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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5837
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I write down everything I do every day along with comments

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I write down everything I do every day along with comments and reactions. I have been doing it for 15 years. It's taking 4 hours/day to keep these records, stealing time from actually living my life! What should I do about this obsession?

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
This is an obsessive only if you feel that you cannot stop without experiencing a significant amount of anxiety. If that is the case for you, then this could be a form of OCD. There are ways you can learn to cope so you don't have to feel the need to write down things everyday.
One way is to consider seeing a therapist and/or trying medications. OCD is a disorder that is caused in your brain. Medications can be very helpful in dealing with obsessions and help you to focus on other things. And therapy can help you "retrain" your thoughts so you don't focus on writing things down.
Other ways to deal with your obsession are:
Make a list of activities- things you can do to distract yourself when you do experience OCD thoughts. Exercise, calling someone or watching a movie for example. Turn to the list instead of writing something down when the urge strikes.
Give yourself a break- realize that OCD is caused by physical imbalances in the brain as well as anxiety. So telling yourself things like "This is just a physical response and it is not my fault" or "I can control this any way I want" and doing another activity instead of giving in helps as well.
Do not give your obsession meaning- The more you focus on it, the more importance you give it. So treat it like it's nothing. "It's only my thoughts. It does not mean anything".
Try backing off writing things down- think of things you can do instead to remember what you need to recall. Also, think about how much of what you write down is actually important for anyone to know. Is it really important that you write down how you feel about a movie you saw? What would someone do with that information if they knew? And with time, what would you do with it?
By trying these things, you can help yourself overcome what you are feeling.
I hope this has helped you,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Your comments were very helpful. I thought about why I do keep this daily journal and then I realize that it comes from something deeper. I see my relatives say things like "where did the last 10 years go?" or similar comments and I fear that my life will suddenly come to an end and I won't remember doing anything with it! I feel that if I write things down every day, I can show myself all the things I did to make full use of the days that we are allotted.

The thought of not writing everything down does make me extremely anxious, so I guess it is part of an OCD.

it does sound like it is OCD. But it's always best to be sure by seeing a mental health professional for an evaluation. What you describe does relate to the symptoms of OCD.
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