I need to talk about a thing.
Does anyone else with OCD have this obsession with being honest and not lying or cheating to the point where it becomes unbearable?
So, everyone knows you aren’t supposed to lie, I’m not talking about right vs. wrong here, I’m talking about being obsessed with it. I can’t lie. If I do something then I have to tell someone or else I feel incredibly guilty. For example: Back in high school I was that person who, upon noticing I got points for a question that I actually answered incorrectly, I would point it out to the teacher. Most of the time they would say it was their error and let me keep the points anyway, but I would feel horribly horribly guilty to the point that I would become really depressed if I didn’t “confess.” (I don’t do this anymore but there are fewer grades in college and graders rarely make errors grading exams.)
So I tend to obsessively confess things. Like if I’m cleaning and knock over an object belonging to a roommate I feel like I have to tell them because even though they most likely won’t care, I envision myself in their place and with my extreme phobias of germs, I sometimes don’t grasp that other people aren’t always as freaked out about little things as I am and so I have to confess just in case.
But this also applies to what is considered cheating and here’s what is bothering me now. I have a dick professor who doesn’t provide enough help but also makes it clear on the class website that we have to figure out our assignments either alone or through working with classmates, and he specifically says “Do not consult solution manuals or other people’s solutions from similar courses” through which he implies that consulting anyone else is cheating. But I need extra help. I want to ask grad students I know for help so I can better understand how to do the homework assignments. On the last problem set I was so lost I turned it in incomplete. So if I can’t get the necessary help from the professor during office hours, is it still “cheating” if I get the help elsewhere?
My parents tell me that I should just get the help and not to ask my professor, just do it because I should be allowed to get the help I need without feeling guilty about it.
But this is hard for me and I need to talk about it. I’m being unreasonable but I’m worried about any crushing guilt I might feel if I do this even if I don’t have any “real” reason to feel guilty. The compulsion I would normally do is ask my professor if getting tutoring help is okay but I have a feeling he will say no and then the moral ambiguity completely falls apart and I then I won’t allow myself to get any help and my mental health will suffer from the stress.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Is this bullshit? I came across this article accidentally and it’s making my anxiety peak. It seems really unlikely to be true or have any science behind it but that doesn’t stop OCD unfortunately. I also lack the knowledge to put my mind at ease and I know from experience googling something like this is a bad idea. When I’m as stressed out as I am today stuff like this has a way of getting into my brain, and my OCD won’t let me stop thinking about it. Especially since I have dermatillomania, this is freaking me out.
Also if you are a fellow sufferer of contamination OCD I would not recommend reading the article.
Sorry for the random personal post but I’m in freak out mode and need reassurance.
So yes, help please ;-;
Anonymous asked: SERIOUS: I've been having these thoughts that I can't stop thinking. Thoughts of doing things that would cause harm to other people. I know that I would NEVER maliciously do harm to another person. EVER. Yet these thoughts persist in my mind, and they terrify me. Whenever they emerge, huge waves of guilt envelope me and I can't shake them easily. Why do these thoughts persist when they go against my very nature? Do these thoughts make me a bad person?
No, they absolutely do not make you a bad person.
What you are describing are known as ‘intrusive thoughts,’ and they are much more common than you think. They are the single most common symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (which frequently goes undiagnosed, especially if you don’t exhibit what one might consider the ‘classic’ symptoms!), but are also a possible sign of depression, body dysmorphia, ADHD, or a variety of anxiety disorders. They’re so common that it’s really strange people don’t talk about them more. They are nothing to be ashamed of, and they are not your fault.
Please don’t feel guilty over a symptom of an illness. This is something to investigate and treat, not beat yourself up over! And until you can seek treatment, I think suppressing them will most likely only make them worse. The best thing to do is just to accept that they are happening, that right now you don’t have the tools you need to get rid of them, but that they don’t reflect anything about you. Intrusive thoughts don’t make you dangerous or sadistic: clearly you aren’t enjoying them!
I know you would never hurt anyone! Everything is going to be okay, I promise!
Our daily routines can become so ingrained that we perform them automatically, such as taking the same route to work every day. Some behaviors, such as smoking or biting your fingernails, become so habitual that we can’t stop even if we want to.
Although breaking habits can be hard, MIT neuroscientists have now shown that they can prevent them from taking root in the first place, in rats learning to run a maze to earn a reward. The researchers first demonstrated that activity in two distinct brain regions is necessary in order for habits to crystallize. Then, they were able to block habits from forming by interfering with activity in one of the brain regions — the infralimbic (IL) cortex, which is located in the prefrontal cortex.
The MIT researchers, led by Institute Professor Ann Graybiel, used a technique called optogenetics to block activity in the IL cortex. This allowed them to control cells of the IL cortex using light. When the cells were turned off during every maze training run, the rats still learned to run the maze correctly, but when the reward was made to taste bad, they stopped, showing that a habit had not formed. If it had, they would keep going back by habit.
“It’s usually so difficult to break a habit,” Graybiel says. “It’s also difficult to have a habit not form when you get a reward for what you’re doing. But with this manipulation, it’s absolutely easy. You just turn the light on, and bingo.”
Graybiel, a member of MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, is the senior author of a paper describing the findings in the June 27 issue of the journal Neuron. Kyle Smith, a former MIT postdoc who is now an assistant professor at Dartmouth College, is the paper’s lead author.
Patterns of habitual behavior
Previous studies of how habits are formed and controlled have implicated the IL cortex as well as the striatum, a part of the brain related to addiction and repetitive behavioral problems, as well as normal functions such as decision-making, planning and response to reward. It is believed that the motor patterns needed to execute a habitual behavior are stored in the striatum and its circuits.
Recent studies from Graybiel’s lab have shown that disrupting activity in the IL cortex can block the expression of habits that have already been learned and stored in the striatum. Last year, Smith and Graybiel found that the IL cortex appears to decide which of two previously learned habits will be expressed.
“We have evidence that these two areas are important for habits, but they’re not connected at all, and no one has much of an idea of what the cells are doing as a habit is formed, as the habit is lost, and as a new habit takes over,” Smith says.
To investigate that, Smith recorded activity in cells of the IL cortex as rats learned to run a maze. He found activity patterns very similar to those that appear in the striatum during habit formation. Several years ago, Graybiel found that a distinctive “task-bracketing” pattern develops when habits are formed. This means that the cells are very active when the animal begins its run through the maze, are quiet during the run, and then fire up again when the task is finished.
This kind of pattern “chunks” habits into a large unit that the brain can simply turn on when the habitual behavior is triggered, without having to think about each individual action that goes into the habitual behavior.
The researchers found that this pattern took longer to appear in the IL cortex than in the striatum, and it was also less permanent. Unlike the pattern in the striatum, which remains stored even when a habit is broken, the IL cortex pattern appears and disappears as habits are formed and broken. This was the clue that the IL cortex, not the striatum, was tracking the development of the habit.
Multiple layers of control
The researchers’ ability to optogenetically block the formation of new habits suggests that the IL cortex not only exerts real-time control over habits and compulsions, but is also needed for habits to form in the first place.
“The previous idea was that the habits were stored in the sensorimotor system and this cortical area was just selecting the habit to be expressed. Now we think it’s a more fundamental contribution to habits, that the IL cortex is more actively making this happen,” Smith says.
This arrangement offers multiple layers of control over habitual behavior, which could be advantageous in reining in automatic behavior, Graybiel says. It is also possible that the IL cortex is contributing specific pieces of the habitual behavior, in addition to exerting control over whether it occurs, according to the researchers. They are now trying to determine whether the IL cortex and the striatum are communicating with and influencing each other, or simply acting in parallel.
“A role for the IL cortex in the regulation of habit is not a new idea, but the details of the interaction between it and the striatum that emerge from this analysis are novel and interesting,” says Christopher Pittenger, an assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology at Yale University School of Medicine, who was not part of the research team. “Thinking in the long term, it raises the question of whether targeted manipulations of the IL cortex might be useful for the breaking habits — and exciting possibility with potential clinical ramifications.”
The study suggests a new way to look for abnormal activity that might cause disorders of repetitive behavior, Smith says. Now that the researchers have identified the neural signature of a normal habit, they can look for signs of habitual behavior that is learned too quickly or becomes too rigid. Finding such a signature could allow scientists to develop new ways to treat disorders of repetitive behavior by using deep brain stimulation, which uses electronic impulses delivered by a pacemaker to suppress abnormal brain activity.
Research like this gives me hope that there might soon be better treatment available for OCD (and OCD-spectrum disorders). Though this research seems to be more targeted at compulsions than actual obsessions, which would not help people with Pure-O. But it is still a big step forward. I’m curious how this would work with OCD, though, because the obsessions and compulsions are very cyclical in nature. For example, if I’m afraid someone will make me sick, my compulsion is to avoid them and things they touch and if I can’t, I wash my hands. But if there was some sort of treatment that would make me stop avoiding/washing my hands, would that necessarily make the fear of getting sick disappear? Food for thought.
Just a little derma ranting under the cut. If it makes you squeamish, don’t read. I just have to vent a bit.
Can I just say that going through the OCD tag is really really depressing?
There are so many people who are struggling and suffering and I want to reach out and hug them and say “it will be okay, you can do this”, and then there are the assholes who line up their pencils by color and say “LOL i’M so #ocd #I’mahorriblehumanbeing” which makes me so mad I want to punch them through my computer screen.
But seriously, to all you people struggling today, I care about you, and you can do it, I have faith in you!
So can I have some give me some advice about how I can tell my mom who constantly jokes about me “being OCD” that I clearly have a problem and I would really like a psychiatric evaluation because I can’t continue to live my life like this? Because my mom loves me, and I love her, but it’s getting worse every day, and I know that my entirely family has noticed how anxious I get if all the lights are all unless the ones that someone is in because the bulb could burst and set the house on fire, or the fact that I just got a bottle of handsoap last Wednesday and it’s already gone, and my hands are dry and cracking. How do I bring this conversation up?
Since it sounds like you have a good relationship with your mom, be honest. Sit down with her and tell her that you’re struggling and have a lot of anxiety. Tell her that it isn’t funny, and that it upsets you very much when she jokes about it. Tell her that you want to see a doctor about it and that you want her support along the way. It sounds like she cares about you, and hopefully that will mean she will take you seriously.
I know it’s not easy, and it will probably be a painful conversation, but it is one that you need to have. She is probably unaware that it is upsetting you so much. Be strong, you can do this!
Have you tried seeing anyone about this? There are people who can help. It sounds like this is majorly intruding on your life and causing you physical harm, which means you need to get help.
One thing someone told me that may not help immediately but can be a good thing to remember is that clean is a state, not a feeling. There are many times a day where I don’t feel clean, but feeling clean is not the same thing as being clean. I know it’s a technicality and saying that doesn’t make the thoughts go away, but just keep repeating it to yourself like a mantra and it may sink in a tiny bit.
Another helpful thing which I do with my therapist is make a list of fears of worst case scenarios and then write down come-backs to each fear. Sometimes actually giving form to your fears helps you fight back, because I know that at least for me, inside my head there’s just a jumbled mess of anxiety, not necessarily a specific fear of any exact event, and that usually I can just quiet it by washing my hands. But often when it comes down to what exactly I’m afraid of, it helps me reason through a bit.
Good luck, and feel better! <3
Few people who don’t actually have OCD understand anything about it. They trivialize it, turn it into something cute, all the while not realizing that those of us who do suffer from it would give absolutely anything to not have it. OCD is a life-ruiner. It is not something that kicks in or is “your inner OCD”—you feel it every moment of every day, staining everything you do with fear. Someone who has OCD (not is OCD, we are not our illnesss), may spend hours cleaning their kitchen, not because they like cleanliness, but because they are legitimately terrified that the germs will kill themselves or their family. They don’t arrange shoes for the fun of it, but because they’ll have an actual breakdown/panic attack if they don’t, because it doesn’t “feel right” or they’re afraid something terrible will happen. They might be afraid that they are secretly a killer, every day feeling guilt for crimes they didn’t commit. It is nonsensical and pointless, but it feels completely real and it is horrible.
I don’t know how to get an entire populace to understand that OCD is not a joke disorder, and that it’s completely different from what they think it is. But I ask you to be part of the battle, to educate and correct people who mock an illness that can take lives.
Wow I’m laughing so hard, harder than I laugh when my skin cracks and bleeds from too much handwashing. Congratulations, you’re an asshole.
I had an OCD moment at work. 😅 #ocd #lollipops #cec #chuckecheese
Oh yes when my OCD acts up I always rearrange lollipops and then laugh about it because mental illness is so funny that I have to post about it on tumblr.
I never get terribly anxious or cry or open doors with my sleeve or wash my hands until my skin cracks and bleeds or do really awkward things in social situations and risk offending someone because my brain is screaming at me.
If only I just had some colorful lollipops to arrange, everything would be fine.
Yesterday in one of my classes I got a student to come up and scribe on the board
And he was very careful about how he wrote on the board, like, making sure his handwriting was neat
And one of the students was like ‘LOL OCD’
And all of the students starting cracking up, so I was like
‘HAHAHAHA MENTAL ILLNESS IS SO FUNNY’
And everyone fell silent
yeah that’s what I thought
I love teachers on tumblr