Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Are these all OCD moments?

Since it has been confirmed that I have OCD I have had some unusual memories of previous events that I think may have been related to OCD.

I haven't been raking through the past to find these either, they have just popped into my head. I don't want to label them as OCD related if they are not. It seems to be hard to tell.

Anyway here's a list of thoughts/events............

1) Going through the process of counting how many letters are in a word and trying to make them either an even number or follow a pattern of numbers eg 'Accommodation'  If a word like this has uneven numbers of letter,  I would try changing the word and then counting it eg. 'Are you sure it has two m's or can you drop one and count 6 and 6 letters? Or I would have to say 'Accommodations' and add the 's' so it would now add up. This seems to get more intense when I am tired or anxious. As a result I can count the amount of letters in a word extremely quickly. It freaks my wife out a bit.

2) I was dating a girl who I really really liked. I thought it was going to end up in marriage. I started thinking 'Maybe she is not attractive enough for me to marry her?' I had this thought and at the same time thought it was the most ridiculous question to ask because she was very attractive. I wanted to avoid the chance we might marry because I might leave her for not being attractive enough. This was so against my self image that I couldn't understand why I was thinking this. I ended up feeling bad about myself and feeling like I must be a horrible, shallow person for having this thought that just keep repeating in my head. When I thought of her, saw her or spoke to her on the phone this thought would pop up. I'd become quiet and cagey around her and ended up telling her I had this thought, but that I also thought it was ridiculous. She was understandably upset by my honesty. I was somehow trying to tell her what I was thinking but also how silly I thought it was at the same time. Our relationship didn't last much longer.

3) During a time of feeling bad and confessing sins to my Bishop, I was not feeling any better for having gone through the confession process where I normally would feel some relief. I started thinking of a time in my childhood that I threw a stone at a bus. I was convinced that I must have killed someone when I threw that stone, but I never knew it at the time, and that is why I am still feeling bad now. I was thinking of ways that I could find out if I had killed someone, like going to the police station and handing myself in, trying to identify the time frame and go and read all the old newspapers I could find for that time and in that area to see if anyone died. I was praying and begging for forgiveness over several days with no relief. The urgency of this thought faded, but I still think about it even today.

4) I heard some news that a friend of mine was driving a car irresponsibly and crashed killing one of his passengers. He was sent to prison. I started to think about how badly he must feel and how horrible it would be to go to prison. It was almost like I started to feel how badly I thought he must be feeling. I became consumed with feeling how badly he felt. This led me to feel terrible myself, but then I had to attribute something to how badly I felt. I then came up with several reasons for things I should feel bad for and I had to confess them to the Bishop, my Dad and other family members. I was looking for reassurance that I didn't need to feel this bad.

5) When my wife was pregnant with our first child, I kept having thoughts that I could not possibly be the Father of a child and be successful. I had overwhelming thoughts that I didn't want my children to be raised in the church despite the fact I have previously chosen to commit my life to the gospel and the church. Why would I think I didn't want my kids to be taught gospel principles and go to church like I did? I would be living my whole life as a lie, pretending to be a Father who wanted to teach his children the gospel, but all along I didn't and I was lying to my children and my wife and my whole life would turn into a sham! The panic of this only subsided with medication, but I never felt the thoughts were addressed or dealt with. I still have the thoughts today.

6) I was convinced that as a child I must have participated in a homosexual act that I had not repented of and had to confess to the Bishop about a time I was friends with a specific boy. Maybe I fancied him and maybe we did something inappropriate? Despite the fact I have never had any sexual feelings towards a man in my life. My Bishop found it rather strange that something I hadn't definitely done would trouble me so much.

7) This is quite a specific one so if you are at all sensitive you may want to skip this - I woke up one morning while on my mission, holding my erect penis. 'I must have been masturbating in my sleep' I thought. 'How depraved an individual are you if you masturbate in your sleep?' This was the onset of my panic. I had to confess. I had to admit that I was doing that in my sleep. I must be the worst Elder ever. I am going to be sent home. What if I was to find someone that day who would accept the Gospel and now I won't be in tune and I won't find them and it will be my fault! How was I to know whether this was ok or whether this was a sin? I couldn't chance it, I'd have to confess and find out.

8) I read a scripture Mosiah 2:41 all about the blessed and happy state of the righteous. I had what I now know is a panic attack and the thought 'You are not happy like these people are happy. You are therefore not righteous and you probably can't be because of all the stuff you've done wrong. You are wasting your time because you are always sinning even when you are trying not to.' I couldn't get rid of this thought and doubt. I'd try and find out what it was that I had done wrong stopping me being happy. The ironic thing is that it was only this thought that was making me unhappy.

There are a few more but this post is long enough.

So do you have any thoughts on these? Are these OCD related thoughts and actions?


Katie L. said...

Yep, they're all OCD.

You're doing a great job identifying stuff!!! I remember it felt so crazy when I first got into the process and realized that so many of my thoughts and experiences were OCD-related.

But knowing what you're fighting is half the battle. I hope you're doing better today than you were in your post a couple weeks ago...

school's in said...

Thanks for the support Katie. It may seem like I'm doing a great job, but it almost scary trying to re-define the reasons things happened or give OCD the blame. The whole 'is it OCD or not OCD' battle is still in full swing, but I'm determined to put up my best defence. After 12 years of feeling crap I'm ready to give this my best efforts. I've read more things about OCD in the past weeks and am amazed how it fits my general mental state on a daily basis

Katie L. said...

I had that battle, too. It's very scary, because OCD wants to blame YOU, YOU, YOU.

Learning to identify what OCD feels like and how it manifests in your life will help you know when you're under the influence. The "is this really OCD?" obsession is *such* a common one. Your system doesn't want to give this one up, because it will help you heal so much. Keep at it. It doesn't feel like you're making progress when you're still in the thick of it, but YOU ARE.

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