I found this board yesterday by googling "feeling the need to confess everything", and I'm glad I did!
I have just realized over the past two months that I have been suffering from Pure O since I was very young. Reading some of the posts on here even brought me to tears since it was such a relief to see that I wasn't alone.
When I was young I used to confess EVERYTHING to my mom. It would get especially worse when good things happened (for example: if we were on vacation, or on christmas morning). I'd feel like I had to "empty my mind" and have a clean state in order for me to fully enjoy anything without something bugging me in the back of my mind. I always thought that I was weird and that it was just me and that it would pass. It always felt like my mind was creating things to make me feel guilty about and would never let me enjoy things.
All of this seemed to stop (or at least lessen) for a few years, until this summer when I stayed with my boyfriend and was blissfully happy for about a week until I began to be absolutely tortured by intrusive thoughts involving his younger sister that made me feel so incredibly guilty. I was too terrified to tell him so these thoughts hung around with me all summer and had an incredible impact of my mental health.
I always found the thoughts worse when I was around people I really cared about. (my mom, my boyfriend)
I am now seeing a psychologist and naturopath and have been feeling quite better overall.
I made a mistake by going to a counsellor at my school about this at first and she made me feel like a nutcase. She pretty much said that everybody says they have OCD and if I didn't have rituals then I didn't have it.
My psychologist seems to think that obsessive thoughts are always a result of childhood, is there any truth to this?
I find the things that help the most are seeing that there are so many other people out there that are going through the exact same things and realizing that it is a disorder and not actually ME thinking the thoughts, and most importantly, the fact that I (or anyone else who has OCD) feels so bad about having these thoughts shows that you are a good person with good morals or else you wouldn't feel so bad.
This is a terrible disorder and I hope that everyone that has it (including myself, haha) can find some method of dealing with it.
What has worked best for you? (I'm not really keen on meds for now.)
(Sorry if this post is a bit choppy, I copied and pasted a few things around)
Hi jess *hug* i know what your going through and it is horrible i know. lot of people say that most mentaly (healthy) people get disturbing and intrusive thoughts from time to time but can easily brush them away and not think anything of it because they know it doesn't mean they are a bad person. When people with OCD get intrusive thoughts it can paralys them with fear as they blow the thoughts out of porportion and it makes them feel that the thoughts are some kind of indication that they are evil people. which is certainly not true. What were your thoughts about? You don't have to go into them if it's too upsetting What i am trying to do now, is let the thoughts come and don't give them any singnificance. laugh at your ocd tell it you're not afraid anymore and tell it you know what it's trying to do but it's not working. Treat it like a bully, as that's what OCD is really a bully!
I have found that i am slowly feeling not so freaked out by my intrusive thoughts because i am letting them come and go. instead of trying really hard to force them out my head. have the thoughts and realise they are just thoughts and no indication of evilness. at first it can be hard, but it does make a difference. You can't let ocd realise you're scared.
i hope you try this out, and i hope it helps you.
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I know i have OCD because i use most of the day thinking the same stuff, this tortures me, give me anxiety, sadness or depression. Also many stupid things spike me very hard and geat anxius or change mood very easy. I can fight a tought many times like a crazy cycle, think and rethink again and again the same stuff.
I can be very happy with my wife, and suddenly if a spike or a thought comes i can change my mood almost inmediatly.-
Also i am stucked in the past, and even things have changed a lot, i love to suffer with these experiences.-
So if this is not OCD, somebody name it please!!!.-
Welcome to the board Jess, one of the best parts about participating here is that by sharing our stories we help others, just like you found out!
The simple fact that you had intrusive thoughts that caused you anxiety and pain points very strongly to OCD.
As for it being part of some childhood trauma, well, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence to show that OCD has a biological cause, related to improper seratonin levels and parts of the brain that regulate anxiety and reactions to it such as the caudate nucleus. I'd definitely recommend reading up on OCD and what researchers are seeing in the brain of sufferers. This physical source is also supported by how effective certain types of treatment are for the disorder. And that part is actually the best part I have to share with you, there is help out there and its very very effective! From SSRI's to Cognative Behavioral Therapy, the options and ways to approach this disease and help you manage it are a great sign of hope for so many people.
I have been on low doses of SSRI's and recently started CBT and I can tell you from personal experience that IT WORKS.
I know you said your not keen on meds, but really do consider them, the side effects are very minimal if you have any, and the variety of options means that one pill or another may be most efficient for you.
Whether or not you go the medicine route you really should consider CBT. They have actually found in people who do therapy of that type that there are measureable changes in the brain physically that go along with it! I have been doing a form called Acceptance Commitment Therapy that is really useful for those of us with Pure-O.
My recommendation is to find a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist who is familiar with anxiety disorders and OCD in particular, they are going to be your number one resource for dealing with this, and you definitely want someone who knows this area so you can get better faster!
One last thing, as scary as those thoughts are just remember, they aren't your fault. Studies show that most people have these types of thoughts, but most people also are able to shurg them off and ignore them. Us OCD'ers have stickier brains apparently, but either way, you KNOW that you wouldn't do anything horrible, so keep that in mind, the thought, whatever it is from hurting someone else, to getting sick, to hurting yourself, to embarassing yourself, etc are all causing you anxiety because of the OCD, thats what it does, its insidious and frustrating and terrifying and it sometimes feels like its never going to be better, but it will, i know, because I recently had a spike in my OCD and now that its back under control i'm living a normal life again without being plagued by my own troubling thoughts!
I think that referring to OCDers as having sticky brains is a great way to put it. When I ended up confessing to my boyfriend that I had been having "What if I was attracted to your younger sister" thoughts we both ended up laughing about it because it seemed so silly to myself and to him when I finally said it out loud. He told me that he has random thoughts like that all the time and manages to push them aside, so I guess the thing with OCD is you just can't and the harder you try the worse they get!
My big problem right now is feeling almost scared that I might "accidentally" confess something private to my psychologist during a session or my mom about me and my boyfriend that I would feel incredibly stupid/guilty about telling them. It as though I feel guilty for having privacy or only having something "secret" between my boyfriend and I, even though I know that it's perfectly normal to not tell your mom everything!
and of course, I feel as though if I confess this one last thing it'll all go away! (I've been thinking this since I was about 10)
I also think that this is a horrible condition to have while you're in a relationship! (I know that for me, my relationship is what sparked it up again because I cared so much about my boyfriend and this caused my mind to fight against my happiness by filling me with "what if?" and other guilty thoughts)
I will definitely work on CBT with my psychologist! Thanks again for the replies.