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How do you accept thoughts?


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Hello,

My therapist said I have ocd and has moved me to people who are more knowledgeable in the NHS.

I was wondering if there is any ways which I could learn to accept my thoughts. In the meantime whilst I wait.

Everything in my life now seems to be impacted by ocd. 

 

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I think "accepting" here means to not interact with them at all. Not giving them any meaning. Not trying to analyze them. Simply letting them pass in your head and move on with whatever you just did. 

Example:

 Accepting:
"I just had the urge to jump in front of this train." → "It's irrelevant, though, and I continue with my life."

Not accepting:
"I just had the urge to jump in front of this train." → "Oh my god, why would I feel like that? Am I losing control and will at some point really jump? I need to avoid trains!"

In the first thought process, you are "accepting" the thought by simply acknowledging its presence and further do so, by not attaching any meaning to it and by moving on, because in the end it was just a meaningless thought. That's how normal people would react to such a thought. That's where we want to go back from our OCD.

In the second thought process though, you don't want to accept the thought, because you attach some kind of meaning to that and from that draw compulsions you think have to do, e.g. by avoiding trains in the future, which then only further feeds your anxiety related to these kinds of intrusive thoughts. That's basically how OCD works. That's where we want to move away from.

I do think some people with OCD think that "accepting" the thoughts also means, that they actually AGREE with the thought. This is a complete misconception, though, and this is not what by "accepting thoughts" is meant. I think it's basically the very same as not accepting it, as you would just further fuel your OCD, if you would try to AGREE with the thought, feeling or urge. Why? Well, who would like to agree it as part of themselves to want to kill themselves by jumping in front of trains? And it's a very absurd conclusion out of a random thought. Nobody does that. This wouldn't be normal. It might help in some form of therapy like ERP, by reducing the anxiety related to it (like to make clear how absurd the very fear is), but that's it. Nobody goes out of ERP and is like, "Well, I think I might jump in front of a train! AWESOME ! Thanks, ERP therapy! You're the best! Now I actually want to jump and not fear it anymore! I suddenly love trains!". Nah, quite sure this is NOT meant by "accepting" thoughts. Nope. Accepting means to know the thoughts are there, acknowledging their presence, but then to ignore these thoughts, by not attaching any meaning to them. That's it. 

I hope you get my point. 

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1 hour ago, discuccsant said:

I think "accepting" here means to not interact with them at all. Not giving them any meaning. Not trying to analyze them. Simply letting them pass in your head and move on with whatever you just did. 

Example:

 Accepting:
"I just had the urge to jump in front of this train." → "It's irrelevant, though, and I continue with my life."

Not accepting:
"I just had the urge to jump in front of this train." → "Oh my god, why would I feel like that? Am I losing control and will at some point really jump? I need to avoid trains!"

In the first thought process, you are "accepting" the thought by simply acknowledging its presence and further do so, by not attaching any meaning to it and by moving on, because in the end it was just a meaningless thought. That's how normal people would react to such a thought. That's where we want to go back from our OCD.

In the second thought process though, you don't want to accept the thought, because you attach some kind of meaning to that and from that draw compulsions you think have to do, e.g. by avoiding trains in the future, which then only further feeds your anxiety related to these kinds of intrusive thoughts. That's basically how OCD works. That's where we want to move away from.

I do think some people with OCD think that "accepting" the thoughts also means, that they actually AGREE with the thought. This is a complete misconception, though, and this is not what by "accepting thoughts" is meant. I think it's basically the very same as not accepting it, as you would just further fuel your OCD, if you would try to AGREE with the thought, feeling or urge. Why? Well, who would like to agree it as part of themselves to want to kill themselves by jumping in front of trains? And it's a very absurd conclusion out of a random thought. Nobody does that. This wouldn't be normal. It might help in some form of therapy like ERP, by reducing the anxiety related to it (like to make clear how absurd the very fear is), but that's it. Nobody goes out of ERP and is like, "Well, I think I might jump in front of a train! AWESOME ! Thanks, ERP therapy! You're the best! Now I actually want to jump and not fear it anymore! I suddenly love trains!". Nah, quite sure this is NOT meant by "accepting" thoughts. Nope. Accepting means to know the thoughts are there, acknowledging their presence, but then to ignore these thoughts, by not attaching any meaning to them. That's it. 

I hope you get my point. 

:goodpost:

Nicely explained :yes:

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Hi there, 

 

For me the biggest thing that helps is reminding myself that OCD is a liar. It’s like a monster that tries to take over your head. Sometimes when an OCD thought comes into my head I allow myself to get angry at it and tell it to f*** off. Minimise it, don’t give it any importance no matter how real it feels. 

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I try to see an obtrusive thought as a train; I can chose to jump on it or just watch it go by.  I also try put off a compulsion for 15 mins, a lot of the time that stops me doing the completion at all.

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