Obsessed with rumination: Does anyone else... - My OCD Community

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Obsessed with rumination

Catlady27
Catlady27

Does anyone else struggle with rumination becoming an obsession in itself? I try to rationalize my thoughts to make myself see that the ocd is just ridiculous. For example, I will tell myself it is okay to touch something that I think is contaminated because other people in my family have touched it and then touched other things all through the house - thus the contamination is everywhere anyways. It's a coping skill that doesn't work too well for me, especially lately as I am using it like crazy. I find that I am now obsessed with these ruminating/rationalizing thoughts and can stuck in them for crazy lengths of time (covid stress has made this worse). I even have to repeat the ruminating thought in my head 5 times in order for it to feel right. If I don't tell myself the thought 5 times, then the anxiety doesn't go down. It is the weirdest thing. Anyone out there have struggles like this? Or a better coping strategy than ruminating?

21 Replies

I struggle as well. I had a therapist tell me to try setting aside a "worry time" once a day for 10 minutes. Meaning, I could get all of my stress and rumination done then. But then I have to let it go after the time.

To be honest it is tough for me and I am not very good at this therapy but...it's an interesting thought.

My counting games and tasks are getting more and more complex because of covid stress.

Catlady27
Catlady27 in reply to LulaBeth

Yeah, I just don't know how to set a time limit to it and then stop. My brain just doesn't let me stop doing it because I tell it to stop. It feels out of my control completely. It is such a struggle.

LulaBeth
LulaBeth in reply to Catlady27

The trick is to stay present. This is what your grouping of 5 is. An attempt to get present. I am a counter too.

Catlady27
Catlady27 in reply to LulaBeth

What do you mean by stay present?

LulaBeth
LulaBeth in reply to Catlady27

It is hard to do more than 1 thing at once. So I think the counting in a way is my sad attemt to stop ruminating and obsessing. But now my counting is so excessive to counterbalance the excessive rumination.

My example:

I have sexual OCD and in my mind, someone in my house could be a pedephile.

I ruminate and obsess sitting on my bed usually. Literally "worrying"

So I make rules that are hard to follow without focusing

I do 10 tasks per room I physically stop in. If i leave the room before completed tasks, then I add the remaining balance to the next rooms list of tasks.

I have timed sub tasks as well. So involved.

But hard to worry about the other stuff with math floating in my brain.

ames00
ames00 in reply to Catlady27

I was told that the best thing to do is to do nothing at all because that is the only way to stop it.

Catlady27
Catlady27 in reply to ames00

Thank you. I have heard the same advice. I just have a hard time doing it. Covid has made it even harder because I have been in quarantine with my family and out of work for the past 10 months. I have too much time to think without much to do. Boredom appears to be ocd's best friend.

Oldbury1
Oldbury1 in reply to Catlady27

Me too I completely understand what you are saying. I have severe OCD contimation so I have reduced my handwashing from hours down to 15 mins but it's the counting process at the same time as the handwashing I count to 5 times on each side of hand and than my arm for it too feel 'right'. So might need techniques from my therapy how to stop the counting but it's the counting that makes it feel right or that I've handwash properly to avoid going back to redo it again and again. It's like the counting helps my brain to say stop. But I do struggle as my brain usually tells me to do it a few times before I can walk away. If that makes sense it's so exhausting. I know I will be doing ERP shortly but I think I'm going to struggle as the thought of using the toilet and not handwashing for awhile will be hard for me. I think having reduced the excessive amount off handwashing is better than nothing I've saved abit of time and time too spend with my two young children. But I'm not sure if is that because off Living back with parents at the moment I've reduced the excessive handwashing as I don't what to upset them they are tired and old. But I'm worried once I'm back home will this OCD increase again slowly as I'm left to my own devices at home is insecurity I have to do it. Anyone relate to this or got advice how to feel I can cope going forward on my own

Catlady27
Catlady27 in reply to Oldbury1

I completely can understand your counting issue. Ironically my number is also 5! I told this to my therapist. He said the number itself really isn't significant. We are focusing on a specific number and counting to it in order to release or reduce ourselves from the anxiety. I also often find myself having to count to 5 several times instead of just once in order to feel relief. I am trying to work on taking the number down to 4 or 3 now at his advice. Do you also wash up your arms as well when using the sink? I have extended my handwashing up my arms as the years have gone by. I have not heard of anyone on this site doing that, just scrubbing their hands for too long or too often. I am also pushing myself towards ERP now, which is something I have never tried as I have always been too chicken.

Oldbury1
Oldbury1 in reply to Catlady27

Yes thats how I think by counting to a specific number 5 several times instead of once in order to release or reduce the length of time handwash. It makes me feels just "right" counting upto 5. Yes I was also advice to try and bring the number down to 3/4 to reduce the time spent handwashing. Yes I have extended my handwashing up my arms to my elbows as the years have gone by especially due to covid as you have more time for 'thinking'. And also by not having to do any school run or work to go to which otherwise I'd have to stop at a certain point otherwise I'd be late getting there, so the has excessive handwash has increased due to being stuck indoor more than before which doesn't help. It is very exhausting and time consuming to be washing your arms as well as the water splashes everywhere causing damp. I am having CBT with s therapist who is has asked me to do some ERP but I'm struggling on my own to force myself to do so instead I avoid it to get away from standing there too long. I am taking medication 60mg fluoxtine so being on the higher dose I hope this helps to take the edge off abit to help me try and do some ERP has just thinking about it like putting your hand in the kitchen bin gives me to much anxiety.

Catlady27
Catlady27 in reply to Oldbury1

I know exactly what you mean by "it feeling just right" when you count to 5. I think only us with an ocd brain can truly understand that. I haven't even tried to explain that part to my therapist.

Hi, I am a fellow OCD sufferer. I would highly recommend to follow Shannon Shy's facebook page: "OCD Can Be Defeated. I'm living proof". He's helped me a ton. it's great to get advice from someone who has beaten OCD!

Catlady27
Catlady27 in reply to 222purple

Oh my God, thank you for this! I may look into getting his book "It's okay". Have you read it? My phobias are contamination mostly, not getting sick or dying but just feeling a immense gross feeling. I don't know if I can relate to his phobias enough for it to be beneficial to me.

222purple
222purple in reply to Catlady27

anytime! yes, I have his book "It's Okay" and I really liked it. If you go on his facebook page, he has ten 5min videos called "Shannon Blitzes OCD". These are really helpful. He also has a new book coming out in March. I think you'll find him very helpful!

Yup. Classic anxiety symptoms, classic OCD. When I get caught up in the rumination piece of it can be exhausting. Since we can't control our thoughts, we can only control how we react to them, I sometimes have to say "I don't have time for this or I don't want to go over this again right now" and I will "set aside time later" to address it. Usually that helps in the moment and often times I don't need to "worry later". I understand what you mean, it can be so frustrating. The repetitive action of thinking things x amount of times before the anxiety comes down, maybe bc doing that in other situations caused that feeling we get of relief after repeating things w OCD. Your brain is looking to that response to relieve the anxiety even though it really doesn't make sense. What your explaining is not weird at all. Have you tried cbt? I found it very helpful for OCD. 💛

Catlady27
Catlady27 in reply to hlacovara

Thank you for responding so kindly. I have seen a therapist about 5 times now since December. I am working towards pushing myself to do exposures since my main theme is contamination. The ruminations drive me nuts though! I'm sorry that they bother you as well

hlacovara
hlacovara in reply to Catlady27

You're welcome! I totally understand . It drives me nuts sometimes soon. We will keep working hard though and eventually it will get better 💛

See if this helps: telling yourself the surface may or may not be contaminated, but you're going to touch it anyway,. If OCD wants to chime in afterwards, keep returning to ambiguity: "That may or may not happen." "That may or may not be true."

Catlady27
Catlady27 in reply to NWOntario

Thank you

I dont really have counting as a compulsion but I do have a weird relationship with numbers. I am afraid of them. I avoid them because i am worried i will start using them as a compulsion. I am not at the point of ruminating becoming part of a compulsion but I do find strange things like that happening to me with other things. I can not handle the generic OCD treatments which are do not perform compulsions period or live in the anxiety and crap. Take it slow. Try to limit the times you think about it to 4. When you ok with that go to 3 then so on. If that's too much, even just thinking about lower the number to 4 could be enough to get rolling in the right direction. Taking things slower was crucial for me to get better.

Appreciate the reply! I am doing exactly that, trying to lower the number to 4. It has gotten a little easier with changing my meds to Ziibryd since Celexa did nothing for me but make me feel physically strange (like a boulder was sitting on top of my head). I wouldn't recommend avoiding numbers altogether as they are a way of life and we need them to function, but definitely try not to add them to your ruminations - it truly becomes a whole new compulsion in itself that grows over time and is hard to stop. I do understand that you avoiding the numbers is a true compulsion for you though and I am discounting your struggle. I have contamination obsessions myself that can be downright debilitating as they cause me tremendous fear.

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