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taurean

Why Still Believing What OCD Says Keeps Us Stuck

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I have a feeling that this may be at the heart of many of our failures to make progress in recovery. 

Of course we don't want to believe what OCD says. Why else would we have joined the forums? 

But not believing it seems to elude us. 

And each time we give belief to it, we actually make it stronger - the actual opposite to what we want to happen. And why OCD is such a deadly beast :taz: to overcome.

Indeed, in my career as an insurance broker, negotiating and competing with a large number of powerful people of high intellect, my greatest challenge was not them - it was OCD. 

So here we are trying then to do what we have been told, leaving intrusions alone, refocusing away - and seemingly doing well. 

But actually we are at our most vulnerable now. Because OCD may double its attempts to get our attention, make us believe it. 

And it may roll out its, maybe biggest, gun. 

The demand for certainty (that the OCD core belief is NOT true) - and it only needs a fraction of a possibility to sew the seeds of doubt. 

It may replay something in our mind. Something that seems true, but actually isn't. 

It does its dirty work by suggestion, innuendo (the classic "what if"), fake, lies, exaggeration of nil or minimum risks, connections/possible suggestions that aren't true, or revulsive thinking. 

Plenty of scope to draw us back in, make us doubt, think we believe. 

And when it does this,  we slide down the snakes of succumbing, reaching out weakly to try and grasp a ladder, but failing to do so. 

So how on earth do we stop this repetitive chain of manage OK, then a powerful broadside attack, recovery halted, tricky time, start to believe the OCD again (it seems so real, it must be true etc etc.)? 

Well, it's all down to believing what therapists and learned others tell us. Believing them in a committed way, and refusing all the "evidence" and doubt that the OCD rolls out. 

Simply put, those that make this choice are likely to get better. 

Because when we detach from those broadside attacks of OCD, we weaken it. If it can't get belief it may lose the battle. So it doubles its efforts. 

In CBT it's all down to believing the therapist or experienced helper here, not the OCD. And doing that, committed to it, whatever. 

Failure to do that, the OCD gets stronger. 

Do that, it will gradually get weaker and the intrusions less frequent less powerful. 

I am writing this not just from what I learned in CBT therapy, nor from self-help books or help from our wonderful charity and its forums. 

I am writing this because I eventually learned to do this. 

And I want others to learn to do it too. 

 

 

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Well written mate it sounds exactly what I experience. 

Sounds like your also a mental checker with worries that you need to check internally? 

My problem is I NEED to experience a feeling in EVERYTHING I do in life. I don't know how long ago this started but only when I was diagnosed around 4/5 years ago (now 47) did I realise from my therapist that this feeling that I rely on is OCD.  My first obsession I can remember was around the age of 6 years old and that still worries me at times. 

It could be something simple like deciding on a sandwich from the counter of a store whereby I take ages to think about which one I would like and go with a choice once I get the feeling the I will enjoy it, to worrying endlessly about things I may have done and then need to mentally review the situations to get the 'feeling' that it didn't happen. 

Problem is although my therapist tells me I need to stop chasing the feeling and stop relying on it, when she tells my my problems and worries are due to intrusive thoughts I then need to try and get the feeling that they are only intrusive thoughts and arent real - problem is they could be real..... And that's the problem.... 

I worry that she may not realise that my worries could in fact be real worries and not OCD at all..... As they dont know if they happened or not do they? 

Edited by MentalChecker

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Thanks for a great post, it really sums my position up at this moment in time trying not to fuel the OCD fire by believing it’s lies.

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Checking has been part of my OCD, but rather external issues - did I turn the iron off, are the doors locked, are the taps turned off (an especial one)? 

This wasn't seeded by a particular event. 

However once I left a fish and chip pan on (to heat up the oil) forgot about it and the smoke ruined some internal decoration, so that wouldn't have helped. 

CBT gradually weaned me off excessive checking. I just check sensibly and normally after finishing cooking and when we leave the house, or go to bed. And only those parts we have been using. 

My own main OCD problem was harm, combined with personalisation of news stories or something with a violent theme. 

Avoidance kicked in. Particular problems were with headlines and posters. 

The essential part of therapy was to understand that with the harm theme the OCD was taking my core character values of love and care and alleging the opposite to be true. 

This cognitive knowledge was a game-changer to me understanding how the OCD worked. 

The personalisation was OCD teaming up with one of the fifteen types of negative thinking distortions, personalisation. 

Vital for us to understand is that, whatever our theme/themes of OCD, we aren't responsible for them - they are the machinations of this mental illness. 

In what, for me, is a great OCD self-help book, "Brainlock", Jeffrey Schwartz goes beyond the core therapy of CBT, and tells us to see the intrusions as OCD (re-label), re-attribute them to the illness, then refocus away and afterwards revalue ourselves as not actually what OCD says we are. 

This "Four Steps" concept worked well for me. 

If, like Mental Checker, our  issues are more complex and not easily broken down, then perhaps we have to look at an overall umbrella of o! OCD concept, which then feeds down into individual branches. 

With more complex manifestations, breaking them down into manageable bites and working on them as individual sub-themes out of an overall umbrella of OCD might help. 

Roy 

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On 02/06/2019 at 22:19, taurean said:

Checking has been part of my OCD, but rather external issues - did I turn the iron off, are the doors locked, are the taps turned off (an especial one)? 

This wasn't seeded by a particular event. 

However once I left a fish and chip pan on (to heat up the oil) forgot about it and the smoke ruined some internal decoration, so that wouldn't have helped. 

CBT gradually weaned me off excessive checking. I just check sensibly and normally after finishing cooking and when we leave the house, or go to bed. And only those parts we have been using. 

My own main OCD problem was harm, combined with personalisation of news stories or something with a violent theme. 

Avoidance kicked in. Particular problems were with headlines and posters. 

The essential part of therapy was to understand that with the harm theme the OCD was taking my core character values of love and care and alleging the opposite to be true. 

This cognitive knowledge was a game-changer to me understanding how the OCD worked. 

The personalisation was OCD teaming up with one of the fifteen types of negative thinking distortions, personalisation. 

Vital for us to understand is that, whatever our theme/themes of OCD, we aren't responsible for them - they are the machinations of this mental illness. 

In what, for me, is a great OCD self-help book, "Brainlock", Jeffrey Schwartz goes beyond the core therapy of CBT, and tells us to see the intrusions as OCD (re-label), re-attribute them to the illness, then refocus away and afterwards revalue ourselves as not actually what OCD says we are. 

This "Four Steps" concept worked well for me. 

If, like Mental Checker, our  issues are more complex and not easily broken down, then perhaps we have to look at an overall umbrella of o! OCD concept, which then feeds down into individual branches. 

With more complex manifestations, breaking them down into manageable bites and working on them as individual sub-themes out of an overall umbrella of OCD might help. 

Roy 

Really helpful, Thankyou 

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According to the experts, very few people just have  OCD. & when they do it's easy to treat it.

Most have a mix of stuff, autism, Aspergers, PTSD, bdd, repressed homosexuality, homophobia,  pedophobia, bipolar, etc. These things don't respond to OCD therapy. Thats why its important to get a professional diagnosis.

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29 minutes ago, Handy said:

According to the experts, very few people just have  OCD. & when they do it's easy to treat it.

Most have a mix of stuff, autism, Aspergers, PTSD, bdd, repressed homosexuality, homophobia,  pedophobia, bipolar, etc. These things don't respond to OCD therapy. Thats why its important to get a professional diagnosis.

I totally disagree with this, if it was that easy to treat just OCD how come so many people are still suffering with it? 

 

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50 minutes ago, lostinme said:

I totally disagree with this, if it was that easy to treat just OCD how come so many people are still suffering with it? 

 

Indeed, I concur. 

A number of people suffer from more than one mental health issue. 

A different way of using CBT is needed for treating OCD. 

But it is by no means whatsoever easy to get an OCD only sufferer to stick with the recovery programme. The threads on this forum alone confirm that. 

Add in other mental issues and things can be really difficult. 

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On 13/06/2019 at 08:21, Handy said:

According to the experts, very few people just have  OCD. & when they do it's easy to treat it.

Most have a mix of stuff, autism, Aspergers, PTSD, bdd, repressed homosexuality, homophobia,  pedophobia, bipolar, etc. These things don't respond to OCD therapy. Thats why its important to get a professional diagnosis.

There is nothing easy about the treatment of OCD. You need to stop saying that. We don't need someone in a fragile state coming here, seeing that and thinking it will be easy to overcome their disorder.

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On 13/06/2019 at 16:21, Handy said:

According to the experts, very few people just have  OCD. & when they do it's easy to treat it.

This is yet another allegedly definitive, allegedly endorsed statement (according to the "experts") with which you post on our forums Handy. 

I believe this statement to be misleading, perhaps over-generalising (very few people just have  OCD) and wrong (when they do it's easy to treat it). 

Please can you be more careful what you say here as sufferers hang on to our words on the threads.

Why not read what the charity OCD-UK says about this illness and appropriate treatment for it on its website?  That will give you the basis under which we operate here in the UK. 

It might also be a good idea to read the rules for the use of the forums, as what we all say, and how we say it, on OCD-UK's forums needs to be compliant with them. 

Edited by taurean

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