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Ocd self doubts. I take sleeping tablets to help me sleep.

Ocd self doubts JA: How is...
Ocd self doubts
JA: How is your mood? Are you experiencing regular sleep disturbances (e.g. trouble falling asleep, waking up early)?
Customer: Hi Pearl, I take sleeping tablets to help me sleep. My mood is a bit depressed and I started taking medication as prescribed by my GP yesterday thanks.
JA: How long have you been feeling this way? Have you reached out to anyone about this yet?
Customer: I have had OCD of some kind for most of my life. I had been going to a therapist for awhile this year. I was doing well at beating it but it has started up again lately with thoughts that I may have insulted someone, which I would never do but it frightens me and gets me down, thanks.
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the Psychologist should know?
Customer: Not really thanks, I'm fit and healthy besides.
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Answered in 42 minutes by:
11/3/2017
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
Verified

Hi, my name is***** for writing to us. If you have been in treatment for OCD and have had it for a while, you know that responding to an obsession with any kind of compulsion only makes the obsession grow bigger. Trying to fight the OCD by proving it wrong is useless and trying to stop yourself from thinking the thoughts just make them get stuck more. The ideal strategy is to completely ignore the obsession even if it causes you anxiety.

What do you think your therapist would tell you to do with your current obsession?

And, i am glad to hear you have been prescribed medication for depression. I presume it is an SSRI? If so, that should also help you fend off the obsessions although it can take several months to a year before the medication reaches maximum efficacy for OCD.

I am here to chat more, let me know how I can help.

-Leah

LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
Verified
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi Leah, thank you for reply and advice. Yes, I find that constantly thinking of the obsession or doubting myself and thinking of it over and over in my head makes it worse and stresses me and makes me more down. I've suffered from the common obsessions in the past like constantly checking door locks, taps, or that my car is locked car and hand washing etc and done pretty well at beating them. This current obsession or intrusive thought that has come into my mind a couple of times is that when I've been texting someone that I like, awhile after I I imagine that along with sending a nice message, I may for no reason have said something hurtful, for no reason and that's something that I'd never do but the self doubt makes me go over it and over it again and then I fear that I will lose this person. Until I find the courage to text them again, I go over it in my head to reassure myself that I didn't and never would do this. It's very frustrating because I have never done this at all thankfully. I'm taking Venlafax daily. Thanks Gerry
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Forgot to add. My therapist would say that these are just intrusive thoughts and not fact and if it's like the other obsessions that I dealt with, I guess she would recommend exposure.

Hi Gerry, thank you for the reply and the rating! Yep, these are nothing more than intrusive thoughts and like so many of the other things our brain stumbles onto, they hold absolutely no meaning. But you can't spend time trying to convince yourself of that because that convincing is compulsive. I am so glad to hear your therapist would mention exposure as this is an ideal thing to do to face your thoughts, Face the obsession head on, don't refrain from texting and don't obsess over filtering your texts. Just respond and when the thoughts about saying something hurtful pop in, just let them float on by without doing any action to prove them wrong - no text checking, no rituals, no responses whatsoever. Roll with the anxiety letting it flow in, peak, and then flow out and teach that obsession that you can handle it's presence without reacting because it isn't worthy of your attention and therefore is not worthy of replaying.

OCD is tough! Hang in there!

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi Leah, thanks very much for that. Yes, it came into my head a few weeks ago when texting a girl that I'm very fond of and dated a few times. We are just friends at the moment so we text only a couple of times a week. I fear of losing her or rejection and not hearing from her at all. I messaged her last week through WhatsApp, then awhile after that my mind started tormenting me again. We have had no reason to message one another since but I've also completely stayed away from going on WhatsApp for fear that I had. It came into my head two weeks ago and it was intrusive thoughts because all was fine when I finally plucked up the courage to say hi and see how she was. It's just horrible and frightening though that it even enters my head and especially when it's someone I like. I never have this issue when texting family or friends. Thanks Leah.

Ye, indeed. OCD likes to pick on people's fears and vulnerabilities which makes sense given you like her. Unfortunately, avoiding texting seems ideal and safe, but that is what OCD wants you to believe. The fact remains you haven't and aren't going to send some belligerent text regardless of what OCD wants you to fear, so prove him wrong by facing (ignoring) the obsession and shutting it down.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thanks very much for the reassurance Leah, I really appreciate it. Yes, it's only as I started to like her more that this obsession crept in. I was very relieved a couple of weeks ago after mentally tormenting myself for a week until I text her again and things were normal. I guess if we bad been texting one another daily it would be different but we aren't as she has stuff going on in her own life. Unless I hear from her first, ill have to pluck the courage to text her soon to see how she is because I'd really like to. This combination of the lack of self belief and given the fact that we aren't dating now but just friends and I still like her a lot brought on the depression as my mind was tired of replying the stuff over in my head constantly reassuring myself but sadly worrying myself of things I'd never do. Thanks again Leah and Goodnight.

Hang in there, Gerry! You bare stronger then your OCD and thoughts are only thoughts. You are welcome and good night :)

-Leah

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi Leah, thanks keeping me positive. I'm planning to text that girl at some stage over the weekend to see how she is she had her own problems in her life just now. I know that she probably will text back as always does but I also feel that her feelings are not like mine. What I fear is to be rejected or ignored completely as with the ups and downs of dating I have had that also in the past as I probably came across as to needy and it's horrible. Is it ok to send her a message over the weekend to just say hi and hope she's ok? Thanks again Leah.

Hi! I think you should go ahead and text her. This is a nice offering of support and a good way to keep a friendship alive with someone you care about, even if your feelings run deeper than hers at this point in time. It feels good to make others feel good so allow there to be value in the fact that you are good-hearted and kind regardless of how it is received. There is no reason to fear rejection or being ignored - if this happens, you have no control over it and can and will make it through a bit of let down. Rejection does hurt but never putting yourself out there means no chances at success and that doesn't get you anywhere either.

Good luck :)

-Leah

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thanks Leah, what you have said is really helpful and I do like to show people that I care even though I have feelings for this girl that I sometimes wish I didn't as we all want to have that someone special in our lives and often I feel that I'll never find true love. It is the push that I need though, when you said 'never putting myself out there etc' because if I don't try now and again I'll be left feeling miserable and lonely with OCD intrusive thoughts holding me back. Yes, rejection or no reply from someone I like is so very cruel but I guess one has to keep trying and believing in themselves. You are really good and I have found your responses excellent.Thanks, Gerry

Hi Gerry, I remain a resource for you on this site. Don't hesitate to reach back out putting "To Leah only" at the start of any new questions. :)

I know you can and will keep working to combat the OCD. For some reason, OVD just LOVES to hold a person back so you simply can't let its lies drain you of hope. The right person will come along for you - patience and perseverance-are the two rules to that game!!

I'll be pulling for you!

-Leah

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi Leah, it's really good to hear from you as you keep me believing in myself. I do intend to keep you posted on developments. Yes, the OCD (which doesn't hold me back as much as other people) can cause a lot of stress as it has at the moment. I didn't text that girl yet as I'm putting it of until tomorrow as I was busy today. I do wear my heart on my sleeve to be honest and when in a relationship, I sometimes get attached to quickly and I have gotten hurt a couple of times in recent years. It's a horrible lonely feeling when you know that the other person does not feel the same way. I guess at my age, I just want to be content and have the right person like other genuine people. I find it really difficult getting over a person, the longing feelings are very tough to deal with for me. You continue to be very helpful as I try to fight the OCD self doubt which is so horrible. Thanks again for being a great listener and advising. I hope that your weekend is going well,Gerry

Thanks, ***** ***** know the road to love can be bumpy!! Keep using your past experience as a guide but be yourself. too!! I could give you one very excellent example of how the "heart on the sleeve" type proved just the right man at the right time...my older sister is getting married in two weeks and I kid you not, I literally commend her husband for "wearing his heart on his sleeve" during my wedding toast :)

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thanks for that Leah, not to pry too much but was it that he had the courage to propose to your sister at your wedding? He was a brave man if it was on that day but he knew that he had found that special person so well done to him. I'll never change who I am thanks as that's the only way and when I like and trust someone I'll always be open and honest. The thing about OCD is when I really like someone, if the relationship seems to be failing, it has sometimes created a fear of losing them totally and being rejected and that's where the intrusive and untrue thoughts come in. I never have this problem texting family members or friends etc. Most people wouldn't know that I have OCD as I get on with my life without it affecting me on the outside. OCD does move from one thing to another doesn't it. I think I get too attached and struggle to move on without the regular contact from that person.

LOL. I can understand how what I wrote is confusing...I am planing to toast them at their upcoming wedding and a line I plan to say in that toast (I prewrote my speech) talks about how the groom wears his heart on his sleeve.

I think it will b really helpful to you to understand how your OCD has interfered in past relationships. It starts with awareness of t eh OCD then meaningful strategies to not let the OCD run things. Remember, OCD is a bonafide liar - the OCD could cause you to feel and behave in ways based on his lies. For instance, if OCD starts hollering about a relationship starting to fail, that may incite your lack of self-confidence and lead ti behaviors of neediness or insecurity your partner doesn't prefer. So making sure you can discern the OCD's game plan and then really push to not react is always pivotal.

And yes, OCD sure does like to jump around to keep things interesting. Basically, it yearns for your attention and will try lots of things to make you listen.

Have a good day, Gerry. I won't be on JA much more today...

-Leah

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi Leah, thanks for good response as always. I'm sure that your speech at your sister's wedding will be very good. I think the OCD brings me down all the more when things seem to be going bad. Lately, with worry and self doubt, I'm at my lowest point and fairly down in the mornings and daytime. I guess it's a overwhelming feeling that things won't get better. I'm anxious and negative about being really happy and for my life to work out and finding the one. I know that I must stand up to OCD and let anxiety peak and keep persevering but it's very tough and in some areas more so than others.Have a great Sunday and thanks for your continued support.Chat soon,Gerry
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi Leah, I hope your week is going well so far. The self doubts that I had regarding my friend were as you said just thoughts, all was fine thankfully. How do I prevent these intrusive thoughts from recurring in my mind again? They make a me feel very down but I will keep fighting the negative stuff. Also, why does a person feel most down in the mornings and during the day?

Hi Gerry, I am hopeful after this response you would consider starting a new conversation? If you do, please put 'To Leah only" at the start and I can respond aaap.

I am glad to hear all was fine and you were able to prove to your thoughts that they weren't accurate and not predicative of anything. As you know with OCD, there really isn't an easy way to prevent thoughts from coming. Our brains are mostly on autopilot when it comes to thinking - it is more about the attention we give to certain thoughts that causes them to be deemed important enough to stick around. So instead of seeking to stop these intrusive thoughts, just practice accepting that they will come as they wish and that their presence does not require any action or attention from you. Continuing to ignore them will ultimately allow them to fade - this is the art of battling OCD.

As far as why moods tend to be down in the early morning, this is a common symptom of depression called diurnal mood variations. It could be scientific - low blood sugar, poor sleep (tired), hungry, etc. but it is more likely just that the morning is the clearest time of the day when you know you have to hit the grind and face life, yet again. This reality-smack can be tough when you have a lot on your plate and feel consumed by worries, and other heavy emotions.

Can you tell me what medication you take and what dose to help with your mood? (maybe we could talk about that in another thread? ;) )

-Leah

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi Leah, thanks for that, yes it would be great to start a new conversation. Do I select the 'Ask a question' at the top of the page to start a new thread? And then put 'To Leah only'Thank, Gerry

Yes indeed, Gerry. That would be great, thank you. I can't reply in depth right now, but can do so this evening.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi Leah, I started the new thread regarding mediation. There is no rush in answering straight away as I know you are busy, it would be just good to know that you got it.Thanks again,
Gerry
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LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 737
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Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience

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