OCD

OBSESSIONS

“These are unwanted ideas or impulses that repeatedly well up in the mind of the person with OCD. Persistent fears that harm may come to self or a loved one, an unreasonable concern with becoming contaminated, or an excessive need to do things correctly or perfectly, are common. Again and again, the individual experiences a disturbing thought, such as, “My hands may be contaminated–I must wash them”; “I may have left the gas on”; or “I am going to injure my child.” These thoughts are intrusive, unpleasant, and produce a high degree of anxiety. Sometimes the obsessions are of a violent or a sexual nature, or concern illness.”

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/ocd.cfm – ocd1

COMPULSIONS

“In response to their obsessions, most people with OCD resort to repetitive behaviors called compulsions. The most common of these are washing and checking. Other compulsive behaviors include counting (often while performing another compulsive action such as hand washing), repeating, hoarding, and endlessly rearranging objects in an effort to keep them in precise alignment with each other.”

“Mental problems, such as mentally repeating phrases, listmaking, or checking are also common. These behaviors generally are intended to ward off harm to the person with OCD or others. Some people with OCD have regimented rituals while others have rituals that are complex and changing. Performing rituals may give the person with OCD some relief from anxiety, but it is only temporary.”

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/ocd.cfm – ocd1

Some on the neurodiversity spectrum have this form of real OCD, causing much suffering and anxiety for that person.

Hi, I’m suffering from compulsive thoughts but I’m practically well at the moment.

My problems started when I was around 7. I was afraid mom would die at work, and at night I needed to say goodnight ten times and more (I always needed to have the last word) before I could sleep.

When I was perhaps 8 I had a period of needing to wash my hands.
Then it was ok for a time, but when I was 10 I started getting afraid of being poisoned, and at 11 I was afraid my dad would kill me.

Around 12 I had a calm period, but at 13 the poisoning fear came back. I also developed a ‘truth mania’ (compulsion to tell the absolute truth) and replaced my thoughts with prayers of forgiveness for my sins.

At 14 I was afraid of getting killed by my dad (he is not a bit dangerous and would never kill me) otherwise it was fairly ok.
When I was 15 my real problems started. Violent thoughts started growing, thoughts about hurting people that annoyed me. They were really brutal, sometimes bestial thoughts that tormented me but also gave me some pleasure and power. Afterwards I would feel sorry for those I had wanted to harm and would patch them up and comfort them in my thoughts.

A fear of dying emerged, and a fear of throwing up. Both these fears made me into a hypochondriac. I swallowed whole white peppers to prevent digestive problems, and the thoughts soon told me I’d die if I didn’t take them. This caused gastritis. I washed my hands often, and also used hand disinfectants. I often went to the doctor, and they found nothing wrong despite chest discomforts and various pains. Every night I thought I’d be dead the next morning, going to bed was an agony, filled with horror. I started thinking I was meant to die, and that doctors were lying to me because I was going to die.

During the summer I started fearing that I would die if I mentioned death or said ‘I WILL do that tomorrow’, I had to say ‘I will do it tomorrow if I’m not dead or sick’, or else I thought I would dies. As soon as I committed a real or imagined sin I thought I would be killed as punishment.

That autumn my death fear subsided, and also the hypochondria, but now instead a new chapter started. I took the fatal decision to become more religious. Now that I have another religion I think it was the wrong religion, but my thoughts were pretty right, I wanted to become more pious. Boy did that go wrong…

I stared by avoiding everything I thought was non-spiritual, for example reading non-spiritual books. Instead I read only religious books. I stopped listening to non-religious music and spent more and more of my free time praying. This may sound innocent but it soon got out of hand…

I tried to separate myself from ‘this world’ and became more and more reclusive. I started leaving my best friend (perhaps that was the right thing to do) which hurt a lot. I constantly read the New Testament for guidance.

Soon thoughts started dictating what I could and could not do, what I should do. I thought they were from Heaven, so I sort of had to obey them. They told me to pray a certain number of minutes, later to fast for a certain number of hours. Except the fasting, which often meant I did not get any food between breakfast and late supper, I ate less and less because I thought I could no eat more than absolutely necessary. Candy was not permitted, that was pleasure and pleasure I was to renounce! I got skinnier and skinnier until you could see my cheekbones.

The thoughts would tell me more and more bizarre things, like standing on one leg for 15 minutes or sit out in the rain for a whole recess. Long periods of time I should just stand staring at one point, without moving. Most of my time I stood still or prayed. I tried not to talk to others beyond what was absolutely necessary, i.e. no jokes or small talk, just replying to questions.

In the end I started skipping school, I could not waste my time, not let my thoughts rest in class, I was too busy trying to become a better person instead. I was all to one end: to subdue me into becoming pious.

My thoughts started arguing with each other: ‘if you do this it is wrong, if you don’t do it it is wrong’.
Once my thoughts told me to go out without shoes in the middle of the winter.
In the end I was going to quit sleeping, I could not enjoy sleep. I would pray the whole time!

I ended up being committed to a psychiatric ward for children and teens. There I just sat in a corner concentrating. At that time I was about 46-47 kg to my 161.5 cm.

In the spring my thoughts started subsiding, and in the summer I found a new faith: judaism. At that time I thought even non-jews had to follow all the commandments of the Torah, and did everything I could to do so.
But eventually even my new faith was infested with compulsive thoughts.

I started frenetically wash my hands as I was afraid of having touched something unclean. Mom contacted the psychiatric ward against my will, and I got the medication Zoloft despite feeling rather fine. After that it all got worse. Stupid thoughts started coming, and in my faith what is said is what goes, so I felt I had to start contradicting my thoughts. They were grinding on continuously, so it probably seemed as if I went around talking to myself.

The thoughts were very annoying, they thought forbidden things, and when I got them I had to start all over again with whatever I was doing. The kept grinding on ALL THE TIME!

I started developing more and more rituals, and at first I didn’t always have the energy to do them, so it could take a long time before I could do anything at all. I had to start over and over with everything I did, and everything I did got symbolic meanings.

If I had a bad thought when I was walking, I had to take a few steps back. It could take a very long time to get anywhere. I often missed school lunch because of my rituals and were often late for class. At recess I often just stood there because I couldn’t cope with the rituals. Other students would stand staring at me through the window or call names after me. I couldn’t go home without some rituals, and because I was slow in doing them I was often in school until late afternoon, sometimes even well into the evening, siting on some stairs or in a corner. Teachers saw me and started to worry.

I got got sick-leave for a week, and spent most of that time in bed or doing my rituals. We tried to get hold of my doctor but weren’t able to.

Back in school the agony continued. I got a compulsion that I had to stand up all the time, even in class. One time a class mate got so disturbed by this that he moved to another desk. I got behind in class, I had no time for the school work. My contact teacher was seriously concerned and set up a meeting with the school doctor.

That winter I got sick leave and stayed at home from school the last two weeks. I got a new medication called Zyprexa, and that helped a bit. I gained too much weight though so I had to switch to Abilify, which I think has helped me a lot; now over six months later, I’m almost symptom-free.

I have also changed school and am now in a class for pupils with Asperger syndrome.
At the moment I’m fine.

‘saltgurkan’, adolescent Aspie with OCD from Sweden

I’ve had OCD all my life and periodically been totally debilitated by it. It’s been many of the things you mention: truth mania, religious anxiety (I am not raised in a religious home), touching things, confession, tunes and quotes I couldn’t place, unpleasant thoughts about loved ones, you name it. It is up and down and at the moment I’m having a bad spell. I was fin on Zoloft for years, but then it stopped working and all I got out of it was 20 kilo overweight and ruined hair. Now I eat Zymbalta and it’s not helping very much at all.

‘Kahlokatt’, female Aspie from Sweden

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Wikipedia

OCD self-test

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1 Comment »

  1. timf380 said,

    Experimenting with various nutritional supplements like Inositol, L-Theanine, and Lithium Orate can help reduce intrusive thoughts.


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