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Hi! I'm writing because I've recently been diagnosed with OCD and have a tendency to doubt that I have OCD. I've told my therapist about the fact that I doubt that he has correctly diagnosed me and he said the more I continue to doubt things, the less I will be able to cope.

I often have moments of looking back on things I've done in the past and really feeling a lot of guilt about them and then I try to make myself feel better about them. I remember as a child I was very anxious around people that I did not know well and would often remain silent out of the fear of saying something wrong. I look back on this behavior and often think it's a sign that I am a psychopath or narcissist. 

I feel very strange about talking to people now and feel like I avoid most things. I've also had problems working with teams because I think I have a big fear of crisitism and people in authority. I tend to be pretty caught up in my head and sometimes get paranoid that people are watching me because of all the bad things that i've done in the past.

I have a few questions for the community:

1. Did you initially doubt the you had OCD when you were diagnosed ? (For context if it helps I think I more so have pure OCD than anything else. Sometimes I do compulsions of mental checking or hair twirling)

2. Were you pretty quite as a kid and do you often have social anxiety because of what you're going through?

3. What were some things that initially helped when you were diagnosed?

4. Do you often find it hard to have conversations because your thoughts are clouding your mind?

I'm sure I'll be back to ask more questions but these are just a start really.

Thank you in advance for any advice or help.

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It is incredibly common to doubt you have OCD. One of the reasons is that many sufferers believe OCD is not bad enough to explain them. Fits your situation, thinking you must be a narcissist or psychopath. 

OCD is plenty bad. It was rated as one of the most debilitating disorders there is. It screws up lives, makes having relationships difficult, is isolating and frustrating  interferes with social situations, work and just plain living.

Another reason sufferers doubt having OCD, especially newbies, is that they can have an unrealistic and wrong opinion of what OCD is. They think it means one thing that has no bearing on the way they are. Stick around and you'll find you fit right in.

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16 hours ago, RyRy said:

Hi! I'm writing because I've recently been diagnosed with OCD and have a tendency to doubt that I have OCD. I've told my therapist about the fact that I doubt that he has correctly diagnosed me and he said the more I continue to doubt things, the less I will be able to cope.

I often have moments of looking back on things I've done in the past and really feeling a lot of guilt about them and then I try to make myself feel better about them. I remember as a child I was very anxious around people that I did not know well and would often remain silent out of the fear of saying something wrong. I look back on this behavior and often think it's a sign that I am a psychopath or narcissist. 

I feel very strange about talking to people now and feel like I avoid most things. I've also had problems working with teams because I think I have a big fear of crisitism and people in authority. I tend to be pretty caught up in my head and sometimes get paranoid that people are watching me because of all the bad things that i've done in the past.

I have a few questions for the community:

1. Did you initially doubt the you had OCD when you were diagnosed ? (For context if it helps I think I more so have pure OCD than anything else. Sometimes I do compulsions of mental checking or hair twirling)

2. Were you pretty quite as a kid and do you often have social anxiety because of what you're going through?

3. What were some things that initially helped when you were diagnosed?

4. Do you often find it hard to have conversations because your thoughts are clouding your mind?

I'm sure I'll be back to ask more questions but these are just a start really.

Thank you in advance for any advice or help.

1. Prior to the diagnosis when my symptoms were very new, I found a video from Mark Freeman on intrusive thoughts but I did have denial over OCD initially as I thought that it was only handwashing or symmetry based and worse still, I thought people with OCD enjoyed those things (ironic considering I ended up with OCD but nevertheless). Also it doesn't matter what the "category" of intrusive thoughts, images, sensations or different types of compulsions as it is all OCD but for me having first mainly violent intrusive thoughts and urges then eventually evolving into the mostly sexual intrusive images and violent intrusive thoughts that I was experiencing badly till therapy. Having taboo thoughts and images didn't help from a stigma perspective especially when I had read news stories about people losing their jobs (unjustly so) for reporting having taboo thoughts to their GP or other medical professionals.

 

2. Not entirely sure I'm going to be the same as everyone as I later found out I was autistic but for the most part I was quiet, so quiet I didn't speak for a year of my life at all. In school I was always relatively quiet but did have a period of social anxiety symptoms but my difficulty in social interaction now is not based on OCD but as things I deal with as an autistic person.

 

3. Learn about OCD. Read self-help books. Find resources online like YouTube videos that talk about OCD as well as one I can recommend a lot for reducing stigma is Chrissie Hodges. If you are experiencing intrusive thoughts or images or sensations that are violent or sexual based then I would recommend both the book and TV series by Rose Cartwright called "Pure". The book's detail and the TV show is very graphic but none less so than the intrusive thoughts or images in my experience. The main benefit to these books and shows for me was finding out I wasn't weird or abnormal in what I was experiencing. Another helpful thing to learn from these resources is what Thought-Action Fusion is and the role it plays for many with OCD. However, be careful that researching OCD doesn't become an OCD compulsion in itself.

 

4. It can be difficult for me sometimes if I'm talking to someone and I suddenly get a sexually intrusive image as it will for a few seconds distract me from what I was saying and I might lose my train of thought. It's important though even these situations to just let that intrusive image be there even if it's annoying to have come up and distracted you temporarily as we ideally want to avoid doing any compulsions in response to them. I end up just picking up where I left off the conversation before the intrusive thought popped in. This could be compared to if you are having a conversation and someone suddenly chimes in with a random unrelated statement. It will throw you off a bit but you can easily get back to what you were saying.

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17 hours ago, RyRy said:

3. What were some things that initially helped when you were diagnosed?

 

21 minutes ago, DRS1 said:

3. Learn about OCD. Read self-help books. Find resources online like YouTube videos that talk about OCD as well as one I can recommend a lot for reducing stigma is Chrissie Hodges. If you are experiencing intrusive thoughts or images or sensations that are violent or sexual based then I would recommend both the book and TV series by Rose Cartwright called "Pure". The book's detail and the TV show is very graphic but none less so than the intrusive thoughts or images in my experience. The main benefit to these books and shows for me was finding out I wasn't weird or abnormal in what I was experiencing. Another helpful thing to learn from these resources is what Thought-Action Fusion is and the role it plays for many with OCD. However, be careful that researching OCD doesn't become an OCD compulsion in itself.

I would  go with a different approach.  Learn about OCD - yes, but I would put more on the emphasis of seeking professional help through therapy and in particular Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.  Diversion therapy has and continues to be another key area for me - focussing my mind on other positive and mindful thinking.

I would agree with the last sentence - too much researching OCD can cause me to look backwards trying to analyse the past rather than looking forward to a life where I am in control and not OCD contolling me.

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1 hour ago, northpaul said:

 

I would  go with a different approach.  Learn about OCD - yes, but I would put more on the emphasis of seeking professional help through therapy and in particular Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.  Diversion therapy has and continues to be another key area for me - focussing my mind on other positive and mindful thinking.

I would agree with the last sentence - too much researching OCD can cause me to look backwards trying to analyse the past rather than looking forward to a life where I am in control and not OCD contolling me.

I have no idea how I missed that in my original post but yeah fully agree with that. Learning is one thing but at least for me it took having therapy and having someone who understood what I was dealing with that was outside of my own head that was there on a regular basis to unwind the OCD and its tricks for me. Also another tip for that is to not attach OCD as being you as a person but almost treating it like a separate entity entirely. The example being you are you, a person and you have OCD rather than being someone who is OCD. That was very effective in helping with progress in recovery too.

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On 05/08/2022 at 22:28, PolarBear said:

It is incredibly common to doubt you have OCD. One of the reasons is that many sufferers believe OCD is not bad enough to explain them. Fits your situation, thinking you must be a narcissist or psychopath. 

OCD is plenty bad. It was rated as one of the most debilitating disorders there is. It screws up lives, makes having relationships difficult, is isolating and frustrating  interferes with social situations, work and just plain living.

Another reason sufferers doubt having OCD, especially newbies, is that they can have an unrealistic and wrong opinion of what OCD is. They think it means one thing that has no bearing on the way they are. Stick around and you'll find you fit right in.

Thank you so much for your response. It is helpful to hear from someone who has experience with this. I appreciate you.

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On 06/08/2022 at 14:58, DRS1 said:

1. Prior to the diagnosis when my symptoms were very new, I found a video from Mark Freeman on intrusive thoughts but I did have denial over OCD initially as I thought that it was only handwashing or symmetry based and worse still, I thought people with OCD enjoyed those things (ironic considering I ended up with OCD but nevertheless). Also it doesn't matter what the "category" of intrusive thoughts, images, sensations or different types of compulsions as it is all OCD but for me having first mainly violent intrusive thoughts and urges then eventually evolving into the mostly sexual intrusive images and violent intrusive thoughts that I was experiencing badly till therapy. Having taboo thoughts and images didn't help from a stigma perspective especially when I had read news stories about people losing their jobs (unjustly so) for reporting having taboo thoughts to their GP or other medical professionals.

 

2. Not entirely sure I'm going to be the same as everyone as I later found out I was autistic but for the most part I was quiet, so quiet I didn't speak for a year of my life at all. In school I was always relatively quiet but did have a period of social anxiety symptoms but my difficulty in social interaction now is not based on OCD but as things I deal with as an autistic person.

 

3. Learn about OCD. Read self-help books. Find resources online like YouTube videos that talk about OCD as well as one I can recommend a lot for reducing stigma is Chrissie Hodges. If you are experiencing intrusive thoughts or images or sensations that are violent or sexual based then I would recommend both the book and TV series by Rose Cartwright called "Pure". The book's detail and the TV show is very graphic but none less so than the intrusive thoughts or images in my experience. The main benefit to these books and shows for me was finding out I wasn't weird or abnormal in what I was experiencing. Another helpful thing to learn from these resources is what Thought-Action Fusion is and the role it plays for many with OCD. However, be careful that researching OCD doesn't become an OCD compulsion in itself.

 

4. It can be difficult for me sometimes if I'm talking to someone and I suddenly get a sexually intrusive image as it will for a few seconds distract me from what I was saying and I might lose my train of thought. It's important though even these situations to just let that intrusive image be there even if it's annoying to have come up and distracted you temporarily as we ideally want to avoid doing any compulsions in response to them. I end up just picking up where I left off the conversation before the intrusive thought popped in. This could be compared to if you are having a conversation and someone suddenly chimes in with a random unrelated statement. It will throw you off a bit but you can easily get back to what you were saying.

Thank you so much for such a detailed response. Thank you for all of the resources! Will take a look at them. It's strange because I wasn't always shy around people but just new people in particular and only in certain settings. Yeah I realize that the sexual thoughts come up in situations where I don't want them to or just random thoughts in general and I tend to loose track of what I'm saying for sure. I like the idea of thinking about it as someone else butting into the conversation and just continue going although I then start to worry that someone thinks I'm weird or a bad conversationalist etc.

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