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Old 12-13-2007, 11:44 PM   #1
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Is my mind playing tricks on me?

I'm pretty sure this has been asked before but I couldn't find the thread. I essentially want any advice on how to differentiate between ocd thoughts and normal reasoning. For instance, if you wonder obsessively that you did not turn off the stove or that you may have stepped into dog poo, how do you know that those aren't authentic concerns?

How do you all handle these thoughts? I sit around and try to rationalize the entire thing and almost always lose the argument to my ocd which says, but what if you really didn't do such in such or what if you actually did whatever is stressing me. That method seems to be as counterproductive as doing the compulsions.

It's weird, there's one part of you that knows the truth and then another part of you that offers nothing but doubt. Where are those doubts coming from? Is my subconsious crazy?

 
Old 12-14-2007, 09:45 AM   #2
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Re: Is my mind playing tricks on me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lbreeze View Post
I essentially want any advice on how to differentiate between ocd thoughts and normal reasoning?
Breeze-

Well, I know that sometimes anxiety can mask reality, but all of us here know when we're having an OCD moment. You asked how you can differentiate between OCD thoughts and normal reasoning, and there are two ways. First off, most of us here know the difference between an irrational OCD thought and reality, so this just takes a little brain power on our parts. If you find that you're having trouble with this, ask someone you know that understands that you have OCD what's normal. For instance. If you have contamination fears and wash your hands too much, ask someone you know when they normally wash their hands. Sometimes with having OCD for years, washing our hands 100-200 times a day becomes "normal" to us, which is why having a helper that understands you have OCD can be very beneficial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lbreeze View Post
How do you all handle these thoughts? I sit around and try to rationalize the entire thing and almost always lose the argument?
Sometimes you don't have to handle the thoughts and you should just let them pass idly by in your mind, because when we start to think about them is when the OCD gains more power. You can't rationalize with OCD becuase OCD is irrational and you're never going to win. It's an argument that you're destined to loose, as many of us here know. The more you try to rationalize with your OCD, the more excuses your OCD is going to come up with.

 
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:50 PM   #3
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Re: Is my mind playing tricks on me?

Quote:
First off, most of us here know the difference between an irrational OCD thought and reality, so this just takes a little brain power on our parts.
Thanks Malibu! I think that's what I needed to hear. You're right, I do know the difference. I suppose my real problem is learning to trust my rational thoughts. But it's so hard to just let distressing thoughts be.

 
Old 12-15-2007, 04:20 PM   #4
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Re: Is my mind playing tricks on me?

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Originally Posted by lbreeze View Post
I suppose my real problem is learning to trust my rational thoughts. But it's so hard to just let distressing thoughts be.
Breeze-

Well that's exactly what our OCD wants us to do is dwell and obsess on these thoughts and not let them go, because when we let them pass idly by, they loose their power over us.

One thing that my therapist taught me to tell myself in my mind during an intrusive thought has helped alot, and I hope it can help you. Whenever you have an intrusive thought and you start to dwell on it or it starts to cause you anxiety, simply tell yourself, it's just a thought, and a thought can never hurt me.

People have thoughts all the time and everyone has what's known as an "internal dialouge" which is just that idle chatter that is going on in your mind. We don't really pay attention to half or even three quarters of the background noise, but when we have an intrusive thought, all of a sudden we jump up and pay attention which is exaclty what our OCD wants us to do. It wants to distract us and make us take notice that something is causing us anxiety or stress, so these thoughts serve a purpose. Remember that intrusive thoughts are not literal, they're symbolic of the games our mind plays with us, and how our mind brings things to our attention.

 
Old 12-16-2007, 11:32 PM   #5
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Re: Is my mind playing tricks on me?

Thanks again. I'm sure that will help when the time comes. Out of curiosity, do you find that a positive attitude helps in these circumstances. I mean, does it help if you remind yourself that each epiosode will pass and life will go on. It seems logical that that would help but I've never really heard anyone mention the effect that your atitude has on ocd.

 
Old 12-17-2007, 11:52 AM   #6
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Re: Is my mind playing tricks on me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lbreeze View Post
Thanks again. I'm sure that will help when the time comes. Out of curiosity, do you find that a positive attitude helps in these circumstances. I mean, does it help if you remind yourself that each epiosode will pass and life will go on. It seems logical that that would help but I've never really heard anyone mention the effect that your atitude has on ocd.
Hi Ibreeze

I find that a positive attitude, thoughts and actions do help me somewhat. But it's hard because my "epiosodes" never go away. I deal with them all day. I even dream about my "intrusive thoughts". I fear germs, diseases and I do have small rituals. I think my epiosodes never leave because Im alive everyday surrounded by germs. I can never get away from them. Not only do I fear diseases, I feel that I have them as well. It's a constant battle. As of the effect that my attitude has on OCD, well I have no idea. But to twist your question, my OCD causes my attitude to stink! Im more moody, withdrawn, depressed and on somedays hard to leave my home.

 
Old 12-20-2007, 12:40 AM   #7
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Re: Is my mind playing tricks on me?

OCD really affects my mood too CatGirl. I can be having a very good day and a random obsession will make me want to shut down completely. Did you mean that your obsessions stay with you indefinitely or are they replaced by others?

 
Old 12-20-2007, 05:37 AM   #8
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Re: Is my mind playing tricks on me?

Hi Ibreeze

I hate the fact my OCD changes my moods...Hard to be cheery when a thought is pounding in your head..

My obsession of germs, a "virus"(I cannot type cause of fear) is with me 24/7
But with that, some do come up as well..Like for instance, our first snow/ice came..I started to leave the house for work, and a fear of snow came over me..I obsessed only about snow for the 15 min it took me to drive to work..The fear of driving made me have a small panic attack in the car. But once I made it to work, it went away, then my obsession of germs and "virus" came back..Then when I left work and got back into the car, the fear of snow came back until I reached home, then once again I was back on my germs..It's soooo silly..Like a cycle of some sort..

 
Old 12-22-2007, 12:37 AM   #9
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Re: Is my mind playing tricks on me?

Hello Catgirl,

Ocd is very strange indeed. What bothers one person may not bother someone else in the least. I fear germs but not getting sick from them, only the state of being "dirty". I guess it's all shaped by our experiences.

Does the severity of your anxiety come and go as well? I used to seldom be overwhelmed by an obsession. Now it seems like there's a new one (a big one) every day. I wish I could get back to where I was but it seems like the more I try to fight it, the worse it affects me. I'm wondering if there's a reason for this.

 
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