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Do you have something others don't understand?

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posted on May, 3 2011 @ 03:10 PM
I'm curious to hear about other folks' experience with this.

I have OCD. Real, diagnosed, severe, life-crippling OCD. Unfortunately, this is an illness some people have heard about on TV, which makes them experts on it. They know so much, they can even diagnose themselves and each other. Problem is, the TV version of OCD has only the slightest connection with the reality. People think it's about compulsions, about washing your hands, etc, when the heart of it comes from disordered cognitive issues such as intrusive or racing thoughts. The external signs are just how the sufferer deals with the actual problems going on inside. But people see cute Mr. Monk and think aha, I like my coffee mug facing a certain way, I must have a little OCD!

There's no such thing as being "a little bit OCD", okay? And it's absolutely anything but cute and charming. It's not some broad term that means anybody who's tidy or particular. Indeed, some OCD people are very messy and dirty, because the alternative is trying to make everything so perfect they would not be able to stop even when their hands started bleeding. Others have fixations that have nothing to do with cleanliness at all. There are better ways to describe yourself if what you mean is that you're uncomfortable with dirt or untidiness.

There is mild or moderate OCD, and I'm not at all saying those cases are not real. But you cannot diagnose yourself. The internet cannot diagnose you. The reason for this is that you're talking about a mental illness. If you actually are mentally ill, you're in no position to judge your own thoughts and behavior without outside help. So you may be right that you're not well, but very wrong about the nature of the problem, which means you will end up at best wasting time focusing on that, and at worst causing damage to yourself.

And if you're just somebody who's kinda quirky and thinks it's cool to co-opt diseases and disorders because they're suddenly interesting to the public, then knock it off. Please. You're making it harder for those of us who really do suffer from these things.

Anyone with a similar issue, please feel free to post your request to others here as well, so I can feel righteous.

edit on 3-5-2011 by sepermeru because: edit button is my best friend

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 03:16 PM
I have no experience, but know from research OCD can be treated slowly over time. I hope that with support you have some relief from this condition.

All the Best to you!


Psychotherapy is an extremely effective treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder. It should always be the first-line treatment for OCD, especially in children. Psychotherapy can be done one-on-one with a trained specialist or within a group setting. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the only proven form of psychotherapy for OCD.

Cognitive behavioral therapy for obsessive compulsive disorder is highly effective. It is a type of therapy that focuses on changing thought patterns by altering behavior. The patient will be gradually exposed to the obsession which causes fear and told not to engage in compulsive behavior. With increased exposure, the patient will experience less and less anxiety as she realizes that nothing bad is happening. After ongoing treatment, 50% to 80% of patients cease all compulsive behavior.

It can be challenging to find a clinician that is qualified to administer proper treatment for OCD. Although the treatment is usually time-limited and not complicated, many community professionals are not trained to provide the most effective therapies for this disorder. The best places for treatment tend to be academic medical research centers, where they offer the most current, cutting-edge, validated therapies. These centers can be expensive, but usually they offer low cost options as needed and free treatment for people who are available to participate in research studies for OCD.

Alternative Treatments for OCD

The only proven alternative treatment for mild cases of OCD is St. John's Wort. However, some people with OCD may also find that meditation, exercise and other natural stress relievers may help ease their anxiety symptoms.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 03:21 PM
Sorry to hear, that sucks.

My sister had SEVERE OCD for many years and it's a terrible ordeal to watch someone go through. A decade of therapy and who knows how many psyche meds later, she's finally turned her life around.

I feel your pain.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 03:21 PM
reply to post by donatellanator

I am lucky to have an excellent therapist -- we do not believe in CBT for various reasons, though I would never tell someone not to do it if it works for them. But the methods we're using have helped, and thanks again for posting this, because I should also stress that severe OCD is not a life sentence and it can be managed and improved. I will likely always have to deal with it to some degree, but it can be possible to work on it even without CBT or heavy medication, if anyone reading this is feeling frustrated with those approaches.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 03:22 PM
HI there, thank you for sharing.
What are your obsessive tendencies? Do you ever feel like just exploding?
How do you handle your OCD? I don't know too much about the subject, what you just posted is just about as in depth as i have ever learned, sadly

I don't have an illness, per se, I don't even know where to begin.
I just know that I'm not like everyone else. I see things differently, yet I somehow still manage to "fit in" wherever I go.
I can't turn my brain off. I constantly have thoughts in my head, and they're "what if..." thoughts.
I'll ask myself a question and give myself an answer, but then make a question out my answer. I find that I am paranoid as well.
If I stop an accident before it happens, my mind plays out every single scenario that could have been.
It sounds like nothing, but it's not the easiest thing to deal with, especially when you're trying to sleep. My brain just won't turn off!!
I have no one around me that understands it, though, which is of course the hardest part.
No one except my bf, anyway. One person is better than none
edit on 3-5-2011 by jonibelle because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 03:23 PM
I believe all sickness is in the mind, and that you can cure yourself.
Some physical ailments do exist, but they can be removed with natural remedies.

I was told I had ADD by GOD knows how many people.. I've been told I have OCD, Hyperactive Disorder, etc...

Then a couple years down the line, I'm hanging out with 10-13 year olds right? And I see them doing the SAME things I was doing when I was little.. And I thought to myself (kiddingly) "Hey, They must have ADD/ADHD/OCD/'___'/PCP" lol

Kids are Kids. People are people. If you have intrusive thoughts, you face them and question them. Try writing them out and see if they make any sense, and then meditate on removing these intrusive thoughts and creating thoughts of your own... or meditate purely on something that makes u happy and calm.. Maybe someone you love? Or an imaginary figure you can fall in love with.. Use your imagination to cure urself

I used to have intrusive thoughts when I was little, and then I convinced myself that they'll leave my mind soon and it'll all be alright.. and they did!

Medicine doesn't help you, it's made for profit, not help..
So try meditation. Become more self aware.. of your actions, the reasons behind your actions etc...
Try to stop yourself from having thoughts / performing repetitive actions every once in a while, see when you're being automatic and stop yourself.. become more and more self-aware... It helps a LOT

Hope that helps u my freng!

May the Gods be with you!

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 03:25 PM
reply to post by ancientmustytext

Thanks you for your compassion. I'm very glad to hear your sister's life finally became more livable for her. It's an illness that is also quite hard on the people around us, and most of us would give anything to change that. Knowing that something you can't help in yourself is hurting the people you love is just awful. It sounds like you stayed there for her, though, and I'm sure that made a huge difference. It can be frustratingly slow, but over time, that kind of thing really does matter a lot.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 03:27 PM

Originally posted by sepermeru
reply to post by donatellanator

I am lucky to have an excellent therapist -- we do not believe in CBT for various reasons, though I would never tell someone not to do it if it works for them. But the methods we're using have helped, and thanks again for posting this, because I should also stress that severe OCD is not a life sentence and it can be managed and improved. I will likely always have to deal with it to some degree, but it can be possible to work on it even without CBT or heavy medication, if anyone reading this is feeling frustrated with those approaches.

Everyone is different.
Maybe if you have time, post a brief overview of the methods you use with your therapist. It may help people who come to this thread who maybe cannot afford treatment or are even afraid.

Personally, I would stay away from taking pharmaceuticals for this, but to each their own. Thanks for bringing this to light, I'm sure there are a lot out there who need support.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 03:28 PM
reply to post by heavenlysouldier

Have you considered that maybe you're special? Maybe you have an ability others do not? I think it can be misleading to assume that one's own experience could apply to anyone. I know people who can do really complicated math in their heads -- that doesn't mean I could too, even if I tried very hard. I might be able to get better at it, but there will always be a limit on how good I can be.

We all have different abilities and limitations due to the physical structures of our brains. It might be good to think about whether it's more compassionate to assume that if others aren't doing something you find easy, that isn't because they are weak or uninformed, but because it isn't as easy for them as it was for you.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 03:36 PM
reply to post by sepermeru

What are your thoughts when you're experiencing this OCD you discribe. Is it fear? Frustration?

You didn't actually discribe what you do/feel/think that makes you OCD?

What makes it "crippling"?

If its a fear of something the best way to deal with it is face it.

edit on 3-5-2011 by Akragon because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 03:43 PM
reply to post by Akragon

OCD is a disease of cognition that means, in part, I don't think like you or any healthy person does. (And the evidence of OCD on the brain can be seen in scans, by the way. An OCD brain does not work like a healthy brain.) For that reason, it's very difficult for you to have a clear enough sense of what my brain is like to see why what you suggest isn't possible for me.

I know it's very hard to understand when you're not sick yourself, because what you find in your own brain are answers that seem obvious. But the point there you're missing is that your brain is not sick, so it can do things mine cannot. It's like looking at someone in a wheelchair and asking why don't they just walk -- when you want to walk, you just walk, so why don't they? Because they're missing something you have.

I didn't intend this thread to be about my personal OCD, so I'd rather not get into detail about that here. I really do want to hear from people who have a similar issue of an illness that is popularly co-opted and misunderstood (though I welcome any perspectives, this being a public board and all, of course). If people are really interested, I might start an 'Ask The' type thread for specifics. It might help combat the very problem I'm complaining about, come to think of it. I'm just not sure it's comfortable for me, but I'll think about it.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 03:51 PM
reply to post by sepermeru

If you deem yourself unable to do something, you have just limited urself to an experience that can change your life... even if you've tried.. maybe you haven't tried with the right frame of mind...
If you say you have a disorder, you will believe it. Maybe you have an energy you do not know how to control..
If you think I am more able than you at doing anything, maybe you need a little self-esteem boost.

I am not saying to do as I did, I am just sharing my experience to show you that there IS a way out of ANYTHING. You just have to BELIEVE.. While the intentions of Hospitals and Health Industry Personnel are to heal people, they make people believe they're sicker than they really are... Mainly due to money..

I'm not "popular" at all.. I don't have many friends.. People see me as "weird".. I had to teach myself most things I know.. Those who wanted to help me were actually showing me to do things for their benefit, so I'd have to seek my own reasons for learning and growing and healing myself. I learned from imitation.. I became less and less weird by analyzing myself and everyone else.. But I'm still weird.. It's just me...

Like I said about becoming self aware.. Look back into your history.. Maybe something went wrong there.. Maybe you missed something.. and you have to confront it and face it now to remove this "disorder" .. or harness this energy.. Be brave to change yourself.. and be yourself..

edit on 5/3/2011 by heavenlysouldier because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 03:57 PM
reply to post by heavenlysouldier

I think I'm actually already taking your advice.
What you're describing sounds a lot like the process of talk therapy, which is mainly how I'm treating the problem. You're absolutely right that there is a way out, or at least a way to be better than I am now, and I work very hard on that, every day.

I think you might just underestimate how much harder it can be for some people than others, and how having a physical illness of the brain isn't something you can just convince yourself to stop having, in the same way you can't just grow new legs if you lose them. You might be able to walk again if you are in an accident, but it could take years of physical training and therapy before that is possible.

Same thing with an illness like this -- I still have a brain, it still functions in some ways, and the cool thing about the brain is that you can learn how to build new pathways around physical damage or defect. But it takes a lot of time and it's extremely painful and difficult people really should try to be patient and compassionate when they meet people who are still working on it, even if they find it hard to understand why it isn't easier.
edit on 3-5-2011 by sepermeru because: edit button likes my hair this way

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 04:00 PM
reply to post by sepermeru


Perhaps all this Diagnosing that you've had done by "doctors" prevented you from your own self realization. If they never told you about this issue, or even if you were never "diagnosed" would you feel the same way about it? Obviously you believe you have a problem, and of course im not a doctor so what i say really means nothing, but perhaps this illness you're speaking of is something you were born with for a reason. Something you have to figure out in your own head. Talk it out with someone...

Do some soul searching, you'll be supprized what you stumble upon sometimes.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 04:07 PM
reply to post by Akragon

Heh. Believe me, I don't need a doctor to tell me that I'm not well. It's quite obvious to anyone who knows me, and has a dramatic impact on my life that can't be ignored. I understand that your paradigm is very personal and spiritual, and I do see the value in that perspective, but what would you be saying if I had no legs? This is a physical condition, same as that. And what you're saying really underscores my point -- if you're under the impression that this is something that has to be diagnosed before it is noticed, then you're probably misunderstanding what it actually is.

Actually, I think even just talking to any other person about it can be as useful as talking to a shrink. The important thing is not to depend on your own perceptions to determine whether your perceptions are flawed. Obviously that is a bad idea!

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 04:24 PM
reply to post by sepermeru

but what would you be saying if I had no legs? This is a physical condition, same as that.

Are you saying you're physically missing a part of your brain?

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 04:31 PM
reply to post by Akragon

I'm saying an OCD brain operates physically differently from a non-OCD brain, and that this is visible on physical scans. You can diagnose OCD with almost 100% accuracy just by scanning someone's brain.

In a recently published study in NeuroImage, researchers Carles Soriano-Mas et al. demonstrate that structural brain scans can identify subjects suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) with a 93.1% classification accuracy (for a whole-brain comparison). In addition, individual variance in OCD symptom severity was correlated with the measured neural differences. In other words, the more you suffer from OCD the more you are likely to stick out in the analysis as an oddball, compared to a healthy norm.

Note that while it says recent, this link is from 2007, so this has been known for some time. They're even now developing implants designed to work with severe OCD specifically because its activity in the brain is so easy to map.

But I am way off my own topic here, so I'm going to subside and let others have a chance to post their experiences.

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 04:40 PM
reply to post by sepermeru

Have you tried meditation?

posted on May, 3 2011 @ 04:54 PM
reply to post by Akragon

Believe it or not, trying to meditate causes a panic attack. This is true for me generally -- anything designed to make me relax actually makes me even more anxious.

What I'm doing is working great for me. It's just going to take time, and there's nothing I can do to speed it up, but that is okay. I have really serious issues with the extreme overmedication of mentally ill people, let alone people who aren't even sick, so don't get me wrong and think I'm an advocate for the system. I also think there are problems with even the standard in OCD therapy, and have chosen not to go that way myself. So I have examined the question and found my own path with it.

I do appreciate your concern, and that you're presenting an alternate perspective. I try to always stay open to ideas that are different from mine. In this case, though, I do feel like I'm good with the way I'm going.

posted on May, 4 2011 @ 01:33 AM
reply to post by sepermeru

I can so completely relate to and sympathize with everything you've said here. I have a neurological disorder that is completely misunderstood by 99.9% of the population and treated with the same flippancy you've described in regards to OCD. I'll bet you can even guess what it is.
While I do get frustrated at the "I'm a little bit" and even "I think everyone is to some extent" type comments, what really gets me is the people who've decided the existence of said neuro disorder is up for debate. For some reason it is exceedingly difficult for most to grasp that the difference in my brain and theirs is physiological, not psychological. Yes, some of the symptoms manifest psychologically - but if not for the inherent physiological difference, those symptoms wouldn't exist.
At this point I've stopped talking to anyone about it unless they have questions and are genuinely curious. I don't mind discussing/explaining/educating because that leads to increased awareness of the actual facts - but I will no longer entertain debates incited by people with no more than a pop-culture understanding of the issue.

So there's my rant! I hope you feel righteous - or at least understood. I'm a champion lurker and I crawled all the way out of my lurk-cave to show some moral support! And btw, i want to commend you for your handling of this topic so far. It's easy to get fed up and hostile when discussing something so personal and pervasive - but you've been extremely open minded and understanding in each of your posts and I was really impressed with your responses.

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