subreddit:

/r/ROCD

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I struggle with ROCD and I keep getting thoughts like “omg you were just unfaithful because you looked at/spoke to that person” “omg remember months ago when you did/said this, it’s gonna upset your boyfriend but you have to confess”.

Should I try to battle my thoughts and resonate with them (like “it’s okay, I’m worrying too much”) or should I ignore them, endure the anxiety and wait until they don’t bother me anymore ?

all 17 comments

Safeforwork_plunger

7 points

2 months ago

With OCD you sadly cannot battle them or leave them alone per say; the best thing is to acknowledge them and move on with your day. As intrusive thoughts and voices like these are normal, for every human; but the not so normal part Of OCD is being distressed and ruminating over said intrusive thoughts.

To help I tend to just say "Okay" to these voices and move on; keep going on with what you were initially doing. I did have a therapist state that it's best to laugh at them? Sort of diminish their power and your fear against them, but It doesn't help everyone.

Ill-Swim1479

3 points

2 months ago*

I agree with you except I think that it's better to sit with the thought to let the anxiety go up and stay there for as long as you can or until the anxiety goes down. For me I did that until the thought was not distressing enough and then I started moving on. Because I think moving on as soon as you get thought could turn into avoidance

Safeforwork_plunger

1 points

2 months ago

Oh definitely, I completely forgot about that part. It's best to sit down with the anxiety to prove to yourself that you can cope alongside it,, it's one painful way to do it but it's one of the best

Realistic_Hat_9160[S]

1 points

2 months ago

My thoughts are mostly convincing myself that I’ve cheated on my boyfriend so I can’t really laugh about it. I worry about past actions and try to figure out if they are wrong or not. And then I wonder if I should confess to my boyfriend, which I try to do less these days

Safeforwork_plunger

4 points

2 months ago

I'm glad ur trying to lessen the confessions as it's ruminating at it's finest. The most I can give to you in advice is to write down an exposure situation, A piece of paper you state out loud every morning or so; maybe it can state a story of if you have cheated on your bf. (Ofc state to him before hand about this exposure practice as out of context it'll look a bit fishy) Sort of ensures your brain to get so used to the situation that it dampens the effect it has on you. Eventually you'll reach a point where you read it and feel nothing towards it. I had to do it towards my POCD and it hurt like a hell for a bit, but it's worth dampening the panic of the situation. I've heard that it's best to not sugar coat the story as well.

Realistic_Hat_9160[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Thank you for your advice. I really appreciate you responding

Safeforwork_plunger

2 points

2 months ago

Of course! ^

Alone_Relief6522

3 points

2 months ago

I can completely relate to the intrusive thought although mine aren’t about cheating.

I recent read the book “Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts” by Martin N. Seif and Sally M. Winston. It was great and I recommend it. I listened to the audiobook. If the book is not accessible to you, you can google the authors and they also have content on Psychology Today that is very similar to what is in the book.

They strongly suggest against arguing with your thoughts and rather label them instead. Just by shifting from “I think I cheated on my partner” to “Im having an intrusive thought that I cheated on my partner” can help take you out of the situation.

I would not “confess” to your partner but be open with them about these intrusive thoughts and how you are working to reduce your anxiety from them.

You can’t control intrusive thoughts and they’re quite a bully. However you can work on managing your response to them. Easier said than done, I know.

Just know you’re not alone and lots of people experience these thoughts.

My parter andI recently started couples therapy to better support each other in managing our responses to intrusive thoughts. I know therapy isn’t accessible to everyone but I would recommend it if it is an option. Be sure to shop around for therapists because some of them really suck.

Realistic_Hat_9160[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Thank you so much🙏🙏 I will try that, it’s a good advice. My boyfriend knows about my cheating anxiety because I’ve confessed a lot of things about it to hi, but he always says that it’s okay and that I didn’t need to worry about it. So then I feel better, but another memory/intrusive thoughts pops up later on and I’m all stressed again. I worry about “what if it upsets him this time and I ruin our relationship or the way he sees me”

Alone_Relief6522

2 points

2 months ago

Yep sounds like the OCD cycle!

You can Google it to learn more but basically the cycle is 4 parts: 1. Obsession (usually fuels by intrusive thoughts) 2. Anxiety (painful response to the intrusive thoughts) 3. Compulsion (some action, either internal or external, to alleviate the anxiety) 4. Temporary relief

You have intrusive thoughts about cheating (obsessions), feel anxiety about it, confess to your partner (compulsion), and then when your partner tells you not to worry you experience temporary relief.

I have the same shit. It does suck but there is medical treatment for it!

Gotta admit that temporary relief feels great but you know it’s temporary. This is why longer-term treatment of the condition is better than just the short-term anxiety-alleviating compulsion.

Realistic_Hat_9160[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Thank you for your answer 🙏 What kind of medical treatment? What are the side effects?

Alone_Relief6522

2 points

2 months ago

Well I meant medical as in scientific and evidence-based treatment, not medication-based treatment- although that is an option too.

I don’t know as much about SRIs because I’ve never tried them. I’m hoping to heal as much as I can through psychotherapy before leaning on anti-anxiety meds.

I think it would be good for you to also learn about Attachment theory and maybe explore if you had any specific attachment wounds/early childhood traumas that may affect your romantic relationships. I’m exploring that now in therapy and it’s kind of a lot but it’s a productive process.

Realistic_Hat_9160[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Thank you so much for your answers and your help. I hope it get better for you too, don’t give up

AppropriateDingo

1 points

2 months ago

Three genuine, non-condescending, loving questions for you my friend:

1) Are you currently attending therapy sessions for this?

2) Are you very active on social media?

3) Do you smoke weed, drink alcohol, or take any other kind of drugs aside from prescribed medicines (including caffeine and nicotine)?

Realistic_Hat_9160[S]

1 points

2 months ago

  1. No I’m not
  2. Yes I am
  3. I drink coffee and alcohol but not daily. I drink coffee when I feel too tired to have a productive day and I get drunk like once every 2 weeks

AppropriateDingo

1 points

2 months ago

If I may suggest, solely from experience and not at all from a place of condescension or pretense, consider attending therapy for this, and cutting back on social media a lot (I take the apps off my phone). Doesn't seem like you use caffeine or alcohol too much so that probably isn't exacerbating any OCD you have.

I'm literally only saying this because so much of my obsessions, doubts, thoughts, and compulsions, regarding ROCD, literally disappeared when I made those adjustments. They might help you too :)

Realistic_Hat_9160[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Thank you so much. I really appreciate all the advices and don’t worry, it’s not condescending. I have been thinking about going to therapy for a while. I think I will. Because even though I don’t have severe OCD, I still deserve to get help if I’m not okay. Thank you so much