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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Message Board


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Old 01-21-2013, 01:12 PM   #1
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Trying to figure things out... please help

Hi! This is my first post on here, or any boards really. I have self diagnosed myself with OCD as a kid. I was so bad when I was younger that when I bought a new pack of loose leaf paper I would count every single page to make sure they gave me the amount I was told I would get. I have gotten better with it and really never truly thought I had this disorder....until now. My fiancé and I had a huge fight the other night and I realized some things during the fight. I obsess over everything! Once I get a thought in my head to do or I want to do in the future I cannot stop thinking about it or talking about it. I was obsessing over the money for our wedding (another thing I do is budget our money at least once a month and do it up until 7 months from that date. Once I sit down to do the budget I must finish it at that time or its all I'm thinking about and it makes me jumpy.) I kept running the numbers trying to find us more money, this was driving him nuts cause he said you can look at the numbers a thousand times and they won't change. He's right. I do this constantly, over something as small as a haircut or writing out a check for a bill...it needs to be done that instant or I feel very nervous about it. I will also get a song stuck on repeat in my head for hours on end....not the whole song but just one part, it drives me nuts cause it happens so very often, but I literally cannot control it! I feel like I really need some help with this, it seems to be getting worse and really waring down on my fiancé, he even said that I scared him during our fight for the first time because I wasn't acting like myself at all....this really scares me too! Please help! Is it actually OCD or something else??

 
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:25 PM   #2
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Re: Trying to figure things out... please help

As I'm sitting thinking of what I wrote I thought of another example that scares me and has for years. It's hard to explain but at any given moment (driving in the car, walking, sitting watching tv, etc) a thought comes into my head of pain. I imagine myself getting hurt in some way...it's usually eyes because I'm scared to death of eyeballs they just freak me out. Anyway I'll get a mental image of something horrible happening to me I can't see if its me doing it or someone else but it scares me and I have I think of something really great at that certain time and really fully concentrate for it to go away. I'm sure this isn't normal

 
Old 01-21-2013, 03:02 PM   #3
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Re: Trying to figure things out... please help

The symptoms you describe, while not "normal" for an average person do sound very normal as symptoms of anxiety/OCD. I'm not an expert, just someone who has lived with OCD for 20 years now but everything you are describing would easily be explained by OCD.

OCD is driven by our obsessions: thoughts/images/feelings we get in our head that cause anxiety and we can't just seem to shake. An obsession in this sense isn't like how many people normally use it, like saying "I'm obsessed with coffee!". What they mean is they love drinking coffee, they do it often and it brings them pleasure (which might be an addiction, but that's another problem for someone else to deal with ;-) ). A person with OCD has UNWANTED and UNCOMFORTABLE thoughts, just like you are describing. We don't WANT to dwell on our thoughts, we want them to go away or stop!

This desire for relief drives our compulsions, which are the behaviors we engage in, often repetitive or ritualistic that we do in an attempt to assuage our anxious thoughts. They usually provide temporary relief but make us worse off in the long run. You describe having to go over finances again and again, which sounds like a compulsive behavior. You also describe disturbing thoughts of yourself being hurt and I'd bet that has led you to other behaviors. Avoiding situations where you might feel unsafe for example, seeking reassurance from others constantly, and/or going over and over in your head reasons why what you fear doesn't make sense or won't happen. These are other forms of compulsions.

So do you have OCD? Sure sounds like it, but your next step should be to seek out a qualified mental health professional who has experience with OCD/anxiety disorders to get diagnosed and narrow down your specific issues. While OCD isn't yet curable it is very treatable and you can regain control of your life and get back to "normal" if you are willing to put in the work. Treatment with OCD usually takes a two pronged approach. Cognitive-Behavioral therapy to help you learn how to respond to and handle your obsessions and avoid compulsions, and sometimes medication to help alleviate the symptoms and make the therapy a little easier. Your doctor/therapist will be able to work with you to build a response tailored to your needs. You can also do self study about OCD and pick up workbooks that will help you learn some of these techniques on your own, but that's no substitute for working with a skilled professional, just some extra help to get you back to living your life.

Something else important to keep in mind, having OCD doesn't mean you are crazy or anything like that. OCD is caused by physiological differences in the brain. Quite literally our brains aren't working like they should, but all is not lost! CBT and medication can get us back on track, just like diet, exercise and insulin help diabetics control their symptoms, or asthmatics use inhalers.

I'm sorry you are struggling, but seeking answers is the first step towards getting better. You've taken an important first step and should be proud of yourself!

 
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