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OCD without rituals?

(14 Posts)
pigeonpoo Sun 20-Mar-16 15:49:43

I'm fairly convinced I have some form of OCD, but not in the obvious sense

I don't have outward rituals, but there are lots of ways I accomodate my life and behaviour in response to obsessive thoughts, far beyond normal ranges

Anyone around to help me make sense of this?

mrswhiskers Sun 20-Mar-16 17:39:09

Bumping this for you.
What do you mean by accommodating your behaviour with obsessive thoughts?
I know there are different types of OCD and it's different for everyone.
I have OCD and I don't have rituals as such (like switching a switch off X amount of times) but I have set ways of doing things and I get really upset if anything stops me from completing my routines (mostly centred around keeping order in my home). I thought for ages I was just house proud and it's only recently I've admitted it's likely OCD. I've just started on medication for anxiety but it's early days.
Hope someone more knowledgeable comes along soon.

pigeonpoo Sun 20-Mar-16 17:59:31

Well I know my thoughts are over the top and taken too far and even irrational iykwim but I still need to adapt my behaviour because of them.

I could scientifically prove I'm wrong about something (and often do as its all related to pregnancy/reproductive health), but I would still take the precautions I thought could prevent something - despite knowing logically that it won't at all.

I can't dislodge the obsessive thoughts by proving them wrong. I can only manage them by obeying them as though they were true

I wanted to take a medication to cope recently, and I know that antidepressants do not cause autism, and I know that I cannot prevent autism, and I know that autism is genetic and environmental so even if the media suggesting a link has any basis in science it's not an automatic that they do cause autism, and I also know that I am not currently trying to conceive and my relationship is up the spout so it's all moot anyway, but then I panic I will accidentally fall pregnant (despite that being incredibly unlikely due to fertility problems along with that you need to be sexually active for that to happen!) and I just couldn't take the antidepressants. It was easier not to take them. Even though I know they would help and my obsessive thoughts aren't true anyway.

That's just one snapshot. It happens with other things too.

I panic my mobile phone use will have made my eggs bad. I have no scientific basis for this.

I still panic about not taking prenatals if I forget them

And lots more. I just can't switch off from them. I have to obey them even knowing they're not true or I become paralysed with fear.

It's really fucking wierd and I wish I could stop trying to control things which are as far out of my control as they can possibly be, but I never stop trying no matter how much I prove anything to myself

I'm not sure if Iv made any sense....?

deepdarkwood Sun 20-Mar-16 18:08:47

Not an expert, but from a little work in this area Sounds like intrusive thoughts - which iirc, can be part of a number of issues - anxiety for example - as well as classic OCD. Have you ever considered a talking/mind based therapy - like mindfulness or CBT? I think a chat to a good GP should allow you to access that sort of thing...

pigeonpoo Sun 20-Mar-16 18:16:44

I'm waiting for CBT based psychology at the moment

Mindfulness is impossible for me because of how obsessive the thoughts are. The only time they are not the leading thought going on in my mind is when doing something which doesn't allow me any room to think on anything but what I'm doing - like a driving lesson when on a busy road. Otherwise I just don't have the ability to ignore them. They are literally there whatever I'm doing, to do anything at all I have to calm myself down by adapting to them rather than ignoring them. I can do sudoku even - successfully and quickly - but I will not have distracted myself from the thoughts, they'll just be running alongside me trying to use my logic brain. It's like the rest of life is the autopilot that just runs in the background to these.

Marchate Sun 20-Mar-16 18:57:38

My daughter explained to me the difference between OCD and 'normal' compulsions. She said we all experience obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions etc. That's fine, even if it's annoying. It becomes OCD, ie a Disorder, when it affects your ability to manage a normal life

As far as I know intrusive thoughts are 'normal' too, until they take you over and prevent you doing things. These thoughts can be linked to OCD or other conditions

When you see the psychologist she will be able to give you advice. There are therapies available for OCD

Take care. You will get better

pigeonpoo Sun 20-Mar-16 19:59:46

This is completely destroying my life. It's ruined my marriage. Makes people find me absolutely exhausting.

But I always have something I'm obsessing over. For the last 6 years.

Occasionally there's a break by obsessing over something else. Like terrorism when the Paris attacks happened. For a few days I couldn't talk of anything but, and altered my behaviour cancelling appointments in town and avoiding unnecessary journeys, being glued to Twitter for the next news. But again - something I cannot control, regardless how much I wish I could and try.

Iv lost the off switch

pigeonpoo Sun 20-Mar-16 20:03:37

I swing between thinking is it possible I'm a really highly functioning autistic person myself, or do I have OCD in some form?

Pantone363 Sun 20-Mar-16 20:24:56

AFAIK it's called pure OCD. I have the same thing but difference obsessive thoughts.

The SSRIs will help. The thoughts are still there but turned down almost to mute.

This is just my own experience but as you've found out you can't outthink them, or think round them, or rationalise your way out of them. The only way they lose power is by facing them. For example the thought about terrorism. You recognise you're having an anxious thought. You could then write that thought down, do it in detail and vividly. So "im afraid of a terrorist attack, I'm scared that if I go to this appt that X will happen. Then this will happen. Write down hoe that makes you feel, scared, worried, panicky etc. Then write down the consequences. BUt THEN you go to the appt. Or if that makes you feel too anxious, you could just leave the house and go some way to the appt. At the end of the day you have some small increment of progress against that obsession. You didn't let it 'win'. The same with your SSRI. You could think ok well even if I do get pregnant and I take the SSRI and then the baby is what? People have autistic children and it isn't the end of the world! You really have to be vivid and get the worst possible outcome written down.

Thoughts aren't real lovely. Your anxiety is searching for something to latch on to, that's all.

Can highly recommend 'Imp of the mind' it's a fantastic book about obsessive thinking.

pigeonpoo Sun 20-Mar-16 20:33:46

Thanks Pantone

Thing is I'm not really afraid of autism or having a child with it particuarly. I'm afraid of causing autism.

It's the overwhelming guilt and feeling of responsibility for something I cannot control.

I wasn't really worried about getting caught up in a terrorist attack per se. I was worried it would be my fault if I did - because I should have been more careful

Does that make sense?

I'm going to talk through the possibility of it being pure OCD with the psychiatrist I think and ask them to tell me why not if they don't think it is

Because labelling this as a recurrent depressive disorder doesn't quite fit as far as I can tell.

Pantone363 Sun 20-Mar-16 20:44:05

Yes it makes total sense. That need for control and hyper responsibility is very common among people with OCD.

In that book the author writes about how he was dealing with a man who was having obsessive thoughts about harming children. He was extremely distressed by them and felt awful because he loves kids and was terrified of the guilt he would feel. The author said he (and most people) with OCD would be the first people he would leave his children with. Mostly because we have such a sense of responsibility and doing the right thing, that's what the thoughts feed off.

It's a very simple thing to start with. Repeating to yourself "this thought is because I am a responsible caring person who would hate to harm anyone. Even just recognising that part of yourself and the thought mechanism is helpful.

Good luck, I don't think it sounds like depression either.

pigeonpoo Sun 20-Mar-16 20:53:11

I'm going to order that book, thank you!

I think I found it on Amazon and the reviews certainly sound like its talking to me

Hi op, I have a ds with high functioning autism, he's 13.
I had never taken antidepressants until 18 months ago.
I myself understand what you mean, I've seen the programmes mainly based around cleaning as that's what affects me, and they have to wash their hands X amount of times or flick the light switch X amount of times and that's not me at all but...
I know I have OCD of some form, I get upset if people visit and disrupt my cleaning routine or if something happens that throws me off track.

Sometimes I wonder if I've got AS.
Strangely in my family there is me and 2 brothers. I have 2 dc, one with ASD, one brother has 2 dc both with ASD and another brother has 4 dc and one of them is going through the process. Makes me think is it genetic somehow?

People laugh and think I'm "OCD" about my house for example without realising it consumes me, I wish I could be more relaxed about things and yes I've had the intrusive thoughts and feelings of impending doom.
Fluoxetine has massively helped me and I was very much against AD's.
It's the lesser of the two evils to me.

Good luck op, keep posting here flowers

pigeonpoo Mon 21-Mar-16 09:24:50


I really don't in my rational brain believe antidepressants are the cause, and even if they contributed in an indirect manner in some cases, I still wouldn't logically believe it was the antidepressants that "cause" any problems.

I suppose I believe I can or will cause things that I know logically I can't perhaps? Say hypothetically antidepressants did cause autism - I wouldn't believe it was the antidepressants fault, I would shoulder ALL the responsibility. No matter how many Drs prescribed, or promised everything would be fine. Plus I'm not even pregnant - so it's not even a logical thought, even if they could

It's overwhelming guilt and I try to control everything to prevent the guilt being publicly shown to be true I think

I'm very rigid with my home too. I don't line things up or need alphabetical order, or even excessively clean - but everything needs to be done a certain way. I think I have quite a rigid personality and I'm quite socially phobic although I hide it very well and think nobody would ever really realise that about me IRL - which is why I wondered if I could be on the spectrum with feeling things so intensely and getting these obsessions, people comment I should go into the field of study of whatever it is I talk about - because I make it my business to know far more than other people ever feel the need to know just for personal interest, and I cannot manage interest in other people's interests if it doesn't interest me. I try very hard not to show this but I'm aware and constantly feel incredibly selfish because I just don't seem to care

I feel like I live in hyper-reality almost? There's no off switch

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