Hi, I'm new to the group. I've had symptoms of OCD for as long as I can remember, and I finally might seriously get treatment. Middle School was when it really kind of exploded. I started having horrible disgusting intrusive thoughts so much that I got desperate and googled my symptoms, and that's when I started doing research and finding out what OCD was really about. I tried to tell my mom I thought I might have it, but she didn't believe me, so I waited until High School when I started seeing a counselor for depression and anxiety. I wanted to bring up OCD, but I was so embarrassed by my thoughts and fears that it never came up until one of my last appointments (I stopped going because I didn't really feel like it was helping with the other stuff anyway), so since then I've kind of been self diagnosed. I know that's not the best way to go about it, but OCD's the only thing that exactly describes what I've been experiencing my entire life. I just started seeing a therapist at my college recently anyway and worked up the courage to tell her some of my fears, and we talked about maybe starting therapy for it (if I'm comfortable with talking about it) when I come back for next semester, but I'm really nervous to. The problem is that for the past year I've been having what feels like the worst obsession I've had in a long time. It has literally felt so shameful to me that I really don't think I can feel comfortable talking to her about it for a long time. Thankfully this obsession has finally started losing it's power a little, so I'm hoping I won't have to bring it up. I'm also afraid my OCD will go dormant and not spike until the semester's over and I can't see someone for another few months, or that I'll have another theme that I don't wanna share either. Have any of you guys experienced any of these problems and how can I prepare if I decide that I do want to start therapy for OCD?
Introducing Myself and Asking About Therapy - My OCD Community
Hi OpaliteRose - I’m sorry you’ve been struggling. Licensed therapists who are trained in Exposure and Response Prevention therapy are the people to talk to for OCD. I understand it being scary to begin. I recommend The OCD Stories podcast on iTunes or YouTube. Also, Dr. Jonathan Greyson has a great book that might help.
Welcome, OpaliteRose. I, too, have mostly suffered from intrusive thoughts. Believe me, if you are seeing a trained OCD therapist, there is no symptom that would surprise or disgust them, because (as they would say) it’s not about the symptom. What hooks us is not the weird/discussion/repulsive obsession, but rather the the compulsions we use to try to rid ourselves of the obsession. The most helpful book I’ve read on this is Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts , by Winston and Seif. Best wishes! 💜
The thing is that with this obsession, the problem isn't really about the thoughts I'm having. I've gotten to the point where I can know that my intrusive thoughts don't define who I am. I know they're not real. The problem is that this obsession has to do with my actual past. That's what makes it so scary. I'm afraid if I explained it to someone they would see the situation the way my OCD sees it, and that they would realize that my fear is real, because it revolves around things that actually happened.
Hi! You aren’t alone! Please look for a therapist in your area that specializes in OCD and does ERP therapy. There is hope! Treatment really works. It’s not you- it’s OCD! It’s super hard to talk about your horrible thoughts- I have them too. But a skilled therapist knows they are just thoughts- they’re not you!
The content of the thought feels real but it’s not- it’s just your brain getting stuck on a theme. Best wishes!!