Sunday, May 26, 2013

What if I DON’T have OCD?

It's not time to worry yet.
~ Harper Lee; To Kill a Mockingbird

I've been doing great, but I'm writing again because I stumbled upon a very tricky obsession, and it's a very tricky one indeed and I can't get seem to get my mind around it: "What if I DON’T  have OCD?"

I have OCD but still doubt that I have OCD even though I know I had compulsions that started in childhood.  I used to go up and down the stairs a lot, and had trouble with light switches at a pretty young age! Heck, I remember seeing the episode from Scrubs starring Michael J Fox as an OCD surgeon only 4 years ago and I could identify with him! I didn't' doubt my compulsions or memories then like I do now!  Now my thoughts seem to compulsively doubt themselves, including the thought that I have OCD.  It's ridiculous!  Why is this happening to me?

I did a bit of a "brief" online research about obsessive thinking.  Mistrusting the diagnosis seems to be part of the pathology. Am I right?  If not, I don't know what the [bleep!] I have.  Would it mean that all my concerns are founded?  Sheesh!

Basically, it all boils down to this: "Why can't I believe I have OCD when I clearly remember having struggled with so many compulsions?"


Sorry to hear that you are struggling. 

Is there a pattern?  Do you find yourself doubting yourself more at night, on the weekend, when?  Are you possibly more tired, bored, hungry or lonely at these times?  Any compromised state will make it harder for you to step away from the vortex of obsessive thoughts.  Try to keep that in mind.  If, like most of us, you tend to be more broody in the wee hours, do not trust the counsels of the night and instead encourage yourself, à la Scarlett O'Hara to "think about that tomorrow; tomorrow is another day". 

Now to answer your question:

I think mistrust of a diagnosis is part of the pathology.  Am I right?

Yes.  You are right.  That can happen!  And I think that this is exactly what is going on in your case. 
The suffering as a result of your kind of OCD is really intense, precisely because of the inability of obsessive thoughts to let go their grip so you can come to a place of rest, and think and feel "Ah!  Everything’s fine".  When thoughts compulsively gravitate to doubts including doubts about your own thoughts, they'll trip up your thinking with knots that you can't undo by worrying them like a string of beads.  You'll just get caught in the loop.
There is no way to stop yourself from having thoughts, but you can manage compulsive worrying by stepping away from the vortex of doubt, avoid the worry loop and reinforce a few simple truths:
You are sane.  
You are okay. 
You "just" have OCD.

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