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OCD and dealing with a breakup

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Old 06-01-2012, 07:42 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: London, England
Posts: 1
luzy HB User
OCD and dealing with a breakup

I am 17 and was recently diagnosed with OCD. I am a perfectionist and my need to be in control sometimes gets out of hand. My thoughts go in endless circles and haunt me to the point of exhaustion. I am extremely self-critical and can never reach my own expectations. I also have anorexic tendencies. I am now seeing a psychiatrist on regular basis.

I hide my problems very effectively. I am academically successful and very likable by other people. I tend to be positive and smile a lot. This is somewhat a consequence of my urge to be perfect and my academic achievements come at great cost. I am far from being the flawless girl I try to appear to be.

I just had my first heartbreak, and am unable to let go. For months he was my everything. When we dated I could not pinpoint what was wrong with my personality, but it was pretty obvious to me and those closest to me (parents and ex) that something was wrong. He was a rock. This ended up being exactly what I needed. I told him the scariest of my thoughts because I found he could handle them. I would talk to him for hours every day. The fact that I could, and would tell him anything helped me clear some head space.

The breakup lasted weeks and turned into a vicious cycle. I was overly stressed. My thoughts got out of control. My self-esteem ceased to exist. I became obsessed with the idea that I was unimportant to him although I had no reason to believe so. I would turn aggressive without realizing it. Then I would realize that I was pushing him away and plead him back. I couldn't deal with the idea of him leaving. He had to literally make me physically let go of him the last time we saw each other.

We broke all contact. It's been almost 2 months since. I now find myself talking to him in my mind 24/7. I tell him about my day, try explaining myself and why I acted the way I did, imagine asking him about his life, etc. I can't stop myself from doing so. I am exercising every day and loosing a lot of weight. There is days when I am not motivated to do anything and days where I work for hours. There is weeks when I can't sleep and weeks when I can't get up. I have pushed all of my friends out of my life. My thoughts are going in circles more than ever and I crave to find a quiet mental state.

I am not obsessive about him specifically. I am just obsessive in general. The breakup has broken any sense of stability in my life, and the stress caused by it furthers my obsessive trains of thought. Is breaking up harder when you have OCD? What are some strategies to cope with what is happening to me? To regain control? Is there anyone who can relate to my story? I would really appreciate your help!

Last edited by luzy; 06-01-2012 at 08:01 PM.

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Old 06-16-2012, 08:58 AM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 54
black_lab HB User
Re: OCD and dealing with a breakup

I don't really have experience dealing with a breakup, but having OCD, I can tell you that it will try to exploit any weakness you might have. I can imagine that it could be harder for someone who has OCD to go through a breakup. At the same time, I think it's important you realize that your OCD is blowing your situation out of proportion. It's great that you're mindful of what is going on in your life, but don't hesitate to label the obsessing for what it is: OCD.

It sounds like your ex-boyfriend was a very important part of your life, and I'm sorry to see that you're going through a tough breakup. From what I can tell, you've spent quite a bit of time dwelling on it, which makes it harder to let go. At some point though, you have to decide to take care of yourself. This may seem selfish, but you must be #1 in your life. You'll do this for yourself, and for those who care about you. I know it's difficult, but it's important to let go and move forward. This is the "real" part of what you're dealing with.

You wrote that you're unable to stop yourself from talking to your ex-boyfriend in your mind. It really sounds to me like your OCD has latched on to this issue, and has exploited it. This has brought on mood swings, isolation, etc. This is something you do realize, but it needs to be labeled as OCD.

Have you ever been able to manage your OCD effectively? If not, I do recommend that you see a psychologist, and if necessary, a psychiatrist to prescribe medication. In the meantime, I would recommend that you read the following book: "Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior" by Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D. and Beverly Beyette. I've found this book to be very helpful in dealing with OCD.

You seem to be a bright girl with a lot going for her. Don't let a breakup damage you as a person. I can imagine that it's very tough emotionally, but that's where it should end. As for OCD, don't be afraid to face it. You'll feel anxious, and you'll probably second-guess yourself. But with hard work, patience and time, you can overcome it.

Take care!

Old 07-02-2012, 12:26 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: U.S.
Posts: 335
tattoogirly HB Usertattoogirly HB Usertattoogirly HB Usertattoogirly HB Usertattoogirly HB Usertattoogirly HB Usertattoogirly HB User
Re: OCD and dealing with a breakup

Hi Luzy. I have tell you it gets easier. I have OCD and I have gone through two, very painful break ups. I do have to say having OCD can make breakups harder, in fact I posted awhile back on the very subject. However, like I said before, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. First, I agree with the above poster, your OCD is aggravating and making a minor (you will see it for what it really is when you are over the hurt) situation into a huge ordeal. You are very young and if you continue to date, I hate to tell you, you will go through more breakups. Love and heartbreak is part of the human condition and because we as humans want to love, we must come to terms with the fact that our hearts will break occasionally. Now, because you have an obsessive mind, the most important thing you can do now is let the thoughts come. Do not try to stop thinking the things you want to stop thinking about him and your situation. The more we try to stop thinking something, the more it grows and grows. Allow the thoughts to come and try breathing in and out and feeling how they make you feel. This may sound counterproductive, but I assure you this is a method that actually works. The reason people with OCD have guilt or shame or annoyance over all the thoughts in their head is that they over-analyze the thought or how the thought makes them feel. If you tried to allow yourself to have the thoughts and acknowledged that they make you feel anxious, scared, worried, etc. and then moved on after the acknowledgement, it may help you to realize that they are just thoughts and nothing more. My therapist told me that our minds are our own worst enemies and we need to learn to realize that thoughts do not make us who we are. You feel hurt by your breakup, most likely because he was someone who you could talk to about your OCD and maybe you fear that you will not find someone else who will understand, but don't focus on this. Focus on you and learning to allow your thoughts to come. You will ALWAYS have people here who understand and I would advise against putting too much of your OCD on others in your life. It can become a real burden for them. I am not saying you should not be able to talk to your partner about your OCD, but I would not unload all of it on them. You said it helped you to tell him all about your thoughts, but what did it do for him? Maybe it worried him and put a burden on him that he could not bear. I would talk to your therapist about how to discuss your OCD with future partners.
On a totally other subject, you are so young. If I could do my life over, I would have broken up with the bf I had from age 15 to 20, because I missed out on many things because I was tied to a relationship. Like the above person mentioned, focus on you and all of your wants, needs and desires. OCD does not define who you are, so who are you? Do you like to craft, draw, write? Do the things you enjoy and focus on how to make your thinking more productive. I would also google, Mindfulness; it is something I am learning about it and its amazing. Good luck : )

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anxiety, breakup, depression, ocd

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