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Jay.E

Is this OCD? Please help.

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Hello,

I've been dealing with severe Health anxiety for the past nine months. It all started in October 2017, when I started experiencing body-wide twitching. Of course, I made the mistake of Googling and that lead me to fears of ALS. I was a total wreck for 2 months straight, I was so afraid and depressed. Luckily, after finding this website, seeing a neurologist and doing some tests, I started feeling a lot better. But of course as you know HA ebbs and flows. While I definitely feel a lot better than I did in the beginning, I'm still struggling with HA. 

I've noticed as the months went by that thoughts of this disease are never far from my mind. It is sometimes the very first thought I have when I wake up in the morning. I can't control these thoughts, they seem to be lingering in the back of my mind, and constantly resurfacing. I ended up even developing some compulsions, like constantly wiping the side of my mouth to verify if I'm drooling, or obsessively examining my hands. All of my fears right now are centred around my left hand, and the discrepancies between the two hands. I can't fight the compulsion to constantly look at my hands and examine them closely. Sometimes I don't even realize I'm doing it. My family members have asked me why I keep looking at my hands.....which was very awkward since I needed to come up with a story quickly. Someone mentioned, upon discussing my unusual compulsions, that it sounds like OCD. Honestly, I was just coming to terms with having HA at that point, so I wasn't open to the idea of adding OCD to the list. However, now it's been 9 months and I can clearly see that I do in fact have thoughts and compulsions I can not control.

I no longer recognize myself. I feel like I'm morphing into an obsessive, anxious creature that is constantly worrying about every single little discrepancy and body sensation. Does any of this sound familiar to any of you? Is this OCD? Does HA usually lead to OCD? 

Thank you in advance for your feedback.

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23 hours ago, Jay.E said:

Hello,

I've been dealing with severe Health anxiety for the past nine months. It all started in October 2017, when I started experiencing body-wide twitching. Of course, I made the mistake of Googling and that lead me to fears of ALS. I was a total wreck for 2 months straight, I was so afraid and depressed. Luckily, after finding this website, seeing a neurologist and doing some tests, I started feeling a lot better. But of course as you know HA ebbs and flows. While I definitely feel a lot better than I did in the beginning, I'm still struggling with HA. 

I've noticed as the months went by that thoughts of this disease are never far from my mind. It is sometimes the very first thought I have when I wake up in the morning. I can't control these thoughts, they seem to be lingering in the back of my mind, and constantly resurfacing. I ended up even developing some compulsions, like constantly wiping the side of my mouth to verify if I'm drooling, or obsessively examining my hands. All of my fears right now are centred around my left hand, and the discrepancies between the two hands. I can't fight the compulsion to constantly look at my hands and examine them closely. Sometimes I don't even realize I'm doing it. My family members have asked me why I keep looking at my hands.....which was very awkward since I needed to come up with a story quickly. Someone mentioned, upon discussing my unusual compulsions, that it sounds like OCD. Honestly, I was just coming to terms with having HA at that point, so I wasn't open to the idea of adding OCD to the list. However, now it's been 9 months and I can clearly see that I do in fact have thoughts and compulsions I can not control.

I no longer recognize myself. I feel like I'm morphing into an obsessive, anxious creature that is constantly worrying about every single little discrepancy and body sensation. Does any of this sound familiar to any of you? Is this OCD? Does HA usually lead to OCD? 

Thank you in advance for your feedback.

Yes.  HA is a form of OCD - the obsessions with the health related fears and doubts, the intrusive  "am I ok or not?" thoughts, the compulsive checking.   The root of HA is OCD, and from reading your post, it sounds like you have both the obsessions (in your constant thoughts of ALS) and the compulsions (in terms of your self checking ).  And I understand - with my anxiety, I deal with this too (just not ALS).  I wouldn't say that HA leads to OCD.  I would say that you have OCD and it is manifesting itself as HA, instead of, say, checking the stove 100x a day or washing your hands constantly, which is what is commonly thought of with OCD.  

You say that you no longer recognize yourself.   Have you considered therapy?  After 30 some years of dealing with this, I have finally found a therapist that I mesh with and am hoping for the best.  At the very minimum,  a therapist would help you see through the obsessions and shed some light and support for handling the compulsions.  I am personally glad I have found that support for myseld.  

I am sorry you are going through this - hope this helped.

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On 7/25/2018 at 11:54 PM, BeautifulDisaster said:

Yes.  HA is a form of OCD - the obsessions with the health related fears and doubts, the intrusive  "am I ok or not?" thoughts, the compulsive checking.   The root of HA is OCD, and from reading your post, it sounds like you have both the obsessions (in your constant thoughts of ALS) and the compulsions (in terms of your self checking ).  And I understand - with my anxiety, I deal with this too (just not ALS).  I wouldn't say that HA leads to OCD.  I would say that you have OCD and it is manifesting itself as HA, instead of, say, checking the stove 100x a day or washing your hands constantly, which is what is commonly thought of with OCD.  

You say that you no longer recognize yourself.   Have you considered therapy?  After 30 some years of dealing with this, I have finally found a therapist that I mesh with and am hoping for the best.  At the very minimum,  a therapist would help you see through the obsessions and shed some light and support for handling the compulsions.  I am personally glad I have found that support for myseld.  

I am sorry you are going through this - hope this helped.

Thank you so much for your wonderful answer. This is all kind of new for me. Yes, I was in therapy for a couple of months. But, I definitely think I need to get back to it. I have an appointment with a new therapist next Saturday. Fingers crossed, it will work out just fine. I never even thought of OCD before this whole thing started with Muscle twitches. But, when I think about it, I've always been a bit of a worrier. I would worry about the house burning down and would obsess over making sure that the alarms are all working, and even go so far as to worry about the neighbours not tending to their own alarms (since our houses are attached to one another). Change always made me feel extremely uncomfortable and I would worry about said change. As a kid I remember having nightmares of losing my mother. It seems I've always had issues with intrusive thoughts and compulsions, but I never put it all together. The HA is what brought this to the forefront for me. 

I really hope therapy helps. I'm just exhausted of feeling constantly anxious and worrying incessantly. 

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