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requested post / What is ocd?

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Re: requested post / What is ocd?

Postby JumpingHoops » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:28 pm

I hope this helps you, it’s a different explanation for what causes OCD, that I think is far truer and far more useful for getting relief:

After my children were born I started becoming very preoccupied with keeping germs away from them. By the time they were 5 or 6, my worries had become so intense that we stopped having friends over, because it was such a hassle, I was insisting on cleaning everything in the house that might have been touched by someone who hadn’t washed their hands well enough. and then it turned to also insisting that everyone change into clean clothes when they came over. When we went anywhere, I carried rubbing alcohol and after we touched anything that had been touched by people I couldn’t be sure about, we would wipe our hands with it. I was afraid the children would touch something with killer germs, and then they’d put their hands in their mouth, and they’d get some weird new illness that would kill them.

Eventually, because of this and also conflicts over sending them to school, my now ex-wife had enough and left, and took them away, and their teen years they spent only their weekends with me. So this so-called OCD really caused damage in our family.

I saw a video on YouTube titled Extreme OCD Camp, showing people with similar anxiety over what might happen if they don’t take certain precautions. In the video you can also see the kind of treatment gets dished out today, that’s supposed to help cure this. It’s called exposure therapy, which is a misnomer because even though it has a lot of exposure, there’s almost zero therapy in it. Basically it’s trying to convince people that their brain is malfunctioning, and they should just force themselves to stop acting crazy. And hope that after some time their fear will disappear.

So there’s a complete disregard from medical authorities for any rational causes that might explain this puzzling behavior. They look at this as brain malfunction, and if forcing yourself to stop worrying doesn’t work, then they’ll give you medication to chemically make you stop. I find this appalling, to not even try to understand what’s going on, and just do away with the symptoms of the problem, by giving people drugs that mess with their brain.

My worries disappeared the day I understood where exactly they came from. It was because my dad used to point to street children in Tehran where I grew up, saying they’re dirty and bad and I shouldn’t talk to them. Without being conscious of it, because I was a small child, I became afraid that I might become like these children, and my dad would kick me out of the house, or he’d beat me. Once I understood that, this fear disappeared, along with the “OCD”, because it became obvious that it was never about germs, and this danger from my childhood was long gone.

So for people with so-called OCD, I suggest you consider this possibility, that the fear you have is a remnant from childhood, when there was a real danger that you perceived, but because this danger was never openly acknowledged by anyone, it remains to this day outside your awareness, and it’s causing you to be afraid without knowing exactly why, and you are just doing a sensible thing, by being extra careful taking precautions against anything that might possibly bring harm to yourself or someone you love.

So for getting relief from this type of anxiety, I suggest you explore your childhood for things that you were afraid of. And you can do this on your own, or with someone who is willing to help you explore, and willing to accept that you’re not crazy or just being difficult, and that there must be a logical, perfectly valid explanation for what you’re experiencing.

If you suffer from OCD symptoms, look into the work of Pia Mellody, who explains how anxiety as in OCD is just one surface issue that comes from not having had the opportunity yet (because of abuse and neglect) to develop core emotional skills. And Peter Levine explains how to free yourself from PTSD symptoms, which is what I think a lot of OCD symptoms actually are. There’s also more about this topic in a YouTube video titled with Anxiety 1/2 The real causes.
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Re: requested post / What is ocd?

Postby user443753 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:18 pm

Last edited by Snaga on Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: requested post / What is ocd?

Postby humantoafault » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:06 pm

I started going to a counseling program recently, and they think I might have OCD because I described having obsessive thoughts that are highly controlling and distressing to me.

I was already prescribed a medication, but was given a questionnaire to take home. (Which I stressed over for hours, to the point I started crying, because I was terrified of giving a wrong answer.)
It says to describe symptoms experienced in the past month, which isn't a problem since I have had symptoms this month.

However, I mentioned this to a friend of mine (who has a psychiatry degree), and she says the criteria is that symptoms have to occur at least once a month.

Which, and I mentioned this to the people at my counseling program numerous times, that my obsessive thoughts come and go, they can actually go away for months and even years. I had an episode of compulsive hand washing at age 11, that went away, had an episode at age 19 where I was afraid of dying in my sleep, that went away. At age 23, I for a few weeks was obsessing over the idea that ghosts or demons were in my room when I tried to sleep, my mind would start trying to communicate with them and then I felt I had to quickly think another phrase to cancel that out.
I've had a few this past year over different things, for example after posting in metoo I began to question my own story due to the backlash the hashtag caught & that turned obsessive, my neighbor suggested I night have a specific disorder & I obsessed over that immensely & to an excessive and irrational degree.
Finally, ever since I started counseling I've been obsessing over whether it's really alright for me to be there, despite being assured multiple times by various people and the counselors themselves.

These worries definitely do get excessive, take up much of my time that I would rather spend doing something else, and my compulsions are trying to reason my way out of the thoughts to a point that I cannot stop or control the thoughts. However, I am able to gradually remove myself from these, usually. (Right now I'm still caught up in the current one, and it will likely keep coming up since I can't just avoid going to counseling.)

I guess my question comes down to
1. Since my worries are moreso about specific problems that I internalize, and
2. It's very infrequent

Is my counselor wrong about me having OCD?
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Re: requested post / What is ocd?

Postby Snaga » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:08 pm

If you obsess over a test for OCD.... worrying about the wrong answers...

You might have OCD. Here's your sign. :wink:

No seriously I think your counselor ought to be trusted. I mean sometimes OCD severity wanes and waxes. I don't have a Dx but I'd slap the $#%^ out of any shrinkydink that tried to tell me I don't have it.

I've had a long history with harm thoughts, and they have been known to go away for long periods of time. I mean, c'mon, even anxiety needs to take a break every now and again. Sometimes I check things in the house, more obsessively than other times. Sure I think it can come and go. More specifically, I think it's always there, just that themes change, and sometimes we have a better handle on it. Sometimes something might set us off and make our anxiety spike. Sometimes we manage to forget it a while. But it's there, lurking and waiting... at least, for me, it is.

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Re: requested post / What is ocd?

Postby humantoafault » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:37 pm

Yeah, I could see that. There are times I tend to either overthink or hyperanalyze, that doesn't necessarily become super bad but could very easily go that way if I pay too much attention to it.
I've heard of "purely obsessional" OCD where your compulsions are mostly mental rather than physical, and that sounds very close to what I deal with. Though there just has to be a very specific fear that grabs me, there are a number of intrusive thoughts I might have that don't turn obsessive & that I'm successfully able to view as not a threat to me.
My obsessive thoughts are usually based on something at least halfway real, but I exaggerate them in my mind to the point the anxiety they cause is excessive and irrational.
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