Today I went to the Arlington County mental health facility for an intake session. Since I have no job and no insurance now that I'm not in school, I qualify for massively discounted county therapy and psychiatry. Did the interview, no problem, only a little embarassed and nervous. Then I got an appointment for an intake session with a therapist. My new therapist is black (this is relevant), and I'm going to go see her the first week of March.

Problem:

The worst part of my OCD is race-related. I have horrible panic attacks about being percieved as a neo-Nazi or racist. This anxiety has literally controlled my life almost continuously for the last six years. I obsess about race, racism, and what people think of me, morally and socially, every single fucking day, often for hours at a time. I could write a book about "white guilt" gone apeshit insane and my special snowflake brand of scrupulosity OCD. Obviously I'm not a racist, but that doesn't stop me from doubting myself and having horrific anxiety about the topic, often to the point where I cloister myself in my room because I feel unfit to be out in normal society. I am so afraid that I am going to say something or do something offensive that I often elect to say nothing and do nothing at all.

I really, really, really hope that my therapist is good with OCD, because having to explain all that to anyone is frightening enough, and this form of OCD is–as far as I can tell–rare, if not completely idiosyncratic. I am terrified of being mistaken for a Nazi or even just an ignorant asshole.

Reassurance just entrenches the obsession further, so please don't reply with anything like, "It's okay, you aren't a racist." I need to face this fear in order to conquer it. This has been controlling my life for years now, and has caused me too much suffering and incapacitation. My life has been literally shaped, for the worse, by this anxiety. I would disable comments for this post entirely, but I'm too afraid to. Even writing this, my hands are shaking.

I really need CBT and ERP, and I really hope this therapist can help me. I think her being black will actually be more beneficial than if she were white. If she were Jewish, that would be even better. I really, really need help, because my anxiety is completely out of control and getting beyond the reach of my medication. This has gone on long enough. Treating myself like a Stormfront scumbag, punishing myself for having OCD, has got to stop. My future depends on it.

2 Comments
  1. maribian 13 years ago

    That is all part of the disorder I guess. i have felt the same way you have but with different topics.

    It is a really hard thing to handle – all I can say is that it is all part of the disease and I am glad you are getting help.

    I am sure the therapist is a professional and will understand what you are saying – that you are not a racist but you are afraid people will think you are b/c you have irrational fears of being one.

    You are absolutely 100% correct that reassuracne doesn't help long term. It basically puts a band aid on the problem and 10 minutes later you need to hear the same reassurance.

    Have you tried reading the book by Jonathon Grayson? It is called…

    Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Personalized Recovery Program for Living with Uncertainty (Paperback)

    The book is very helpful and it guides you through CBT therapy so you can get a head start on what to do before you meet with your therapist?

     

     

     

     

     

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  2. Hildico 13 years ago

    Thanks everyone for your kind comments. They really mean a lot to me. 🙂

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