View Full Version : existential? Have you been there?

08-15-2015, 10:50 AM
Is it possible and have you seen anyone overcome existential ocd? The fear of life, death, aging etc...

These thoughts have consumed me for years and now they cause me to have regular panic attacks and derealization. How do you overcome a fear you can't really face? A fear that you get closer to everyday. I feel like I'm doomed. I just need to know if it's possible. I need hope.

08-16-2015, 08:01 AM

All of us know how difficult it is to have OCD and we're all here to support you. That's why I come to the boards, so I can get the support I need and to let others know that they're not alone. OCD is OCD whether it's existential OCD or relationship OCD, etc. Do you have a therapist? Have you started CBT? If so, has your therapist put you on any SSRI's? I find what works best for me is CBT in conjunction with a moderate dose of Zoloft.

I can't say for sure if overcoming OCD (regardless of what kind) is possible, but I know for sure that the symptoms can be controlled but it takes alot of work, alot of CBT, and alot of time. My OCD tends to get worse when things in my life are bad because I feel like I don't have control over what's going on in my life.

In CBT they teach you to "self talk" and this works very well. When you're having an OCD moment you talk to yourself (whether out loud or mentally) and it helps to calm your mind. I hear meditation and breathing exercises work well too and I practice those at times.

08-16-2015, 09:07 AM
Thank you for your response. Not seeing a therapist at the moment. I have no insurance, support or money right now. Been through most types of ocd, but have been able to overcome them on my own. This time it's difficult because I can't really expose myself or face my fears because they are of existential inevitable things. Trying to do what I can naturally on my own, but had a major panic attack last week and I just feel like I can't handle reality anymore. Kinda at a loss. I appreciate you taking time to respond though.

08-16-2015, 09:55 AM

You've proven to yourself that you can and have overcome some other types of obsessional thinking, so dealing with existential OCD is no different than other types of OCD. You say that you can't practice exposure therapy because there is no way to expose yourself to existentialism, but what about going to a nursing home to volunteer? That may slowly help you overcome your obsessional thinking about aging.

I'm not a licensed therapist but I do know that exposure therapy, when done correctly and slowly, can really help you with the fears you have, but you need the guidance of a licensed CBT (not a psychiatrist but a psychologist who specializes in CBT).

Focus on some steps you need to take to get better: 1. Find support wherever you can (here is a great place). 2. Get insurance (however you have to, whether it's public, private, or get rated at a public hospital). 3. Once you have insurance, tell them exactly what type of therapy you're looking for.

I'm starting a new job tomorrow and I had been unemployed for the past 7 months so I didn't have insurance either. I knew I needed to get back into CBT so I have been self paying for the past several months. My therapist has known me for a long time and although he usually charges $75 per session, he cut mine down to $50 because he knew I was struggling financially.

Hang in there and focus on some steps you can take to help you deal with your OCD. Don't forget we all know how you feel and you're not alone, and you're never alone.

08-16-2015, 08:06 PM
You know, I worked in a nursing home when I was younger. It was one of the best times of my life. Loved the old people. It was sad when they passed, but I really enjoyed the time I had with them. I have been wanting to find a different job. I think that is a great idea. Thank you! I really appreciate your kind words and advice. It is such a scary time for me right now. These thoughts have built up over the years and are now causing horrible panic attacks. I am 36. I shouldn't feel like my life is over this young. It's not going to be easy, but I am going to try to get through this. Thank you again.

08-17-2015, 05:13 PM
You're quite welcome Marty. I just started my new job today and although I had some anxiety (which I believe is normal for anyone starting a new job) it was pretty bad because everything was fresh and new. New office, new people, new location, and I don't know about you, but when you have OCD and anxiety, changes in life can be extremely stressful and anxiety provoking. I'm a social worker by trade and while I was reading through my new clients' plans the term OCD kept popping up. It's quite common for people with developmental disablities to also have OCD. Not all of them have it, but quite a few do.

So in a way I expose myself daily to OCD and people with OCD, just like you should start slowly exposing yourself to aging, etc. Don't dive right in, but maybe start doing some volunteer work and ease yourself into working more and more with the elderly. You don't want to bite off more than you can chew because as I'm sure you're aware (just like me) if you do that, your OCD and and anxiety will push back. Take it slow and keep focused on your goals. :D