What's wrong with me? Is it OCD? Or something worse?
Ok, I just want to start this off by saying, I know I'm a good person. I care about others. I'm the type of person who can't stand suffering. I see a little bug on its back, wiggling its feet around & I HAVE to turn it over. I see one of my cats trying to eat a mouse, I HAVE to help get it out. I cry at funerals, I cry when I get into arguments with people. I'm a very emotional, caring person.
Which is why I can't understand where these thoughts, feelings & images come from! Last night, I had to constantly keep checking my windows, & looking over my shoulder, worrying somebody was going to come in my house & attack me. I'm afraid to be alone, I'm afraid to sleep without some kind of light on. Sometimes, I choose to stay awake until the sun comes up, or when somebody in my house is awake, because I'm afraid of sleepwalking. I'm afraid I might do something to myself or someone while I'm asleep! I see images sometimes of me holding a knife in the air. I have NO idea what I'm doing with it, whether I'm hurting myself or someone else!! I have constant scary thoughts, & it always affects my sleeping! I don't sleep til 4:30 or 5 in the morning. :/ I feel ashamed, & sometimes the thoughts & images make me cry!
And, in case anybody is wondering, I'm 23 years old & female. Would never ever EVER want to hurt myself or another living thing. Can somebody offer some advice? What's wrong with me? I'm planning on seeing a professional sometime soon, but for now, I just want to get some advice from people who have experience with this stuff! Thank you!
Re: What's wrong with me? Is it OCD? Or something worse?
I can totally relate to what you are going through. I have so many different symptoms of OCD that have shown up through the years and this has been one of them. My thoughts center more on worrying about something happening to my family while I am not around though.
I think the biggest thing with why this problem goes on for so long is that this symptom of OCD is never really talked about as much. I have read symptoms of OCD on sites and I know they say bad thoughts are one of the symptoms. My biggest problem thought is what people consider a bad thought. Until recently I never even had anything to go on. It wasn't until I finally looked up bad thoughts and discovered this forum that I actually realized that I wasn't so different than other sufferers. I also ran across a post that had a recommendation for a book. It is called The Imp of Mind by Lee Baer. The very first pages talk about someone suffering thoughts very similar to yours.
One of things the book says is that we are tormented with thoughts of what we perceive as the worst and most inappropriate things. (I didn't copy his line word for word but, pretty close). I think back over time and I think this statement is true. If I am worrying over someone leaving, I get caught up with the idea of something bad happening to them while they are gone. This is the worst thing that I feel can happen because they will be taken from me. Then I obsess.
If it helps I will share one story with you. My family left on vacation and I stayed home to watch the house and take care of our animals. I was okay the whole time they were packing. I was okay until they pulled out of the drive. Then I couldn't get the thought out of my mind that if something happens and they get into a wreck, I have lost everyone. I think it took two days and knowing they arrived safely at their destination before I was able to do much more than cry. Then I started focusing on the fact that they would be coming home again soon. I was able to use this thought to push out the other one. When they extended their trip I broke down again for a short time. It wasn't until they returned that I felt better.
I hope this info helps you out. I am glad that you have decided to see someone. If you don't feel like you are getting the answers from them, find someone else. Look online. There are tons of places that specialize in OCD.
Re: What's wrong with me? Is it OCD? Or something worse?
Hi, Worried. I too suffer from the kind of thoughts you describe. They are called intrusive thoughts and they are incredibly bothersome. I think the reason these kinds of thoughts are not discussed much is because of the shame people hold inside for having them. I will also share with you some of the thoughts I have had. I worry that I will somehow lose my mind and hurt someone. If I am around food for other people I get it in my head, "What if I poison the food or spray something on it that will get people sick or kill them?". Then, I will feel panicky and I will either have to remove the food or remove myself from the area to ease the panic. Then, if that is not bad enough, I will obsess over the worry of, "Did I poison the food? OMG, what if I did? That is horrible, I am not the kind of person who would do that! Am I??" It is awful isn't it? But, the good thing is that all of this is just our minds on overdrive. They are just thoughts. My therapist said that our minds are our own worst enemies. They conjure up the worst possible thoughts and use them against us, but there is a way out. I have also read that people who have these kinds of thoughts are super moral, and are obsessed with the idea of being good. Most people have these thoughts, but they pass as quickly as they come. Also, most people do things without second guessing, but not people who suffer from OCD. I am like you, in that I have to do the right thing. A good example of this is that I was returning a fan that broke after only having it a week. I did not have my receipt, but Walmart will return anything. I did not immediately see the same fan I bought to exchange, but I saw one similar, but a better brand. I thought the associate would not notice, but then I started feeling super guilty and I told her it was not the same brand. She then told me to that it had to be the same kind. I knew that if I allowed her to do the uneven exchange I would obsess and feel guilty. Most people would have gone through with the return because the fans were very similar in style and price, but not me. I had to tell the truth. Does this sound like something you would do too? If it does, rest-assured that if you were some cruel, heartless person who could harm yourself or loves ones, you would not feel bad for a bug on its back or second guess every action you commit, to make sure it was the right one. I would suggest looking into Mindfulness. It is a method that makes you more aware of the present and how it makes you feel. You allow the thoughts to come, allow yourself to feel them and then move on. You work on living in the present and feeling everything for what it is. I think it is pretty powerful and could help you. Let us all know how you are doing