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MentalChecker

Doubting Being Reassured?

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Hi All, 

Haven't posted for a while. 

Quick couple of questions. 

Do any of you reassure yourself and then afterwards, sometimes literally only an hour or so have trouble remembering whether you did actually reassure yourself/was really reassured and then feel the pull to do it again? 

I'm in a place now that I realise reassurance doesnt work and I've experienced enough of thr problems associated with reassurance and the OCD loop that I get caught up in and in my heart of hearts I know they call it the doubting disease and therefore you can doubt anything but for it to be able to wipe your memory clear of doing the reassurance/feeling reassured is kind of wierd and just wondering if anybody else experiences this? 

By the way I've pretty much stopped all new reassurances but was still doing some minor references back to others I've done before to help my anxiety which I know is still reassurance...... 

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Yes I get that or often I feel as though I didn't give enough information to the person who gave me reassurance so I think that they misunderstood and didn't know. I think it's good that you're trying to stop, it's really the only way otherwise you get into a loop and no amount of reassurance is enough. 

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Hi Malina I get that as well with confessions. 

If I confess something, then its like the floodgates have been opened, I need to continually keep confessing and confessing even more to ensure the person really does have all of the information to enable an informed decision to be made.

I am pretty much at a stage now whereby I can let the thoughts and worries spike and not engage with them and let the worry and anxiety pass on its own without doing the compulsions. 

However sometimes without me even being conscious of doing it my mind will zapp me with a previous reassurance I did for the same obcession thereby providing some reassurance still. 

I've realised that the more you try to think your way out of something to make sure it's fine, then the more it causes anxiety. It has the opposite effect. 

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10 hours ago, MentalChecker said:

but for it to be able to wipe your memory clear of doing the reassurance/feeling reassured is kind of wierd and just wondering if anybody else experiences this?

People in general, and OCD sufferers in particular overrate how strong and detailed memory is.  People routinely forget if they have done something a particular time, especially if its a habitual behavior.  For example, I use a weekly pill case (boxes for Sunday-Saturday) for my medication because if I didn't I'd probably forget whether I took them that day or not half the time.  Why?  Because I do it every day and so its hard to remember EXACTLY if I took it that day or maybe I'm remembering a previous day, etc. 

Or say you go into another room initially planning to do something, you get distracted by something/someone then you forget why you went in to the room in the first place.  A very very common occurrence. 

Memory is inexact, its not like a computer where you can just pull up a log of recent events.

On top of that you've got OCD, which heightens doubt.  So even if you DO actually remember doing something, OCD puts doubt in to your mind: "Are you SURE you remember? maybe you are remembering a previous day and confusing yourself, etc."  In that case its not that your memory is bad, its that your mind is having trouble reconciling your actual memory with the doubt OCD causes.  Unfortunately we don't have the ability to check the timestamp on our memories and say "oh yeah that happened at 3:45 PM on August 8, 2019."  Its what drives people to do checking compulsions, having to, say, check that their front door is locked multiple times.

Its best to try and let this kind of doubt go.  It is what it is, if you keep dwelling on it/checking on it, then that'll just be a new instance of reassurance seeking :)

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3 hours ago, dksea said:

People in general, and OCD sufferers in particular overrate how strong and detailed memory is.  People routinely forget if they have done something a particular time, especially if its a habitual behavior.  For example, I use a weekly pill case (boxes for Sunday-Saturday) for my medication because if I didn't I'd probably forget whether I took them that day or not half the time.  Why?  Because I do it every day and so its hard to remember EXACTLY if I took it that day or maybe I'm remembering a previous day, etc. 

Or say you go into another room initially planning to do something, you get distracted by something/someone then you forget why you went in to the room in the first place.  A very very common occurrence. 

Memory is inexact, its not like a computer where you can just pull up a log of recent events.

On top of that you've got OCD, which heightens doubt.  So even if you DO actually remember doing something, OCD puts doubt in to your mind: "Are you SURE you remember? maybe you are remembering a previous day and confusing yourself, etc."  In that case its not that your memory is bad, its that your mind is having trouble reconciling your actual memory with the doubt OCD causes.  Unfortunately we don't have the ability to check the timestamp on our memories and say "oh yeah that happened at 3:45 PM on August 8, 2019."  Its what drives people to do checking compulsions, having to, say, check that their front door is locked multiple times.

Its best to try and let this kind of doubt go.  It is what it is, if you keep dwelling on it/checking on it, then that'll just be a new instance of reassurance seeking :)

Hi Dksea thank you for the above post. 

I hadn't thought of it like that before I must admit. 

There was another two reassurances I did as well and I was getting confused whether I really had done them as well and of course even though you think you did them if you can't remember doing it in detail then you worry that you didn't do them and maybe you should go back and do them again. 

But as you said above even people without OCD have trouble recalling particular things/times theyve done things therefore just because I can't recall in perfect detail anymore doing it and the important 'feeling' I got when I realised it was OK and nothing wrong with it doesn't mean that I didn't do it and I wasn't reassured. 

But the OCD doubt will try to get me to do it again and I've got to just trust that I had thought about it everything was OK and doesn't need to be dealt with again 😊

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1 hour ago, MentalChecker said:

There was another two reassurances I did as well and I was getting confused whether I really had done them as well and of course even though you think you did them if you can't remember doing it in detail then you worry that you didn't do them and maybe you should go back and do them again. 

Well for OCD its generally a good idea to avoid doing reassurance/seeking reassurance as much as possible, so whether or not you can remember, you probably shouldn't do them one way or another :)

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