asker

Anonymous asked: Hi, I was wondering about the correlation between workaholism and OCD. I've seen workaholism be called an aspect of OCD, but I'm not really sure how they work together.. Could workaholism be considered a theme, a compulsion, something else? I'm asking because I have both.

I have a couple of theories on this but they’re nothing more than theories so take what I’m about to say with a pinch of salt and as an opinion:

OCD sufferers tend to be hyper analytical. Most sufferers I know tend to push themselves to be the best they can and think very deeply. On top of that they tend to really get into what they do. Therefore, it could possibly be a sort of perfectionist trait. I know I personally get really addicted to games and want to do the best I can, in a way that follows an obsessive-compulsive cycle, just without any discomfort.

On the flip side, it could be a way to battle their self-esteem issues that also tend to be rife. I know I work hard because I long for acceptance which helps me with my self-doubt, which OCD is prone to triggering in people.

I think it varies from person to person. Personally I reckon it can be a separate trait that’s coincidental, but in many cases there’s a link as responsibility is a big part of our personalities.

asker

Anonymous asked: This is super embarassing but my OCD is making me feel guilty for liking to watching porn. I only watch porn about once of month, close to when I start my menstrual cycle because I usually get more aroused around then and want to look at that kind of stuff. But lately my OCD is eating away at me for liking saying that I'm a bad person and because I've watched it three nights and a row and now my OCD is trying to convince me I have a porn addiction (TBH)

Hello anon!

I read your second part but I’m going to reply to it all in this one.

OCD is fantastic at playing on and clouding emotions. Guilt is one of the most common and most affected emotions.

The good thing is, you see rationally about this. You know you have no reason to feel like you do. Separate yourself from your intrusive feelings and continue to work through them. You enjoy watching porn and have every right to do so guilt free. If OCD kicks in and tries to make you feel otherwise, keep watching. It may even be a good idea to watch it more if you’re feeling uncomfortable, in order to desensitize.

Hormones fluctuate throughout life and as long as you don’t watch porn for crippling amounts of time it is perfectly normal to have periods of watching it more. It totally varies from person to person.

Stay strong and keep me updated. Remember, you are not your OCD!

Pure O

So I’m currently seeing a psychiatrist for my Pure-O OCD but I’m afraid that it’s getting worse and I’m going to act on these obsessive thoughts that I have about hurting my family, friends, etc. I just have a really uneasy feeling and I don’t know if it’s from the depression or anxiety. I also don’t know what to do when the thoughts come on. I feel like I just dwell on them and get myself more worked up. Anything you suggest or any insight into this? Thank you.

OCD Free Response:

Hey jimmyadamson

What you’re experiencing is your fight or flight response kicking in. Anxiety is a feeling that takes priority to us as it’s a survival mechanism. However we can look at this survival mechanism when it comes to Pure-O/OCD as glitchy.

Naturally you feel confused when these thoughts come on but the trick is to understand it as just a feeling. The feeling is connected to the thoughts you’re experiencing, but you can break this connection by altering your response.

Next time these thoughts enter your mind, remind yourself that sufferers of Pure-O/OCD do not act on these thoughts. They are the opposite of our character and there to protect us by scaring us. However, you don’t need to be scared. You can trust yourself.

Let the thoughts be there and continue about your day as normal. Do the things you enjoy doing. If OCD is ruining something for you that’s an innocent activity then keep doing it. You can teach your body and mind that these thoughts are not a threat by doing this.

If you want to give me some examples of your avoidance behaviours I’d be more than happy to give you some examples on how to get past them.

Keep your head up!

asker

Anonymous asked: Been struggling with OCD since November. Started with HOCD now unfortunately Harm OCD, and its so hard understanding it. Have you had any experience with this theme? It's super distressing thinking I may harm others!

Hello! I’ve not had much experience with it though it has occasionally tried to get into my head. Luckily I’ve got ERP down pretty well by now as well as ACT, so new themes don’t tend to stick for long.

It sounds riskier than it is, but trust me when I say to trust yourself. Exposure works wonders for this theme just like any other. Whatever makes you feel uncomfortable needs to be tackled head on. If you fear you’re going to stab someone, make a meal with a fellow family member. You’re not going to act on these thoughts because they’re ego-dystonic (the opposite of your true character), but your mind won’t believe that until you prove it to yourself.

For me, Harm OCD has kicked in when my girlfriend and I play fight (I always fear getting too aggressive). However I trust myself I’d never actually harm her and now I don’t get nervous about it.

You have control. Never let the illusion OCD provides tell you otherwise.

asker

Anonymous asked: I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 7. I went to therapy until I was 13, and took medication until I was 16, when I decided to stop- cold turkey. I'm 22 now, and have only had one or two small (like day long) relapses since I was 16. I'm wondering how you feel it has affected your relationships? It's almost like I'm afraid to give myself to anyone- fear of losing control again. I have ruined a few really great things by just running away from them. Idk if it's the past OCD or just me, you know?

If you’ve avoided situations that have made you feel uncomfortable then it’s likely down to OCD but it’s also a very normal human reaction.

In terms of my friendships I feel it affected them more when I was first going through it as opposed to now. I preferred to deal with it alone and it was so bad some days that I didn’t want to go outside so I think my friends just thought I wasn’t making effort with them when really I was struggling with something but just didn’t know how to talk about it.

In terms of relationships, I found my OCD to get worse when in them. Mainly I think it was down to the responsibility that a relationship requires and the pressure to not fuck up was something that made me more anxious. I’ve since learned to deal with it a lot better and I’m now in the strongest, best and happiest relationship of my life, so it definitely hasn’t affected me long term. :)

It’s tough to adapt and it’ll take you a while so don’t beat yourself up over setbacks. You’ll definitely get there eventually. Just make sure to keep using the coping mechanisms and you’ll be fine!

HOCD - Coping Mechanisms by OCD Free

There are a ton of asks on HOCD so I thought rather than repeat myself by answering each one individually I could make a summary that covers all main concerns.

First of all, for those that do not know, HOCD is a form of Pure-O. The intrusive thoughts are often of a sexual nature and focus on doubts centered around a sufferers sexuality.

This theme seems to be one of the most common. It is not a homophobic mindset but rather a threat to the sufferer’s identity. If you’ve always identified as straight/gay and then all of a sudden one day you have a fleeting thought of finding the same/opposite sex attractive, it can set off a cycle of misinterpretation and as a result self-doubt.

Below I’ve listed the knowledge/coping mechanisms I believe to be most beneficial when dealing with HOCD:

Everybody gets intrusive thoughts. They do not have any significance. The reason sufferers struggle so much with them is because it triggers an anxiety response. This response, when misinterpreted, leads to falsely teaching yourself that these thoughts are threatening when they are not.

Everybody can see attraction in both genders. The difference is finding somebody good looking does not equal sexual attraction. There’s a lot of stigma about this in society so it isn’t talked about much (possibly a factor in why it’s a common theme) but males know when another male is good looking and females know when another female is good looking. The trick is to understand that just because you find them good looking, doesn’t mean you want any kind of sexual activity with them.

Testing yourself is not beneficial. Many sufferers often watch gay porn if they identify as straight and are struggling with this theme, and vice versa (as HOCD can be a gay person fearing they are straight) but this is a BAD IDEA. One of the most common asks I get is panic related to a groinal response. This is because the sufferer relates this response to attraction. However this is a damaging misconception that usually leads to more reassurance seeking. We as humans can get turned on by ANYTHING of a sexual nature. It is not related to sexuality but rather the sexual nature of whatever act you’re watching.

Recognize anxiety for what it is. One of the biggest reasons Pure-O is hard to deal with is because of ruminating. It’s extremely hard to cut out analyzing your thoughts and emotions when they begin to feel like they’re taking over but again, this will only make you worse. Anxiety is a dominant emotion and irrational in circumstances like this, so don’t actively try to search inside you for any kind of signs of reassurance during a spike as it’s going to make you worse. The best thing to do is let that anxiety be there and continue on as normal in order to desensitize. Anxiety can also cause a groinal response so link the two together and you should over time be able to cut out two of your biggest triggers.

CBT. Sadly not an option for everybody, but for those that can get it for free or that can afford it, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a highly successful form of treating OCD. It’s a form of therapy that focuses on changing our thought patterns by altering our approach to them. Negative thoughts can be discarded and replaced with positive thoughts and intrusive thoughts can be identified and ignored as opposed to feared. Journals are a common part of CBT and are used to track progress, so I recommend using one if you can’t afford CBT.

ERP. Exposure Response Prevention is a coping mechanism used in CBT to treat OCD. A common response to anxiety is to flee. In OCD/Pure-O we know this response as avoidance behaviours. These behaviours are counter productive as the problem isn’t being dealt with but avoided. ERP involves putting yourself in situations that trigger your OCD/Pure-O in order to work through the anxiety. Doing this will help your mind to stop sending these inaccurate warning signals, and will also stop your body misinterpreting them. A good example I can provide related to HOCD is making sure you hang out with all of your same sex friends (if you identify as straight) and opposite sex friends (if you identify as gay). Many sufferers avoid their friends due to the discomfort HOCD provides but friendships should not be lost over a disorder and hanging out with them will trigger you in a way you can use to your benefit.

stuckinadoorway.org or other internet forums. A major factor in my recovery was stuckinadoorway.org. Learning about other sufferer’s circumstances made me realise that I’m not alone and that there are ways to put this disorder in remission permanently. Environments vary from site to site and there are tons of options out there so you should be able to find one where you feel comfortable. It’s a great way to feel less alone!

Mindfulness. Mindfulness comes from Buddhism and can involve meditation. It focuses on ‘the now’ and is extremely helpful for dealing with regret from the past and apprehension for the future. There’s a lot to this approach that I can’t all type now so I highly recommend a good Google search for this one!

I hope this post gives you guys the boost you need to tackle what you’re going through. Stay strong and get back to me if you have any questions unanswered here. I can’t answer the reassurance seeking ones though!

asker

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.

800 followers!

Thanks so much for the continued support guys. :)

asker

Anonymous asked: I have ocd intrusive thoughts. I can't stop thinking that people are out to get me. I also can't stop thinking about my past. I know i'm a good person but I've made really bad mistakes and the guilt makes me feel terrible about myself. It's taking over my life. I just want to feel again.

First of all, no confessing to past mistakes! Confessing in this instance serves no good as it is a compulsion. The past is the past and cannot be changed, and it’s important to both recognise and accept that in order to have a fulfilling life in the present.

Beating yourself up is paralysing; you’re losing happy days in the present because you’re living in a world that cannot be changed. You know you’re a good person, which is a brilliant. Focus on that. Write down what traits you like about yourself and I’m sure it’ll help you feel better.

As for what will help you let go of the past, I suggest reading about mindfulness. It’s a brilliant way to start thinking in the present. :)

As for people being out to get you, I understand your concern, especially if people have let you down in the past. However social interaction is a part of life and to function we have to give people our trust until they prove themselves unworthy, otherwise again we paralyse ourselves and can potentially miss key opportunities in life.

Stay strong and keep me updated.

asker

Anonymous asked: You're a very kind person, setting up a blog for all the people who seek help online. I went through a roughy patch with my ocd for three months, but I've learned from my mistakes, and I'm no longer running away with the random thoughts that pop into my head and tempt me to 'solve' them. Part of this progress is due to your help, so I'd like to wish you success in your recovery from your ocd too, because you deserve it ^^

It’s absolutely brilliant to know you’re doing better and I’m glad I could be help in your journey to recovery! :)

Thank you for the kind words and the best of luck to you also!