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fearandloathing

New here, need some peace feel like I'm losing it.

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A bit of background: My mum has OCD with intrusive thoughts and I appear to exhibit all the obsessions and compulsions of OCD. Doubt, guilt and ruminations and I scratch compulsively to relieve those feelings and distract myself from my thoughts which often results in my hands and feet bleeding when I finish.

For as long as I can remember I have suffered from at least one form of fear based obsession, when I was younger (around 12 (21 as of now)) I believed police were coming to arrest me for pirating films, this paranoia got so bad that I believed any police car or helicopter I saw was for me. More recently (a year ago) I deleted all social media as I believe (still do) that it is a tool for brainwashing to some extent and merely for creating good consumers. I also feel uncomfortable when watching television because of adverts so I avoid television too. In theory these are probably good things to ditch but I'm still absolutely just as miserable and paranoid as I was because I'm still completely stuck in my head all day long.

 

I'm worried my thoughts and ruminations are going to ruin my relationship if I don't do something fast. I recently fell in love with a beautiful girl. Since we've been together however, I can feel my OCD creeping into the relationship as I am terrified I will lose her. She is currently travelling with her friend who is not currently very fond of me. This friend had said to both me and my girlfriend, strange things that I have since been unable to get out of my head. Now that they are both away traveling I fear something will go wrong/has gone wrong as my girlfriend hasn't replied for a while. When she does reply it offers me peace of mind momentarily but when she stops I'm constantly stuck in thought loops that carry out a thousand different scenarios vividly in my head. Part of me worries that while she is away she will decide she doesn't want to be with me, I know this idea isn't based on fact but I still can't shake it, and the second I shake one thought I'm pulled into the next immediately trying to remember conversations for hidden meaning. The thing is, I really wouldn't blame her if she didn't want to be with me as I irritate myself so I can't imagine what it's like for her.

 

I'm struggling to do anything at all that involves being around people as this current state of anxiety paralyses me socially. Yesterday I managed to read pretty much a whole book which would have been great if I didn't have to stop reading every few pages when a thought would pop into my head.

I see my girlfriend in 9 days as of now but I'm anxious to as her friend will be there too and she as made it very clear she doesn't like me. I'm worried this friend will get in her head but then I worry that I get in her head too making me just as bad. I worry my girlfriend will get lost or raped, or drugged or taken advantage of in general and I dont trust said friend to keep her safe after she had said that she wishes my girlfriend was single for traveling so they could both sleep around.

This is tearing me apart at the seams. I'm not sure what I'm looking for here, but right now I feel isolated with my thoughts which have tormented me since she left the country. I'm looking to reduce the potential impact OCD could have or is having on my relationship if I can't get it under control.

 

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There is an awful lot of what looks like OCD going on here fear. 

I would go along to your doctor and get diagnosed and, if you are in the UK, get the referral process for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) explained and get into that system (IAPT - which stands for Improved Access to Psychological Therapy). 

Meanwhile, try some self-help. A good starter is the book "Break Free From OCD" by Paul Salkovskis and others and teaches CBT for OCD. 

This will help you understand why you have these obsessive fears, why they manifest themselves in different ways, and how you can change your thinking and behavioural response to gradually reduce away the anxiety and the power and frequency of intrusions. 

This is the approach that should also help your Mum. 

Edited by taurean

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You also need to retrain yourself into beneficial distractions rather than hurting yourself. 

Getting into films books hobbies study, in an involved way will help you. 

Also, learning how to ease yourself into the mindful state, just focusing in the present in the moment and away from obsessing and compulsing, will help you. 

There are books downloadable that provide an easy pathway to doing this. "Mindfulness on the go, peace in your pocket" is one such. 

Edited by taurean

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Thanks for this advice Taurean, it is much appreciated that you've taken the time to look at this.

I've started getting back into reading a lot recently, it is helping me distract myself in a way that I don't feel as though I'm trying to numb myself.

I'll speak to a doctor as soon as possible my only fear is medication which for me is completely out of the question, if I manage to break this I want it to be off of my own doing as I've had friends who have taken sertraline which has numbed their emotional capacity from what they tell me and from what I've seen.

Could you offer me anymore insight on where CBT would begin for me, as I feel like my whole life revolves in many aspects around my obsessions and compulsions?

Thanks again.

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No one is obliged to take meds for OCD and the real driving force for recovery is CBT. Doctors tend to reach for meds but you don't have to agree to them. 

The CBT process will take you through how OCD works - the same irrespective of the theme, except that for certain themes such as harm paedophilia relationship sexual preference it may also target one or more of our true core character values, alleging the opposite to be true and thus causing significant distress. 

Beneath each theme is an OCD core belief, which then is actioned through trigger intrusive thoughts, inducing the urge to compulse.We need to uncover what this false, exaggerated or revulsive core belief is and how to challenge and defuse it, per theme of OCD if we have more than one. 

Carrying out those compulsions is the wrong thing to do. Weaning ourselves off them as they only strengthen belief in the OCD is another key part of CBT, as too is taking the fear and anxiety away through exposure and response prevention. 

"Break Free" is a great basis to understanding how all this works. And to codify our themes, OCD core beliefs and the compulsions we carry out. Then tackle them. 

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