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  • Intrusive thoughts and my relationship



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    Old 12-29-2014, 01:43 PM   #1
    shorton12
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    Intrusive thoughts and my relationship

    Hey, guys! I'm new here, and I have to first say how reassuring it is to know that so many people seem to go through their daily lives with similar issues to my own; I hadn't even thought what I was going through could possibly be OCD-related until fairly recently, even though my compulsions and intrusive thoughts have been going on for more than a decade. Anyway, enough rambling - down to business. I'm sorry it's such a long story, I just hope I got all the details down and that the frustration I experience is evident.

    I feel like I've had (undiagnosed) OCD - with a specific focus upon more 'pure-o' obsessions - since I was 11 years old or so. I'm now 26, and, since being diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder, health anxiety and social anxiety a couple of years ago, it feels like it's become somewhat exacerbated. I say the condition is undiagnosed because I've only ever sought professional help for my anxiety and panic attacks, never the OCD, but I'm certain that's what I have, as everything I've read about its symptoms and the way it can affect people seems to lead me to this conclusion.

    So, as I said, it feels like my OCD, and more specifically the intrusive thoughts associated with it, have become more prominent in my life lately. A large number of my obsessive, intrusive thoughts pertain to sexual acts, and the objectification of real people whom I am acquainted with (ex-girlfriends, close friends, and sometimes even family or workmates, though this last one seems to be fairly rare). From time-to-time a thought will pop into my head of an ex-partner or a close friend, and I won't be able to shake the thought from my head until I carry out a compulsion (when I was a child, it used to be blinking one eye in a certain way, which still happens, but usually I'm able to shake it by simply shaking my head a little and saying "Nope, that never happened" or "Nope, that's not real" under my breath, so nobody can hear).

    My current girlfriend and I have been together for a little over four months, and she's amazing. She makes me laugh, we have a lot of fun together, and I feel like she's my everything, but what do I tell her? That I've been objectifying other women? (I know that this upsets her as she found out that I had some truly ancient photographs of ex-partners still saved in my hard-drive; I deleted them but I know she wasn't best pleased) That I've been thinking about ex's? That my brain has been telling me to envision unpleasant sexual acts involving them? - I know it's a very Orwellian way of thinking to consider myself a thought criminal in this respect, but it almost feels like I've already been unfaithful to her, simply by having these mental images, and I can't shake the thought of how upset she'd be if she ever knew. When we first started going out, she was very interested in my mental health, and she's always very understanding and encourages me to talk things through with her so she can try to help, which is such a wonderful thing of her to do, and almost makes me wonder what she's doing with a whiney mook like me in the first place!

    I know I'd never act on any of these thoughts, that's the thing that characterises OCD I think, and usually after a day of having these thoughts, I'll feel drained, shameful and disturbed, but it bothers me to no end that they even exist. The sheer fact that they appear, seemingly out of the blue, makes me question whether I'm truly in love (I know deep down that I am, but the so-called 'doubting disease' makes me do just that; doubt!), whether I deserve to have someone as amazing as my girlfriend in my life, whether I'm a normal, functioning human being or some psychopath who can't hold it together.

    The thoughts themselves aren't necessarily limited to this topic of sexual unpleasantness. I have various different compulsions that I carry out to resolve or remove the thoughts from my mind, but most of them involve the aforementioned "Nope, that's not real" solution. Something else that's developed recently is an obsession with washing, and specifically washing my clothes. For example, if I remember wearing an item of clothing while I had an intrusive thought like this, that item will have to be washed before I can feel comfortable again, almost as if I'm washing the thought away with it. If, however, I wear this item, or put it on the shelf with other items in the wardrobe, say, I'll be convinced that those items are also 'contaminated' and will need to be washed too. Mental, I know, but my anxiety goes through the roof if I don't deal with it.

    Anyway, I suppose all I wanted to do with this post was to share my story, and perhaps get a few opinions on whether any of you guys have experienced something similar, or how you might suggest going about dealing with it. I've already referred myself for some therapy, but I'd love to get your take on the whole situation. Some reassurance that I'm not a two-timing deviant might also help, but obviously I can't expect you guys to nanny me and reassure me about every tiny thing!

    Thanks for reading, everyone; I really appreciate your patience.

    Last edited by ms_mod; 12-29-2014 at 04:15 PM.

     
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