In most cases, being diagnosed with a disorder is definitely not a pleasant experience. But my story is different. The day I found out I had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) was the start of a new chapter in my life and I will always remember it as a rather happy, joyful day.
Please, please, please – do not stop reading my post thinking that I am a freaking lunatic who has completely lost his mind. Because at the end of the day, I have just told you that being diagnosed with a mental disorder had been a great thing for me – and well, I can totally understand if you find this statement alarming but!
Just to make it clear: I am not happy for having OCD and I really do not think anyone could possibly be happy for having it ’cause believe me, it’s not fun at all. However, after spending years worrying about irrational and disturbing things, it was a huge relief for me to find out that I had OCD because learning about this disorder finally helped me understand why I was having weird thoughts and why I was feeling the way I was.
But I guess you can imagine that getting my diagnosis was not the end of the story. My OCD was preparing for an ultimate attack. A new question so creative that only OCD could invent. Or we could say: a new obsession to rule them all.
What If I Do Not Really Have OCD?
Nowadays, I do not have any doubts about the fact that I have OCD. But I wasn’t always so sure about it. It took some time for me to convince myself that I really had it and to stop ruminating over the questions my OCD was asking me. I am sharing my story with you because I really hope it will help those who are struggling with the same problem.
I have had disturbing, intrusive thoughts ever since my teenage years. Back in the days, I did not use to know why I was having them so I guess you can imagine how I was feeling. Many people think that OCD is a kind of cleaning addiction but unfortunately, it is so much more than that. It can make you question even the most fundamental things in your life and make you scared of things that are, in most of the cases, completely irrational.
The list of different obsessions that OCD sufferers can have is endless. Some of us are afraid of contamination, others have a terrible fear of harming others. But one thing that can easily “give OCD away” is the “what if?” questions. Hmm.. what do they look like? Let’s see a few examples:
- What if I intentionally harm someone I love?
- What if I am not in love with my partner?
- What if I haven’t cleaned the kitchen table thoroughly enough and someone will get food poisoning because of my negligence?
- What if I forgot to lock the door?
And well, as I mentioned earlier, it would be next to impossible to give you a complete list of all the “what if” questions that OCD can come up with, but in today’s article we will be exploring one in particular:
What if I do not have OCD?
Being diagnosed with OCD helps you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Everything starts to make sense. You finally realize that you are not the monster you thought you were and that having intrusive thoughts is something that happens to a lot of other people.
This realization will make you feel so much happier. Before finding out that I had OCD, I used to think I was insane, creepy and downright dangerous. After being diagnosed, I started to understand myself and see the whole world from a different perspective.
Being aware of the fact that I had OCD made me feel so much calmer and that’s when a new problem started to arise. I started to feel that I wasn’t worried enough about the things that I was supposed to be worried about.
I mean, how come I am no longer scared to death by the thought of accidentally poisoning someone? Or how come I am so irresponsible that I am not even hiding the knives anymore? (Was scared of losing control and harming someone I love…)
These are the thoughts that would soon lead me to the ultimate question: what if I do not even have OCD?
The fact that I started to be less anxious about the things that used to give me sleepless nights, made me question my diagnosis. I knew my psychologist was competent enough but everyone makes mistakes so I thought she might have misdiagnosed me.
And obsessions usually come with compulsions – because you just have to do something about your fears, don’t you? In my case, the most logical step (and the worst thing one could do) was simple enough: let’s just start worrying more about everything.
When I felt that I wasn’t worried enough about jumping off a bridge (one of my worst nightmares) or if I was not optimally anxious about not having locked the door, I would just force myself to worry more about these things. It was like a kind of mental ritual. A ritual that I performed in order to make sure that I had OCD.
I am a visual person, so I have decided to create a little flowchart to show you the way things happened.
So as you can see, instead of fighting against my OCD, I was actually fighting for it! Because at the end of the day, I thought that not having OCD was a scarier thing than having it.
And well, let’s not forget about reassurance seeking. Another thing that I did was buying tons of psychology books and spending hours on Google reading about OCD and checking if I have all the symptoms. Now, if I try to look at the bright side of things, I can at least say that I was learning a lot about psychology during that period.
How Did I stop Obsessing Over This Thought?
- The first step for me was realizing that the fear of not having OCD was an actual sign of having OCD.
It took some time to absorb this, but once I managed to do it, everything became so much easier!
Do I Have OCD?
- Personifying my OCD
Another thing that helped me a lot was imagining that my OCD was an actual person. An annoying creature who loves harassing me with crazy thoughts and bombarding me with creepy questions.
The Face Of The Devil – Personifying Your OCD
- Watching out for “what ifs”
Now, talking about personifying your OCD – one of the major red flags is when your inner voice is asking you questions starting with “what if”. OCD simply adores this type of questions and the best thing you can do is trying not to give an answer to them. ‘Cause even if you manage to answer one, there will always be a next one…it’s like a never ending story.
OCD – A Living Hell Of Uncertainty
- The Last Obstacle
Finally, thinking about the “what if I do not have OCD” as if it was a kind of last obstacle also helped me stop ruminating over this whole question. I knew that if I managed to acknowledge the fact that I had OCD, things would soon change for the better.
Important: Seek Professional Help!
I am not a certified therapist and my blog is just a place where I share my thoughts and experiences with you in the hope that you will find them helpful. However, I do not want to encourage you to self-diagnose or to try treating your OCD on your own because without the guidance of a professional therapist, it can be downright harmful.
- OCD: Living A Lie
- 12 things that will help you overcome OCD
- Why Do I Have OCD? – Causes & Risks
- 5 common misconceptions about OCD
- Demons are real – Stop Negative Self-Talk!
- Questioning Whether You Have OCD When You Have OCD (ADAA)
- Top 60 OCD Blogs (Feedspot)
As you know, there’s one thing that I love more than sharing my stories: reading yours. Please share your thoughts/ideas/experiences/stories in the comment section! 🙂