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Anonymous asked: Revoring from HOCF and doing quite well I think. I've just a month without really worring and it's come back lately. The main reason I think it's come back is because I've been worrying that I'm gonna meet a girl (never had a girlfriend/any sort of sexual relationship and I'm 20 so it's awkward enough as you'd imagine...) and it won't feel right (i.e. It'll prove i'm not straight/i'll be suffering from hocd. Is this normal or what? thanks for your help!

Definitely a normal fear that’s pretty common with HOCD. Acceptance Commitment Therapy techniques can help you a great deal here.

The thing is, the scenario you’re fearing hasn’t happened yet. It may never happen. Therefore, there’s absolutely nothing productive that comes from ruminating over potential scenarios. Life’s incredibly unpredictable and we never know what’s around the corner. It’s important to take things a day at a time, but to make everyday count too.

If you can get that ‘present moment’ mentality down, it’ll really help you to tackle this. If you master it to the point where you’re not apprehensive of your future, you’ll enjoy your days a lot more and when you meet a girl you really fall for, I’m sure HOCD will take a backseat in favour of amazing, genuine feelings.

Stay strong and keep me updated.

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sarahplauche asked: Hi, my name is Sarah. I have been diagnosed with OCD for a little over 2 years now, but i have had symptoms since as early as kindergarten. I am taking 30mg of Lexapro. Sometimes i find that just talking to other with OCD helps and asking questions help. I know how to lower my anxiety but right now its difficult! My current fear is that i am going to get cancer. The fear is crippling me to where i don't even want to hang out with my friends. Please give me any advice. Anything will be helpful.

Nice to “meet” you Sarah! :)

This is one of those themes that ERP isn’t very good for. Rather I suggest an ACT approach.

Life is filled with uncertainties, risks, and things we cannot control. Cancer is a daunting prospect and a potential threat admittedly. We can’t eliminate the risk entirely, and to accept that is very important.

Granted there are things you can do to influence your chances but I’ve known people to get cancer that have lived perfectly healthy lives, and those that have smoked all their lives to not get it at all. There’s a luck factor we have no control over.

You don’t have cancer right now and you can make lifestyle choices to hopefully maintain that status, but learning to accept that luck factor is important. You need to make the most of each day otherwise your life is going to be robbed by this illness rather than another like cancer.

Spend time with friends and face all irrational fears related to getting cancer. Spending time with friends isn’t going to increase your chances of getting it and as such shouldn’t be avoided, even if OCD tells you otherwise. You can make rational choices like choosing not to smoke, but it’s important to not let sensible lifestyle choices become irrational caution that robs you of happiness and everyday functioning.

You have one life. Take a breath of fresh air, live in the moment and enjoy it. It’s far too short to let time pass by and there’s far too many possibilities for us to waste precious days fretting over one of ‘em.

- Nathan

The ask box is clear again!

I’ll open it up again now but I probably won’t reply until tomorrow. I only have one lesson though so I hopefully can get back to them all within a day.

I hope everybody is doing well! Check out Exposure Response Prevention, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, and Mindfulness if you have the time. They’re all absolutely brilliant coping mechanisms if you’re struggling and unsure on how to handle intrusives.

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Anonymous asked: my ocd has gotten from normal to now where my rituals involve me hurting myself an even amount of times. ive never seen a counsler, or a therapist. so what is the best way to stop the hurting ocd?

Seeing a counsellor or therapist is always a good port of call as they not only teach you the recovery tools you need but they also keep an eye on your progress and guide you through setbacks.

Look into both Acceptance Commitment Therapy and Exposure Response Prevention, alongside mindfulness for OCD. These are all the things you’re taught in therapy, however you can also teach them to yourself if you have a good understanding of them all.

All OCD is the same, the theme is just a way of identifying the type of intrusive thought/compulsion. There’s plenty of asks on here about breaking out of the OCD cycle and decreasing intrusive thoughts as well as compulsions, so take a good look through and if you still can’t find what you need, come back to me and let me know.

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Anonymous asked: What is ACT and ERP?

ACT is Acceptance Commitment Therapy. An example would be having HOCD and accepting the possibility of being gay. Encouraging the intrusives rather than running from them will cause intense anxiety but once you’ve reached a stage of true acceptance, it will become apparent that it’s simply an intrusive thought and not real. It’s an incredibly scary tactic to try and leads to a lot of spiking but the pay off can be huge.

ERP is Exposure Response Prevention. This is when you put yourself in a situation you’d normally avoid due to your OCD in order to tackle your fear head on and help naturally rationalise it. Again this can lead to spiking at first, but again the pay off long term is huge.

recoveryisbeautiful:

everybodyhasabrain:

When I struggled with OCD, I had to be certain about everything and try to control everything. It didn’t matter if it was trying to be certain that something bad didn’t happen, or that something good would happen, I just had to be certain, and I would obsess over and try to control everything in an attempt to be certain. But certainty is impossible. And trying to chase after it made me ill. Removing certainty from the equation and embracing uncertainty, and throwing myself into the fear that comes with it instead of running from that fear, is the best medicine I’ve ever bought.

I need to get this on a tshirt and wear it next time I see my pilates teacher after the talk we had this morning :P

recoveryisbeautiful:

everybodyhasabrain:

When I struggled with OCD, I had to be certain about everything and try to control everything. It didn’t matter if it was trying to be certain that something bad didn’t happen, or that something good would happen, I just had to be certain, and I would obsess over and try to control everything in an attempt to be certain. But certainty is impossible. And trying to chase after it made me ill. Removing certainty from the equation and embracing uncertainty, and throwing myself into the fear that comes with it instead of running from that fear, is the best medicine I’ve ever bought.

I need to get this on a tshirt and wear it next time I see my pilates teacher after the talk we had this morning :P

(via me-throughthe-haze-deactivated2)

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Anonymous asked: Can you receive an award for helping us? This is beautiful, really. You always have something good to say in response to everyone.

Can I receive an award?! Flattering aha, but I don’t think so D; I don’t know how if that’s the case anyway, and even if I did I wouldn’t look into it myself because I’m not doing this for that.

But thank you so much. Asks like this are beautiful, too. Everybody on the blog has been polite, and even if some weren’t it isn’t in my nature to partake in confrontation; s’a waste of energy in my eyes. I can’t and wouldn’t ever say a bad word to anybody that’s struggling because it’s a natural aspect of recovery and it’s unrealistic to never expect a down day - after all what we’re fighting is a tricky foe! The only thing that frustrates me is too much self-sympathy, but even that is easy to get around with a bit of optimism and practice. It’s important to say good things. I think it’s too easy to build OCD up to be something monstrous and to post negative things about how the thoughts are ‘taking over,’ how ‘monstrous’ it is, how hard the war is etc, and I want this blog to be different. That’s why I love taking something lighthearted like a clown and shaping OCD into that metaphor. Gets rid of the intimidating factor and gives you an upper hand for similar reasons. Plus it caused a smile, and there’s nothing better than that.

I think it helps I know how hard it is too. That, and how much optimism, mindfulness, acceptance and ERP have contributed to my recovery. I just want to share in the light of it all! But thank you, really. The acknowledgement means a lot to me and it’s the most amazing feeling in the world to know there are people out there who are suffering less because of my contributions.

- Nathan

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Anonymous asked: This is so annoying, it is like when I finally dumb down one obsession I find something else to worry about. Some of it is the normal obsessions and some are just downright silly, but possible. It ruins everything. I am sick of crying. I just want to go up to someone and tell them all of the obsessions I've had and have them tell me none are true and that I'm irrational. But reassurance is bad isn't it?

That’s what OCD/Pure-O pretty much does. I know how frustrating it is but as soon as one fear stops getting to you, it finds a replacement. The trick is to not conquer the fear at the time, but to conquer OCD in general, so that even if it tries to get you with a new obsession, you don’t buy it. Some will seem sillier than others but that does not make them less painful, as OCD doesn’t function off rationality as I’m sure you know.

Reassurance is bad, but knowledge I feel helps. I think it’s different asking to confirm something for knowledge purposes as opposed to asking something for relief.

The same techniques you’ve applied to beat your previous obsession you can apply to the new one. And the fact you know OCD can morph is now hopefully enough for you to not question yourself. If you want to write down some of your obsessions, feel free to do so in an ask and I’m sure people would be able to comment saying they’ve had said theme - but you need to try and avoid that and instead practice acceptance. You sound like you’ve beat some obsessions, so you should be extremely proud.

- Nathan

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schmerzenmeer-deactivated201204 asked: I haven't been diagnosed with OCD, but I do know that I'm experiencing "superstitious thinking". I'll be seeing a therapist soon, but until then, I don't know what to do. I have these certain thoughts... like I can't email or text someone if they aren't at home because I'm afraid I will cause them to have a car accident. Certain words trigger me and I'm afraid if I look at them or think about them too much, I'll cause someone close to me to die. What do I do? These thoughts are ruining my life.

I think this theme is known as Responsibility OCD. My uncle actually suffered from it really badly as a young child and it shocked me when I found out. He’d have tapping compulsions and if he didn’t tap things a certain number of times he’d get this overwhelming feeling he’d lose his dad - however he’d always wake in the morning to find his dad was still there.

In listening to your thoughts and not doing the things you are scared of doing, you’re keeping the cycle going because you’re not proving the thoughts are irrational. The best thing to do is if you if you feel that not doing something like texting someone will stop them coming to harm, then do the opposite and text them. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it will help you progress as it’s known as Exposure Response Prevention, and also Acceptance Commitment Therapy.

You could even get the person you’re worried about involved. You could talk to them about what you’re going through, and give them a link to Responsibility OCD etc, and then say “will you help me do my ERP by encouraging me to do X thing even though this fear is in my mind?” etc. In other words, they could help encourage you to do the thing that you think will bring them harm.

The thoughts you’re experiencing are irrational which means they follow no logic whatsoever, and the pressure and anxiety you are feeling stems from the disorder and not from the thoughts as they have no truth. You just need to keep facing that fear in order to prove that the thoughts hold no meaning.

- Nathan

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Anonymous asked: For those who struggle with thoughts: Forcing yourself to not think about it, makes it worse. Being with the thought can really make it better. You are not alone. I know what it's like to be afraid of yourself, and I know what it's like to feel better. WE ARE GOING TO GET THROUGH THIS!!

Yup. I try to stress that point as often as I can because that’s where ACT comes into play (accepting the thought is there and all possibilities, and thus not engaging so the thought disappears). An extremely hard thing to do when you’re getting anxious and are and desperate for clarification, but was the most helpful technique for me by a mile.

That’s also a really good point about ‘forcing’ yourself not to think about it. If you distract yourself with complete intent of trying to get rid of the thought then it’s not true distraction, and that’s when association comes into play in a way where the thought still lingers, so well done for noticing that.

Nice to see another positive post. Glad you’re experiencing feeling better, or at least have done. More positive days are ahead, of course. ;D

- Nathan