Hi, for the past few years, certain kinds of thoughts -- from what I've researched, they're called intrusive thoughts -- have been coming to mind very frequently. Usually they're violent, and they really scare me. When they hit me, I find myself having these panic attacks where my chest tightens up and I don't feel right, and usually I'll lock myself in the bathroom and wait for the attack to pass, but I still have those horrible "intrusive" thoughts afterward. I'm not sure whether they are OCD-induced, or rather caused from something else. I do have strange mannerisms that would make me think this is OCD, because I'm constantly trying to fix the small things -- like fixing the arrangements of the dishes in the dishwasher. But mostly, I'm worried terribly about the intrusive thoughts because I'm afraid that I'm going to actually do them and hurt someone I love, even though I'm generally a happy person. I have talked to my parents about this, and they said they think I might just have some pent up anger and energy inside. I'm home-schooled so I don't party or get out much, and I don't have any friends, either. I'm extremely scared and not sure what to do, and I could just really use some support or advice
I have OCD and I am plagued with these intrusive thoughts. Trust me!! OCD people have never acted out on any of these thoughts. I even have silly thoughts like I am going to slap someone in the face and I have never ever done that before!! So, no matter how violent they are, you will not act on those either. I like to consider OCD people the safest people you meet because we are complete scaredy cats. This is how I view intrusive thoughts/OCD. Picture a 3 tiered wedding cake. Normal people (who do not have any fears) are on the bottom. People with regular anxiety are on the next tier (they have horrible thoughts too, but they are not as intense as OCDers) then the top tier is the OCD person. Our thoughts get trapped in our brains and play repeat. It's part of our brain disorder. When I was a teenager, I would complete intense compulsions to ease my anxiety. I never had any bad thoughts until this past summer. My OCD spiked again because of extra stress. I work full time and I am going to grad school. On top of this, I went through a terrible break up. Are you under any extra stress? Extra stress and anxiety will cause the spike in your thoughts. I am currently going to Cognitive Behavior Therapy where my therapist teaches me techniques to help ease this anxiety. I keep a thought journal and I write all of my thoughts out. Once I write them, they completely disappear. I am on medication as well. I highly recommend medication because it will help your thoughts. I have been on medication for 2 months and I am finally having some relief. I still have weird/violent/sexual thoughts, but they are much more distorted and they leave my brain so quickly. I can brush them off much easier. Write notes all around your computer. Try this one, "These are just thoughts, not reality". I have notes all over my bedroom and I read them over and over again.
This disorder is the hardest to get over bc the thoughts go completely against who we are as humans. We cannot help the thoughts that come bc that is our OCD talking. Have you ever had a voice in your head that says...don't eat that or you will gain weight!! Well this is the same voice, but it might call you evil names or make you think you are going crazy. It's just how our brains work, but it does not define who we are. I find keeping busy, working out, eating a banana, and taking my medication daily has really helped me. The more distracted you are the less thoughts you will have. The hardest part for me is that I cannot fantasize anymore bc I fear it. I am scared to fantasize bc of a scary thought so it has really ruined my alone time. I hope to get over this hurdle. Just take it day by day bc that is all we can do. Please hang in there. I will be here to chat bc this is very new for me. I hate my thoughts and I want them to go away, but I have to accept this bc this is a part of me. I hope this helped you!! Have a great night !!
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Thank you so much! It takes a huge weight off my shoulders to know we're going through the same things! As far as stress goes in my life right now, I guess I'm afraid of growing up. I'm home-schooled and ahead so I'll be graduating earlier than others kids, and it kind of has me concerned about how much stress I'll be facing and how I'll handle it. To know that you're handling it okay really helps and I can't tell you how grateful I am! I'll keep up my effort and try to get through this! Thank you so much again!
I am no doctor but I think I have some valuable advice that may help some, hopefully. Don't fight the obsessive thoughts. Fighting and trying to rid yourself of the thoughts only strengthens them. The more you permit the intrusive thought, the less its hold on you. Do fight against the behaviors, the rituals, though. Giving in to the behaviors, or rituals, also strengthens the obsessions. This takes practice. I have learned this from a very good psychologist I see and I am noticing some peace with this technique. Know the difference between your thoughts vs. behaviors to be successful at this technique.
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As a child, I always thought I would act on my obsessive thoughts too, and it used to scare the hell out of me. But because you are scared you might act on these thoughts shows that you truly have no intention of doing them, thus will not.
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I should better clarify what I mean in a previous post so that you don't get the wrong idea about behavior vs. thought and become more scared than you already are. Having anxiety and OCD most of my life, I too know its horrors. You said that you get violent thoughts that you do not want. That is the obsession. The behavior, or ritual, is what you do to relieve yourself of the troublesome thought, whatever that is. For me, it was always grabbing the seat I was on very tightly because I thought I would do something bad to my family or myself. That was the behavior I had to try to relieve me of the thought. The behavior to resist is not the imagined tragedy; you're not actually doing that behavior, just imagining doing it. Now, if you find the courage to resist firmly grabbing the seat you are on or whatever it is you do to relieve yourself of this violent thought that you have, resist it but let the scary thought have its way and don't resist it. Sorry if I scared you in the previous post. That was not my intention.
My OCD is actually really different. My compulsions and obsessions are separate. When I have a bad violent thought, I just tell myself it's my OCD talking. Later on, I may tap my toothbrush 8 times, but it is not related to my violent thought. Since I am on medication, I have some good and bad days. When I am having a good day, I will count obsessively bc I am scared that the thoughts may occur.
Since the OCD symptom list says violent, sexual, and religious thoughts. I was just curious if any of you had really weird thoughts? My thoughts lately are consumed of zombies, monkeys, and skeletons. They are all very bizarre and they get trapped in my brain. I get scared of them bc they are not under the OCD symptom list. Have any of you experience any odd ball thoughts that are just truly weird, but they get trapped in your brain??
I hope we can all get through this!! It is one hell of a beast
I think i understand. And no worries -- your last reply did not freak me out. But basically I should let the thoughts pass, and just not act on them?
When you say "just let the thoughts pass, and just not act on them"...You mean do not do a compulsion, right?! The thoughts we have are totally in our brains and completely irrational. We are harmless people...unless you are diagnosed with something else. I have never heard of one single OCD person acting on a thought.
I learned in therapy that it is best to just let them pass and write them out. If you keep doing compulsions then that is habit forming. I try my hardest, but I do sometimes end up counting. I find myself counting in fear of the bad thoughts coming on. The best is to find something that distracts you. However, we need to find a way to feel comfortable in complete dark silence. Any ideas? This is where I struggle.
Yea, I will feel sometimes that I have to do the ritual and have no other choice, completely out of the intense fear that I must to not let bad things happen. I hope there is someday I will stand up to every ritual and say no to it. I guess I will just wait and see what life my turn takes while I am trying and learning more. Having OCD, you probably know what I mean when I say that I want the perfect life just as I imagine it and it is hell for it to be any other way.
I absolutely understand what you mean. I want a normal life so badly, and I know how hard OCD can make this to be. But you're right that it takes time and patience. Eventually we'll all find a peaceful state of mind in life. And I didn't mean to scare you in my last post. I actually meant to state that, once we learn to pay no heed to the obsessions, then it will become easier to ignore the compulsions and the rituals. It sounds odd, but every time you think of an obsession, simply say that's stupid and let the thought go. From there, I found it's a hell of a lot easier to ignore the approaching rituals. If this is too hard, then try spending the day happy and optimistic. I know this sounds weird, especially when you think of the wide-eyed, grinning picture of optimists out there today. But keeping a positive attitude really helps me find some peace away from the rituals. If you don't feel happy, look up jokes or funny videos or something. Watching SNL skits is always funny.
As far as advice for keeping occupied, try something creative. For example, I like to write stories, partly because there is so much depth to fill, and it keeps my mind occupied, thus giving little room for the rituals and stuff. Making the plot outline, the characters and their backgrounds, and etc gives me something to keep busy with. I've even gone as far as to make up entire worlds for my stories. Ever heard of Star Wars or Lord of the Rings? There's a heck of a lot to them! And writers actually made them up to become some of the most important figures in fictional history. You might find this kinda neat. Also, try art, even if it's just a bunch of scribbles. Sometimes I'll look for things around the house and draw them, or at least try to. My sister and aunt taught me this, and I think you should give it a shot. There's also excercising to keep busy with, like going for a nice walk, and also music. Even if you're not musician, you can still discover great songs. Some really great ones are by the Smiths and Coldplay (earlier Coldplay, like in their first album) Try doing some of these things and see if they help. I hope they do!