be connected to a sound, smell, word, image, something that our brain processed but we never really consciously paid attention to.  We have these kind of thoughts all the time, the difference is in non-OCD sufferers they are easily able to dismiss them as meaningless, but OCD sufferers sometimes struggle and the thought sticking around makes us believe its meaningful.  It feels "so real" because the thought is real, you can't have a fake thought, either you have a thought (and its real) or you don't have a thought.  But just because you have a thought doesn't mean the thing you are thinking about is real. 

Consider walking through the woods, you are just enjoying yourself enjoying the nice weather, when suddenly you hear a sound from behind a bush.  Somewhere in the back of your mind you remember a story you read somewhere about a hiker being attacked by a bear.  Your mind starts racing and fear starts rising as you imagine the bear leaping out at you.  As your anxiety climbs higher and higher and you decide what to do ...a rabbit hops out from behind the bush and across the path.  Turns out there was no bear.  You believed there was a bear, your body reacted as if there was a bear, its even theoretically possible that it could have been a bear (and then you remember there haven't been bears in this area for dozens of years).  You had real feelings of fear, you genuinely believed you are at risk, but that was just an illusion.  You were never at risk, there was no bear, no matter how much fear you felt, no matter how real the images in your mind were, no matter that you heard a sound.  In the end the threat was all a lie  Thats kinda how OCD works, it makes us believe in threats that are unlikely to be true.  Not impossible, just unlikely, and we feel a disproportionate amount of anxiety towards them.

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