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Scary OCD Symptoms

by Noelle

I just turned 20 years old and I was recently diagnosed with OCD. I do not have any compulsions, it is just the obsessive thoughts. When I first began having the thoughts I panicked and spent two weeks in constant terror wondering what was wrong with me. Once I learned what was going on, the thoughts became less frequent. I notice that they come back when I am tired or stressed. I try to ignore them but sometimes they are so scary that I just cannot handle it. Lately, the thoughts are violent and it makes me scared even though i know that i shouldn't let them scare me :( i need some advice and encouragement!!!!

Reply from Sound-Mind.org

Hi Noelle,

Just for the record, I did not have compulsions either... only scary obsessive thoughts. I can totally relate to your message
and I can understand your concerns.

The more you try to ignore and push away those thoughts...the more they will persist. Sometimes "ignoring" them while
just "wishing them away" only makes it harder. It's like trying to pretend they don't bother you when they do!

One thing that helped me was to visualize those scary thoughts in a different way. I had so many violent, scary thoughts... I
literally had to take the time to re-picture them in my mind in a "stupid, silly and non-threatening" way. This takes practice of course and it must be a deliberate thing that you take time to do. Reminding yourself that they are only thoughts... nothing but thoughts and thoughts can't hurt you. Also reminding yourself that you would NEVER do anything you didn't want to do.

The fear with these thoughts is that we will do something out of our control. Fears of losing our minds, going crazy, and doing things we don't want to do are the very thoughts and fears that drive our anxiety and scary thoughts.

Where did these thoughts come from? They came from an anxious mind that caught a glimpse of a basic random thought and decided to pick it apart and dwell on it.... then your brain wants to protect you and those you love from it EVER happening.

It is almost like we are set in "protection" overdrive. Protecting ourselves from the big "what if's"...

Best thing you can do is remind yourself over and over again of the truth.... re-picture your scary thoughts... and also take
time to deal with the stress and anxiety in your daily life. Stress and anxiety are huge triggers for obsessive scary thoughts
as well as full fledged OCD. So be sure to take good care of your body and your mind. Exercise, sleep and a good diet help keep you balanced.

Also, if you find that your thoughts get loud and overwhelming... just remember, it's your loud-mouth chatter box in your head on auto-pilot. The more attention you give it, the louder it gets. Accept that it's there, go on with life and know that these thoughts are ALL BARK AND NO BITE! : )

If you still struggle after trying self-help methods, do not hesitate to discuss this with your doctor. There is real help for anxiety and it can be found in many different places. Don't give up... as long as you persist, anxiety cannot win!

Take Care!
~Susan

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