I have a fear that I rather abruptly developed some form of OCD recently. A little over a year ago I had an aunt die of brain cancer, and some time after I began experiencing frequent muscle fisciculations and headaches. I instantly became paranoid and thought this may have been caused from a brain tumor or some terminal illness. However, after running some tests a neurologist assured me that it was nothing serious. Regardless of the reassurance I went about my days slightly paranoid, though not to the extreme.
What triggered what I fear to be OCD was an image in the cartoon show family guy that plainly showcased a brain inflicted with a tumor, which was accompanied by the repeated chant: "I'm a tumor". I spent two days mentally fighting off the image along with the chant from intruding my mind every second.
At present (about 4 days after the incident) I can say I have come to a point where the image itself is no longer the problem, but the subsequent compulsion to mentally check that my mind has not drifted towards focusing on the image remains. What this has in essence done is constantly make me aware of my thoughts and I now associate nearly every element of my cognition with the mental compulsion to steer away from the image. Thus creating could possibly be considered a new obsession with my own thoughts. Only when I think really hard about why I'm hyper aware of my thinking does the frightening image itself pop into mind.
Upon reviewing a lot of the other cases on this forum, none of them sound too similar to what I'm experiencing. So would I be taking the step in the right direction in not letting my lapses of self-awareness bother me, or does it merit more professional attention? My main concern is that I will continue to associate my own self-awareness with this "flight from the fright" mechanism. So is there any hope that this will cease? Thanks in advance for any responses.
Hi there, Im sorry to hear you're going through a troubled time with your thoughts.
Ive had OCD all my life and its not something I would wish on anyone. Your symptoms do sound similar to those of OCD; intrusive thoughts that repeat incessantly and cause distress to the thinker is basically the foundation of OCD.
It could just be that you are going through a stressful time in your life and that these thoughts will burn themselves out in time. On the other hand it may be that you need to see your doctor to discuss things further.
I know when I started with obsessive thoughts I just ignored them and thought that everyone had their little quirks and this was mine. It was only when I had my second child and my hormones somehow triggered off a huge OCD attack that I couldnt ignore it any longer, i'd managed to live with mild OCD for 15 years before then with no real problems to myself.
Some people can manage perfectly well by keeping themselves occupied and the thoughts will then eventually subside. Others cant ignore the thoughts and have to get help. Perhaps it might be an idea to see if these thoughts go away in a week or two, if they do and you arent bothered by any other distressing thoughts that may pop up, then you are probably ok. Thats just a suggestion as to what I would do, Im not an expert so please dont take my advice as gospel!
I waited for about 3 months until I couldnt take the thoughts anymore before seeking help, I noticed that once one set of worries burned themselves out, another set would take their place, thats kind of the marker of OCD.
If you are worried though I would make an appointment with your doctor and explain how you are feeling, theres some good medication and therapy out there that can really knock the stuffing out of the constant thinking cycles and get you on the road to recovery.
I wish you all the best
Thanks for the response freyaschild and I appreciate the sentiment. I'm actually completely desensitized to the initial source of the extreme anxiety at this point, but I am having recurring thoughts that I may never get back to normal and be anxiety free. I feel like my brain is constantly babysitting my thoughts and I can't seem to just fall back into a natural state of being without my mind interrupting and telling me, "Hey! Something is still wrong with you!" I wonder if that is common. It seems like just as the thought begins to drift away, my brain goes nuts and reels me back to that common state of anxiety. So I definitely may have to speak to someone about this.
ah i know that feeling well lol yeah its not a good place to be in in your head - unfortunately I have never mastered ignoring that part of this illness, i think I'll always be pulled back by that voice telling me 'hey you havent thought about that thing thats worrying you for a few minutes, get back to it!' its part and parcel of OCD im afraid.
I wish you all the best and hope you get the right treatment for you