Category Archives: OCD

Would I Give Up My OCD?

Jameson asks:

Hey Robert if you had the option to be rid of OCD forever at this very moment would you do it? Would you really go back to an average thinking joe? I have a feeling that you wouldn’t.

Actually I think I have always had OCD. Even when I was a young and healthy man, I had obsessions. One was sort of a background worry about being gay, but I didn’t deal with it most of the time.

The main one was a worry that I might be impotent next time I had sex. There were all these countless girls and women hither and thither, running all through my life, and I was always thinking, “Ok, if I try to fuck this chick, am I going to be able to get it up or not? Am I going to be impotent? Am I going to get it up lose it?” Of course if you worry about that all the time, it tends to happen more often than otherwise. It happened a few times, and that made it all worse. I think I am finally over it by now.

The two worries sort of ran into each other like, “What if this chick thinks I’m gay? What if these people think I’m gay? Then what if I go to fuck this chick, and I can’t get it up? Then she’s definitely going to think that I couldn’t get it up because I’m gay. And she will tell everyone in the whole world, including all of my friends, and they might start thinking I’m a fag too.”

I haven’t had a serious experience like this since my early 20′s, but now I am at the age where I am starting to get physical impotence sometimes, and that’s even more depressing.

In the ensuing period, sometimes I didn’t have a hardon, but I would just not flip out. Instead I would say, “Ok, cool, I don’t have a hardon, no big.” Then I would just focus on the woman and say the Hell with my dick. I would go and suck her tits or eat her pussy for 30 or 45 minutes. Well you start sucking those titties or eating some serious pussy, after a while, you are gonna get a hardon. Then when you get one, just use it. That’s the way you deal with it. If you don’t have a hardon and you flip like, “Oh noes! I don’t have a hardon! Catastrophe!” Well it tends to stay soft.

I figure if you can get it up and keep it up at some point in the encounter, then that’s not an incidence of impotence, and the sex therapists agree with me on that one.

I was in my late teens and early 20′s and having tons of sex with girls and women, and all I could think about was, “Am I gonna be able to get it up? What if I lose it?” Fucking pitiful.

There is definitely a very good side to this illness. Do you see all this obsessive research and reporting that I do? Well that is the good side of OCD. As far as the bad side goes, it’s frankly complete garbage and it screws up my life something awful. There’s quite literally nothing good about it at all. It’s just a life-wrecker or life screwer upper.

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Filed under Anxiety Disorders, Mental Illness, OCD, Psychology, Psychopathology, Sex

Various Pure OCD Themes

Fly By Night writes:

I definitely have obsessive compulsive disorder. I have this thing about double checking locked doors, whether my house or car. I check and double check and check again. and maybe check again to be sure……Yeah I’m NUTS- they are going to take me away ha ha but that’s all I do in that regard.

Those are the compulsions. I work mostly with Pure O types. They just have the thoughts with no over behaviors. It’s extremely common, but the clinicians don’t understand it all because everyone thinks OCD is all about the compulsions and hand-washing and whatnot.

The obsessions or intrusive thoughts are like the “popups” you get on your computer. Research shows that 80% of the population has obsessions, on average maybe once a week. Some say that they other 20% are probably lying.

You have probably had thoughts like that before.

I will tell a few of them that I have had.

When hiking, going to the edge of a huge cliff with a 500-1000 foot dropoff where it would be trivial to just toss yourself off and it would surely not be survivable. I have had urges to throw myself off the cliff. I’ve had these for a while now, and I haven’t acted on one of them yet.

Urge to turn the wheel and drive right into oncoming traffic. Thank God those are pretty much gone now, but those are some of the scariest ones of them all.

See someone walking down the side of the road, and urge to turn the wheel and run the person over. Also with people in crosswalks when you are stopped at a crosswalk. I don’t really have these too much anymore, and it’s a good thing because they are scary as Hell.

Turn on the garbage grinder and strong urge to put my hand down in the grinder. This one was so overwhelming that I would have to put my hand in my back pocket to keep from doing it.

Gay thoughts. Sitting there talking to some guy, and all of a sudden all of these gay thoughts about all this gay stuff you want to do with him comes into your head. I hardly get those anymore either, thank God because I really hate them.

Weird, totally insane thoughts. When Hinckley shot Ronald Reagan, reports emerged that he was disturbed. For one thing, he was convinced that he was in love with Jody Foster and she was in love with him too. For some reason, this set off the assassination attempt. When I read that, a thought popped into my mind saying, “I’m in love with Jody Foster!” I quickly shut it down with, “No way! No way! No way!”

When I was in Sunday School, they lied and told us that God can hear every thought that you had. I got really upset on hearing that my mind started saying, “Fuck God!Fuck God! Fuck God! Fuck God! Fuck God!” It went on for about 10 minutes like that while I ferociously tried to stop them.

So there’s just a brief rundown of some obsessions that I have had going back since age 12.

All of these are pretty much typical obsessive or intrusive thoughts that say 80% of the population has. But they only come in once in a while. With OCD, these obsessions, instead of only coming in once a week, instead come very often, frequently even for much of the day.

People I talk to worry that they are schizophrenic or psychotic, worry that they are gay, bisexual or straight (that is if they are gay), worry that they are murderers or violent people and that they are going to attack, rape, kill or try to kill others, worry that they are pedophiles, worry that they don’t love their lover or spouse, worry that they are suicidal, worry that they are actually the opposite sex, are trapped in endless philosophical worries, worry that they are racists, worry that one has AIDS, worry that they hate either people or have unwanted bad thoughts about others, etc. Some just have random noises or even unwanted “voices” or sounds going in their head like dogs barking, people talking in different voices, things like that. Some just have totally uncontrolled random intrusive thoughts that are popping up all over the place.

Worry that one is gay or bisexual = HOCD, gay OCD, etc.

Worry that one is straight = Straight OCD (not common)

Worry that one is a pedophile = POCD

Worry that one does not love their lover or spouse – ROCD or relationship OCD

Worry that one is psychotic or schizophrenic = Schiz OCD

Strange philosophical quandrums that are unresolvable – Philosophical OCD

Worry that one is a racist, unwanted racist thoughts – Racist OCD

Worry that one is suicidal = Suicide OCD (interesting, I would like to work with someone like that)

Worry that one is the opposite sex = GID OCD (I think)

Worry that one has AIDS (AIDS OCD)

There are other themes out there that don’t necessarily even have names.

Persons with self-harm, harming others, rape or pedophile themes will either never or almost never act on these thoughts. I just tell myself that they are never going to do it, and then I don’t worry about it anymore. I have known people who were absolutely convinced that they were serial killers or pedophiles, but I didn’t worry about them acting on these thoughts for one second.

The illness gets quite bad, and when they are at their worst, they are so out there that they actually appear psychotic. In fact, I have talked to a lot of OCD people who had been diagnosed psychotic. I was able to ascertain in every single case that the person was actually not even psychotic at all. At least a few had been diagnosed schizophrenic, bipolar, danger to themselves or others, etc. I just tell all of them that their doctor is wrong and go get yourself a new doctor.

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Filed under Anxiety Disorders, Mental Illness, OCD, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotherapy

Differnces Between Schizophrenia and OCD

Here we discuss some differences between schizophrenia and OCD. A commenter asks if I have schizophrenia.

Isn’t blunted emotions and weird, chaotic or intrusive thoughts more on the schizophrenia side of things?

I don’t have schizophrenia. A lot of OCD’ers complain that their emotions seem dead. Anyway, I don’t have the dead emotions of a schizophrenic. I have “constricted affect.”

What you see in a schizophrenic is totally different. Also, in schizophrenia, there is a lot more going on than weird, chaotic and intrusive thoughts, and anyway, in schiz, the thoughts are willed and wanted and not intrusive in general. For instance, schiz don’t try to stop their thoughts (typical of intrusive thoughts). They just accept them all of their normal thoughts.

I actually had a type of OCD called Schiz OCD for a bit. I was convinced that I had schizophrenia. One guy I saw thought I might have it. I argued with him, and he said, “All I know is you are way too electric right now.”

I called up a bunch of therapists on the phone when I was going seriously nuts and told them exactly what was happening. They all said, “It’s not schizophrenia. It looks like OCD, but it’s gotten way, way worse.” One guy said, “Look! If you were going psychotic, you wouldn’t be calling me up right now.”

I finally went to a doc and he got together with a psychiatrist and they discussed whether or not I was psychotic. They said, “No way! Forget it! They only delusion you have is that you’re psychotic!”

Unfortunately, when OCD gets really bad, they look psychotic. I run into OCD’ers all the time who have a psychotic dx and who have even been hospitalized as a danger to themselves or others with a psychotic dx on dismissal. I argued with all of them that they are not psychotic. The problem is in figuring out the difference between the delusions of psychosis and the obsessions of OCD, which unfortunately look similar sometimes. I can always tell, but clinicians can’t.

Anyway, we had big long arguments with me and this therapists, me saying I was schizophrenic and he saying I was not.

When I got really bad, things got really really weird. I sensed a presence in the world, and evil presence, like the Devil or something, and it seemed like it wanted me to do bad things. I didn’t do any bad things.

The people in the TV seemed really real and it seemed like they could walk out of the TV into the room. The newscasters especially seemed like they were talking right to me. I knew they weren’t, but it was pretty weird.

My thoughts were coming in loudspeakers and often they came in colors too. Typically the colors were faded like faded red or faded light green. Often the thoughts repeated over and over like strobe lights. Colors in the environment got a lot brighter (I still get this one sometimes.)

All of this stuff went right away with an SSRI, which proves it wasn’t psychosis. In psychosis, you need an antipsychotic.

It’s been 21 years since that madness went on, and it hasn’t come back, but I am always afraid it will.

I don’t have schizophrenia. The therapists have already beaten that one to death.

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Filed under Anxiety Disorders, Mental Illness, OCD, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotherapy, Psychotic Disorders, Schizophrenia

Pedophilia Versus POCD Redux

Anonymous wrote:

I’ve had pure O my whole life. As a child it was both religion and contamination related. As I got older it turned into health and contamination related. (I became an atheist and stopped caring about intrusive anti-religious thoughts.)

But here’s where it gets a little tricky. When I was 10 years old and just discovering my sexuality, I noticed that I especially had a fondness for girls who were 5-7 years old. I knew this was much different than others my age, and felt quite guilty about it. I was also attracted to 10 year olds, however.

As I got older, every time I saw a cute little girl, I would avert my eyes and repeat to myself in my mind “I’m not a pedophile, I’m NOT a pedophile.” It felt very much like the intrusive thoughts from my OCD and happened constantly. This continued until around 16 years old.

At this point, I became interested in anime and the primary school aged characters in these shows. I talked to others who were interested in animated little girl characters also. At this point, I was still having intrusive thoughts, but being interested in the fictional characters didn’t bother me at all.

And then, in the same places where I was discussing these fictional characters, people would also often post pictures of elementary school girl models and actresses. I began masturbating to these photographs, but every time I would feel immensely guilty and hate myself for it.

Awhile later, I met a 6 year old girl. She began visiting us often. I just fell in love. In no other time in my life had I felt this way before. She was a joy to be around and extremely beautiful. We became very close, and I cared for her more than anything. After meeting her, all intrusive thoughts stopped and I accepted my attraction as normal for me.

I’m now in the my early 20s, and have very little interest in women. The pedophilic intrusive thoughts are no longer there, only the ones based on health worries and contamination remain.

I do have sexual thoughts about young girls, but I see them as normal for me now. Although when I see a cute girl that I’m interested in, it’s closer to crushing than lust. “Oh wow, she’s so beautiful.” The girls that I tend to like are between the ages of 5 and 11. They are just so cute.

Now, based on this information, do you think I have a pedophilic orientation? Or do you think it’s possible that I had POCD and just gave up fighting it?

A few things to consider: I would never touch a girl, I know it’s wrong.

It also has nothing to do with being dominant. I actually find the idea of dominating a young girl extremely disgusting.

It also is not only physical, I am extremely attracted to the personalities of very young girls, and just hanging out and playing games with them have been the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life.

This is a fascinating post. It shows that someone can have both OCD and pedophilia, so the notion that OCD’ers are too good or too moral to develop pedophilia is not correct.

Pedophilia in my opinion is simply a sexual orientation like homosexuality, bisexuality or heterosexuality. It can’t be much changed like any of those. There are countless gay and bisexual OCD’ers. I know because I have talked to many of them. Surely there must be some OCD’ers with a pedophilic orientation.

It’s probably better for a pedophile to have OCD than to not have it. The OCD pedophile will be a lot less likely to act on his urges due to his extreme morality, guilt and conscientiousness. The OCD will act as an inhibitor towards acting on the pedophilia.

I am absolutely certain that he has pedophilia. There’s no way that he could possibly have POCD and just gave up fighting it. Though it shows that there are some similarities between POCD and true pedophilia, and this shows how differential dx is so difficult with these cases.

I am actually sorry to hear that he has no attraction to adult females, but perhaps this is his normal orientation. I wish he had an adult attraction so he could live and love happily and legally in our society. As is, his sex life may well be barren or solitary and his love life may be thwarted.

However, many pedophiles are absolutely happy with their orientation and love being this way. He seems like he is too. I am very glad to see that he is happy with his orientation and his sexual and love desires. I love to see people who are happy. I agree that him that he should not act on this orientation as it’s illegal.

If he ever wants to have a real sex life with a female or really fall legally in love with a female, he will need to expand his love map to include adults, though most pedophiles have no interest in doing this. In fact, many to most pedophiles say that even if there was a cure for pedophilia, they would not take the cure.

I also love females of all ages. I love females period. Little girls are wonderful in a special way as a special kind of female, though I see them as seeds of women rather than fully formed entities and I see women as the fully town product rather than girls that moved on.

But there’s a girl inside every woman, and a budding woman inside every girl. If you love females, you learn to love the sprouted seed of girl in the woman and the sprouting woman in the girl. In a way, they are one and the same – females at different stages.

I actually like teenage girls a lot more than little girls. Little girls seem ridiculous to me, and there’s little sexual attraction there. I had a world full of good and great times with teenage girls, often sexual, when I was young, and I think about those wonderful days all the time. When I see teenage girls, I reminisce. About the teenage girls that I knew and loved, who will live forever in my heart.

Though when I do meet a teenage girl nowadays, they seem silly to me, and I can’t see getting involved with them. I would not do it even if it was legal. But the teenage girl is definitely a special type of female – not a girl and not a woman. Not better than a woman or a girl but only different.

I probably like adult females 18+ best of all, since they are legal. I like teenage girls who are fully developed, around age 16-17 because to me that’s just a woman. But their immaturity is a massive turnoff. Even young women of college age often turn me off now because they seem to immature and silly.

A fully formed and mature woman is not only maximally attractive to me (all females age 16+ are maximally attractive to me) but her mind is also fully matured, and that is a massive turn-on to me as I get older. Sex and love is more than just a hot body you know. And the fully formed and fully matured woman has a joyous wonder and glory about her that is equal to if not superior to that the teenage girl and the girl. All the female maturational types are wonderful in their own special ways.

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Filed under Anxiety Disorders, Girls, Jailbait, Lolitas, Mental Illness, OCD, Pedophilia, Psychology, Psychopathology, Sex, Women

What OCD Is Not

First of all, let us look at the case of Jack Harrison Trawick. Trawick is truly one sick puppy! He was executed in 2011 in for the rape and murder of a 22 year old woman in 1992. His defense attorneys said he had a lifetime history of schizophrenia since age 11, but he sure planned his murders well.

He had long been preoccupied with sex and violence and treatments were rendered to him to try to cure him of these preoccupations. He also murdered a 26 year old woman, for which he was also convicted. For decades, he committed burglaries to terrify women he saw as attractive. He cut up their underwear and left menacing messages on their mirrors in lipstick.

A man set up a website dedicated to him, vowing to turn him into an international superstar. Trawick sent the website many of his sick drawings and letters, including imaginary conservations with his last victim, sicks jokes and threats to famous women such as Brittney Spears and Jennifer Lopez.

The author says he has been fascinated with serial killers since he was a young boy. He also says he has OCD, apparently with the harm theme. He gets thoughts about killing his cats. “I’ve always been an animal lover,” O’Connor said in the telephone interview. “I have four very cute cats. The cutest of the cats a lot of times I just think about stomping on it until her eyes pop out of her head.” The website supposedly alleviates his symptoms somewhat.

The problem is that this guy seems to love violence. He seems like he likes to think about killing his cats, and he loves to think about serial killers and all of the horrible things that they do. He relishes this stuff and wallows in it.

There are plenty of people like that, but folks with Harm OCD are usually terrified of their thoughts. Many stop reading, listening to or watching video of murders or any kind of violence because it sends them into a panic. Quite a few said they used to like horror movies or violent video games but they stopped enjoying these things after the thoughts came on.

Now I am not saying this guy doesn’t have OCD, but his fascination with the subject of violence doesn’t seem to be normal for these people and paints a false image of people with this problem as some sort of maniacs or sickos.

It is true that some folks with this problem expose themselves to violent material as a therapeutic tool, but I assure you that it’s a painful and anxiety-ridden process for them.

I am not going to reprint the killer’s letters here, but if you go to the site and read them, they are really sick!

On this site, a woman writes that her mother knew the killer as he delivered furniture to a store she worked at. She said he was also so nice and kind that she simply refused to believe that he could do such a thing.

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Filed under Anxiety Disorders, Crime, Evil, Mental Illness, Murders, OCD, Psychology, Psychopathology, Serial Killers, Sick and Evil

Alternate Identities in OCD

A lot of people with OCD develop “alternative identities.”

Harm O folks develop identities called “the murderer”, “the serial killer,” “the sociopath,” “the rapist,” “the criminal,” etc. HOCD people develop identities called, “the queer,” “the fag,” “the gay,” “the lez,” “the dyke,” etc. POCD people develop “the pedo,” “the child molester,” etc. Others might develop “the racist,” “the misanthrope,” or “the misogynist.” You really start to feel like these other things.

I don’t know much about other themes too much, but there might be identity changes with those too.

If you are really bad, you will be in the alternate identity all the time.

If less bad, it will fade in and out. You will be driving along, and “the fag” takes over. You walk into a store, and all of a sudden, “the serial killer” becomes you. Often a lot of effort is expended trying to shake off the alternate identity and get back into what feels like your real one.

It’s extremely creepy and unnerving.

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Do People Without OCD Ever Try to Stop Their Thoughts?

I do not think that most normal go around trying to stop thoughts all the time. Most people just think about whatever they want to, and aren’t resisting unwanted thoughts all the time. I asked a friend of mine if she had ever tried to stop a thought, and she said she had never tried to stop one thought in her entire life. She acknowledged that she worried about things sometimes, but these thoughts were not resisted as unwanted or alien intrusions.

I asked another friend whether she resisted or tried to stop her thoughts, and she told me that she never did. She said sometimes she gets unwanted memories or thinks about stuff she doesn’t really want to think about, but she doesn’t try to stop the thoughts.

Before I had OCD real bad, did I try to stop thoughts? Not much, but I did have obsessions from time to time.

The first one that I remember was when I was 12 years old. I was in Sunday school and they told us that God can hear every single one of your thoughts. Well, that set my mind off. Mind started saying, “Fuck God! Fuck you, God!” over and over. This went on for 10-15 minutes while I panicked and tried to stop the thoughts. They didn’t return that I am aware of.

The next one that I am aware of was about the garbage grinder. Not sure when it started, but I would get very strong urges to stick my hand down in the garbage grinder when it was going. That would be a catastrophe if I did that, so of course I never did it. For a while, I even stuck my hand in my back pocket while the grinder was going to keep from doing it.

I also had some gay thoughts, but those were obsessions and not real feelings.

They started around 1979. I would be sitting there talking to some guy, just him and me together, and all of sudden I would think, “I want to suck your cock!” That thought would just repeat over and over for 30 minutes to an hour. I would try to stop it, but I couldn’t. I seemed to able to carry on the conversations anyway, though it was annoying. I’ve always been heterosexual, so the thoughts didn’t make any kind of sense. They were not accompanied by any erotic feelings or anything like that.

One time I was interviewing a very famous rock star in a record company office in Hollywood when the gay thoughts started up. They went through the whole interview, but he was nice enough anyway. I still got good notes. He just died the other day.

One time when I heard about Hinckley, the guy who shot Reagan, and that he was in love with Jody Foster, my mind said, “I’m in love with Jody Foster!” I thought, “Whoa! Weird thought, man,” and I just dismissed it. I later mentioned this to my father and pointed out that just thinking something like that doesn’t mean you’re insane, but he just glowered at me and shook his head contemptuously. I guess he thought I was nuts.

Another time I was reading about the Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris case, a truly horrific case of serial murders that rocked Los Angeles in 1979 and 1980. They tortured one woman to death by stabbing her in the ear with an icepick. When I read that, I got an image of the stabbing with the icepick going into her ear repeatedly while she screamed. Every time the pick went in, my mind said, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”

It was extremely disturbing to have those thoughts, but they only lasted a short time, maybe less than a minute. I was panicking out and furiously trying to stop them the whole time. They didn’t come back, but for a long time afterwards, I was really worried about myself even for thinking that way for 30 seconds one time.

All of the above are more or less OCD symptoms, or obsessions. Science has proven that ~80% of humans have obsessions at one time or another, so in a sense they are normal. But I don’t think it’s normal to fight them for an hour or so at a time.  On the other hand, if OCD symptoms are mild, only going on for maybe 3 hours or less out of a whole year, there’s not a whole lot to worry about.

There were other times when I just felt uncomfortable, but that didn’t feel like OCD. It just felt like a crappy feeling that I wanted to get away from.

For a while there, I was hanging around with people made me uncomfortable because they were ignorant and not that smart. At the time, I was in college. It was annoying to hang around with these people, who struck me as idiots, so I would get uncomfortable a lot of time when we were hanging out. They would come over to my place and put the latest retard Hollywood blockbuster on the VCR and sit there and laugh and cheer while I put my head in my hands.

Another time I was on a date with this 16 year old girl who was wildly in love with me. I was 20 at the time, but I used to screw all kinds of underage girls back in those days. I stopped when I was 21.

The first date was ok, but she was so stupid and idiotic teenage girl girlie that I was almost cringing. We had sex anyway, and it was lots of fun. She was horny as all get out. We planned a date for the next weekend, and that week, I was a wreck.

My friend was over visiting me at my place, and he asked me what was going on, and I said I had a date with girl, and I didn’t even like her. He was outraged. “You’re going out with a chick and you don’t even like her! You’re an asshole!” He shrieked. I felt horrible, like the worst person on Earth, crushed with guilt.

Well, the hottie was even hornier before the second date, so I figured, “Why not, let’s get laid. What the Hell man?” I went out with her, and I felt so uncomfortable, I was almost squirming the whole time.

We tried to have sex, but I had an impotence problem, which made me feel really awful. I relaxed more and an hour or so later, we tried it again, and this time it worked and we had wild sex. But I was still really uncomfortable with her. I am not sure if I was trying to get outside that feeling or what, but I was just stuck with it, and it didn’t feel good. I wanted to fake it with this chick, but my body was just saying,  “No way, dude.”

I dropped her off at her place, and she said her parents were going out of town in a couple of weeks, and she wanted me to come over every time so we could fuck constantly. I was like, “Oh my God. No way can I do this.”

I saw her later, and I dumped her just like that. Her face melted right in front of me, and she burst into a vale of tears like a little girl, then she ran inside her house really fast, like a little girl once again. I stood there feeling like the worst scum on the face of the Earth, just devastated with guilt.

Later she told all her friends about me, and some of her teenage friends saw me one time. They came up to me and said, “We heard about what you did. You fucked her and dumped her! You’re an asshole!” I felt like a sack of worms once again.

Later I was with a friend at some park fair, and she was at a booth. I gingerly walked up to the booth, greeted her apologetically, and maybe bought something. She was pleasant enough. I walked away, and her two teenage girl friends were all over my ex girlfriend, swarming their lips in her ears the way girls do. She was apparently telling them, “Hey, I fucked that guy!” Her friends looked at me like I was a Fillet Mignon.

Another time we were on a bus going to Colorado. We had a keg on the bus and we were getting wasted. Most of us were totaled, and some of us were stoned on weed from a bong. The driver was laughing about the keg, but he was mad about the bong.

This girl was in the lap of this total idiot, and he was doing much about it. I looked at her and worked my magic. Her eyes saw me and went to Heaven. I reached my hand out and she reached out hers, and I pulled her away from the idiot. She was happy to be rescued, a damsel in distress.

We had a hot and wild messing around session for while, and we even had some weird kind of sex, or as much sex as you can have on a bus seat in a bus full of people. My friend came by and saw us messing around. He leaned over, the chick left me, and then he and her made out for a while, him leaning over her while she was in my lap. Weird and almost group sex but not quite.

I woke up the next morning with a hangover, and I looked at her and I thought, “Damn! She sure looked better last night when I was totaled!” She looked like Hell. I went back to a couple of seats where a couple other chicks, friends of mine, were sitting, squeezed in between them and smoked some weed.

Then I went back and felt more and more uncomfortable. I could not wait to get away from this chick. We stopped for breakfast, and she went off with her giggling friends in a whispering gaggle as her friends pointed at me. Some idiot “friend” of mine said accusatorily, “You blew it! You got involved too early in the trip!” I felt crushed. A couple I was friends with came up to me and basically said, “Good score!”

We went back on the bus, and I got more and more uncomfortable. I did not want to be with this chick! Finally, she read the writing and moved to another seat, and it was all over.

So sometimes we struggle with our feelings for this or that reason, but that isn’t the same thing as resisting an unwanted thought, feeling or urge that you get in OCD.

Qualitatively, it’s completely different. I can’t put it into words, but it’s like the two experiences are from different planets.

Bottom line is I just do not believe that normal folks go around struggling with unwanted thoughts, feelings and urges all the time. It’s just ridiculous.

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Filed under Anxiety Disorders, Mental Illness, OCD, Psychology, Psychopathology

Resistance Is the Essence of OCD

I am familiar with Harm OCD.

At the same time, of course I have had many homicidal feelings and feelings of wanting to hurt people. Generally people who I hated for this or that reason. I have even fantasized about murdering them, how I would go about it, how I would pull it off, etc. Those thoughts were extremely pleasant, and of course I never tried to stop them a single time, although I tried to make sure I didn’t actually do it because I didn’t think it would be a good idea for a lot of reasons.

I might get caught, number 1.

The victim might turn on me and kill me, number 2.

I might not be able to live well with myself afterwards, number 3.

And last, wondering if even my worst enemies on this Earth deserve the death penalty via me.

I assure you that I did not try to stop any of these feelings, urges, behaviors or thoughts! Never, never, never, never, not even one time did I try to stop a thought, feeling, urge or action like that.

True violent feelings are so completely different from OCD they are like from different planets.

I am also familiar with sexual OCD.

I am also heterosexual and have had about a trillion sexual thoughts, feelings, urges, etc. towards mature females of a variety of ages. I assure you that never a single time did I ever resist any of those thoughts, feelings or urges. Not once, not ever, ever, ever.

Real sexual thoughts are so different from sexual OCD that once again, they seem like they’re from another planet.

I have asked people without OCD and they told me that they simply never try to stop their thoughts. One person said, “I only think about things I want to think about.” They said they had never tried to stop a single thought in their entire lives.

In my opinion, if you try to stop the thoughts, feelings, urges, etc., then it’s OCD. Period.

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Two Pure O OCD Cases with Complete Cures

I do not like to use the term complete cure when dealing with OCD because so often we are not dealing with total cures here. However, in two recent cases that I am familiar with, more or less complete cures were achieved.

Case 1: Young college aged gay male, extroverted, popular. He suddenly became stricken with a terrible case of OCD, pedophile theme (POCD). I forget the details, but I believe he had constant imagery of having sex with female children. As he was gay, this didn’t really make sense. He could not seem to get rid of the intrusive imagery , and when he came to me, he was nearly suicidal with despair.

He had already missed two weeks of classes and was in danger of flunking out of school. A doctor had prescribed an SSRI for him which was not working very well (possibly Zoloft).

I urged him to switch to Anafranil, which is the gold standard for OCD meds. He hedged at first, but as he became increasingly suicidal, he got the doctor to prescribe Anafranil for him. He told me later that I had “saved his life” by getting him on the drug, and he was eternally grateful.

I talked to him recently. He told me that he had experienced remission of the POCD thoughts on Anafranil, and then when he went off the Anafranil after a time, the thoughts never came back.

“The Anafranil got rid of the thoughts, and then when I was on it, I started to think about the thoughts and what they really meant. Then when I went off, they never came back.”

He did not use any psychotherapy in his treatment. I asked if the thoughts were really gone. “Yes,” he said. “They’re just gone. They never come anymore. Never, not even once.” He did say that he still had a bit of OCD, this time with the relationship or ROCD theme centering around his relationship with a boyfriend. However, this was nothing compared to the Hell of POCD.

Case 2: College student, age 22-23. He had been through a number of OCD themes before, but now he was hit with Harm OCD and POCD. The harm thoughts centered around killing people.

He worked at a grocery store and at one point, he broke down at work and started crying. Asked what was wrong, he said he was afraid he was going to kill someone. The supervisor suspended him from work due to safety concerns, but he was soon reinstated with a doctor’s note explaining that the condition constituted little danger.

He then moved on to the POCD theme, centering around molesting children. He became deeply worried that he was a pedophile. He had a female friend who had a 9 year old daughter who he was very attached to. He began to worry that he was attracted to her and that maybe he was in love with her. He worried that his feelings for her were too intense to be normal.

When he was around children, he experienced intrusive thoughts about molesting them. The thoughts would say things like, “Touch them!” He began avoiding children as a result.

He experienced strange, quasi-psychotic POCD symptoms. He was afraid to turn around in the shower because he was afraid the nine year old girl might be in back of him standing there naked. I told him there was no way she could be in the shower. He said, “Logically, I know that.”

The harm theme also showed quasi-psychotic symptoms. He began to fear that his mind was being taken over by the ghosts of dead serial killers. They were taking over his mind and would soon force him to go on a murdering spree. I told him once again this was not possible, and he said again, “Logically, I know that, but I’m afraid of it anyway.”

Quasi-psychotic symptoms are very strange OCD symptoms that are not psychotic at all, but may appear psychotic to the untrained observer.

His psychiatrist diagnosed him with “anxiety” and “psychosis” (no OCD dx) and put him on about four different drugs, a couple of which I thought were utterly useless. One was an atypical antipsychotic. I spent quite a bit of time telling him that the psychosis dx was in error, that the antipsychotic was dangerous and that he at least had OCD, which he should have been dx’d as. I experienced a lot of resistance to these efforts.

In addition, he did have a lot of floating anxiety that was hard to characterize. He often become “ill” after eating for inexplicable reasons and went on crying jags. I tried to discourage the crying jags but met a lot of resistance.

The OCD did not seem to be getting better, so I kept urging him to go on Anafranil. Finally, after what seemed like forever, he got the doctor to prescribe Anafranil.

I talked to him recently. The Harm OCD and POCD had disappeared. He was happy that the POCD was gone, because he said there sure were a lot of kids around his complex these days. He was able to be around kids now with no intrusions. The Harm OCD had also evaporated.

I asked him if he still had OCD thoughts. He said they went away on Anafranil, and then when he went off the drug, they never came back. He said he had no obsessive thoughts anymore, not even one. He had reconciled with the Harm and POCD thoughts. “I don’t have it in me to kill someone,” he said. “And I don’t have it in me to molest a kid either. I know what I am capable of.” He was now much happier and relaxed, and much of the earlier defensiveness was gone.

However, he continued to have anxiety issues for which he was taking some meds. The anxiety appeared to outside the scope of the OCD.

This goes to show that complete or nearly complete remissions are possible in serious obsessional OCD cases. Anafranil appears to be a drug of choice, though it is dirty. Remission continues for some period after the drug is discontinued.

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A Complicated Case of POCD

POCD is simply obsessional OCD with the pedophile theme. That is, the person worries that they are a pedophile, that they are aroused by children and that they want to have sex with children. This is only one of many themes that pure obessional OCD takes. It seems to be increasing in recent times due to the mass hysteria surrounding pedophilia and child molesting in general.

Since writing articles on theme, I have received many requests for help from people who fear that they may be suffering from this condition. In working with someone with the pedophile theme, it is essential first of all to figure out whether there is any actual pedophilia going on. I have dealt with a large number of persons with this worry so far, and I haven’t met a pedophile yet. I assume that pedophiles are simply not going to come to me for help.

However, in a number of cases, the line between pedophilia and POCD is quite difficult to discern. The following case will illustrate some of the difficulties involved.

A young man, age 28, came seeking help with a possible case of pedophile theme OCD. He laid out a very confusing and complicated case that was hard to figure out.

He said he was seeing a therapist. I asked for the diagnosis given by the therapist, who was an expert in OCD. The therapist said it was POCD and not pedophilia. I asked what the basis for the diagnosis was.

The man said that the therapist said the thoughts, etc. were ego-dystonic, therefore they were OCD. I agreed with this in principle. Ego-dystonic, ego-alien, etc. thoughts will generally tend to be OCD and not something else. A true pedophilic orientation is probably not truly ego-dystonic in nature.

I asked the man whether or not he resisted the thoughts. He said he tried to, but was not always successful due to the thoughts fighting back. He then said that he had “wars in his mind” going on pretty much 24-7 over this issue. This seemed to clinch that we were dealing with OCD here and not something else. OCD thoughts are resisted but not always successfully since the thoughts fight back. As they fight back, one ends up with a war in one’s mind.

An attempt was made to discern the man’s true sexual orientation. It is my opinion that true, fixated preferential pedophilia (the only kind I am concerned with) comes on at a very young age, at the latest 13-14 and often much younger.

The man had engaged in some child sex play involving other boys. Child sex play is often found in the background of people with POCD and serves to the feed the pedophile fears. The sex play involved swatting each other on the rear end or something to that effect. The man admitted that it had been arousing.

However, as his sex drive came on, he had only a strong orientation towards females of his own age and up. He had no attraction towards males or children.

He had a good, strong, healthy sex drive along these lines until guilt triggered the child sex play memories, and he started worrying about whether or not he was a pedophile. This occurred at around age 16. The thoughts had continued and only increased in the ensuing 12 years.

Curiously, though he was clearly heterosexual, the POCD took the form of thoughts about boys, which didn’t make much sense to me. As he worked deeper and deeper into this guilt and POCD worry syndrome, he began to feel his normal attraction to females diminishing.

At the same time, he was awkward in school and frequently bullied. Girls were mean to him, and he was rejected countless times. This led to plunging self-esteem and increased POCD symptoms.

He then went to college and majored in History, but the symptoms only got worse. He ended up having relationships with women, including a sexual one recently. However, either the POCD or the anxiety in general took out his sex drive such that he simply had little to no drive anymore. He could barely sustain an erection. The relationship with the woman failed due to chronic impotence, tragically at the young age of his mid-20′s.

Later his sex drive came back to some extent, but even then, although he was able to ejaculate, he could only get partial erections.

This long, drawn out and sad history had taken a heavy toll on his self-esteem. Self-esteem issues were obvious on first talking to him over the phone, when he displayed a meek and self-apologetic demeanor. He also had heavy defenses up in that he didn’t want to deal with some of the self-effacing behaviors or the self-esteem issue.

He also had a somewhat wooden and heavily intellectualized voice which lacked emotional depth and sounded like “Spock” on Star Trek. He was told that the wooden and intellectualized demeanor would result in problems in dealing with others, particularly females, who would see it as lack of emotionality.

I informed him that the self-esteem issues were primary here and were feeding into the POCD and vice versa. I feel that self-esteem is very hard to build up from a base of nothing. Generally, good high self-esteem is based on success in life, which builds confidence at least and egotism at most. If one is not having any successes, it’s hard to build up self-esteem where successes seem to be a requirement. I feel that building self-esteem may be one of the toughest therapeutic issues out there.

When asked how the pedophilic thoughts felt, he admitted that he found them somewhat arousing, though he also felt terrified, horrified, sick and nauseous. The dominant emotions associated with the pedophilic thoughts seemed to be fear and sheer terror. This seemed more in line with POCD than with pedophilia.

I told him I agreed with the diagnosis the therapist had made, that this was POCD and not pedophilia.

Cases where the POCD comes on early in life such as the teen years in males are bound to cause much confusion. I do not believe that people develop pedophilia after puberty, and certainly not after puberty and against their will. Feelings of sickness, nausea, fear, terror and the like, whether or not accompanied by sexual arousal, seem to point towards POCD.

A good strong normative sex drive towards age appropriate or older and mature peers is a good guess that there is no pedophilia going on. Where a strong and healthy age-normal sex drive radically diminishes or vanishes over time to be replaced by a terror-stricken pedophilic “attraction,” this will look like POCD.

People do not develop strong, healthy age-appropriate drives only to see them vanish in front of their eyes to be replaced by a frightening pedophilic orientation. Any case of radical diminishment of a healthy and normative drive and its replacement by a frightening new drive, all occurring against the person’s will, after ages 13-15, is typically indicative of some sort of sexual OCD.

This case also shows, sadly, the dramatic effects of sexual OCD or possibly just anxiety on the strong sex drive of a young man. The sexually diminishing effects of anxiety or sexual OCD are in need of further investigation.

The following schemata illustrates the case above well:

Problem: POCD

True attraction: Mature females

Fake attraction: Male children

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Filed under Anxiety Disorders, Mental Illness, OCD, Pedophilia, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotherapy, Sex