• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Telling the difference between OCD and real thoughts and feelings?

Discussion in 'Obsessive Compulsive Disorder' started by flowerforever7, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. flowerforever7

    flowerforever7 Newbie

    Does anyone here have trouble discerning the difference between an OCD generated thought (or emotion - if such a thing as an OCD generated emotion exists) from a real one? I have OCD and have trouble many times telling the difference between what is me and what is OCD. Can anyone share their experience with this?

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  2. kaykay9.0

    kaykay9.0 Guest

    Definitely so. That's one of my biggest OCD struggles. I don't know the answer to that except just gaining experience in discerning. As I shared on another thread, if it's important and I'm not sure, I will seek counsel with my husband or another Godly person to help me discern. I wish I could tell you more than that, but it's been kinda trial and error in my own life. Even people who do not battle OCD often struggle with knowing the difference between their own thoughts and emotions and God.

    I will say this~ I have come to recognize various patterns/themes of OCD in my life. Often if my OCD kinda follows the pattern or common theme as in the past, I can usually recognize it as OCD! Does that make any sense? I don't know that I would totally ALWAYS go along with this, but some therapists tell their OCD clients this rule of thumb~~ If it FEELS like OCD, it IS OCD! Again, I wouldn't say that 100%, but I DO think you can generalize and say that at least 99% of the time if it feels like OCD, it most likely IS OCD.
    I wish I could be more helpful, but that's really all I know to tell you. I still struggle too, but I'm getting better at recognizing it through experience!
  3. OCD=Owie

    OCD=Owie Newbie

    Kaykay said it pretty well.

    I would also add that you should try to be easy on yourself. Whenever you're uncertain whether a specific thought or feeling is OCD or not, don't let yourself enter a long, strenuous mental debate as to whether or not it is. Instead, briefly think about it logically, and if you can't come to a determination, then just take a break from it for a while.
  4. gracealone

    gracealone Regular Member

    This can be really hard but in my own experience I've found that if attending to any thought begins to make me feel more and more anxious then I can probably put that thought into an OCD category. For instance, awhile back I had to go on a new medication. A day or so later I felt a little itchy. Then I began to think. "What if you're allergic to it?" Instead of just waiting to see if I would end up being allergic to it and just going about my business at usual, I began to try and figure out if I might or might not be allergic to it. So I started checking. I googled the drug, I read the side effects, etc. and although I really didn't have any visible rash I began to get very anxious that I might develop one. Then I argued and debated with myself for awhile as to why I probably wasn't really allergic to it. After torturing myself for most of the afternoon and evening.. I finallly recognized the OCD cycle. 1. The spike = "what if I'm allergic?", 2. The anxiety response. 3. The rumination or attending to it. - which led me to 1. a bigger spike 2. Even more anxiety and 3. More intense rumination. When I recognized the cycle I chose to purposely exaggerate the spike. ie. "Oh well, you probably really are allergic to it. Within a few hours you'll develop giant hives, your throat will swell shut and hubby will be calling an ambulance for you. Well, I guess I can't prevent any of that from happening so I might as well do the dishes." Then I just let go of it and refused to chase it around anymore. OCD definitely has a cyclical pattern. The more you attend to the questions, rather than feeling better, you'll feel so much worse.
    There are many times where I can stay with a really bothersome theme for days or weeks before I finally recognize the pattern. (Most recent theme which lasted for weeks "Bed bugs!") That really ticks me off, but I try not to make a big deal out of it. Just because I slip up in managing my OCD doesn't mean I can't learn from my mistakes and do a better job next time.
    That's my 2 cents for what it's worth.
  5. mdlooking4

    mdlooking4 Newbie

    I'm glad I stumbled onto this post. What I would like to know is if it is possible to have OCD feelings as mentioned, and if so, how do you know the difference? I've been struggling for a bit now because I'm feeling things that scare the heck outta me. I don't want to feel this way...but then I question..do I? It's difficult to sift through everything because I've been doing a lot of digging in my life lately and so I've been doing a lot of thinking and feeling, and up till this point, I've been able to be calm and okay with everything I'm thinking and feeling, but now I'm terrified and so confused. It's a complicated situation, but I basically want to know if it's at all common to get feelings that are OCD feelings?
  6. Hermit7

    Hermit7 Newbie

    Hi flower,

    I know how you feel. I mean today, I was just trying to cash a check and troubles came up. I called the help line. I got frustrated with the lady over the phone. And lo and behold, a thought comes into my mind, that I would trade my salvation just to get this problem over with.

    Well, after phone call, I couldn't go ahead and cash my check. Because I'm afraid that I made that "thought" that came up and if I was going ahead and cashing that check, it would be me consenting to it further.

    So your original post was about how you could tell the difference between your OCD and you. Don't have an immediate answer, because I'm struggling against it now.

    Either way I know what you mea.

  7. lilipunzel

    lilipunzel Newbie

    The difficulty in sorting through all the thoughts and feelings is precisel.y the reason that it is importnat to see a competent therapist, one hwo has experience treating OCD. There are so many variations on thoughts. Soem thoughts we try to use cognitive restructuring or making the thought more consistent with reality and disputing it. Other thougnhts are OCD thoughts or anxiety thoughts and if oyu dispute those or try to chnage then they may actually become stronger. There is wisdom in the old adage of "FACE your fears:
  8. smith1

    smith1 Newbie

    Yes OCD can cause feelings that are not yours. I have had them countless times. I'm just glad that now i know they are not my real feelings---just OCD mimicing me.