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In a previous post Those Damn Unwanted Thoughts I indicated how your anxiety often is a result of your fear of your thoughts and sensations. Let's say that you are obsessive and you have the recurring thought, "Maybe I have cancer". But you don't. You've seen the doctor, she tells you that you are fine, you go home and begin thinking again, "Maybe she's wrong. Maybe I have cancer". Then you think, "The fact that I'm thinking that must mean that there is something to worry about. I need to know for sure. I need to do something." So you Google endlessly every possible cancer and expect to see your pretty face appear on the screen.
People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder have intrusive thoughts (or images) that bother them. These can be thoughts about making mistakes, harming someone, contamination, disease, religious preoccupation, fears of impulses or desires, or just about anything that you might consider dangerous, disgusting or dirty. Examples of obsessions are, "I made a mistake at work and it will blow up on me", "I touched the chair and it's contaminated", "I had a violent fantasy and now I will lose control", "I left the gas on (the doors unlocked, the cat in the washing machine)" or "I did something that God will punish me for". Once you have the intrusive thought you begin looking for more examples of these thoughts. "Oh God! I just had that thought again." You now are watching yourself, totally self-conscious, fearing every possible thought or intrusion that does not reflect a pure and good mind. Your theory of your mind is that you should only have certain thoughts. Everything else is bad or dangerous.