Saturday, 8 October 2011

Listing my own personal OCD symptoms

I thought that perhaps it would be beneficial for me to see a list of my obsessions and compulsions, written out in front of me instead of being a hidden, secret list in my head. It should be a good thing and will provide me with a resource by which to compare my progress over the coming months but I do feel a certain amount of apprehension.

Like all symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, mine are very specific to me and, as such, are incredibly personal. I have never spoken of the many smaller things that affect me, and may well sound ridiculous to others, so I hope not for judgement or ridicule but understanding that my difficulties are my own just as yours are specific to you.

The following are listed in order of severity: 1 being the most severe and diminishing down the list. The first two are the most debilitating with the following two also having a significant impact on my life.

Obsessions / Compulsions

1.      Cancer / Repetitive breathing and counting;
2.      Intrusive thoughts / Repetitive breathing and counting;
3.      Drawers and doors / Checking and counting;
4.      Fixations on written words / Checking and counting;
5.      Toothpaste tube / Checking and counting;
6.      Bathrooms taps / Checking and counting;
7.      Car permit and doors / Checking;
8.      Bottle lids / Checking and counting.

Trying to classify them into the categories specified by OCD resources is difficult without yet having the opportunity of consulting a therapist (my first session has not yet happened) but I would assume that number 1 on my list would come under the heading of contamination.

This, combined with the effects of number 2, is the reason that I have finally decided to seek help with my OCD as I just cannot get past the intensely horrific thoughts and images that appear in my head. The frequency with which they populate my mind increased dramatically over an incredibly short space of time and, quite frankly, knocked me sideways in my mental stability.

The others on my list have always been there in some form or other, changing and evolving over the course of time, sometimes severe and sometimes less so, but always there causing doubt and insecurity. They do, however, seem to have gained in strength since numbers 1 and 2 have become so dominant over my life. This does lead me to believe in the statements made on OCD resource websites that giving in to compulsions will strengthen the obsession.

There have been many other OCD symptoms that I have performed over the years that I have now thankfully forgotten but OCD is a condition that evolves and changes, fades and returns over time so who knows if those compulsions may return again one day.

Hopefully now that I am on the road to challenging my obsessive compulsive disorder those behaviours listed above will become easier to cope with and I will find the strength to live a normal life once again.


Kat said...

Wishing you the best in your struggle. I'm a list maker myself (one of my many OCD tendencies). I showed up to my first therapy session with a three page list of my fears and rituals. LOL

I hope you find a great therapist who helps you with everything on your list. : )

OCD Anonymous said...

Hey Kat,
When I wrote this blog entry I had forgotten many other small things that I do during the course of the day that eventually mean on average I spend a significant amount of time dedicated to performing my rituals - It has helped to clarify how disrupted my life is in many small ways!

Wishing you all the very best too :)

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - I am new to blogging and it has been such a pleasure hearing from others, and finding strength from reading their words on their own individual struggles.