Throughout the first phase of treatment I was asked to keep a journal documenting the thoughts and challenges I encountered regarding my OCD so that we could challenge them in session and debunk the OCD logic. I thought I would share some of these extracts from that journal on here in hopes that it may offer some deeper, raw insight into what it can be like to struggle with OCD. Specifically, this may be helpful if you are a parent or a friend who is looking to understand OCD, perhaps in more detail in order to further support the person you care about. What’s interesting is that about 95% of the fears outlined in my journal extracts would actually no longer bother me anymore. Evidence that progress is very much possible! Hopefully, this post is helpful in outlining the true reality of OCD and that it’s most certainly not some trivial, fun, convenient disorder to struggle with.
I was 14 at the time theses extracts were written.
Having repeated thoughts about someone I know getting killed in a car crash. Once I thought this, I automatically thought that it would happen.
“What would happen if my mum died in a car crash”
“No that would never happen, but it might. She could die.”
“What if she did, it would be my fault because I thought about it. I need to stop this from happening.”
Sister felt homesick and I felt guilty for it. I thought that every ritual I did slightly wrong would affect the way sister was feeling in a bad way.
My mum was not very well and I thought that all my rituals and counting would badly affect her health if I did them wrong. Also, because my dad was away I felt like I had more responsibility because he wasn’t there.
Felt slightly different when I was counting for my bedtime routine. I felt really irritated with myself and angry with myself because it was taking too long and I just wanted to go to sleep. I was thinking to myself “Why am I doing this”, “I just want to stop counting”, “I’m too tired”.
When I was on holiday it was a big relief. I was still counting and tapping the walls quite a bit but my bedtime routine was a lot shorter. I was expecting this as it usually happens when I am away from home. By the end of the week though it was starting to creep back in. On the last night I was having thoughts that someone I knew would commit suicide if I didn’t start doing more of my routines.
Got scared that I was going to get ill because I thought I had ear ache. I thought, in a way, that I was being punished for wishing illness upon someone (this was part of an exposure at the time) because I would never normally do that. I thought that seen as I was getting ill, you (my psychologist) must be getting ill.
After finding out that I could not attend the session, I started to worry that it might have been my fault. I already knew the reason why it was cancelled, however I kept looking too far into the problem. For example: okay so I’m not able to go because she can’t find child care. Oh okay. Hang on, what if the reason she can’t find childcare is because her daughter is ill. Well if that’s the case it must be because I have been wishing illness on her (my psychologist) more than once a day. Me wishing illness upon her must of affected her daughter instead. I’m such a bad person to let this happen! I also kept thinking of all the illnesses it could be even though in reality I did not know if anything I had been thinking was even true.
I’m going to die by next Christmas.
Evidence for – It keeps being repeated so it must be true.
Evidence against – it’s an intrusive thought. Thoughts like that don’t seem to have any rational truth in them.
*I know these extracts aren’t well written, but I didn’t want to alter them in any way in order to maintain the authenticity and rawness.*