I have sort of an OCD because my conscience is always telling me "if you dont do this something bad will happen..blah.blah"
for example if im the last one up at night i check the same door to make sure its locked 5 or 6 times because my conscience says if i dont then someone will break in. its been bothering me lately, its been going on for over a year but recently its gotten bad, its starting to make me check things compulsively that are stupid. also aftert the anthrax scare im always washing my hands and again my consicence says if i dont do it 5-6-7......etc times i will get anthrax...and this still goes on now even though the anthrax scare is over, if anyone has any advice on this id really appreciate it. I'd been to a good shrink and he minimized some of these problems but didnt get rid of themn completely, and i dont think im in need of any medication.
but any advice would be helpful here, thanks alot guys.
I used to be highly compulsive that way, and I am not now. I even find I forget to check the lock at times, now, and I don't know if someone else did check it or not. I do things to be cautious, but I am not compulsive about it anymore, so I believe you can overcome your obcession.
I realized that my anxiety stemmed from feeling helpless to protect myself. I don't know what the source of yours is, but I know when I faced my feeling of helplessness then I got over the compulsion. For one thing, tell yourself that it is totally normal to feel scared of those conditions, because it IS normal! I think one way we can get stuck on a thought is to obcess that we are over-reacting, and not being normal.
If someone really wants to break in, what we do is not going to stop them. If anthrax is where we are, washing our hands is not going to stop us from getting it on us...we have to tell ourselves the truth when our mind comes up with lies. That breaks the habit cycling in the mind. Think of the fact that most people are safe most of the time, and that you are safe right now. We cannot control our surroundings, but we can train our minds and control what we allow ourselves to dwell on.
I don't think it is helpful to allow yourself to reinforce the lie that if you just do something so many times something else will not happen. I think actually washing your hands so many times is reinforcing the thought in your mind. Tell yourself the truth, that one washing is clean enough.
I am not saying this is a quick fix, or it will be easy to break the obcession habit. It will take time. Don't be concerned about the times you fail to ignore the compulsions, but instead, just give yourself some space to be human and make mistakes. There is a lot going on in the world that is out of control, and I suggest that you lean on whatever faith you have.
I am not writingg of will-power, but of choosing to
I think it is totally normal to feel insecure about those things, and that you can and will get a grip on your thoughts!!
At one time I really suffered from OCD. I would check and recheck several times to see if a door was locked and lights were out before I went to bed even though I KNEW they were. When I went up or down stairs I would count each step even if I knew how many there were. It was especially bad before we would leave on a trip, checking to make sure everything was secure and that I had not forgotten anything. I still check things before we go away for the day or however long, but only once and I think that is perfectly normal. What helped me most was to make a list of things to check before we left, then put a check mark by the ones I had checked. Then I would know not to check that particular thing again. Making lists of things to check or take with you can be a valuable aid. I was very superstitious for many years too.......would not step on a sidewalk crack, walk under any ladders or let a black cat cross my path. How are you doing?