I've had intrusive, obsessive thoughts since I was a very young child. The first time I remember obsessing over a thought was when I was 5 years old. I remember the thought I had, and situation I was in, vividly. I was playing with my sisters, having a great time, and all of the sudden I became overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and shame. I thought I was going to become a drug addict, I could not get the thought out of my mind. I don't even know how I knew what drugs were. I remember bursting into tears and running to my Mom to tell her what I was thinking. I don't remember what she said to me, but that was the first time I remember feeling that way.
The second time I obsessed about something, was when I was 7. I was in summer camp. I was playing with one of my friends and she sneezed on me. I thought she had given me AIDS and I obsessed about it for weeks. I remember asking her if she was healthy, and when her last doctor visit was. She just looked at me like I was crazy. After that I obsessed about AIDS whenever I came into contact with a stranger.
My next obsession was with being molested. I was sure that everyone was out to get me. When there were lots of people around I always thought they were trying to touch me. I would try to cover myself and keep a distance. When I was alone, I would think back to the situations I was in and try to remember if I was touched or not.
When I was younger I kept most of these obsessions to myself. They consumed my thoughts and drove me crazy. I didn't know that I had a problem. All I knew was that I was very unhappy.
For a couple of years I can't remember having any obsessions. I was depressed, but can't remember obsessing over anything in particular. When I was 16 the obsessions returned.
I was sitting on my bed watching the news, this was around the time when all of these children were being abducted. I was watching the mother of a child who had been abducted, raped, and murdered, talk to a news reporter about what had happened. She was saying that pedophilia was an illness and that the person who took her child was a sick man. At that moment, something snapped in my head. I thought I was a child molester. I remember feeling sick to my stomach and having to run to the bathroom.
This obsession was particularly disturbing to me. I can't think of a more horrible thing in the world than a child molester. My dream had always been to be a preschool teacher and have children of my own. I felt like my life was over. I really did not want to live at that point.
The hardest part about these thoughts is that somewhere deep down you know they aren't true. You realize how irrational they are, yet you can't stop thinking and obsessing about them. I try to explain to my family that it doesn't matter that I've never done drugs, I still was scared that I was going to become addicted. And that, it doesn't matter that I have never touched a child in an inappropriate way, nor would I ever want to, yet I still think I'm a pedophile. And I know that you have to have sexual contact with a person in order to contract AIDS, but that does not matter, I still feel that I do have AIDS. This is really crazy making. I know how crazy it sounds, but my head will not let go of these crazy things. I feel like they go around and around and around. There is no stopping theses thoughts.
I obsessed about this for about a month until I got help. I had to tell someone. I felt worthless and depressed and I wanted to die. One of the hardest things I've had to do in my life was tell my Mom about this intrusive thought I had. She was very understanding, and knew that my thoughts were irrational. A big part of this whole OCD thing, I have found, is the need to confess. I had to confess everything I was thinking. It helped some, but I still felt hopeless. I would try to rationalize and analyze every thought to make myself feel better. Nothing worked.
I've been on every medication imaginable, and that help is only temporary. The meds don't fix anything. They only make you numb, and the second you go off, the negative thoughts come right back. I am seeing a cognitive behavioral therapist now, but I feel like the only relief I have, has come from relating to others who suffer with this crap.
If anyone has had any similar obsessions, please tell me how you deal. Any words of wisdom or any information you have to offer is helpful. This will be the hardest thing I will ever have to overcome in my life, but I am set on getting better. Also, if anyone has any questions about anything I had to say, I'd be happy to answer.