OCD’s a tricky thing. It can manifest itself into many forms over time depending on the situation that you find yourself in long term, or in other factors of life. It’s very common for obsessions and/or compulsions that you might of had in the past not to bother you anymore. Normally they change almost without us noticing often gradual, so it’s not like one day you’re obsessed about contamination and then *bam* the next day it doesn’t bother you anymore and you’re obsessed with counting. It’s a lot more subtle than that although in some cases I could see that as being completely possible, however I haven’t experienced that myself first hand.
For me my OCD has definitely changed over the years I’ve suffered from it. It started off very much mental from the ages of about 9-10. I would spend night after night just ruminating about so many things and over analysing everything. If I’m honest when I was able to go to sleep with no anxiety it was the best feeling ever. For example back in primary school we went on a school visit to learn about drugs, safety and alcohol and whilst we were there we were shown what different types if drugs looked like and how they were made to look similar to sweets. All the usual safety tips and things like that, however when I got home I had this extreme fear that I had some how taken some drugs there, or maybe even took some home and that I would find stacks and stacks of pills in my pockets. I was petrified that whilst I was out I would spike someone’s drink with these non-existent drugs that I was convinced I carried. What 10 year old would worry that they’re some sort of drug dealer/criminal. I would spend so many nights ruminating about things like this. I was also worried that if I accidentally bumped into anyone I would automatically assume that I’d stolen something from them, even though I would never dream about doing anything like that. I would search my pockets so scared that I would find something that wasn’t mine. I was convinced that the police were coming to get me.
It wasn’t till about age 11 that compulsions became apparent. I would always wash my hands, I’d have to do it several times before most things that I would do. I’m not too sure what the specific reason behind this was, whether it was the fear of contamination or something else. All I know is that I had to do it otherwise I would be filled with anxiety.
Over the next few years the tapping of items came into play and then the counting. Over this time the washing hands/contamination issues kind of sifted their way out and didn’t bother me any more. Same with some if the intrusive thoughts I was having. The counting really just took over my entire brain. It became the main focus of my OCD incorporated with the tapping element. The counting compulsion has stayed with my the longest, but the pattern changed all the time. Even now it still does. I can’t seem to control how it changes and it just seems to by itself without me even noticing which makes no sense!
My OCD currently has taken a big focus on intrusive thoughts as well as the counting and tapping plus a whole load of other things. It’s almost as if it’s taking me back to when I was 9-10. My OCD’s just a bit of a mess in my mind right now, so it’s hard to really pinpoint and explain it. All I know is that it’s really trying to destroy me right now.
Loonngg post…if you’re still reading this right now I congratulate you. Hopefully this might of cleared up any worries about OCD changing/altering itself and also hopefully you might be able to relate to some of my past experiences. : )
-Ellen x twitter.com/Ellen_White_