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My OCD seems to be trying to outdo itself in creating the worst intrusive thoughts possible


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Every time I start to beat it, it ups its game!! lol

I guess it's a good sign that I'm laughing :)

Back in 2017 my OCD was really, really bad. Ended up in A&E once and almost twice but my parents helped me out.

These days I've come up with a lot of strategies and things to try to deal with it. I'm kind of proud of myself to have fought back from the brink with it like that as I didn't use any meds and didn't even go to therapy or whatever. I just worked on it by myself, plus the occasional YouTube video or article or forum post!

But I'm definitely not out of the woods yet. Sometimes it really gets me. It has so many tricks in the formulation of "triggers" to try to make them sound as credible and scary as possible, you know?

One by one I keep trying to beat them and there are just more and more so I try to beat those too.

It has to run out sometime, right?

(sorry if this post/thread felt like it wasn't really going anywhere... it's my first thread so I guess I was just trying to explain my situation! :) )

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1 hour ago, Hoppipolla said:

But I'm definitely not out of the woods yet. Sometimes it really gets me. It has so many tricks in the formulation of "triggers" to try to make them sound as credible and scary as possible, you know?

I would say the same thing about not out of the woods yet.  I did have some therapy last year but that does not mean I am out of the woods.  I see therapy as the start of my journey on the road to recovery.  When I stumble on the road I have my therapy notes to return to.  I revise what to do and get back on the road.  As long as my overall direction is forward then I keep going.  It does not matter if I take 1, 2, or 3 steps today so long as they are forward steps.    🚶‍♂️ 

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18 hours ago, northpaul said:

I would say the same thing about not out of the woods yet.  I did have some therapy last year but that does not mean I am out of the woods.  I see therapy as the start of my journey on the road to recovery.  When I stumble on the road I have my therapy notes to return to.  I revise what to do and get back on the road.  As long as my overall direction is forward then I keep going.  It does not matter if I take 1, 2, or 3 steps today so long as they are forward steps.    🚶‍♂️ 


That's good yeah :)

It's amazing how long it can take to recover from bad OCD, especially without meds and especially when you consider how quickly it can develop in a person. Mine took 1-2 years to develop and I've been chipping away at it now for 5 years trying to get rid of it!

How much better do you think you are now?

I actually have thought of an interesting new strategy recently which is just fundamentally trying to understand that thoughts can't harm me or anyone. I also kind of have religious OCD (I think that's the main type I have) but... thoughts can't hurt God either, lol. I bet He really doesn't care. XD

This idea I have that there's some crazy god up there who cares about tiny thoughts that pass through my mind is just a paranoid fantasy tbh.

All my OCD is based on (intrusive) thoughts and they're all harmless I think :)

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7 minutes ago, Hoppipolla said:


That's good yeah :)

It's amazing how long it can take to recover from bad OCD, especially without meds and especially when you consider how quickly it can develop in a person. Mine took 1-2 years to develop and I've been chipping away at it now for 5 years trying to get rid of it!

How much better do you think you are now?

I actually have thought of an interesting new strategy recently which is just fundamentally trying to understand that thoughts can't harm me or anyone. I also kind of have religious OCD (I think that's the main type I have) but... thoughts can't hurt God either, lol. I bet He really doesn't care. XD

This idea I have that there's some crazy god up there who cares about tiny thoughts that pass through my mind is just a paranoid fantasy tbh.

All my OCD is based on (intrusive) thoughts and they're all harmless I think :)

When I first started trying to get better, I was able to reduce the physical checking compulsions a lot faster than the ruminating. I also realised that a lot of things that I was doing in everyday life were actually compulsions, aimed at avoiding some (insert many) catastrophe. 

Looking at all my compulsions was really helpful - even the small ones that didn’t feel like it. I suspect these were what kept the OCD ticking in the background, making it easier for me to get ‘caught’ by any trigger.

The more compulsions you do, the more convoluted, distorted and threatening the thoughts become. Something that started as a tiny threat that you were sure couldn’t happen, suddenly becomes 100% happening and more threatening than ever. In reality, nothing has actually changed - you just thought something.

I have found that reducing the sense of urgency in everything that I do has helped. No longer, rushing to fix things that aren’t OCD related has helped me in tackling OCD’s ‘urgent problems’ too. 

I was waking up everyday with the mindset that I couldn’t escape OCD and I was dreading the days ahead of me. I didn’t plan anything good in the week as I felt that I didn’t deserve it. Challenging this has been really effective. I wake up with the mindset that whatever happens, I will do my best and that’s all I can do. I don’t guarantee myself a better day or a bad day - just accept that I have a day and i can’t control everything.

Practicing self compassion too - we are so hard on ourselves often believing OCD’s narrative after years of listening to it. Try and be kinder to yourself and acknowledge that OCD is really difficult and that you are doing your best and that is good enough. There’s no perfect recovery, just a personal journey that takes time and lots of peaks and troughs.

I now find that when I’m triggered, I’m no longer getting the rush of anxiety and sense of urgency. It does sometimes peak the anxiety but I’m not afraid of it anymore. Being afraid of the anxiety was keeping me anxious. The compulsions drive that anxiety right up and never make us better.

Embracing the uncertainty helps us feel free. Plan good things for yourself and practice being mindful. The only place we can truly be is in the present - not the past, future. 

 

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3 hours ago, determination987 said:

When I first started trying to get better, I was able to reduce the physical checking compulsions a lot faster than the ruminating. I also realised that a lot of things that I was doing in everyday life were actually compulsions, aimed at avoiding some (insert many) catastrophe. 

Looking at all my compulsions was really helpful - even the small ones that didn’t feel like it. I suspect these were what kept the OCD ticking in the background, making it easier for me to get ‘caught’ by any trigger.

The more compulsions you do, the more convoluted, distorted and threatening the thoughts become. Something that started as a tiny threat that you were sure couldn’t happen, suddenly becomes 100% happening and more threatening than ever. In reality, nothing has actually changed - you just thought something.

I have found that reducing the sense of urgency in everything that I do has helped. No longer, rushing to fix things that aren’t OCD related has helped me in tackling OCD’s ‘urgent problems’ too. 

I was waking up everyday with the mindset that I couldn’t escape OCD and I was dreading the days ahead of me. I didn’t plan anything good in the week as I felt that I didn’t deserve it. Challenging this has been really effective. I wake up with the mindset that whatever happens, I will do my best and that’s all I can do. I don’t guarantee myself a better day or a bad day - just accept that I have a day and i can’t control everything.

Practicing self compassion too - we are so hard on ourselves often believing OCD’s narrative after years of listening to it. Try and be kinder to yourself and acknowledge that OCD is really difficult and that you are doing your best and that is good enough. There’s no perfect recovery, just a personal journey that takes time and lots of peaks and troughs.

I now find that when I’m triggered, I’m no longer getting the rush of anxiety and sense of urgency. It does sometimes peak the anxiety but I’m not afraid of it anymore. Being afraid of the anxiety was keeping me anxious. The compulsions drive that anxiety right up and never make us better.

Embracing the uncertainty helps us feel free. Plan good things for yourself and practice being mindful. The only place we can truly be is in the present - not the past, future. 

 


I actually was thinking that too fairly recently about how giving in to small things OCD "says" keep it alive and then it hits you with the big ones >.<

I agree about uncertainty yeah. I was just writing in my little OCD notes I keep about how even though I can try to understand that thoughts have no power and can't harm people... I think somewhere in my mind I was worried that what if one day I find that actually they DO have power! lol

The "what if" drives me crazy. Thing is though, I could one day discover that anything has power. It's no more likely to be thoughts than anything else.

I actually do have a habit of rushing things. Go go go! Everything has to be done RIGHT NOW!! lol

I think I got it from my parents. They were both pretty intense and if things weren't being done urgently and in a specific way then things often got way more intense >.<

Maybe that's something I need to work on to as it might be doing me more harm than I realise.

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56 minutes ago, Hoppipolla said:


I actually was thinking that too fairly recently about how giving in to small things OCD "says" keep it alive and then it hits you with the big ones >.<

I agree about uncertainty yeah. I was just writing in my little OCD notes I keep about how even though I can try to understand that thoughts have no power and can't harm people... I think somewhere in my mind I was worried that what if one day I find that actually they DO have power! lol

The "what if" drives me crazy. Thing is though, I could one day discover that anything has power. It's no more likely to be thoughts than anything else.

I actually do have a habit of rushing things. Go go go! Everything has to be done RIGHT NOW!! lol

I think I got it from my parents. They were both pretty intense and if things weren't being done urgently and in a specific way then things often got way more intense >.<

Maybe that's something I need to work on to as it might be doing me more harm than I realise.

Yes, it's amazing how many things I was doing that seemed okay as they weren't as debilitating as the 'bigger ones' but were keeping me avoidant of anxiety. 

The more I've worked on cutting out compulsions and practicing mindfulness, the more I can see that my mental health has improved overall. Things that would normally make me anxious don't consume me as much, my self esteem has improved etc. I understand that rumination is really difficult and I still find myself having 'what ifs' creep in but as soon as I recognise what I'm doing, I acknowledge it for what they are - futile compulsions and continue with what I was doing before. I know that by continuing down that road, it just intensifies the anxiety, I gain no answers and end up with even more intrusive thoughts. It always comes back with another horrendous 'possibility'.

I recommend looking at all of the things that contribute to OCD. Small things like scrolling and refreshing emails constantly throughout the day, checking the news, checking messages, urgently paying bills as soon as they arrived, finding something if it popped into my head etc. These weren't that bad overall and didn't feel as harmful but they definitely contributed to OCD. I found that I had to act quickly on everything. I can go a long time now without checking those things but it's taken a while to get to that point. They were almost automatic from the moment I got up but now I check them as and when I want to, not because I'm afraid of what will happen if I don't. 

Working on those smaller ones gave me more confidence to handle the bigger ones and helped me feel confident in living life. Living life has been the biggest exposure for me and the more that you do the things that you want to do, without listening to OCD, the less OCD has a hold. Allow yourself to be human. We can hold ourselves to ridiculously high standards that we wouldn't dream of imposing on others. Give yourself the same courtesy :).

 

 

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7 hours ago, Hoppipolla said:

How much better do you think you are now

It is difficult to quantify this question.  I have previously asked the question on these forums - 'How do we define recovery'.  The answers were varied.  The ultimate goal would be to live a life free from OCD.

However in my case I would say that I feel somewhat better now than I did 18 months ago.  I have more control of my life and OCD has less.  Where is the road to recovery leading me?  The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter so I will keep on rolling along.

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I just wanted to say what an uplifting post and replies. Keep going you guys. Njb

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