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Anonymous asked: Whenever I get a spike, the urge to do the compulsion to 'stop the thought' is overwhelming. On one hand, I want to seek reassurance by doing the compulsions and by googling things to make myself feel better, because the feeling of having no certainty is unbearable. On the other hand, I know that I must NOT give in, and that I should live with the uncertainty the spike fills me with. Is the 'threat' I feel caused by ocd? And why does the spike seem so significant?!

If the threat you’re referring to is a spike related to your obsession then yes, it’ll be caused by OCD. OCD can morph depending on your fears, so it’s important to not look at the theme overall, but rather the pattern OCD has. If you study the cycle and become aware of it by simply observing your body and mind as these changes take place, you’ll be able to recognise OCD early and not become emotionally involved with the spike. The spike seems so significant because this is a defence mechanism out of control. It’s basically an over-sensitive fight or flight response (the same response that would trigger if we saw a wild tiger and we were on our own, for example) that is going off constantly to things that aren’t a threat. However because the feeling is the same, the fear is incredibly real even if it’s something irrational to be scared of. Stay strong and keep me updated! Let me know if you have further questions.

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Anonymous asked: Oh thank you for the response :) (Im the antiplagiarism-anon). I usually see ocd tricks, but this time I didn't know how to "response", because the topic itself seemed very mportant to me. Or in other words - I don't know where the real problem ends and the ocd stuff starts.

You’re welcome. I can see where you’re coming from as you’re dealing with an ethical topic, so it’s no wonder you were caught off guard the first time. Remember that emotion is what makes the intrusives seem so powerful though!

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Anonymous asked: Anon with the shower/reflective surfaces issue. With the shower, I don't feel safe until it's shut in a way I'm satisfied with. I don't feel safe with reflective surfaces around either. The last time I had a reflective surface (comp. screen) in my room, I had a nightmare. Since then, I've started thinking that if there is a reflective surface in the room I will have a nightmare (I'm always scared to sleep in case of nightmares). With the removal of reflective objects, I'm less worried.

Ah, so it’s anxiety related to faulty associations!

Hrm, well it could be linked to OCD/Pure-O as you do have signs of the cycle with trigger —-> avoidance/compulsion —-> relief but at the same time I can’t diagnose you. It’d be best to see your GP and just to be open and honest about what sets your anxiety off, reasons why and then get a definitive result you can run off.

If you’re struggling in the meantime though, don’t be afraid to keep asking questions here. :)

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Anonymous asked: I have the feeling that I'm being constantly watched, so I can't stop checking to see if there's someone actually observing me. If I'm alone at home I can't stop checking even if I'm sure there's no one..

This sounds more linked to anxiety itself over OCD, but you do show symptoms of the OCD cycle. Have you had a diagnosis?

The best thing you can do is trust that instinct that there’s nothing there. If you suspect your mind to be playing tricks then you can show it who’s in control by not responding even if you naturally get anxious. Treat it like a bully; by not giving it attention, it gives up.

Update! :)

Hi everyone! I’m feeling a fair bit better today.

I’ve gone through a few asks (some privately) and I’ll be getting back to more later before opening up the ask box again. There’s about 11 to go so I can probably answer them all today. :)

Liam has started up his help blog. It focuses on depression as well as anxiety but he couldn’t fit depression in the URL so I’m sure he’ll rename at some point. Anyway, the blog can be found below:

http://anxietyawareness.tumblr.com/

Hope everybody is well. Keep strong! :)

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Anonymous asked: hey, it's the same anon who messaged you about a week ago about the anxiety and ruminating thoughts about not being good enough and fun enough like i used to be. i've been feeling better and i've seen myself getting better. but right now i'm just feeling like when i go back to school, i'll be stuck in the same hole i dug myself into before & i'll try too hard to be myself again and like talk to people and just have dud conversations and just be annoying and weird hahah. any experience with this?

Yeah I’ve experience with it, and it stems down to insecurity and buying into the intrusives too much. People can be two faced and massive let downs so many people, even those that don’t suffer from Pure-O, struggle with being themselves.

However you can tackle all intrusives the same way by not giving into them. As long as you don’t avoid school and you behave as natural as you can rather than compulsively you’ll be fine. Everybody likes to impress to a degree and there’s nothing wrong with that, but if you realise your behaviour is trying to counteract negative thoughts then criticise the thought internally and don’t give in to it rather than behave differently.

Keep strong. I think the ask box will finally be back open today.

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Anonymous asked: My "mild case" of anxiety has turned kind of severe. I've been under a lot of stress let at work and in my home life but it's never been this bad. I'll be sitting in a room, for example the living room, perfectly relaxed, reading or watching TV when someone (like my mom) will enter the room. And all the sudden I'll go into a full panic attack, but after I get used to them being there and calm back down, but then they'll change the TV channel or move a book or turn off the light (to be continued)

I’ve replied in part 2! :)

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Anonymous asked: (anon from before) or switch off a light or change something minor in the room and I'll go back into a severe panic attack about it. And I'm not sure how to stop it from happening, any tips?

If the anxiety is triggered by the intrusives then it’s important to understand that even though it gives the thoughts an apparent significance, it is all based on the feeling. If you calm the reaction to the feeling and detach yourself from it then the feeling loses its hold. You may fear something bad will happen if a book is moved for example but if you don’t move the book back you’ll see nothing bad happens and thus see this is all in your head. As a result you’ll grow more confident in shrugging the thoughts off next time until eventually you don’t get anxious anymore.

However if anxiety is firing off for no apparent reason and it isn’t OCD/intrusive thought related you’re looking more at Generalised Anxiety Disorder or something similar and it’d be worth going to your GP to see what they think. They might be able to give you meds that calm anxiety and then you could gradually cut them down to see if you can lose the anxiety response without them. 

Stay strong and keep me updated.

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Anonymous asked: Hi! My hocd was basically gone this week and i felt GREAT! But then I was reading erotic stories and one came on about two girls. Normally i would skip it but my hocd mind said that i should read it. I was aroused previously and whilst i was reading it i got more aroused. I am so anxious right now! I dont know if i liked it or not but my mind is telling me i liked it and that i want to do it... but then i think again and it repulses me! HELP!

Arousal isn’t an accurate indicator unless consistent because we can get aroused by a ton of random things. One of the biggest culprits? Anxiety.

Naturally you’re then going to analyse and get even more anxious because you’ve tried ERP and been spiked. Spiking is a good time to practise ACT as well as ERP, so don’t be defeatist because of this. Keep trying. You’re doing the right thing.

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Anonymous asked: Hi, I understand that you once had POCD, could you please describe your experience? I think I have it as well and I've never met anyone else with it, so it would be more reassuring to hear your story with it. It really scares me.

Hello! 

Well for me it was based on what’s most likely (but I have to accept it may not be) a false memory of abusing my niece that broke my heart and spiked me incredibly because at the time I was in a depressive state but unaware I was suffering from something (that something being OCD/Pure-O).

I knew I had to move on from it regardless of what the truth was in order to live my life but I developed a fear anyway. I was scared that if it was true, I hadn’t learned and would hurt somebody else and that if it wasn’t true I’d still offend in the future because I was having thoughts of that calibre.

As a result I began to really fear children and would feel anxious around them and avoid them. If I had to be around them for whatever reason I’d usually go pretty much silent and have a ton of intrusives that I’d analyse. It got so bad that at one point I couldn’t have my new baby cousin on my knee because I was terrified I’d hurt her or get a groinal response.

When I started learning about what I was going through I began to trust myself and get braver so eventually I stopped with the avoidance. It was really hard to reach the point of letting my cousin  sit on my knee but I’d say that’s one theme I’m now completely rid of.

Intrusives of this kind are ego-dystonic. You abhor the idea of child abuse which is why it’s in your head. The less you look into it and the more you understand what you’re going through, the quicker you’ll recover.