My friend said she finds it interesting because it doesn't make any sense. Maybe that's why I can't let it go...I'm constantly trying to make sense of it in my head and searching for new ways to explain it, as if by explaining it perfectly and finding someone who can understand I will find relief. So here is the obsession:
I can't listen to songs that are performed by male artists, deal with themes that involve men, or are produced by men. I can't read books written by male authors, with male characters, with women characters who think about men. I can't watch movies directed by men, with male characters. I can't watch tv because I obsess about the fact that I am obsessing about the maleness of certain characters. I can't watch cartoons because I obsess about the male voices.
The reason that I can't is because I'm thinking that I can't. I'm thinking that I can't because there was a time when I couldn't (whole other story) and I became worried that I would think that way again. The worrying that I would think that way again became the worry itself that I was worried about having. When I say I can't watch movies with men in them (all movies), I mean that I can't enjoy them. I can't enjoy them because I'm thinking about whether or not I can enjoy them in light of the thoughts about gender. This translates to I can't enjoy anything because everything relates to men in some way.
Even if I could find something that didn't it wouldn't change anything because I would still be worried about why I'm having these thoughts when I don't really have a problem with men. There must be a way to explain this. There must be someone who can understand. There must be a way out. When I look at a book with a man on the cover, I think "I can't enjoy this" and I can't because I am thinking that I can't.
I started thinking the thought "I can't" because there was a time when I couldn't and I worried that if that time repeated itself I wouldn't be able to thus I started having the thought "I can't" because the thoughts themselves fulfilled the prophecy. It seems silly but not being able to enjoy anything and not being able to rest your mind because you're constantly trying to make sense of something that is basically nonsensical is a big deal. When I hear somebody mention a man, as in, "Well, we'll try to get it back to him" my mind spins and I feel alienated because I have "the man thing" when the man thing is itself just worrying about having a man thing. I know this is convoluted, but does anybody relate to my way of thinking at all? I know I am sick..I just don't know where to go for help. Can anybody help me with this?
Oh yeah, and this obsession has completely killed my libido. I guess that would make sense.
Of course diagnosing somebody like this over the internet is virtually impossible (ha, a pun!), but I ahve some thoughts anyway...
I THINK (from what I can read in your post) that the problem (and thus, the answer) lies back in the time when you "couldn't" watch movies with men in them etc. That is how it started, right? There was a time when you really "couldn't"?
Now, you don't say why that was, but it sounds like anything to do with men provoked some thoughts or feelings in you that were really disagreeable to you? And with time you got over that, but now, today, you are afraid they might come back?
If that is true, then not watching/reading/etc anything with men in it could be a kind of avoidance. And it does have the ring of obsessive-compulsive to it. You are afraid of something (e.g. intrusive thoughts, or some perceived danger), you start obsessing about it and it causes a lot of anxiety, and in order to curb the anxiety you feel you need to perform some compulsion (like a ritual, but it can also be an avoidance, in your case it would be turning away from anything to do with men).
Also, you know on some deep level that your fear is irrational, right? That would also be typical for OCD.
I don't know if you want to go into any further debth about what the "men thing" is exactly, maybe it is something embarrassing for you. But let me know if you can relate to what I wrote here...
Hi i messaged you back before on the depression board.
Do the thoughts that you can't enjoy this or that because they are to do with men, make you anxious?
I know it's very hard to get over obsessions. Maybe you could try doing these things you think you can't do, exposture is good. And instead of constantly checking yourself, for not enjoying the movie/book/ ect you could just tell your self that you are enjoying the (movie for example) when ever the obsession arises while doing the activity's you feel you can't do focus on the movie to divert the obsession.
It's hard to explain, and my obession is different from your's but i get breaks from it, when i practice this.
maybe you could give more details on the time when you really couldn't ( only if you're comfortable with explaining it though)