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Old 05-16-2004, 07:59 AM   #1
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Who else has violent obsessions about harming self or others?

I started doing some ERP and CBT and felt like it was making progress. Most of my obsessions were about hurting, harming, or killing other people. I felt like I was making some progress, but I than I started obsessing about whether or not I could do something horrible to myself, like harming myself, or self-mutliating myself or something like that. So I read some OCD books to look for these symptoms, now I found mention of some people being scared to harm themselves, but I also found mention of people who self-mutilate and it is considered and OCD spectrum disorder... Now I am obsessing and terrified that I could be a self-mutilater or that I could actually harm myself if the thoughts don't go away. So, you make progress in one area and then start to struggle somewhere else... Man, this is tough sometimes. Anyway, has anyone ever struggled with thoughts about hurting themselves? I believe it to be different from self-mutilating disorder because I am scared of doing these things! So it seems like an obsession, but I am worried because I would never want to do anything to hurt myself (or anyone else) and I worry that I would have to if the thought wouldn't go away. I did have the same worries about hurting other people, and I never acted on them even when doing ERP so it is probably just my OCD jumping to something else, but I was hoping to hear if anyone knew anything about this and am frightened by the thought of losing it and becoming a person who would self-mutilate or hurt themselves. Thanks in advance.

 
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Old 05-16-2004, 12:41 PM   #2
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Re: Who else has violent obsessions about harming self or others?

Hi there Rsspro!
I am in the exact same boat as you right now. I have been dealing with the same themes of violence and harm towards others, and lately they have taken a turn towards myself. I have obsessed about this in the past, but somehow gotten over it. However, it has come back for some unknown reason. It was about self-mutilation in the past (which I NEVER acted on, nor wanted to... but I was so scared I would, just like you). But this time, it has come in the form of full-on suicide. This is SO hard to deal with. I really think that since everytime I think about it, I react with terrible anxiety and fear, that means I won't act on it, but it's hard to know. I keep having flashes of different methods in my mind, and my anxiety soars. I hate this obsession so much. I have already been told in the past by my psychologist about this that it is also a part of my OCD, because of my anxious reaction to it. But because of the content, I sometimes have flashing thoughts like "you want to do it, you want to die". These cause me so much anxiety too. I always think, wouldn't these thoughts cause ANYONE anxiety? We have to remember though, that self-harm, and thoughts of suicide, are thoughts of comfort to those who are intent on acting them out. It's hard to remember this though. Just so you know, you're not alone. Like our other obsessions, this one will pass too. How are your thoughts towards others doing? Mine are still present, but they come and go. I had been doing well lately, but everything has flared up for me in the last few days. Best of luck to you, it's so good to hear from others who are going through the same thing... not that I would want ANYONE to experience what we do. My thoughts are with you!

Portia

 
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Old 05-19-2004, 11:47 AM   #3
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Re: Who else has violent obsessions about harming self or others?

Just wanted to bump this back to the top... Rsspro, how have you been doing with these thoughts? Anyone else??

 
Old 05-20-2004, 10:19 AM   #4
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Re: Who else has violent obsessions about harming self or others?

Thank you so much for replying. I agree with everything you said. How could anyone not feel worried about these thoughts? As you also said, I am comforted to know that someone else does have symptoms like this, but at the same time I would never want anyone else to have to deal with it. I'm glad you've been doing better, and I hope your recent flare up is on it's way down. My thoughts towards others are still there as well, they may sometimes not seem as bad, but other days they do. Just like my thoughts about harming myself. Some days I have them both all day. IT IS SO DISTRESSING! I'm sure you know what I mean. My therapists who are very good have told me that I need to treat all the thoughts just like any other obsessions, but it's not so easy. I am definitley working on it. It's a constant thing. I guess we are more likely to think that having these thoughts some way effects our actions, but as my CBT and ERP therapists tell me, thoughts don't control our actions, we do. Thoughts are just thoughts, good or bad. I read some cases in a book by Ian Osborn called Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals, and it definitley helped. It's a good book, I'd recomended it for anyone going through these types of obsessions. As you probably know, rationally, it seems like there is no way you would do any of these things, but in OCD Land (as I like to call it) they sometimes seem so scary or real. So all, in all, I'm doing okay. Still working hard and struggling, but hanging in there. I really hope you're doing better. I guess if we really wanted to hurt ourselves or others we wouldn't be going through so much trouble to make sure we don't! Anyway, my best wishes are with you, and we should keep in contact here about how we're both doing. Any updates on you? The one thing I have not used which my therapists say would help tremendously is SSRI medications, I have a huge fear of them. I also do some mental compulsions when I get all these distrubing thoughts, I posted threads on both those topics too. Again, thanks for replying and feel free to share your thoughts and feelings with me too. Good luck! To both of us, we will beat this!

 
Old 05-23-2004, 07:46 PM   #5
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Re: Who else has violent obsessions about harming self or others?

I have what I think is violent OCD. I haven't been diagnosed because I haven't built up the courage to tell my parents (I'm still a teenager). For about the past six years I have struggled with horrible thoughts about killing my family. I can't sleep with sharp objects in my bedroom, and at dinner times I often put all my concentration into fighting the impulse to pick up the butterknife and stab someone. Sometimes I stay up late into the night crying and contemplating tying my hands to the bed so I wont get up and harm someone. The thoughts about harming others are by far the worst, but a couple years ago I watched a movie where a boy commited suicide and I suddenly became horrified that I might do the same thing. Sometimes when I am on the second story or higher in a building I have to stay away from the windows because I am scared that I won't be able to control myself and I will jump. I am not old enough to get my liscence yet, but I don't think I ever will because when i think about it I am petrified that I will cause a crash on purpose or run over pedestrians. I tried telling my best friend about this, but she didn't understand and told me that if I knew it wasn't logical i should be able to get over it, because I should just think that I never really could harm someone so obvioulsy I wouldn't. And for some reason I just can't bring myself to tell my parents. I think it is partially because I am afraid to dissapoint them and because I don't want them to think of me differently, as someone weird or crazy. I wrote my mom a letter explaining everything but I just couldn't bring myself to give it to her. I don't think I can handle this on my own anymore and I very badly want to get help. Do any of you have suggestions on how I can tell my parents?

 
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Old 06-03-2004, 03:33 AM   #6
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Smile Re: Who else has violent obsessions about harming self or others?

CassCalvin-
I know it may be difficult, but I think it's very important to talk to your parents about your situation. If you're able to buy a book on OCD and present them with it, it may be helpful. Dr. Fred Penzel has written an excellent book about OCD called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder : A complete guide to getting well and staying well. It has a section on the family in it. Other books I'd recomend are Tourmenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals by Ian Osborn, Stop Obsessing! by Edna Foa, and Getting Control by Lee Baer. If you contact a local psychologist or psychiatrist they may be able to give you some info or pamplets to share as well. Otherwise if you go to the National Institute of Mental Health's website they will have some information that you can share with them. I looked over the posting policies and guidelines and did not find anything saying that we were not able to post links, if I missed it, I apoligize. Here is a link I would recommend you print out and share with your parents. http://understanding_ocd.******.com/ocd_obsessions.html

I remeber telling people my thoughts, and it wasn't that easy. Now, it's become much easier. At first I thought I was crazy, and I didn't really even know what OCD was. For you to get to where you need to go, I feel it's important to share it with them. I notice you got some advice from others in another thread, so hopefully things are going ok for you. If not, let me know and I'll be sure to offer some more suggestions or share more about how I did it when I was younger. It's important that your parents are understanding of your situation.

Good luck.

Portia- I have'nt seen you posting in awhile, you still around here? How have you been doing with the obsessions? Hope you're doing better. Keep in touch. I just wanted you to know it was very helpful to know that I was not alone in my obsessions and I thank you for that.

 
Old 06-03-2004, 08:14 AM   #7
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Re: Who else has violent obsessions about harming self or others?

Hey Rsspro!
Not long after I responded to this thread I had decided to go off the internet "cold turkey"... I was spending too many hours looking up things online to prove to myself I was not a violent or suicidal person, like statistics about suicide or facts about murderers. In reality, these things were not helping me at all but making me much worse. It's unbelievable how in the face of SO much evidence to the contrary, downright proof actually, I can still think I am capable of violence. But that OCD voice in my head can be very strong sometimes. I had been doing quite well for a while, and really minimizing my net searches. My thoughts were calming down, and this whole suicide obsession seems to have faded. God, I hate even writing that... anyways... now, my violent thoughts seem to be back with a vengeance, and have brought me back to these message boards seeking support. Check out my last post, "INTENSE harm thought"... can you relate to that kind of intense harm thought? I am a wreck today. I was awake half the night analyzing myself to the point of crazyness. I'm trying so hard to diffuse these thoughts, but sometimes they are just beyond me. I feel like I am fighting myself all the time. I hate it, and frankly I'm pretty down today. But throughout all this, there is still a voice in me, however quiet at times, that lets me know I am not violent and am actually a wonderful, happy person. Such is the double-face of OCD... such a cruel disorder that makes you question your very core values. If there's any violent thoughts I have that I truly WANT to act on, it's to kill the monster that is OCD (and in my case, also Generalized Anxiety Disorder)!! Thanks so much for listening to me and I hope you are well! Your thoughts mean a lot to me.

 
Old 06-03-2004, 05:53 PM   #8
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Re: Who else has violent obsessions about harming self or others?

I'm no expert, but I'll share my thoughts on dealing with harm OCD.

The point is not to stop them, but to accept them. You must accept that they will keep coming continuously. Your 'weapon' against this is that you understand the nature of the thoughts (read up more on OCD if you have to). You need to realise that the thoughts are NOT a threat to anyone.

The next this is that when these thoughts occur, do not try to reason with yourself. You will only frustrate yourself and become ashamed. The thoughts did not occur because you lack reasoning, but because you lack the dismissive capability to ignore (without consience effort) the thoughts that everyone actually gets once in a while.

I still get the violent thoughts quite often (if not just as much as before), but I don't spend so much time on them anymore because I am not threatened by them and I don't try to struggle with them.


Also to CassCalvin: I used to be scared as hell to tell anyone about my OCD. I actually still havent told anyone, but I feel like right now I feel safe telling anyone that I trust. I find that the key is to be able to understand the problem yourself, then you will be more comfortable with telling other people.

 
Old 06-03-2004, 07:31 PM   #9
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Re: Who else has violent obsessions about harming self or others?

OCD makes us fear that we will lose control. It feels that way but we won't. A very reputable therapist once told me that people who commit violent crimes like murder such as serial killers, etc. do not have any guilt, fear or remorse about doing such things. They are psychotic, meaning that they have no conscience. If we are all so worried about our violent/harm thoughts, then right there that shows that we are not crazy or violent at all!! Otherwise we would't be so upset about it. From what I have learned, people who commit suicide want to do it because they are so depressed or sick. If any of us have a worry and fear that we will commit suicide then we do NOT want to do it and we won't. It's just the fear of losing control over ourselves that makes us "think" we might be capable of doing such things. New horrible things we hear about also tends to make us think we will be able to do those things too. We are very sensitive becuase we are always fearing of losing control. Try to remember that OCD is a liar.

 
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