I'm new here and OCD is taking over my life...LITERALLY (IN NEED OF ADVICE)

Hello everyone! I'm new to this site. I joined because I was desperate for some sort of way to handle my intrusive thoughts. My intrusive thoughts started during the summer of this year. I started having intrusive thoughts regarding my religion. I thought God hated me and I would go to confession days in a row and still feel guilt. As time went on, I learned to handle my intrusive thoughts and as they started happening I learned to not let them phase me (I'm not really sure how I did this. It just sort of happened). Life starting getting better until the beginning of my senior year when I took a theology class at my school. My teacher, who is kind of the "do this or you're going to hell type", was giving us a lecture about how impure thoughts are mortal sins and how we are going to hell if we don't confess them. Immediately this set an alarm off in my brain. I thought, "I've had impure thoughts before! I need to confess them tonight or else I'm going to hell!" So I went to confession that night and confessed impure thoughts even though they were just little thoughts that had entered my brain and I had completely forgot about after they had entered my mind for a couple of seconds. After this happened, I have had continuous "impure" or sexual OCD intrusive thoughts. I feel disgusting even sharing that. The intrusive thoughts are constant. Even when I am not thinking directly of them, they are haunting me in the back of my mind. When I wake up I have an immediate fear that I will have an intrusive thought. While I have not been diagnosed with OCD yet, I am 150% sure I have OCD after doing a lot of research. When I read symptoms of OCD or I hear stories from someone who has OCD, it's like I am reading about myself. The comparison is almost identical.

The main reason I am reaching out is because I am at a point where OCD has completely taken over my life and I have no idea what to do. It's gotten to the point where I've had a intrusive thought during my favorite show and I can't watch the show anymore without feeling guilt or remembering the intrusive thought that I had. Same with songs and etc. Today I was listening to one of my favorite albums when I had a intrusive thought and I had to shut it off and go to my room. I later had a mental breakdown of hysteric sobbing and searching the internet on how to deal with intrusive thoughts and that is how I stumbled onto this support network.

My parents know that I am struggling with mental illness (depression and anxiety), but they do not know that I am struggling with OCD. Quite frankly, I don't know how to tell them. I am afraid that they won't believe me or that they will be disgusted by intrusive thoughts. I've only told one person about my probably OCD and I still feel uncomfortable talking about it because I feel that they might think I'm seeking attention or that I'm weird because of my intrusive thoughts. I have an appointment coming up soon with a counselor but I am wondering if I should meet with a psychologist? If you have thoughts on this please comment below.

For those who have struggled or are currently struggling with OCD, How do you cope with intrusive thoughts? Do you ever feel like your a normal person again? Does life get better or will I always have this unsettling feeling in the back of my mind? If you have any advice on how to cope with it, please let me know. I am desperate for answers at this point.

If you read to the end, thank you! God bless!

9 Replies

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  • Most of us with OCD do learn to manage life with it. It can and does get better, particularly with medication and therapy to help you.

    I'm assuming that as you are a student you are still young. In that case, impure and sexual thoughts are normal! It's hard for someone in their teens and early twenties not to have 'impure' thoughts! In fact they are normal anyway, and for most of us they are pleasurable.

    I am a little bit concerned about some of the teaching you are getting. I'm not religious myself, but I do know that for many people religion is part of who they are. But religion, whatever faith or tradition you belong to, should be about love, and not about sin and hate. A teacher has no business filling the minds of young people, or anyone, with a feeling of worthlessness. It is within your power to think for yourself, and to criticize your teacher if you think they are talking a load of garbage.

    Many people who are sincerely religious have had the sort of feelings about it you have, including many of the most famous theologians in history! It is a recognized form of OCD.

    Try reading the poems of George Herbert, the 17th century poet and clergyman, in particular his poem called 'Love 3'. It is called 'Love 3' to distinguish it from his other poems also called Love. It's a beautiful poem and about love and forgiveness and self-acceptance.

    The horrible thing about intrusive thoughts is that the more you push them away the more they return. Part of the treatment for OCD involves just letting them alone, and starved of attention, they cease to be so troublesome. But do get professional help if you can.

    Also get some literature about OCD which can be a great help. The self help book Overcoming OCD is a good one, and includes case studies of people who are experiencing the same kind of OCD that you are.

    Any decent therapist or psychologist will not think you're weird, or disgusting, or attention demanding, just someone who is in pain. It may be harder to open up to other people, but if they know what OCD is, they may be more understanding than you think.

    Here's hoping that you start to feel better. Try not to accuse yourself of being sinful, because the intrusive thoughts you've been having are not sinful.

  • Thank you so much for your reply. I agree with you, the teacher at my school is definitely not teaching the truth to religion at all. I am very strong in my faith and I know that that is not the attitude of it at all. Thank you for all of your advice. I will definitely look into the reading material you suggested. Your reply sincerely made me feel hopeful and for that I can not thank you enough for.

  • HI

    one of the sub-types of OCD is Scrupolosity and here is an article from a OCD specialist that explains pretty well what is about

    ocdonline.com/god-forbid

    Try not to resist thoughts that come to your mind - doing so you carry out compulsions and make the thoughts stronger and more difficult to deal with. Just let them come and ignore them, they are only a product of your imagination and there is no sin attached to them. You did not invite them.

    See a therapist, also for your depression (OCD and depression are good travel companions) and take medication, antidepressants and specific anti anxiety medication like Xanax and-or Lorazepam. They are recommended together with CBT treatment. I take both and they are safe.

    I you want to read more about scrupolosity, just google Scrupolosity and OCD , though the article I have mentioned above ism quite exhaustive. Focusing on what the article says instead of ruminating mentally about your thoughts should help you se3e things more clearly.

    Best wishes

    Max

  • Thank you for your reply. When I started getting intrusive thoughts (before I knew what they were and that they were linked to OCD) and I would search online for hours trying to find a religious teaching on the matter and eventually I came upon a Catholic forum that suggested that it might be OCD. That's how I started looking into scrupulosity and researching OCD and it's symptoms. Thank you so much on all your advice! It means so much to me!

  • Just one thing to say really....

    I've found that the more stressed I am, the worse my OCD gets. The better I manage stress, the easier it is to deal with the OCD. Having supportive, understanding people about helps.

  • Thank you for your response! I appreciate it! I will definitely try to find ways to reduce or manage my stress going forward.

  • HI

    you need a therapist, somebody qualified or very familiar with OCD and the treatment for it , CBT/ERP (you can google to know how it works and I think there is even an article on this site). Antianxiety medication is also recommended with CBT , I take Lorazepam and Xanax - they are two of the more popular ones and they are safe), they work fine..

    As regards your religious teaching, here is a brilliant article that should put a different light on the intrusive thoughts

    ocdonline.com/god-forbid

    Your parents can be of support - maybe you can disclose that you have OCD but there is no need to disclose the content of your intrusive thoughts. By the way, most people have them, it just becomes a problem if you want to fight them. You think about them, you re obsessed by the content, you ruminate etc. The best way is to to let them go - you may incur anxiety but eventually that will decrease and you should have some more control, and peace as a result.

    Hope some of this helps

    MaxS

  • Thank you for your response! I am going to see a counselor in about a week and I'm going to tell her about my OCD and see how it goes from there. I really appreciate your comment thank you so much!

  • Hi cepto,

    I suffer from intrusive thoughts too. They can become so bad that i cant even concentrate. Ive been gling through this for almost 2 years. Im doing better then i was. Im on medication ans try to distract myself so im not thinking about the intrusive thoughts.

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