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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Message Board


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Old 03-11-2007, 08:36 PM   #1
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Making People Answer Me "right"

I Have This Obsession With People Answering Me The "right Way". If I Ask A Question (one I Am Obsessing Over) And If My Husband, Mom, Friend, Etc... Doesn't Answer It The Right Way - The Right Way To Make My Anxiety Subside, I Obsess More And Then Try To Make Them Answer Me The Way I Want Them Too. Anyone Else Do This?

 
Old 03-12-2007, 07:53 AM   #2
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Re: Making People Answer Me "right"

Yes, my therapist is having a lot of trouble working with me because of that, and has even mentioned that it might not be a bad idea to meet with other doctors to see if I have better experiences with other people. From what she tells me, my mind is very rigid. There's no flexibility in my thought process, I believe what I choose to believe without room for the possibility that this could be OCD and that "I want to hear what I want to hear, not what I need to hear. I don't know why I am like that. I wish I wasn't because maybe I would be progressing with my OCD instead of getting worse. If I could just stand up to the "what if" and take my chances. When I do try to talk to people and I don't hear from I want to hear I'll keep rephrasing the question hoping the answer will come out right next time, if not, my anxiety just gets worse. Some people I just avoid talking to because I know talking to them will only trigger my anxiety. Is this what you mean?

 
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:24 AM   #3
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Re: Making People Answer Me "right"

I can relate. This sounds like the classical asking/confessing/telling compulsion. I also do that. This one time I asked a girl for 3-4 hours why she didn't find a picture of me very nice. Of course, this was exhausting to her and she didn't want to take the relationship any further. I can understand her!

If you can make a deep commitment to living with uncertainty and accepting uncertainty, this is the first step in handling OCD. Remember, OCD is also called "the doubting disease".

In Exposure and Response Prevention you would try to stop your compulsion (that is, to stop asking the same question over and over again to get an answer that's "just right"). This is similar to that of washers, who need to stop washing even if they feel "contaminated". The anxiety will subside with time.

Recently, I felt extremely forced to ask a girl I am dating what she felt about our relationship because I was convinced that "something was wrong". But I managed to avoid the asking compulsion, and the night ended with her saying that she was in love with me. I guess this wouldn't have happened if I started interrogating her in the first place. :-) Me - OCD: 1-0.
My OCD comes and goes. Sometimes I can go for months without it. But when it hits, it hits hard and often when I am in a situation whren it would be disastrous to enter "the torturing spiral" of OCD. I am fortunate to have success in my educational and job life and this helps too!


The conclusion is that *how* you feel is false when it comes to OCD. Yes, it "feels" so real but it's not real. If you avoid doing your neutralizing ritual, it will eventually go away. Yes, this is very hard to realize when you're in the "middle" of it. I know. It helps labeling it as "just OCD" or "thought garbage".

Try postponing your asking. Can you commit to postpone your asking for 5 minutes? See if you want to ask the question again after 5 minutes and give yourself 5 new minutes again, and reassess. Keep this going until the anxiety has subsided. It can be tough but in my view, this is Response Prevention in action.

Last edited by allhonest; 03-12-2007 at 08:35 AM.

 
Old 03-12-2007, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: Making People Answer Me "right"

HOpe - that is kind of what i mean..
All Honest - Yes, I totally agree and I do take luvox and I go for CBT - so that is the same thing. That is exactly what I am supposed to do and I do usually do it but it is soooo hard at times. I get annoyed when my husband doesn't answer me the way I want him to, and I will make him repeat the answer the way I want. I will actually say, "No say it this way" He doesn't usually do it because he has gone to my therapist with me who tells him that he should not respond to that and that would be enableing my ocd. He is really good with the ocd and I am sooo lucky to have a supportive husband. He feels bad but we both know that if starts to answer me or give in then it will continue for hours because he may not then say it in the right tone, etc...

What I do is try to tell myself that everyone is not going to say or talk or answer the way I want them too and that is not something i can control. That lasts about 3 seconds and i obsess again but i do try tofight it as long as i can or distract myself. sometimes i have to write it down to try to see how silly it is.

Thanks for listeing both of you!

 
Old 03-28-2007, 09:08 AM   #5
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Re: Making People Answer Me "right"

Wow, I thought I was the only one that did this and was crazy. I am always looking for the 'right' answer. I sometimes will go as far as to not accept 'ok' when i really want to hear them, say yes and will end up getting sometimes enraged that they won't answer the way i want them to. This seems to manifest itself mostly in relationships and a lot of times can be the cause of many fights and/or breakups.

I also will ask questions just looking for answers. The example of questioning a girlfriend for hrs just because i had a 'feeling' she doesn't care about me anymore is a perfect example. I have been in a state like that for about 2 months and it has basically caused my now ex gf to completely back away from me and ask for her space. We were working through stuff before, but she said i made her feel suffocated and she needed space due to my constant badgering and questions. All i wanted was to 'know', i always just want to 'know'. I seem to fear the unknown and will even ask for confirmation over and over even after just being told. If i am unsure i will also make up stuff in my mind 1000x worse then anything possible, but it will seem to perfectly makes sense in my head.

I have just started going to a therapist right now and have brought this up. I might bring it up today at our next meeting though again. I thought maybe i was the only one but if this can be attributed to my OCD then it is def something i want to look into and see about correcting as this hurts my relationships and drive ppl i care about away.

Thanks for the great posts!

 
Old 03-29-2007, 02:00 AM   #6
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Re: Making People Answer Me "right"

Yeah, relationships is a common obsession amongst OCD sufferers. Just the slightest hint that the person you're with isn't where you want them to be in relation to you would start the asking / interrogation. This one time I got feedback that I could have done well as a CIA interrogator. hahahahahaa

It's like 2+2 = 400

But like Erasmus Colloquies said:
When the disease is known it is half cured.

It is certainly true in my case. Haven't been much asking lately although I "needed" to. The need will eventually fade away if you can manage to avoid or at least postpone your asking compulsion.

Last edited by allhonest; 03-29-2007 at 02:10 AM.

 
Old 03-29-2007, 08:07 AM   #7
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Re: Making People Answer Me "right"

I find that I also will give people 'tests' that they don't even know they are taking. An example of this would be asking a girl I like to call me later. Now as the day goes on I start feeling anxious and start obsessing over why she hasn't called. In the end I might here from her that nt or maybe even the next day and with perfectly good reason why she couldn't call. In my mind though I take the worst possible scenario and go with that and in fact usually make it worse in my head.

So basically I want these people to do the acts to show me they care. Yet they don't even know they are being asked to do these 'tests'. I hate leaving messages on answering machines/ cells for this reason. I almost always end it with 'Call me back' and then start obsessing when they don't.

Anyone know of any good tactics to deal with this? I talked to my counselor last nt about it and she said it more then likely has to do with esteem issues and always looking for approval to feel good. Which I get that as the starter, but then I will just obsess constantly on it till either i hear back or I end up calling or stopping by and seeming like a crazy person. I really want to stop this behavior as it hurts relationships.

 
Old 03-29-2007, 08:34 PM   #8
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Re: Making People Answer Me "right"

I completely believe this is the OCD, not just your esteem. I believe this b/c I used to do that ALL OF THE TIME before I got married/met my husband. I used to obsess alllllll dayyyyyyy, I mean seriously, every minute, are they going to call, what if they don't call, to the pt. that when I would meet someone out in a bar and gave my number I would already start to obsess and review the whole conversation... what helped me was to start to not give my number out and take their number, therfore it is in my hands and I can't obsess about them calling because they didn't have my phone number.

Once I started to do that, I would call and if I left a message I would not obsess about them calling back....I actually would either get the call and go on a date, etc...or get in touch with them the first time I called, or if they didnt' call back it didn't bother me anymore b/c I would think , how rude, I called them and they didn't return my call, screw that!

Maybe if you do that and take things a little bit more in your hands you won't be putting yourself in a obssessive situation. If it is a continuous relationship, then you can't avoid the call backs... I used to obsess when I was dating my husband of that too. I think what helped me was that # I was in CBT - which is excellent and I am still doing today and #2 I would just tell myself, I have no evidence for him not to call, he has in the past and never lied, so it is my mind making up that he may not call or that he didn't call because he didn't want to be with me....

Does this help?

 
Old 03-30-2007, 04:52 AM   #9
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Re: Making People Answer Me "right"

Yes, it makes good sense and in fact that is stuff that goes through my mind. The only problem is the crazy thoughts seem to take over and win any battle. I am trying to take it into my hands more and just call them when i want to, but esp for starting out in the relationship or even first time call that can be hard due to my esteem.

If I can get over this hurdle that will be huge.

 
Old 03-30-2007, 08:22 AM   #10
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Re: Making People Answer Me "right"

YES YES YES YES!! That is something i do, and i thought i was the only one!..I love this board. My husband and i fought for an hour last night, because he didn't answer me right. Wow, i cant stand it, it is worse (in my opinion-because i used to do this) than checking because it involves another person and all of the fighting. I dont know how to treat this, i go to support groups, on meds see a doc.---and try very hard (until it makes me break down and cry).....Cant get out of this glich.

 
Old 03-30-2007, 10:27 PM   #11
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Re: Making People Answer Me "right"

When my kids were young teens I would often say to them, "You don't want my opinion; you want your opinion to come out of my mouth."
I can't remember where I got that line, but it's very useful.
Perhaps y'all could arm your loved ones with it to use against you.

 
Old 04-14-2007, 12:14 PM   #12
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Re: Making People Answer Me "right"

I've been trying to work on this to no avail. I was wondering what people do to help them? I try and catch myself, but it never seems to work. I still want ppl to answer me with the exact answer i want and no variant. Plus, I'm still giving 'tests' where I ask people to do stuff or ask them a specific question to see if they will give the answer I want.

I really want to overcome this as it has hurt me in the past with relationships and such.

 
Old 04-14-2007, 02:27 PM   #13
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Re: Making People Answer Me "right"

So, then, maybe when you realize you're doing it, you can just stop and say, "I'm sorry. I guess I don't really want your opinion. I just want to hear my opinion come out of somebody else's mouth."

And I should try this myself, too.

 
Old 04-15-2007, 09:29 PM   #14
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Re: Making People Answer Me "right"

Chaos, I know what you mean but the way that we can overcome that is deal with the answers not being what we want to hear. I can drive my husband crazy... so I am learning to deal with "wrong" answer....it is a horrible anxiety feeling but that is the exposure therapy and it does work. Do you go for CBT?

 
Old 04-16-2007, 05:09 AM   #15
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Re: Making People Answer Me "right"

Yes I do actually. I have been going for my anxiety and depression. I have had I think 4 sessions so far and have read a couple of books. I try and practice it as regular as possible, but sometimes it is hard. Can't tell if it is working yet or not really. I think I have cut back some of the 'answer me right' stuff, but then again I've had little chances to see as I do not currently have a SO. This is when it has happened the most. When I do do it presently, I sometimes can catch my self and stop but other times even if I know i am doing it I feel so compelled to do it I can't stop. That is when I feel the worst.

 
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