Existential Thoughts/A form of OCD ruinin... - My OCD Community

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Existential Thoughts/A form of OCD ruining my teenage life...0 support please help


OK, I have had 6 major obsessions after a stressfull event. Although all 6 lasted more than 3 weeks and have all ruined my life, only 2 obsessions, a past one and the current one I am on, render my life meaningless and make me, well, lose all hope.

I have had obsessions like "what is the point if we are going to die", and "if human emotions are just chemicals, are we just a bunch of atoms stuck in place and have 0 meaning what so ever?"

The theme of my obsession keeps switching once I finally overcome the past one.

My current one- I am unsure of how to perceive...well people. Please read below.

1) I live my life through 1st person- through my vision and thoughts. No matter how self aware I am, I will never be aware of how my hair, overall face, posture, clothes, I will never be accurately aware of how I appear to the outer world.

2)Obviously, my self image, and my "true" personality that I only know, no one else knows. They just know my surface level, and see me through my body and clothes etc.

3)In the same way, every other human I see.......I perceive wrongly. I see their body, their clothes, hair, etc, aspects they do not intentionally control completely when talking.

Is their outward appearance really them? I am uncertain whether or not 3rd person view is accurate, I do not know how to see other people, I am confused as to whether or not see them the only way I see people, through 3rd person, which is wrong (somwhat), and accept I will never know their true personality because I will never know what it is. IDK. I hope you understand.

I know this sounds far fetched from OCD, but like I have many symptoms of Pure ocd and existential OCD, and would like advice from you people (aside from seeing a therapist).

I am depressed, have spent 2 years in obsessional hell, and ruined my life. I cannot to homeowork, take a shower, eat food, without questioning reality and just feeling like an alone person in a dark universe, all alone.

20 Replies

First off, you are not ALONE. I think the ideas you brought up about seeing everyone by their outside appearance applies to all of us. Looks can be deceiving though and until you actually interact, talk, get to really know someone can you get insight into what they are all about. I’m sorry that you spend so much time on these thoughts. Our lives on this earth are all we have and know and we have to just make the best of it. Life can be truly wonderful - it’s what you make of it. Your thoughts you have I think we all experience. You will get through this! 👍

Hi there,

First off I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this right now, I know how dark it can be. Almost all of my obsessions are harm and health based, but I have had some I would consider to be existential -and I think most of us here have dealt with that at some point. I sometimes obsess over if I’m hallucinating, if the world we live in is real, if other people can see me, if one day I will look in the mirror and not recognize myself, etc. However, I now recognize these to be just thoughts and I don’t give them any power or meaning because that is exactly what OCD wants. You’re obsessions don’t seem far fetched at all. In fact, I know people without OCD who worry about the meaning of life or how others perceive them. The difference is that people who live an OCD free life don’t get caught up in the thought and obsess over it. Here’s the thing, we will never have certainty about anything in our lives. We could all get hit by buses and die tomorrow. We just don’t know. But that becomes a problem because OCD demands certainty, and that’s the one thing we won’t ever be able to give it. It’s like a monster that is never satisfied. My advice to you would be to seek treatment (specifically ERP) because I can attest that it does work, but also to try your best to just observe the thoughts and let them pass. Or if you can’t get them out of your head, try counting down from 1000 by 7’s. It will force your brain to think about something else. You could also try the alphabet backwards or even singing a song. Hang in there. It does get better and we can still live meaningful lives without having certainty.

yeah thanks, I will try to accept I will never have perfect certainty, its really hard right now and I am sure it will be better in the future, but as of right now I am struggling, nothing seems real. But i will keep trying.

Yes, keep trying! There are many days I feel like giving up to but I know we can both do it! If you ever need someone to talk to you can always message and I’ll do my best to help!

Do you have anyone to support you honey. I’m sorry you’re going through this.. this illness is dark and cruel and not fair. But it is an illness- it is not how life is meant to be lived and trying to see the thoughts as separate from you and who you are is important. Life is just life and yes we will die one day, but not today so mindfulness and trying to take things one minute at a time is all we can do. I know it’s easier said than done but meditation and grounding may help.. good luck honey ♥️

PinkPlatinum in reply to ISTY

I do not mean to cry all over your lap, but I literally have no support. I am in junior year of my high school, moved 4 different high schools, and every high school change my trauma and stress increased. The onset of rumination and OCD occured a summer when I was isolated. I cannot tell my family about this, they will not exactly be supportive.

Hidden in reply to PinkPlatinum

Wow, I can't imagine attending 4 different high schools. It does seem like this has most likely contributed greatly to your torturous thought life, and made you feel so isolated. OCD is like torture sometimes. I am 61 and I remember having a really, really tough time in high school with what I now know had to have been OCD. I had a really bad home life that contributed to it. I hope you are doing as much as you possibly can toward other aspects of your health such as eating nutritious food (though you said you have trouble eating), exercise to relieve stress (maybe walking at least), socializing as much as possible with people you feel comfortable with, etc. All of these are connected to our overall health, and make us feel & function better. I didn't have many people I could connect with in high school, and I lived out in the country, very isolated. Summers were the very worst for me. I also hated weekends and couldn't wait until Monday when I would be at school. My parents did not care or know the extent of all that pain. They forced me to attend a very spiritually abusive church. I still suffer the consequences from that today. I can tell you are extremely intelligent. I know there is hope for you. I have been through severe OCD, and there was light at the end of the tunnel for me. I know that the right medication can help a lot due to the brain chemistry aspect of OCD, as so many others of us here in this support group attest to. I am so sorry you are going through this. I have said a prayer for you. I am pulling for you. Never give up.

PinkPlatinum in reply to Hidden

thanks so much, I am trying my best to take care of my health as I know physical health and mental health are inter-related. I know, you can relate to me of how you actually "craved" school- better to go to school than just sit at home. I will try to get through this, thanks!

PinkPlatinum in reply to ISTY

buuuuttttt, I will not give up, as you said, I will try to live life as it is

Hi PinkPlatinum,

Existential OCD was big for me when I was in grade school too. I would lose hours of sleep everyday because I felt like if I didn't get to the bottom of these questions, life would be meaningless or I would be doing it wrong. Of course, it would all be in my head and there really isn't an end to the questions. Sure, everything might be a lie, but you have to accept there's nothing you can do about it either way.

I spent a lot of time with therapy/ ERP/ medication at the end of my freshman year of university. I barely made it to college because I already started failing classes in high school from how OCD affected my homework rate even though I got the content (which helped on tests). But by then, I was just stretching my time and had to seek help when I was really at my rock bottom. It was scary at first, and I wasn't ever sure if treatment was even going to help me, but after a few months, I wish that I had gotten did it earlier! There are sooo many resources that a professional can give you, even if it's just through having someone to talk to. Plus a lot of other tools/ coping mechanisms you won't be able to get just by thinking about it yourself.

You mentioned difficulty completing homework, eating, and showering without these obsessions. Unfortunately, as someone with OCD, your obsessions will never simply go away. I have had to tell myself, "Yes, I'm experiencing OCD right now, but I'm just going to complete this task (eating spaghetti or whatever) even if it's not enjoyable, and I feel like there may be more pressing concerns. I have to focus on DOING the task in front of me. OCD can keep yapping away in my head, and I have to keep going because my actions are separate from my thoughts. And at this point, telling my thoughts/ OCD to shut up is useless." You can't stop THINKING, but you can still DO. Try to focus on that. I know it's easier said than done, but you CAN DO IT!

If you have any questions for me or just want to talk, just shoot me a message! Let's be here for each other :)



PinkPlatinum in reply to TPebble

thanks, this gave me the motivation to do work. I will for sure messege you in the future, thanks! In case I go into a spiral, expect a messege XD..

MyOCD123 in reply to TPebble

Sorry to jump in on your reply but wow - wise words!! When my OCD was at its worst it was also hard to even eat or shower and sometimes I still struggle with doing simple tasks because OCD is too loud and convinces me that I am bad and unworthy. I like your mindset, even if it feels wrong or it’s not enjoyable just keep doing it with OCD in the background. I needed to hear this today, so thank you!

TPebble in reply to MyOCD123

Hearing you guys say this was helpful. . . Wow, it actually makes me feel kinda awesome. Like, I was able to contribute something positive with my experience with my OCD :') I am learning with you all. (Not saying that OCD is a positive experience at all! Lol)

Miss Pink... please reach out to your high school counselor; I know for a fact that he or she will help you! High schools today are really aware that students struggle with mental health problems; please talk to a trusted teacher or guidance counselor who understands some of your challenges. All it takes is one special, caring adult to make an enormous difference in the life of a struggling teen. (I am a retired high school teacher and I know that your teachers really, really care about you. Be brave and open up.) Take care. Sheila

Yeah I agree, that's the first thing I did. I do not have support at home, the only place left for me to get support is school. They are going to check in with me either this week or next week

Glad to hear it. You will get through this.


Hang in there, Pink Platinum. It sounds very tough. I have to tell you, I love your online name 😊😊

I am sorry to hear that you have had 6 major obsessions after a stressful event.

I understand the feeling of your life being ruined.

I, too, understand the obsessions seemingly rendering your life meaningless. I have been there too.

I also suffer from the obsession relating to imminent death. Mine revolves more around the fact that the human heart can stop working at any time.

The timing of impending death is completely uncertain, meaning that it is a huge inconvenience in the brains of those with OCD.

OCD latches onto anything and everything that you love. It jumps around and always finds something else to screw you up.

I am highly intrigued by your specific description of your current obsession.

No human being will ever be aware of their outer appearance. It is not possible. I understand that this does not matter to OCD.

Yes, others see you through your outward appearance.

It is not uncommon, I believe, for people afflicted with OCD to suffer from uncertainty when perceiving other people. This is similar to checking rituals in the sense that the brain is never totally sure of the action that it just completed.

Your brain is highly obsessed with the appearance of others because of its obsession with your own appearance.

I understand the doubting that occurs in your brain. I completely understand

That does not sound very far fetched from OCD. I don’t think that it is very far fetched.

Are you taking any medication?

I am saddened to hear about the current state of your life. I promise that I have been in the same position as you. I could not complete homework, take a shower, eat food, or complete any daily functions due to my obsessions and compulsions.

I know the feeling.

It gets better.

I promise.

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