OCD – Your thoughts are not the problem, your beliefs about the thoughts are.

When you have OCD and you have constant bizarre, scary and anxiety provoking thoughts it hard too look past them and we often find ourselves thinking there MUST be something wrong with us for thinking the way we do. I learnt what I am going to talk about at the OCD Treatment Centre and it’s really eye-opening, so I thought I’d share what I was taught with you guys!

From my personal experience  whenever I had thoughts I considered bad I used to instantly think I must be a bad person to think such horrible things.  Which is one of the main reasons OCD is a problem with our beliefs about ourselves and the meaning of our thoughts. Thoughts are just thoughts, the meaning we attach to the thoughts is the problem, e.g ‘If I have a bad thought I am a bad person’ so is the thought we had actually bad? not really thoughts are harmless they are just brain activity, we have created a belief that certain thoughts are bad and should not be thought about.

Often OCD sufferers like myself get stuck in something called ‘Thought-Action-Fusion’  also known as magical thinking which is basically thinking a thought, is just as bad as acting on it or it happening, which is  no wonder we feel so much anxiety and guilt if we think about certain things or  do not perform mental or physical rituals. How could you not feel anxiety when your brain is saying ‘If you can think about that, you must be a psychopath’ ‘If you don’t do this then your family could die’ its because a lot of the time thinking these things to us is as bad as it happening, or thinking these things means it is almost certain to be true. which you can find out more about HERE as well as other factors of OCD.

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I have always been told everyone has intrusive thoughts, but people with OCD get stuck on them, unlike people without OCD who don’t take any notice or can easily dismiss them as ‘silly thoughts’, but that’s because they haven’t attached any meaning/belief  to them, to them they are just ‘thoughts’ but to people with OCD like myself, they MUST MEAN something. A belief is nothing more than what you have told yourself or been enough times that you believe it, often beliefs are irrational and unhelpful, but hard to get rid off.

An example of this is Person 1 has a belief that the colour red is lucky, person 2 has a belief that red is unlucky. Person 1 is going to have happy, pleasant and positive thoughts and feelings towards the colour red, because they have the belief its lucky. Person 2 on the other hand is going to have horrible, negative thoughts and feelings towards the colour red because they have the belief its unlucky. Person 1 will like red and want to be around it, person 2 will want to avoid red. So whos belief do you think is correct, person 1 or 2?… neither its purely a belief they have both attached to the colour.

Which is the same with a person with OCD and without, the person with OCD will have a thought, feeling or urge and see it as a negative thing that means something about themselves, or that they need to do something about e.g perform a ritual.A person without OCD will have a thought and still be at peace with themselves, because they have no meaning or belief attached to the thoughts. A good thing I got taught by Sharon Davies from the OCD Treatment Centre was that it’s not the story or the content that’s important, a story is just a combination of thoughts, It’s the meaning we have attached to the story’s/thoughts, it’s what we do about the story (thoughts) which becomes the problem.

Which is true it’s not our thoughts, feelings and urges that are the problem it’s what we do about them, whether we choose to acknowledge them and be sucked in by OCD. So when you think about it,  a thought is just a thought, if we get rid of the meaning and belief we have attached to the thoughts, OCD couldn’t survive because we would no longer be bothered by the content of the thoughts and without our attention OCD cannot survive. Trying to change a belief you have had for so long can be really hard, as I have found out and still am, but once you realise you have an irrational belief that’s the start of  getting rid of it. Remember if you no longer believed your thoughts, feelings and urges meant something bad, where would your OCD be? Gone.

tumblr_ly6h4j0szt1qmyf2uo1_500      Stay Strong, Keep fighting ♥

Help me see sense?

So I was not planning this blog post at all, but I’m having a real tough fight with my OCD today. I thought okay I said I would blog about OCD so why not write a post when I’m struggling, and maybe even some of you guys can help me out. Okay, so here’s the story from today, So recently because of certain things I’ve been really doubting I have OCD, so I rang psychologist so I could go through some things I’m worrying about. Which is all fine but I feel like until then I cannot buy things or do ‘permanent’ things,such as starting this blog or I feel like I could do something bad. I decided to ignore what my OCD was telling me to do and I made this blog, but I’ve stuck by the not buying things.

Today I went shopping with mum and saw so many things I would have liked to buy but I didn’t, she wanted to buy a baby grow for a lady that’s just had a baby and I thought ‘oh dear I don’t want to be here for that because I don’t want to help choose because that’s just as bad as buying it, and something might happen to the baby!’ I no this is rubbish and its all tricks from my OCD (magical thinking) but I again tried to ignore it and I helped, initially I felt anxious like I wanted to make mum take the item back. But last year I made her take things back at Christmas because something really bad on the new happened that day, this year I promised myself I wouldn’t because I want things to be good this year and that brings back bad memories.

I carried on and thought I was ok with it, then when we got home my brother and his girlfriend decided they wanted to watch a horror film, which I avoid at all costs because of the amount of anxiety it gives me and makes me think about a lot of things and ask myself a lot of ‘what if’ and ‘could i’ questions. I only watched the first 10 mins and that was it I could feel my heart racing and the feeling of regret deep in my stomach wishing I had never watched it, even thought I know its good to expose myself to these things. I could have moved on quite easily from this BUT now here’s my problem in the start of this film there was a baby, and my mind started thinking all sorts of things like ‘what if the baby in the film is a sign that I need to take the baby grow back’ and I know that’s so irrational but I can’t help but think It’s too much of coincidence that I was worrying about something my mum had bought for a baby (which never happens as it is, we don’t know any baby’s to buy for) but then the one time I watch a horror film it just so happens to have a baby in it.

I know this is OCD magical thinking but at the same time, I feel so worried like I have to take the baby grow back. Also along with this every time I have seen something horrible or anxiety provoking I have been blogging, which makes me think ‘Oh no that’s a sign I should have waited to start this blog until I’d seen a psychologist, maybe I should delete it’ Which I really don’t want to do 😦 So why am I blabbering on about this too you guys, well I need some advice from an outsider as things in your own brain feel so BIG and real when you have OCD. Does this sound really silly and irrational? Does this sound like OCD? What should I do? I hope I don’t sound to crazy but this is the reality of me and my OCD 😦

Any advice would be so appreciated, Thank you so much!!