Monday, 9 September 2013

Paranoia, OCD and surely I must have schizophrenia!

***I don't know how I feel about this post anymore. Having re-read it I don't think I have explained myself very well. I seem to be trying to separate schizophrenia and OCD based on the idea that thoughts can always be seen as irrational with OCD, and that is a generalisation that doesn't always hold true, even for me. I feel I may have spoken out of turn a bit due to my lack of knowledge of schizophrenia, but I will leave this post up however, as this appears to be the most visited one on my blog. I just wanted to add this update because I am less sure of my presentation and assertions now. I just put down what I think at the time, and I am not infallible that's for sure. If it's any consolation I have previously felt I was schizophrenic, but have come to realise I am not, and it really was OCD all along.

If you or I can say ‘I am going crazy right now’, are we actually going crazy?

Surely a crazy person does whatever crazy people do, but think they are normal.

Can a crazy person identify their own craziness?

To me that suggests they are not crazy at all, but actually very perceptively stating that their behaviour or thoughts are not what is considered ‘normal’.

This is an important point. I’ve felt, and have heard others with OCD say that they have often thought they were Schizophrenic, or have a paranoid personality disorder, but one key distinction is that with OCD you can still see the irrationality in your thoughts, even when you can’t stop them.

They may seem and even feel believable, but there is still something in the background that says ‘I don’t want to think this’ and ‘I don’t want it to be true’. This idea that we can think something and then at the same time disagree with it is what leads OCD sufferers to think they are schizophrenic. It's like there are two people in there fighting out an idea. In reality it's not another personality but simply an intrusive and unwanted thought.

Paranoid disorders lead to delusion, and OCD people are not deluded.

Infact in my experience they fully know that what is going on in their head is wrong and this is what creates the anxiety. We don’t like having thoughts that we aren’t in control of. We therefore think there must be some hidden meaning to them.

Here’s a definition I’ve been thinking for where paranoia and OCD meet –

Paranoia – is a thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion.

OCD - is a thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, yet is recognised as irrational as we ask if we are delusional.

An OCD sufferer can still sense the irrationality even if they can’t stop having the thought. OCD sufferers don’t wholeheartedly accept the thought but we fight it or try to neutralise it with a compulsion.

We kind of feel paranoid thoughts but also know that we are being paranoid, despite the fact that doesn’t immediately help us with the paranoia. A personal example here is that I have previously felt that everyone is out to get me and everyone talks negatively about me. This thought causes some pretty intense anxiety and fear of doing the wrong thing in front of others, because I don’t want to give them any fuel for the fire of hate, but rather than become convinced of the thought, despite the anxiety I can have intermittent thoughts of “That’s unlikely. Not everybody can be talking about me behind my back.” And “What does it matter what other people are saying anyway!” This is a clear sign that it is kind of OCD rather than a paranoid disorder of some kind.

This should be of some comfort that you are not crazy as you can see your 'craziness'. That shows a real connection, however small, with reality.

I hate hearing that I’ve been mentioned in someone’s conversation, even if it’s been good comments. If I do something wrong or make a mistake I have thoughts that people will not forgive me and I will be labelled by my mistake for life. I seek for re-assurance from people after I do things that are publicly seen, such as teaching at church or speaking in work meetings, to make sure I did it ok, but can’t seem to accept it when they say I had done a good job. I can see that all of these thoughts are irrational but OCD is essentially the game of second guessing yourself, and the symptoms are the evidence of the need to second guess.

I used to have a problem when watching Tom and Jerry cartoons. If I ever watched one I would think it was the most evil programme out there. I mean they are hitting each other, cutting each other in half and more generally just being extremely nasty to each other. I used to think there must be a conspiracy behind these cartoons. People are trying to desensitize us by making us laugh at violence. Right after this thought, I’d be asking myself why I was having such a ludicrous thought? There’s far worse out there than Tom and Jerry cartoons. So this was a paranoid thought of sorts, but I could see the paranoia rather than being convinced by it.

I’ve recently had a change in calling at church. I am now in a position where I am more visible and have to spend more time in counsel with others. I have found myself in the last week or so asking people if I’m doing ok and checking incase someone thinks I’ve done a terrible job. I’m struggling to not seek this reassurance, and it is reassurance in an OCD sense because I know I have done ok so far and I also know that people have more important things to do than to be constantly discussing my success in fulfilling my new responsibility.

I have to get on top of this type of reassurance seeking as it’s almost like I am looking for people to say nice things about me, which is essentially what I’m doing, but not for the reasons they may think. It’s my compulsion and not my narcissism or ego taking over.


Anonymous said...

hey still active on the blog..? need help !!!

LDSRuminations said...

Hey there. Yeah I'm still active. Give me your email and I can email you first of all.

Anonymous said..., thanx for the reply ;)

Unknown said...

Hi can ibhave your email, i have similar problems as you and i would like to know how are u holding after all these years?

LDSRuminations said...

Hi, Unkown. My email address is

Scareed said...

Hi i sent you mail to, hope you got it. Regards

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