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.