Answer some questions to help a fellow OC... - My OCD Community

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Answer some questions to help a fellow OCD pal with a research paper? ;)


Hi! I am a graduate student with OCD from the US. I'm researching the cause and what developmental phase of an individual's life might be partially repsonsible for causing OCD, from a psychoanalytic point of view. I know that my OCD makes me LOVE completing surveys and questions, so if yours does too, answer these if you please! All of these are of course voluntary! Feel free to respond in the forum or by private message. Or if you don;t want to, thanks for reading this far! Thank you so much!!!

1. Do you remember, or were you told, that you had difficulty toilet training? If so, care to elaborate?

2. Do you often believe or feel like others are out to get you, bother you, or intrude in your affairs? If so, care to elaborate?

3. Do you find your emotions easy to name and/or notice? Care to elaborate?

4. Was discipline by your primary caregiver(s) meted out consistently and fairly? Elaborate?

5. Do you harshly criticize yourself? When, why?

6. Do you often feel overwhelmed by emotions, or do they feel like they blindside you?

7. Did you find, or do you now, that your caregiver(s) were cold, distant, or avoidant with you?

8. Does other people experiecning strong emotions overwhelm you or make you anxious?

9. Do you hide your symptoms form others? Care to elaborate?

None of this info will be directly quoted in any article, paper, or other source. It is just to get an idea of other people's experiences with this disorder, so my personal experience doesn't too heavily color my theory :) Thanks again!

8 Replies

1. I don’t believe I had difficulty, but I remember a fear about new toilets (I don’t have contamination), but I think that I had an attitude that I simply demanded to go into toilets I was comfortable with (looking back seems like OCD logic, but who knows)... in comparison to my daughter it seems atypical to normal toilet training struggles.

2. Yes, I suffered from extreme paranoia, but through treatment it is much better. I constantly doubt people’s intention or my interaction with them and it got so bad to where I believed colleagues or loved ones were out to sabotage me... which, I think, lead me to self sabotage, but, yes, I doubt other people’s interaction to me.

3. Yes, I find it easy to identify and name my emotions, but, again, this is because of the treatment I went through. When I was in the worst throws of OCD everything simply seemed like agitation or anger, but now through awareness and DBT I can asses my multitude of emotions without applying meaning to them, but simply observed them.

6. Are you talking about parents? If so then, no, but I believe they were trying their best. I had OCD ever since I can remember as I look back, but it was diagnosed until I was 32 (merely 8 months ago)... I struggle with a lot of harm and I am really good at forcing myself to function all the while desperately hiding any outward compulsion which led to a cycle of depleting my bodies resources which creating serious depression... that being said, my suicidal intrusive thoughts and disturbing intrusive thoughts combined with depression and a serious and elaborate avoidance compulsion lead my doctors to diagnose me as depressed and potentially suicidal (I wasn’t, and I have a lot of resentment for my misdiagnoses, but I also understand why)... anyways, my parents’ discipline was consistent until I think they couldn’t stand my behavior anymore and then it wasn’t (if that makes sense)... they’re great people, but didn’t know how to deal with a child with OCD that they weren’t aware had OCD... I think it boils down to when they got tired accommodating then their system of discipline broke down.

5. Yes, but, again, I am much better now because of treatment. I suffer greatly from imposter syndrome and many things in my life are “not just right” and I question everything, but now I am better able to trust that which I do and brace the uncertainty of accepting whether it’s good enough or not... I work now at being perfectly imperfect.

6. I used to feel overwhelmed by my emotions, but now I am aware of them and I just ride the wave... emotions no longer get the best of me... except for maybe during a difficult exposure, but I now allow myself to be uncomfortable and feel them and I sit in it and let it wash over me... then, I’m okay.

7. No, maybe, I don’t know... they’re incredible supportive now, and I can’t change the past... I don’t know.

8. I tend to be good in a crisis so I’m good at dealing with other people’s extreme emotions... which is odd considering I have a pretty bad panic disorder, but that is more based on things being “not just right”... I get grounded when problems arrive, usually.

9. I used to, but now I wear my OCD in my sleeve.

Let me know if you have any follow up questions.



Thank you so much! This is super helpful. Its very interesting to see how you have changed through treatment. I too have "imposter syndrome" symptoms and when I see OCD diagnostic criteria that doesn't match mine, I start to doubt my diagnosis. That is why I was misdiagnosed for so many years as well, I think it's a common thing for those with OCD. I hope to use the information I'm gathering to get a well-rounded sense of how symptoms play out for others so that I can one day be involved with de-stigmatizing this disorder and helping people get the right diagnosis and treatment, which I also just started getting at age 35! Thank you again!

You’re very welcome and I think imposter syndrome is fairly common though it isn’t well documented. Many friends that I have that suffer from OCD talk about there struggles with imposter syndrome and it can ebb and flow too. I was misdiagnosed for years and I did get things straight until 32... any help you need from me to help de-stigmatize I’m all for, so let me know. Cheers!

1. I am the eldest, I had no difficulty being toilet trained. However, when my younger siblings were born I was told by my mother that it was like she had to train me all over again. More specifically, I was defiant and refused to go to the toilet.

2. I absolutely feel this all the time, everything said to me by others feels immeasurably personal. For example, I am mildly paranoid, when I hear people whispering, I assume it's about me. When people laugh, I believe they're laughing at me. This could be strangers I pass on the street or my family. I absolutely feel like people are out to "get" me.

3. I find it really hard to name and notice my emotions, this has gotten a lot better with practice and meditation. However a lot of times I will feel very anxious and I am sometimes surprised when I notice what I am feeling.

4. In some sense, I don't think discipline was fair, I always tried to avoid discipline by acting as "perfect" as I could because I was so afraid of it. However my parents weren't harsh disciplinarians. I could usually weasel my way out of punishment because my mother is so agreeable and doesn't ever want to upset anyone. As such I felt like I had to discipline myself or I would "go off the rails". As a child I remember hitting and biting myself when I misbehaved.

5. I absolutely harshly criticize myself, I hold myself to unrealistically high standards. When I fall short, I call myself stupid, worthless, and lazy.

6. I absolutely feel blindsided by my emotions, almost all the time. They are strong and consistent, I am often resentful of others because it seems to me that they don't suffer from their emotions as much as I do.

7. Yes, my father loved me to pieces. And he is a very introverted man. I often felt alienated from him. At least I felt that he was cold and distant. My mother undermined him a lot and I think that ostracized him. He felt alienated in his own family.

8. This question is funny to me because anyone who knows me knows that others emotions feel so overwhelming that it's painful. I avoid other's emotions and I'm afraid of them.

9. Yes, I hide my OCD as much as possible, so much so that people are really surprised to hear I have OCD!

rodrigoseedy in reply to dibidah

Thank you so much for your input! Your situation or "symptoms" as they call 'em sound very similar to mine! One thing I find interesting is that in the diagnostic criteria for OCD, paranoia or worry that others are talking about you, or tyring to bother you is not mentioned. I find that of the people I know personally with OCD, including myself, it's one of the most prominent issues! Thanks again for your answers, I hope to use the knowledge to get a more robust idea of what OCD means to people diagnosed with it. I felt alone for my whole life, never believing people understand me, getting misdiagnosed, and not getting the treatment I needed. As I continue my work in the mental health field, I want to make sure I don't impose that same kind of misunderstanding on others!

dibidah in reply to rodrigoseedy

I sincerely hope you don't feel alone anymore! I absolutely know your pain. I am so thankful for the difference you're trying to make for those with ocd.

hi! i can relate to almost all of these in some way or another....

Thanks! Yeah, a lot of these ideas aren't mentioned in the diagnosis of OCD, but they are big themes for many, including myself, suffering from it.

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