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  #1  
Old 31st January 2021, 23:01
Marie8 Marie8 is offline
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Default Ocd intrusive thoughs

I’m really troubled by my ocd thoughts at the moment I don’t know what to do and who to talk to about them, they are really disturbing me and making me feel like I don’t deserve to be here and I’m too scared to talk to my family about them. Has anyone had counselling or help with them and did it help? I don’t feel comfortable telling a counsellor or doctor about them I’m scared. I don’t know what to do.
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  #2  
Old 1st February 2021, 23:19
Merritt Merritt is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

I'm sorry you're struggling with intrusive thoughts, Marie. I know how distressing they can be Your doctor will almost certainly have heard about this sort of thing before, and shouldn't judge you for it, if you ever feel up to seeing them about it. If some of the thoughts you're having are disturbing to you, try not to be too hard on yourself for it, or feel that it makes you a bad person. They're intrusive exactly because you don't want to be thinking them, and they don't represent who you are as a person.

I'm not sure how you feel about medication, and I wouldn't want to push it on you, but in my experience the anti-depressants I've been on (various SSRIs & venlafaxine) have been quite effective at helping with this.
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  #3  
Old 3rd February 2021, 11:53
Mr. Nobody Mr. Nobody is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

I get these quite a lot any time when I am in a routine or somewhat unoccupied,
worst seems to be in the morning as I face the day ahead.

I find that focussing on something physical (inside you, as it were) can help,
or anything that serves as a personal reminding factor has helped me,
just purposefully re-focusing your awareness directly back onto yourself,

I sometimes feel that it's the mind taking over too much and becoming a centre of functioning too much,. so anything that can bring you back into the moment can help.

lockdown won't be helping either I presume as I also find that connecting with people and having a laugh can help dispel it somewhat too.

I'm not sure about anyone else but I find that I'm grinding my teeth a lot too when the compulsive thoughts are going on.
I remind myself to stop, and then a minute later I'm doing it again.
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  #4  
Old 23rd February 2021, 04:51
girlinterrupted girlinterrupted is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

Very late posting on this, but just wanted to send some love your way @Marie8.
I have experienced intrusive thoughts for a couple of decades (and then some), far moreso a long time ago when they were almost constant and terrified me. I know it can feel like you're `going mad` or are some terrible person, but neither is true. They are a very common symptom of OCD, and any practitioner you see should know that and understand.

One tip that helped me long ago was a CPN asking me to notice how I felt when I had the thoughts (or even thought about having the thought), and to notice that they felt unpleasant, scary, shameful etc. They said this should help to understand that the thoughts aren't `yours`, they're not something you want to do, if you did they wouldn't trigger that response. They feel unpleasant and cause such distress because they're literally intruding, and therefore aren't yours. That in itself helped me not engage with them, to just note them, realise what they were and do something else until they passed. Far easier said than done but they do become easier and easier to ignore and eventually happen less frequently. I can go years now between any, they can try to pop up in times of great general stress and/or being physically rundown, but so far I can generally boot them back away again.

A great book that has helped me with OCD is `Brain Lock` by Jeffrey M. Schwartz. It's a 4-step plan that covers all forms of OCD, intrusive thoughts included, and has been used for a long time now in clinical treatments. In my experience most NHS CBT plans for OCD are based on it too, so it can be worth a look. Also helpful for those who know someone with OCD and wanting to understand it better.

Be kind to yourself @Marie8 and anyone else experiencing this- as the aforementioned book says, this is not you, this is a symptom of an illness you are currently suffering, if you god forbid had something physical like Parkinsons you wouldn't feel guilty for shaking, or feel it says something about you as a person and nor should you with any OCD symptom.
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  #5  
Old 4th March 2021, 21:40
biscuits biscuits is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

Thank you for making this thread, Marie. This is something I currently struggle with. It’s strange that I feel like I can be really open about anxiety and low moods, but OCD is something that I would struggle to feel comfortable to share my experiences of. It’s something that I feel embarrassed about and can’t imagine being able to talk to others about. Perhaps I would if it was someone I trust and I knew it wouldn’t be ridiculed for it. I’m not sure. Would be too scared that I’d scare people away :(.

Lockdown and a few personal things that have happened have really made it bad. When I’m feeling calm then it doesn’t really affect me, I feel like I can manage it really well. But it’s all this change and uncertainty - when I really need predictability and routine to feel calm and stable.

@girlinterupted, that book sounds good. Also, does it come in audio book, I struggle to read. I keep meaning to look into hypnotherapy for relaxation.


Hope you find some support, Marie. You’re not alone in this *hug*. It’s exhausting.

[Please don’t quote this. I’m really insecure about it and will delete]

Edit: Sorry if this came across as though others should feel shame or embarrassment.
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  #6  
Old 5th March 2021, 01:09
AnxiousExtrovert AnxiousExtrovert is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

As I am older I sometimes get ocd type thinking regarding have I turned the taps off properly or the cooker etc. I have to recheck.

But I have had in the past what I would consider intrusive thoughts on things where I would know it was wrong but I couldn't let go of thinking it.

So for example if a topic I had crossed, it could be on the news or a movie or even socially and say it could be about something I wouldn't want to have or be. Could be an illness, or hearing a story about a person who has done something nasty or bad. I'd think to myself I wonder if I have that illness or I could be thar type of person. And there would be no evidence but I'd start stressing at why the question would come back into my mind. And I'd then get distressed by that as some form of doubt because it's coming back. And before long it would be just the fact I couldn't switch off and feel normal which would be the most distressing. I think this is the type of thinking hypochondriacs can get.

I haven't touch wood had it in a while but it seems to happen when my mind has more time to wander or I'm feeling more low about myself and anxious.
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  #7  
Old 5th March 2021, 09:01
Nanuq Nanuq is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

^^ As a mum who's child is suffering with OCD I find that quite upsetting, Biscuits. You shouldn't be embarrassed by it at all It's a genetic bio-neurological condition that a person has no control over inheriting and has nothing to do with their personality or character.

More than that it can be relentless and exhausting and living with it can be very tough, which in my mind makes anyone coping with OCD superhuman. I hope that at least you trust your family with helping you with it? I know that even though I struggle with my son's OCD (because I don't know how to help yet, we're only just getting support) I'd much rather it be something the whole family has to cope with, than him dealing with it alone. One of my kids has OCD the other has hypermobility syndrome and scoliosis and they're both inherited genetic conditions that they need support with, that's all. Nothing to be embarrassed or secretive about. That's how I see it anyway.
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  #8  
Old 5th March 2021, 10:44
No Longer Human No Longer Human is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

I now and then have intrusive thoughts about killing my rats. It doesn't really bother me, because I know I wouldn't want to, and I also know my brain likes to take me where my mind ought not go. I usually give them a treat and some fuss to apologise for my thoughts, so the rats don't mind. Haha. There is a feeling of "tf did I just think that?" though.

I saw a documentary once about a man with intrusive thoughts that he was a sex offender. He wasn't. But his mind keep telling him he was. So he was paranoid that everyone was looking at him thinking he was a pervert. It is hard to understand that, yet easy to jump to lazy conclusions and to stigmatise.
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  #9  
Old 5th March 2021, 11:14
Nanuq Nanuq is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

^ yeh, it's not an uncommon one, in moral OCD the brain just thinks of the worse thing a human can do and runs with it.

I think the occasional intrusive thoughts about harming others or pets or yourself is really normal, I get them too occasionally and I'm a bit like you, my reaction is to throw my arms over my pets (dramatically) and say "keep them safe!!". I never think "oh sh*t...what if I did..."

Apparently it's just the brains way of processing masses of random information about what could happen, then the brain is supposed to bin the useless stuff, but in OCD sufferers the bin doesn't work so the thoughts keep repeating and then the sufferer becomes really upset and distressed by them (because they're nice, normal people) and that's where the rituals start, to try and do something proactive to control the anxiety and the thoughts. It sounds really awful. That's my basic understanding of it that I've tried to learn for my son anyway, apologies to anyone if I'm not understanding it quite right, it's not something I have to deal with personally.
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  #10  
Old 5th March 2021, 12:28
Tonkin Tonkin is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

Quote:
Originally Posted by No Longer Human
I saw a documentary once about a man with intrusive thoughts that he was a sex offender. He wasn't. But his mind keep telling him he was. So he was paranoid that everyone was looking at him thinking he was a pervert. It is hard to understand that, yet easy to jump to lazy conclusions and to stigmatise.
That sounds bleak! How would you even talk to people about it, as they'd think you had done something, otherwise you wouldn't be thinking about it?
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  #11  
Old 5th March 2021, 12:40
AnxiousExtrovert AnxiousExtrovert is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonkin
That sounds bleak! How would you even talk to people about it, as they'd think you had done something, otherwise you wouldn't be thinking about it?
No apparently its very common. Its like saying to someone don't think of the number 1 and then they try not to but they keep thinking of the number 1.
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  #12  
Old 5th March 2021, 13:05
Nanuq Nanuq is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonkin
That sounds bleak! How would you even talk to people about it, as they'd think you had done something, otherwise you wouldn't be thinking about it?
No, of course they wouldn't think that, OCD is well understood and 'moral OCD' where someone has intrusive thoughts about doing something morally wrong is a common form of it.

It's not that tricky to understand, it's just a processing disorder. It's can be very distressing for people to cope with alone and without understanding the illness, because sometimes people think if they have bad thoughts it makes them a bad person, but it doesn't work like that.
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  #13  
Old 5th March 2021, 13:06
Nanuq Nanuq is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnxiousExtrovert
No apparently its very common. Its like saying to someone don't think of the number 1 and then they try not to but they keep thinking of the number 1.
exactly, or a common analogy is if the thought is a beach ball and you try to keep it under water, the harder you try the more it pops up, you have to learn to let it go and it will drift away by itself, you can't force yourself not to have the thoughts
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  #14  
Old 5th March 2021, 13:34
Jen. Jen. is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

Every so often I'll have thoughts about jumping in front of a bus if I see one driving in my direction when I'm out walking, or off a bridge, or just stopping and waiting if I'm going across a level crossing. In those cases it feels different to suicidal ideation somehow, and although it can happen if I'm feeling down, sometimes I find myself thinking about doing things like that just to see what it's like or to cause a scene. More often I think about doing horrible things to other people though, like picking up a rock and throwing it through a car windscreen, punching an old woman in the back of the head if she's walking too slowly in front of me, sending a poisoned letter, tripping over a blind person, pushing a pram down an escalator, etc. Sometimes I make myself laugh out loud in public with how horrible the thoughts are that I'm thinking about the people around me, because of how ridiculous they are and knowing I'll never do them. It can be upsetting if I've found myself thinking about harming my cats, and those thoughts have happened sometimes. It's easy to think myself out of them though, usually it's something like "If I wanted to, I could just grab you and snap your neck, but I'll never do that because I love you very much." I didn't realise this was quite common.

When I was about 15 I was stuck in a crowd while leaving a fairground and there was a young girl in front of me, maybe 10 or 11 years old. I was anxious because of the crowd and frustrated because the line was moving too slowly, and whenever people did move this girl kept stopping and stepping on my shoes. I had the same kind of horrible thoughts, imagining what would happen if I kicked her, but in this case I was shocked when I realised I had actually kicked her. I'd been thinking "Kicking her would be very satisfying to do, wouldn't it?" and then it had happened before I'd had the chance to think about how it would be a terrible idea. She screamed and started crying and was pointing at me, so I turned around and squeezed past people until I could hide behind a ride for ages panicking. I still feel bad about that now, but I haven't done anything like it since.

These thoughts seem to be a process that generally works very well to keep us out of danger. It'll be happening in the background constantly anyway, but when it's on the surface we go through various scenarios in our minds, realise the negative outcomes, and as a result don't do those things. In some people that process doesn't work the way it's supposed to, like if they actually follow through with all their bad ideas or if they keep replaying negative consequences. As with many mental health issues it seems like another biological safety mechanism that works perfectly in enough people that humans can successfully procreate, but because of various reasons the balance is off for some people. I know it's become a cliche to say, but the brain should be treated the same way as any other organ really. If someone's liver made too much or too little of something, there would be no shame attached.
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  #15  
Old 5th March 2021, 14:00
Nanuq Nanuq is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

^ From what I've learned since my son's diagnosis, these thoughts are more than 'quite common', they're universal and just part of the way the brain processes information naturally. As it processes all the information around you it plays with scenarios too and probably the more shocking ones stand out a bit more to us. Then it bins all useless information, and for the vast majority of people it doesn't matter because we know we're not going to do any of those things, like step in front of a bus, or off a bridge. Like you say it's the brains way of scanning for danger and possible outcomes in a situation.

People with OCD find it harder to process intermittent intrusive thoughts and become very anxious about them and attach meaning to them and they become repetitive and upsetting. But everyone has them.

haha you kicked someone annoying! That's really funny. It reminds me of a time I was in an adventure playground with my kids, we were shuffling along on this barrel thing that rolled as you moved and there was another family too close behind, I lost my balance and fell and completely wiped out the kid behind me. I laughed but he burst into tears and his mum swept him up in her arms. It would have been even funnier if I'd done it on purpose
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Old 5th March 2021, 14:09
AnxiousExtrovert AnxiousExtrovert is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

Ive asked a doctor if I have OCD and they say they dont think so its more likely just the anxiety.

Which does make sense because usually the checking the taps thing is because I'm walking around in a daze a lot so when I am leaving the home or about to sleep I cant remember if I did turn them off properly. Once I have checked and am concentrating I dont still get an urge to recheck. So for me its a bit of mild OCD but mainly not living in the moment is making me think im accident prone.

Regarding intrusive thoughts, I have talked to loads of people who have made jokes or said about driving along and getting horrible thoughts of "what ifs". Two that spring to mind is losing control and running into the central reservation. The other one I remember was someone saying about driving onto the pavement and running people over. Obviously it didnt happen and wasnt wanting to happen but it was the fear of the what if I am guessing.

I think its somewhat common.
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Old 5th March 2021, 15:19
biscuits biscuits is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

Hi, Nanuq. Thank you for your reply. I'm so sorry for upsetting you with my post. I struggle a lot with shame. It's why I'm so closed off and guarded. It's hard for me to trust people and let them in. I really wish I'd thought a bit more about how I worded my post. I hope it didn't come across as though I think others should be embarrassed. I'll try and edit it so it doesn't come across as though people should feel embarrassed. I promise I was only thinking of how it makes me feel and not how people should feel. Hope this makes sense.
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  #18  
Old 5th March 2021, 18:15
Tonkin Tonkin is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

@Nanuq re moral ocd, I think the guy in the documentary thought he had done something bad rather than thinking about doing something bad. Sounds like quite a big difference when it comes to talking to people about it?

Would your average friend or family member know about moral ocd and know that were just intrusive thoughts?

I assume the person suffering thinks the thoughts are real? So if they said to someone I think I've done something bad, would that person automatically think it was ocd rather than they had done something bad?

I've no idea but that's why I wrote in my previous post that it must be hard to talk to others about it.
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Old 5th March 2021, 18:37
Sisyphus Sisyphus is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

With me it was as Nanuq said, I used to take my thoughts as having some substance and attaching some usually unhealthy meaning. The thoughts would take on a life of their own, I would react and it soon would build into an issue. The key for me was breaking the loop and just taking thoughts as just thoughts. (After lots of CBT, ACT, CFT, ETC.)

Reading Jen's post reminds me that when standing on the edge of really high places like cliffs I have a very strong urge to jump off. Also I had occasion to be standing in front of some very big power distribution boards with the covers off. It was only 440V but was backed up with 3000A breakers. I just had to reach out and touch the shiny copper busbars to be converted into a grease stain. The urge to do it was very powerful. Obviously I resisted the temptations.
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Old 5th March 2021, 18:43
Tonkin Tonkin is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

Is the urge to do something the same as ocd?
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Old 5th March 2021, 18:52
Sisyphus Sisyphus is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

^ That depends I guess. If it is a compulsion and it significantly impacts your quality of life then that would make it a disorder. If a compulsion doesn't impact the quality of life then it would fall outside the definition of a disorder. I don't have OCD because my intrusive thoughts and compulsions are managed to such an extent that they are not the main things affecting my quality of life.
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  #22  
Old 5th March 2021, 19:07
Nanuq Nanuq is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

@ Biscuits, I felt upset for you, not because of you

I just meant as a mum, that if that was my child writing that they felt embarrassed it would break my heart a bit and I just feel like your friends and family would feel the same, they'd want to help and be upset if you're trying to cope alone.

You don't need to edit anything
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  #23  
Old 5th March 2021, 19:20
AnxiousExtrovert AnxiousExtrovert is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

OCD is an anxiety disorder so thats why people or anyone for that matter can have OCD type patterns. We all get anxious.

Usually people think of OCD as something like washing their hands a lot with the idea that they just need to make sure their aren't germs on them. And the slightest thing might make them think they have germs on or they didnt wash properly and hence going to wash their hands again.
But its the anxiety relief the sufferer is wanting to escape from. The anxiety that their overthinking something that seems ridiculous but it can simply be relieved by just washing them. Correct me if I am wrong but this is what OCD is?

So in regards to intrusive thoughts being linked to OCD is because if someone has a what if type scenario going through their mind. I.e. am I going to just go crazy and jump off the cliff. Is there something wrong with me for that even entering my mind etc etc. The loop of not being able to ignore those thoughts because its so frightening but its based on something without any evidence in the first place. I am assuming this is correct?

Going back to my making sure the taps are turned off thing. I am aware its not healthy but because of my lack of focus in so much there is actually some plausibility that I have left the tap on. But for me I just think ill go and check it before leaving for peace of mind. Thats very similar but its not particularly disruptive to my life so far.
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  #24  
Old 6th March 2021, 10:36
Tonkin Tonkin is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

Going back to check a tap that you might not have turned off because you weren't focusing sounds sensible as it's plausible you wouldn't have turned it off.

I watched a documentary about OCD years ago.

One of the people on it was obsessed about germs and they showed him making a sandwich and the lengths he had to go through to ensure it didn't get contaminated with germs.

Another person thought that everyone they looked at died, so when they went out they thought they were literally killing people that they looked at.

If I remember correctly, that's what they were saying OCD was - eg thoughts that you'd done something bad or something bad was going to happen eg you were a killer or were going to be poisoned by germs?
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Old 6th March 2021, 20:42
biscuits biscuits is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

@Nanuq - oh phew! Thank you for understanding, you are very sweet .

It's really hard to talk to people because it's such a tough time at the moment, everyone has a lot going on. I just stop myself every time I go to talk to anyone. And I worry in case I pass my worries on to other people. So I've been bottling things up for months and months. But of course I make it all worse by only allowing myself to hear my own thoughts and not discussing and challenging them. Perhaps I should look for a little online video chat support group.

(Please don’t quote)
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  #26  
Old 6th March 2021, 21:50
Tonkin Tonkin is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

Could you try an online therapist?
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  #27  
Old 6th March 2021, 22:47
biscuits biscuits is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

^ thank you. That is something I can look into. I'm a bit freaked out by the idea of video chatting because I can see myself when I'm speaking and it makes me self conscious. Also I've had some quite negative experiences of 1:1 counselling. I've had a really positive experience of being in support group (run by a counsellor) so I think that's what I'll take a look for. It's nice to have that balance of someone who can stop it becoming an echo chamber, but also nice to have people who can relate.

(Please don’t quote)
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  #28  
Old 7th March 2021, 09:14
girlinterrupted girlinterrupted is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

@biscuits Sorry it's taken me so long to reply (migraine fun times) but I just looked and there is an audiobook version on amazon, free with an audible free trial. I hope it helps, always feel free to PM me if you want to have a vent about any of it
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  #29  
Old 7th March 2021, 16:05
biscuits biscuits is offline
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^ Aw, there's really no need to be sorry! Hope your migraines are easing up

Ooh free stuff. Sold!

Thank you, I saw it said about being unable to control runaway thoughts and that is what I need help with!
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  #30  
Old 8th March 2021, 09:03
Tonkin Tonkin is offline
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Default Re: Ocd intrusive thoughs

@biscuits: you can turn off the bit where you see yourself when video calling, or at least minimize it.
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