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Old 12-12-2010, 12:23 AM   #1
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Intrusive Thoughts about going to hell

Hello,

This is my first post. I'm a 42 year old man, happily married with three wonderful children. Currently, I'm seeing a C.B.T and to date I've had four therapy sessions. Whilst I've only had four sessions, this particular Cognitive Behaviour Therapist has seen me numerous times in the past, and he told me, 'If I was to diagnose you, I'd say you have slight O.C.D, you're suffering from intrusive thoughts, and you have General Anxiety Disorder'.

I have two types of intrusive thoughts, all based around my Christian belief, and in particular, hell and going to hell. To be specific, of going to the lake of fire as mentioned in the book of Revelation. This lake is where hell itself and even death are said to be cast in.

The first type is the type most are familiar with. Thoughts, for example, but not ones I have, like; 'Crash the car', or 'Kill your family'. I get these about blaspheming the Holy Spirit. And this is what sparked it all off. Blasphemy against the Spirit is the one sin 'that won't be forgiven'. At all. Because of my mental illness, I believe I may have. But really did not want to. I felt compelled to do so.

The second type, I get thoughts pop into my mind from out of the blue. These, what I call, 'Arising thoughts', because they seem to arise from nowhere, manifest in 3 different ways.

[1] Some are gibberish and meaningless like, for example; 'Red tea', or 'filing the English channel', or 'cake for the wary'. Just way out nonsense.

[2] Now and again I'll get chilling thoughts pop into my mind, mainly when very tired which have in the past. These seem to form coherent statements and sentences. For example, one arising thoughts said 'You are going to hell'. I need not add anymore because that basically is the strongest I've had.

[3] Finally, I'll get names of people, normally football players and football teams arise in my mind out of nowhere. Then, throughout the day, I keep thinking I'm seeing connections. Some are very tenous and vague and I have to hold my hands up and admit they are ridiculous. But every now and then I'll get some which really do seem to have a link/connection.

For example; the other day I got these arising thoughts within the space of say, 5 seconds. 'Pepe Reina' (he is a goalkeeper who plays for Liverpool Football Club), and also 'Liverpool' (the football club I love and have supported for over 30 years). The next day, Liverpool lost a football game and the goal keeper, Pepe Reina, it 'could' be argued, was to blame for one or maybe even two of the three goals against us. I say could be argued because long story short, it really wasn't that clear. But this to me feels like a real connection with my arising thoughts.

I've even had visions in my dreams of hell, fire, and even falling into flames. When I have these dreams, I can sort of rationalise them as my anxious mind obsessing over my fears. You worry about zombies, you'll dream about zombies. But, I also have experienced snatches of dialogue such as 'God will punish', and also 'Destined for hell'.

Some days are really bad. Can anyone relate to this?

It's the arising thoughts like 'Pepe Reina' and 'Liverpool' which are the worst, and the connections I keep seeing.

Thank you very much for reading my story.

 
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:24 PM   #2
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts about going to hell

Yes, I can relate very much to these intrusive thoughts about hell. It is definitely OCD and is a fairly common type of obsession, often referred to as scrupulosity. In particular, the so called "unpardonable sin" is a huge issue for many Christians with OCD. However, if you think about it, someone who isn't a Christian would never worry about this sin to begin with because they don't believe in it, therefore the very fact that you are concerned about it shows that you don't have to worry about it. Furthermore, I believe this is a very misunderstood passage in the Bible. Don't think of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as a single act, but an ongoing state of rebellion against the Holy Spirit. Therefore, one cannot be forgiven while they are in this state; it is only until they come to God for forgiveness and accept the Holy Spirit that they will be forgiven. But anyway, this isn't really the place for a religious debate. Just know that you are not alone and realize that these thoughts are merely a result of a chemical imbalance in your brain called OCD...they have no relation to reality and are merely products of your own imagination going wild. You need to learn to devalue these thoughts and move on to more positive thoughts and activities.

Last edited by cuts84; 12-13-2010 at 06:25 PM.

 
Old 12-13-2010, 11:31 PM   #3
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts about going to hell

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuts84 View Post
Yes, I can relate very much to these intrusive thoughts about hell. It is definitely OCD and is a fairly common type of obsession, often referred to as scrupulosity. In particular, the so called "unpardonable sin" is a huge issue for many Christians with OCD. However, if you think about it, someone who isn't a Christian would never worry about this sin to begin with because they don't believe in it, therefore the very fact that you are concerned about it shows that you don't have to worry about it. Furthermore, I believe this is a very misunderstood passage in the Bible. Don't think of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as a single act, but an ongoing state of rebellion against the Holy Spirit. Therefore, one cannot be forgiven while they are in this state; it is only until they come to God for forgiveness and accept the Holy Spirit that they will be forgiven. But anyway, this isn't really the place for a religious debate. Just know that you are not alone and realize that these thoughts are merely a result of a chemical imbalance in your brain called OCD...they have no relation to reality and are merely products of your own imagination going wild. You need to learn to devalue these thoughts and move on to more positive thoughts and activities.
Thank you for your repy cuts84

What you say does make sense. The problem I have is I believe these intrusive thougts are real because I seem to see connections in daily life linked to these intrusive thoughts.

Here's very good example which happened to me yesterday evevning:

I was driving home last nigth, when I had this intrusive thought which sounded a lot like ‘Toh-ah’ or 'Teh-hah.' Didn't make sense at all. Usually I get sensible words or phrases. About 5 seconds later I looked up and saw the car number plate in front of me had, as part of the final entry of its number plate, the letters ‘TYA’. This sounds to me a lot like ‘Toh-ah’. Not only that I think I also had a secibd albeit unfinished intrusive thought which said; ‘Told…’ To me this is like it was trying to say ‘Told you', as in 'Told you I was a real entity’

All very scary I can assure you.

I've tried to rationalise this by saying to myself that I'm forever looking at car number plates when I'm driving, and this is true. And even though I cannot remember actually seeing the car's number plate before experiencing the word 'Toh-ah' or whatever it was formed in my mind, I ask myself 'how many times have I looked at car number plates without realising it'? Probably loads to be honest.

But it's the not knowing for definite which is worrying.

Thanks again for your reply cuts84

Last edited by Sea Jay; 12-13-2010 at 11:33 PM. Reason: clarity

 
Old 12-21-2010, 06:31 PM   #4
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts about going to hell

OCD can often make you see connections in things that other people would never notice, because you are hyper aware of everything. You can pretty much make yourself see some type of connection between any two events if you look hard enough. OCD also makes you overvalue certain thoughts or ideas. It will cause you to think every thought you have is important or has some kind of hidden meaning, when in reality it has no deeper meaning or importance at all. You just need to work on recognizing these thoughts or images as OCD and filtering them out as unimportant junk that is just taking up space in your brain.

Last edited by cuts84; 12-21-2010 at 06:32 PM.

 
Old 12-21-2010, 11:12 PM   #5
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts about going to hell

As someone who suffers from similar aspects I think the best advice I could give, advice that has helped me in the past is that these thoughts are not you. they do not define the type of person you are, they are an illness, something that i believe I have that makes me stronger because of it. does that mean i revel at the thought of a new "battle" no way! and for me it is a battle of the mind, I feel I need constant vigilance and screening so that I can apologies for all the thoughts that go against everything I believe. When things are bad I remind myself that God knows my heart better than I do. He is my rock. The most loving man whom ever walked this earth. He understands me more than I could ever understand myself.


Once in a while I do find myself seeing "signs" which then I associate with a bad omen. mine have more to do with numbers. I have always thought of it more as my paranoia rearing its ugly head. but it is quite annoying and consuming. I am sorry to admit that I have no advice to offer. where I myself also get wrapped up in this. with this my husband is my support. you can either laugh or cry when it becomes to much and he knows how to make me smile. no tears on hubby duty lol.

I hope I helped out a little. If only in the fact that misery loves company. It has always helped me in knowing that I am not alone.

As a side note, it is completely understandable if you do not understand half the stuff I wrote. sometimes I confuse even myself when trying to explain. but I feel it is better to try than sit on my hands and do nothing at all.

Last edited by TrueEssence; 12-21-2010 at 11:13 PM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 12-21-2010, 11:41 PM   #6
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Re: Intrusive Thoughts about going to hell

I totally understand what you both wrote. I can identify fully.

Right now I have started, slowly, to realise that it is all in my mind, but it's funny how my illness always seem to fight that belief.

I am definitely a lot better these last three weeks. I still get, almost every day, a low point where I think I can see 'connections', but the fear isn't as intense, and I feel better.

Still, I am under no illusions. The battle has only just begun.

Thank you everyone for your support, I really appreciate it.

 
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