• Quote of the Day
    "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
    Nelson Mandela, posted by Daniel
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I fear writing them down because I don't want anyone else to "catch" them.

One of the strangest ones is worrying about this little store that closed down. I can't stop thinking about how I only went there a few times and it closed down because, why?, I'm not sure. It didn't get enough business? Now those people don't have jobs, but they could have found jobs by now. But I just worry about them and it's somehow my fault.

Also there are these neighbors building a house just below the road and I'm scared a car is going to go off the road and land on their house and something horrible will happen.

Then I always have desires to "fix" things, make things "right." So my mind is always searching, seeking for some way to make things ok for people.

I worry if someone accidentally brushes against me in a store or somewhere. Will something bad happen to them because they touched me? Or because they saw me?

I worry about my nieces and nephew constantly. I think, "How can I keep them safe?"

So a lot of the anxiety comes out, I believe, through the self-injury because I can't really do ANYTHING about any of these problems. But the self-harm doesn't help either. And I think I do it for so many reasons, punishment being one of them. IF I can PUNISH myself enough, then I can keep other people safe.

Now, realistically, writing these things down, I can see how silly some of them sound. But why is the fear so real? And is this OCD related? I have always had worries like these.

In a way the diagnosis of OCD, as painful as it is, is a relief because it does explain a lot.

It's like being paralyzed by your own mind, powerless to do anything about your life or anyone else's.
 
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:eek:mg: :eek:mg:

Writing all that out was really stressful and scary. :( Now I'm worried that my worries will "get on" someone so if someone could delete it I would really appreciate it.
 

Halo

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Janet, I don't think that deleting them is necessary in my opinion. They are true worries and obsessions that are consuming you and there is no way for them to "get on" anyone. I honestly think that they are helpful for others who may come on here and see that what they may be thinking themselves but having a hard time admitting it could be the same as you and to realize that they are not alone is a huge relief.

You are very brave in being able to write your obsessive thoughts out and I am proud of you for that. It takes courage to admit them and to realize that they are obsessions that are not realistic but yet to you they are and are very worrisome. I think that talking about them with your therapist is probably a good idea.

Take care
:hug: :hug:
 

Daniel

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It's like being paralyzed by your own mind, powerless to do anything about your life or anyone else's.

That's why I think the behavior therapy aspect of CBT is so important. For example, after my neighbor's dog was run over, I started to obsess about the same thing happening to my dog. After I did something about it (like taking steps to reduce the risk of the dog leaving the property and memorzing my vet's phone number) and then tried to focus on doing something else, I felt less anxious even though some of the thoughts persisted.

BTW:

According to the Expert Consensus Guidelines for the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1995, Vol. 54, supplement 4), the treatment of choice for most OCD is behavior therapy or cognitive behavior therapy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsessive-compulsive_disorder
 

Daniel

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Then I always have desires to "fix" things, make things "right." So my mind is always searching, seeking for some way to make things ok for people.

I think, at the end of the day, we just have to accept our human limitations.

For me, spirtuality/religion provides an effective form of cognitive restructuring since most traditions of spirutuality/religion are very life-affirming regardless of negative circumstances.
 

Daniel

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Some patterns of obsessive thinking:

1) Over importance of thoughts. Does the OCD influence you to put too much importance or significance on the mere presence of a thought? Many OCD sufferers believe that just because a thought is present, it must carry some importance. This is not necessarily true. Try this experiment. Allow yourself to be aware of all thoughts entering into your mind over the next three minutes. Some thoughts could be important and some may be totally random or nonsensical and not have any significant meaning. OCD makes a sufferer believe that all thoughts have equal importance. Related to this is the belief that thinking a thought is the same as doing an action; or the mere presence of a thought will result in an unwanted action or will cause an event to happen.

2) Over estimation of threat/all-or-nothing thinking. Do you tend to overestimate the actual probability or level of threat associated with a particular event? Do you catastrophize a situation, immediately conjuring up as a probability the worst-case scenario? Are you considering only information the OCD is trying to emphasize; magnifying this out of proportion while minimizing or disqualifying other evidence to the contrary? Do you think in terms of black-and-white or all-or-nothing without considering the grey area or steps in between?

3) Difficulty with doubt and uncertainty. Do you have a difficult time tolerating uncertainty? Doubt is a common symptom of OCD and frequently generates a great deal of distress when the OCD won’t allow a situation to “feel right” or won’t allow you to feel a comfortable degree of certainty about a particular thought or event. Observe your internal self-talk about having to sit with the discomfort of doubt and uncertainty. Do you wish for this discomfort to go away immediately?

4) Over responsibility. Does the OCD influence your thinking by telling you to take complete responsibility for situations in which anyone else would not consider you responsible? Do you believe you have the power to prevent negative or catastrophic events from happening by doing mental or physical rituals? Do you excessively concern yourself with, or blame yourself for, a negative event which may or did happen?

5) Reasoning-Logic based on emotions. Are your conclusions about a situation based more on your strong emotions and less on actual fact? Are you confusing a feeling as evidence of a fact because that’s what the OCD is telling you? Do you say to yourself “I’m feeling anxious; therefore, this situation must be dangerous” or “I’m feeling guilt; therefore, I must have done something bad?”

excerpted from Cognitive Therapy for OCD: What It is, When to Use It and When Not! (by Deb Osgood-Hynes, PsyD., Harvard Medical School)
 
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Thanks, Nancy and Daniel. That information, Daniel, is helpful and I am going to try to print out the last post you made. I can relate to each and every one of those points.
 
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I think I'm feeling a little more ok with this. The OCD. At least I know what has been wrong with me all these years and it's treatable. I like knowing I can have some control over my thoughts even though it's going to take a LOT of hard work.

So I can look at it like this:

I have OCD, but I am not OCD. I have weird, troubling, scary thoughts, but they're only thoughts. I am more than the thoughts and they are not me. Writing them out seems to make them smaller or something. Gives them less power. Maybe that's something I need to consider doing. I do feel kind of sad that the anxiety has prevented me from doing a lot of things I would have liked to do, but I can still do lots of things I want to do. I can. I'm learning and learning and gradually, slowly, it seems to sink in.

I am thankful that it can be less of me and I can find more positive things to fill up my mind. It's going to take some time. I have to be patient with myself. I am not very good at that, but I can do it. Be patient, not be so hard on myself, not punish myself. Maybe I don't need to do that anymore. It would be amazing to be able to let go of the punishing. Freeing. I could have so much more energy for living. And I do want to really live.
 

foghlaim

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Wow Janet.. this is such a positive post... i'm reading and smiling away here.

WAY TO GO JANET!!!!.


and Thank you :)

((hugs))
 

Halo

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I have OCD, but I am not OCD.

Janet, this was great to see you post. I am truly proud of what you wrote above and actually the whole post is really positive. You're doing so well and being so positive and seeing the good in things that I am very happy for you :goodjob:

Take care
:hug:
 

ThatLady

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The worries you describe sound like obsessive thoughts to me, Janet. They have no basis in reality and, as you said, you can see that when you read them back to yourself.

When you're having these thoughts, it might be a good time to apply what we talked about once before. Say to yourself: "I'm just not that all-powerful." This tactic has worked for me when, in the past, I started blaming myself for things I couldn't possibly be responsible for. It took some work on my part to catch myself at the beginning of these thoughts and apply the right thinking, but after awhile it became second nature to do so. Now, I'm able to simply dismiss these thoughts from my mind if anxiety causes them to begin to surface again. :)
 

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