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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    At home, most of the time.
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    OCD: an imagination gone wild

    I seem to be posting a lot of my thoughts about OCD lately. Well, here's another one. I have been studying the pattern of my obsessive/anxiety causing thoughts and have made a couple of interesting observations. A lot of my OCD type worries seem to be the result of a blurring between the imagination and reality. For example, a strange/obsessive/anxious thought will occur to me. At first I will try to dismiss it, knowing it is my imagination. Unfortunately, it will creep back into my consciousness and move to the forefront. At this point I will begin questioning whether or not I had in fact imagined the thought. I will begin to worry that perhaps this thought was actually real. What follows is a lengthy internal argument within my brain, which eventually results in me dismissing the thought, at which point my brain waits for the next opportunity to worry.

    This makes me think that the area of the brain affected in OCD involves the same area as is responsible for imagination and daydreaming. My wife often says I live life like a child with many fears. Sadly, I agree.

  2. #2

    OCD: an imagination gone wild

    It's definitely all related. At least in the way that delusions and intrustive thoughts can be related. Not sure if that made ANY sense.

    But I understand. The other night I couldn't sleep waiting for my bf and son to come home. My daughter was in her bedroom and I couldn't get the thought out of my mind that someone would break into the house and harm her. So I had her sleep with me. Not rational AT ALL. I had been doing so well, too. Hadn't had any of thoughts for awhile. I'm not sure what caused it.

  3. #3

    OCD: an imagination gone wild

    That kind of internal dialogue is common in OCD -- it's what I call "predictive worrying".

    We all worry -- "watch out for those sharp knives in the knife drawer". Someone with OCD takes it further: "Why did I just think that? What does it mean? Could it mean I actually want to hurt myself? Oh my god, I'm suicidal!" -- or "did I turn off the stove? why did I think that? because I didn't turn off the stove. better check." and then after checking, "did I check it? did I check it correctly? what if I missed something? oh my god, I DID miss something. if I don't check it again, properly this time, something terrible will happen!"

    These of course are somewhat exaggerated but it's characteristic of the "obsessive-compulsive worrying style".

  4. #4

    OCD: an imagination gone wild

    Exaggerated? hehehe I've done that before. What it boils down to for me is that not only do I get intrusive, impulsive thoughts but I they must revolve around a belief that I can't trust myself, hence "Maybe I didnt' check right the first time."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    At home, most of the time.
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    OCD: an imagination gone wild

    Yes, it is insane! My mind seems to be coming up with very strange chains of events constantly. I am the most neurotic person I know. Sadly, though I know I am being completely irrational, it is very hard to dismiss these fears.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    At home, most of the time.
    Posts
    178

    OCD: an imagination gone wild

    I may sound like a nutcase, but in fact I hide my symptoms really well. If you were to see me on the street or at work, there would be nothing outwardly unusual. I don't have the compulsive element and do not perform rituals or repeat words or anything. I keep it all on the inside. I remember actually watching a special a long time ago on CBS or something about people with OCD who were unable to leave their homes. One such person even locked himself in the bathroom for 6 weeks and had to have food slid under the door. I always wondered how some could manage a fairly normal life (though suffering in silence) while some are completely debilitated. I feel safe to share my bizarre thoughts in the anonymity of this forum, but I could never admit this to my coworkers for fear of being labelled as a "headcase" thus limiting my potential for advancement in the company in which I am employed. Incidentally, two of my colleagues have gone on mental health leave, thus putting me in a good position to show what I'm worth. I would never want to jeopardize that.

  7. #7

    OCD: an imagination gone wild

    It may be nice to know that non-OCD folks are a little "nuts" too:

    There is solid evidence that virtually everyone has intrusive thoughts that are odd or even mildly distressing.

    J. Claiborn Ph.D., ABPP [j-claiborn-phd@att.net]
    Psychologist
    http://www.ocfoundation.org/ocf1160f.htm
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  8. #8

    OCD: an imagination gone wild

    Quote Originally Posted by stevel
    I feel safe to share my bizarre thoughts in the anonymity of this forum, but I could never admit this to my coworkers for fear of being labelled as a "headcase" thus limiting my potential for advancement in the company in which I am employed.
    I don't think you're a nutcase. And I can totally relate to feeling safe talking about my problems here because it is anonymous. I also don't think people in real life would ever think I have problems like I do. I believe lots of people have similar problems and just hide them like we do. Maybe?

  9. #9

    OCD: an imagination gone wild

    I believe lots of people have similar problems and just hide them like we do. Maybe?
    Yes, it seems to be just a matter of degree, with the more serious cases like us seeking and receiving professional diagnoses. For example, a significant percentage of the clerks I see in stores seem mildly depressed.

    Having said that, most people don't feel desperate enough to attempt suicide, though they may consider it at some point when things aren't going their way.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  10. #10

    OCD: an imagination gone wild

    I often tell clients that the OCD "style" is not a discrete category, really, but a dimension: Most of us are a little obsessive or compulsive in some aspects of our lives, and sometimes we even manage to find careeres or activities where it's helpful, as long as it's controlled/managed. We generally only call it OCD when the symptoms reach a point where they cause serious distress to the individual or significant interference with day to day activities.

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