Resistance or not?


I’ve struggled with OCD for the majority of my life suffering various forms of Pure O, Confessional OCD, HOCD and I also think I suffer from GAD. It was only 2 years ago I realised I had the disorder and it’s only been a few months since I have been less reactive with the thoughts. I follow the “just let the thoughts be there process” and watch the anxiety fade this has worked to an extent but recently i’ve felt a bit of a relapse in that my thoughts seem to be answering themselves and I’m not sure whether these are compulsions or just thoughts on thoughts but the frequency of them has been pretty high during the past week? Have you or anyone else on here experienced a similar situation on the road to recovery and how long did it take you to recover from OCD so it is at a manageable level on a consistent basis?

- DL

Hi DL!

The ask I’ve just answered covered the exact same thing. Basically it’s natural that we ruminate instinctively because our minds are so used to doing it, but distraction techniques work wonders when not used as compulsions. Basically go out with your friends or do something you enjoy when OCD acts up and you’ll forget you’ve been ruminating in no time.

I can’t remember how long it took me to get to a ‘manageable’ level but if I’m honest I deal with relapses even now. Remission depends on the level of dedication to coping mechanisms and calming the anxiety response, so it varies from individual to individual. Stress hinders recovery but positive emotions really help, so there’s factors either way too. I’d got it fully under control within a year but I struggle when in relationships because that’s when my thoughts go up in intensity and frequency. I’m working on calming the emotional response for that one soon!

- Nathan


Anonymous asked: Hi, I'm a sufferer of OCD I have been since I was 10, I only realised what it was a year a go and I've been working with it since. After reading the Robert Lindsay blog can you define what resistance is? I have been just allowing my thoughts to be there and sitting with them until they go and just basically not reacting at first it worked well but now the frequency of the thoughts is worse and I feel as though my mind is automatically going over stuff committing compulsions with no control?

By resistance he means the anxiety response; fearing the thought, trying to make it go away and interacting with it. It’s a sign that you’re suffering from the disorder and the thought isn’t genuine but at the same time it’s an unproductive coping mechanism that keeps the cycle going.

It sounds like you’ve made a good start but are now suffering from setbacks. I’d try and focus on hobbies or something that takes up a lot of your attention as that can help when you naturally start to ruminate (which isn’t uncommon since our minds are so used to analysing).

Hang in there and stay strong!

- Nathan