I posted this in a forum, but want a permanent record of it also, as this is the first time I’ve really attempted to actually write down what my symptoms and experiences with OCD are.
I’m pretty new to having an OCD diagnosis, but since my therapist has identified my thoughts and behaviors and such, and I began using coping methods, skills and treatments typical to OCD, things have gotten better. But still, I can’t seem to find much written out there in internet-land that describes how I feel and what I do. I’m hoping someone on here relates!
I definitely have obsessive thoughts. Sometimes they are disturbing images and thoughts that come up when I’m feeling anxious that repeat in a cycle. I’ve lived with most of these anxiety-induced-distressing-images since I was an adolescent – getting my hand caught in the garbage disposal, driving into traffic, tripping off the sidewalk into traffic, getting my hand caught in the blender, having certain body parts being ripped off, things like that. They are never related to what I’m actually having anxiety about. Usually with the images, I can kind of “shake them out of my head” and get them to go away. But they still come back next time I’m experiencing bad anxiety.
But more often, the obsessive thoughts are about real things that have happened, or take the form of me ruminating on a potential outcome of a situation. It is almost always related to a person, for example, a disagreement with my best friend. The conversation was totally respectful, we just disagree about a choice I’m making. I think it’s a healthy choice, she doesn’t. But it’s been two days and I can’t stop thinking about it. I mean it’s all the time, it’s difficult to think about anything else, and it’s definitely the only thing I want to talk about. What if this causes her to abandon me, what if she’s right and I’m wrong and I’m doing something bad for me, what if she’s just reacting to positive changes I’ve made and is feeling like her role in my life is changing, and on and on. When I’m feeling like this, I often deal with it by texting people, other friends, reaching out for support. But it’s excessive, and I look at my phone – if I don’t give myself any limits, probably less than every minute. I’ll do it for hours. I’ll do it at work. It interferes with my ability to be productive. If I don’t hear back I’ll find someone else. It’s not about talking to specific people most of the time, it’s about getting rid of that anxiety by telling someone else about it. When I’m talking to some other person, the anxiety is temporarily gone. But it just comes back later, it doesn’t permanently solve any issues.
Does anyone else relate to this? I don’t check safety things, I don’t have cleanliness rituals, I don’t have anything obvious that up until this point I’ve associated with OCD. I feel like I can’t relate to anybody, and I have my therapist, and he’s wonderful, but I also am tired of feeling alone in this. My therapist is the one who suggested trying to find a support group.