In this day and age, we hear a lot about people who have OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder. What are obsessions?
There are three forms of obsessions:
- Words in your head including doubts for example, “what if….?” “did I….? “was that….?”;
- Images, like a sudden picture in your mind; and
- Impulses, or sudden urges to do something.
We use obsession to describe an unwanted, unwelcome, recurring thoughts that pop in your brain against your will. Obsessions show up without any warning. It is difficult to get rid of them. You may be able to distract yourself in order to stop your obsession from controlling your brain; however, it is only temporary.
My Experiences with Obsessions
Now, I have not be officially labeled OCD; however, having bipolar 1, it predisposes me to some types of obsessive behavior. I have experienced all three types of obsessions mentioned above. Here are a few examples of what I have experienced.
When I would get in my SUV and drive off for work, I had a sinking feeling about something I left at home. Already on the road a few minutes or even after I was on the interstate, I thought to myself “Did I leave the stove on?” I would freak out and try to calm myself down at the same time. No matter what, I was not relieved until I went home and saw for myself that the stove was indeed turned off. The bad thing is that this did not happen just one time but multiple times. I was never late to work, but I was pushing it a few times. I fessed up to my husband and he gave me a routine to do just before walking out the door to go to work. You see, I worried if the doors were locked and had the same behavior with returning home. He told me to check the front door, then the sliding glass doors and then finally the stove. Once my check was finished I could leave calmly knowing that my obsession was satisfied.
I am a lot better with the next one but at one time it was so bad, I believed it was really affecting me and my productivity at my last job. When I would seal an envelope and take it to the mail room for postage, I would get this sinking feeling that I left the check out of the letter or the pleading or the self-addressed stamped envelope. To counteract this issue, I slowed down considerably so I could pay attention and make sure I did everything correctly. I maybe had one package that I left out a return envelope and that was it.
More OCD Material to Come
These are just a few examples of OCD behavior. If you have ways you have gotten through your OCD, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to check back here at lifeconquering.org for more information on OCD.