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malina

Scared to let go of intrusive thoughts

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Hi everyone,

so I'm happy to report that I am feeling MUCH better. It's been a tough 6 months with both physical symptoms of anxiety and my harm OCD. Both of those have gone down thanks to CBT and ERP. I'm not quite at the point where I can say it's all good, but I really feel that I'm on the right track and feeling healthier mentally.

There are some things that I've been experiencing and I just wanted to see if others have felt the same way. I sort of feel as though I'm scared to let go of the intrusive harm thoughts. Whenever I become aware of the fact that they are going away, it's almost as if I want them to come back. It's not that I miss them, but I just don't feel "right" without them. I've also been keeping myself very busy, which has helped a great deal, but whenever I have a big gap of free time, it just feels really daunting, like it's opening up space for anxiety to come right back in.

Have any of you experienced this as you started getting better?

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Yes that's a perfectly normal experience Malina.

When we free up time the OCD will try to creep back in as it "loves a vacuum". 

Just accept it is what it is and keeping going :)

 

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Hi Malina

I'm not sure if this is the same thing but I think I  look for where intrusive thoughts might arise, and maybe in so doing create them where there might have been none.

I noticed this the other day. I was tired and I was doing some cleaning which can often trigger contamination thoughts. But I noticed myself watching for where they might arise instead of just getting on with things. I think once I've identified something I can worry about I feel right. I can then do compulsions or choose to do erp around it, but I almost need to find something that will worry me. I think it makes me feel safe, like I've identified a potential danger that I can do something about. This is probably an area I really need to work on with the cognitive side of things!

Hopefully we will slowly get used to not having/paying attention to intrusive thoughts!!

Glad you are continuing to feel better!

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3 hours ago, malina said:

I sort of feel as though I'm scared to let go of the intrusive harm thoughts. Whenever I become aware of the fact that they are going away, it's almost as if I want them to come back. It's not that I miss them, but I just don't feel "right" without them.

I think this is to be expected after suffering with OCD for many years Malina. I quite like a quote which I think came from my buddy Salkovskis (Not sure if it's an original Salkovskis quote) where he talks about OCD and compulsions and he says 'the solution becomes the problem', for a long time the OCD was perhaps making you think it was your friend and helping you by forcing you to question the thoughts... the solution becoming the problem. 

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Thanks a lot for the responses, it's just reassuring to hear that my experiences are common to others.

It sometimes feels like there is a black hole inside me and it's pulling me in. I try to ignore it and go on with everyday life, but it's still there. All the intrusive thoughts are just a product of this darkness. I can be completely rid of the harm thoughts, but that feeling of doom will still remain. It has been there for such a long time and I don't know how to escape it.

I am aware that what I'm describing is essentially anxiety itself. I try not to dwell on it too much, but sometimes it seems so real.

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Be patient Malina. I always used to feel that a fall was just around the corner (aka feeling of doom) but having been in a good place now for two years, having put together a set of therapy tools that really works for me, I no longer have that feeling. 

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1 hour ago, taurean said:

Be patient Malina. I always used to feel that a fall was just around the corner (aka feeling of doom) but having been in a good place now for two years, having put together a set of therapy tools that really works for me, I no longer have that feeling. 

Thanks, Roy! You're right, the only solution is time and hard work. It is comforting to know that others like you have felt exactly the same and managed to overcome these feelings 

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On 15/03/2019 at 11:45, malina said:

Hi everyone,

so I'm happy to report that I am feeling MUCH better. It's been a tough 6 months with both physical symptoms of anxiety and my harm OCD. Both of those have gone down thanks to CBT and ERP. I'm not quite at the point where I can say it's all good, but I really feel that I'm on the right track and feeling healthier mentally.

There are some things that I've been experiencing and I just wanted to see if others have felt the same way. I sort of feel as though I'm scared to let go of the intrusive harm thoughts. Whenever I become aware of the fact that they are going away, it's almost as if I want them to come back. It's not that I miss them, but I just don't feel "right" without them. I've also been keeping myself very busy, which has helped a great deal, but whenever I have a big gap of free time, it just feels really daunting, like it's opening up space for anxiety to come right back in.

Have any of you experienced this as you started getting better?

Absolutely. Its a big problem 4 me. It is an alien existence which needs 2 b understood. 

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