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OCD without the C

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Penny2007, May 23, 2017.

  1. Penny2007

    Penny2007 formerly Pain2007

    I have the tendency to be obsessive and am wondering if I have some form of OCD without the compulsive element. My mother and others in her family have OCD but I never seemed to have a problem until now. I've mostly used any mild obsessiveness to get things done thoroughly at home or work.

    For example, when I want to buy a new pair of sneakers I will research and research the right kind and will try on many kinds. It may take months until I choose the ones I want and often will give up because I can't decide or find the right pair. this is just one example.

    Lately, I've been obsessed with so many things that it is causing me anxiety and TMS pain in my upper back and shoulders (maybe the pain started first). I feel stressed due to of all the things I'm obsessing about. I stay up late and don't get other things done that need doing and then feel stressed about the work I haven't done. I've even been obsessing about how to deal with my anxiety and TMS. I recently ordered several new books and have been researching new techniques and it's just all getting to be too much but I can't seem to control myself or slow down.

    Note: I'm 49 years old and seem to be going through menopause so maybe that has something to do with it? I've had bouts of anxiety over the past few years but never had it growing up.

    tips and comments welcome.
  2. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Based on coaching TMSers for more than 20 years, including those with OCD, I don't think you have OCD.

    It seems to me you have more of a case of perfectionism combined with the fear of making a bad decision and being extremely self-critical, all of which create a lot on tension, pain, and anxiety.

    So work on your perfectionism. Perfectionist is a person who wants to do everything perfectly. But not all things need to be done perfectly. Start asking yourself,"Does this have to perfect? " What's the worst thing that can happen if I buy the wrong sneakers?" And so on. This helps to put whatever it is in perspective.

    This can be a good start to loosening the grip of this negative mental habit.
    Penny2007 and MWsunin12 like this.
  3. Penny2007

    Penny2007 formerly Pain2007

    @FredAmir - thank you for your analysis. I'm glad to know it doesn't sound like OCD. What makes you say I'm extremely self-critical? (I am, but didn't know it shows in my writing).

    I like the approach of asking "does this have to be perfect" and "what's the worst thing that can happen". The former has worked quite well for me at work and for things that don't require money. The problem is more around things that require money. Although the worst thing that can happen isn't terrible, it's not desirable either. For example, if my sneakers aren't comfortable, I won't wear them and will have wasted a lot of money and then I won't have the money to buy another pair.... I'm an exceptional perfectionist when it comes to money, I'm scared of spending too much and not getting what I need in the end.

    Any further resources you can suggest on loosening the grip of perfectionist thinking?
  4. c90danwaiel

    c90danwaiel Peer Supporter

    There actually is something called "Pure O" OCD (also known as primarily obsessional OCD).

    It's not well known, but is largely characterized by obsessive thinking about issues or intrusive thoughts that provoke considerable anxiety; if you google it, there's info on some OCD resource pages talking more about this specific subtype.

    There technically are compulsions with Pure O OCD. I have an OCD diagnosis and Pure O type obsessions. In my case, responding to my anxious thoughts with more worried processing is my obsession; I repeatedly try to process my fear, but it just feeds it and I can end up absorbed in anxious thought for several hours each day. (Think thoughts every 20 seconds popping in your head that you've done something horribly wrong, and you can't resist not worrying about it and trying to convince yourself otherwise, but that just feeds the fear and creates more thoughts.)

    Thankfully, I'm much better now (thanks CBT!).

    What you say you have doesn't quite sound like the typical manifestations of Pure O though, although you know your personal situation best. Mainly just wanted to bring that up so folks knew it was a thing.
    Penny2007 likes this.
  5. Penny2007

    Penny2007 formerly Pain2007

    I came across Pure O OCD but I don't seem to have the symptoms.

    I think perfectionist thinking is my problem. You wouldn't think so if you saw what my house looks like right now. But I don't think that perfectionist thinking translates into being a perfectionist as most people would think of it - i.e. spotlessly clean house, everything in order. What happens is that I want everything done perfectly and I set up all sorts of procedures and rules in my head but because they require so much effort this creates a lot of pressure and I often end up procrastinating and then don't get things done at all.

    At the moment, I've spent so much time obsessing over all sort of things from TMS treatment to my diet to things I'd like to buy that I've neglected my every day responsibilities at home and at work.
  6. Jason32

    Jason32 Peer Supporter

    Yes, I was diagnosed with "Pure O" OCD by a therapist- I had it really bad in 2013 but was able to overcome it through CBT. I had it really bad as child too but it was never properly diagnosed. What the OP is posting doesn't sound like OCD though- more like perfectionist personality traits (which isn't good to have either though). My OCD thoughts were mostly intrusive "harm" thoughts that I was going to or had already hurt someone (which is one of the most common manifestations) but no corresponding compulsions.

    I find it interesting that we both had Pure O OCD and later developed pelvic pain- I wonder if there's a correlation? I do feel like now somehow I didn't cure it and just moved to obsessing over every nerve and bone in the pelvis.
    Penny2007 likes this.
  7. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    "What makes you say I'm extremely self-critical? (I am, but didn't know it shows in my writing)."

    It was not so much from your writing but from coaching TMSers for so many years.

    "Any further resources you can suggest on loosening the grip of perfectionist thinking?"

    Short of working 1-1, I have put together two online courses that contain some of the most effective strategies I have found to help those with TMS to eliminate pain, worrying, negative thought patterns, destructive mental habits that create a massive amount of tension and pain as well as creating a bright future that pushes back TMS. You can learn more at http://www.fredamir.com/icourses.
    You can access those as podcasts as well, but I do like the course option as it gives you more of a structured approach and gives you better results.

    As others mentioned here, you do not have OCD and with some minor changes in your mindset, you can expect a good outcome soon.
    Last edited: May 25, 2017

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