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Unread 10-31-2005, 08:20 PM   #1
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Default OCD - Throwing things away and giving things away.

I have to fix things up and rearrange them until they are just right. Yesterday I was trying to get the books in my bookshelf just right. I kept swapping the books to different shelves. It was wasting so much time, but I couldn't stop until they looked right. It causes me anxiety if things aren't exactly in the right place.
Sometimes I throw things away that are perfectly good, just becuase of the OCD. I throw away food because I'm afraid that it will be going off. Or I throw away other things. A while ago I gave away heaps of my clothes and the next day I was looking for this particular shirt that I wanted to wear but I had already given it away to charity.
I have given away heaps and heaps of things. I like giving things to people but sometimes I give money away out of guilt. I have given heaps of money away. I am afraid that I will be punished if I don't.
I know that it is a good thing to give to others and I really love giving. It's just that I'm not sure sometimes that I give for the right reason. I always seem to have everything that I need but I worry that I give to people for the wrong reason. The reason I do give alot of the time is to avoid punishment. But other times I give because I really want to, I give out of love for whoever I'm giving to. It's a good feeling to give things to people.
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Unread 11-01-2005, 12:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: OCD - Throwing things away and giving things away.

Estee,

Reading your posts brought tears to my eyes. I also give to others for fear I will be punished if I dont. I like to donate clothes, food, toys, furniture. I genuinly enjoy it because I know there are needy families that need these things and I am thrilled if I am able to help in any way. But there are those times when I feel that if I dont donate, I will be punished and it causes me alot of anxiety. I am so sorry you are feeling this way too. It is a terrible feeling. I also have a very hard time with the organization of my kitchen cabinets. The problem is, the are too organized. If I go in there and they are messy or out of "order", it simply drives me into a panic. I hate that I am like this. I hate it. I am sorry that you are going through this as well. I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone.



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Unread 11-01-2005, 05:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: OCD - Throwing things away and giving things away.

Hi estee and jmo,

This is a hard one, and I too am upset to think about how hard it is with OCD.

Having had some similar experiences, here is my take on it.

If we are doing something because of the compulsion then we're in the grip of OCD. So no matter whether it is a good thing or a bad thing for other reasons it is still an OCD thing as far as we are concerned. The OCD is controlling us.

My strategy over the years has been to gradually confine OCD behaviours to morally neutral things. So, arranging books on a bookshelf I would see as not so serious, but getting rid of all my friends, or hurting myself in some way I would see as serious. So, I have tried to reduce any remaining behaviors to inconsequential things; things that won't have repercussions on me and my family. I think that giving away my clothes would be more than inconsequential for me, so I would try not to do it, but focus the OCD brain onto something less drastic.

It is when we do drastic things because of OCD that we are most vulnerable and that's the time to ask for some help IMHO.

OCD is an illness, it doesn't make us bad people. If only we were able to understand that at an emotional level.

My good feelings to all sufferers, everywhere.

Myzen
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Unread 11-01-2005, 09:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: OCD - Throwing things away and giving things away.

wow. So I'm not the only one. It's sad that we feel as though we are going to be punished all the time. I can tell myself over and over that it's not going to happen but the fear doesn't leave at those times. ((((((((hugs))))))
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Unread 11-01-2005, 09:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: OCD - Throwing things away and giving things away.

I can relate to that. I get rid of my friends because I'm so worried about time, that I can't afford to let people into my life. I feel guilty about how I use my time. Nothing I do seems to be ok or good enough sometimes.
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Unread 11-03-2005, 10:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: OCD - Throwing things away and giving things away.

My daughter with ocd does not like to own too many clothes. She wants a very basic wardrope that doesn't fill much space. She is constantly asking me to send things to charity and a lot of the time I keep them and reintroduce them at a later date. She will not let me buy her clogs but she wears mine all of the time. She only will allow a certain number of socks of the right colors in her drawers so again she steals mine.

Here's my question. Do you guys think you can get on top of your OCD so it doesn't control your life as much? This is my daughter's hope, that she will do this treatment facility for 5 weeks to 3 months and learn mastery over the ocd. I see what it does to her and it breaks my heart. I am sorry that you all know it from such a close perspective.
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Unread 11-04-2005, 07:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: OCD - Throwing things away and giving things away.

People tell me that there's hope to have freedom from the OCD or to manage the OCD. But I have been told that my OCD is very bad and that it's going to be an ongoing problem. They are just trying to get to the place where they can teach me how to manage it so I can live as normal a life as possible. When I heard that it would be an ongoing problem I felt pretty hopeless. I hear people say that I'll be able to manage the OCD and at the moment I feel like it's impossible. I feel like I am being asked to do something that is beyond me. I feel like life is not going to get any better. I have very severe depression and I wonder how much longer I can go on functioning in life. I worry that I will eventually lose the fight. Because it feels like the biggest fight. Everyday I just endure so many things. The dread I feel is so overwhelming. Sometimes I feel very hopeless about life and other times I have alot of hope. Sorry that your daughter suffers so much. Hope she is heaps better soon.
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Unread 11-07-2005, 01:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: OCD - Throwing things away and giving things away.

Wisewomen,

I have hopes that I will be able to "control" my urges more. I know that I have come a long way. There was a times when I would be so fearful that someone was going to break into my house and harm my family. That fear was so real for me. There was another thought I had, that I am too ashamed to talk about right now becaue I still have tremendous feelings of guilt over it . It was all I thought about, over and over and over. I used to sit in the bathroom and beg to GOD to please let my brain be quiet if even for a little while. I needed a break from these never ending thoughts and compulsions that had come over me.


I am not as bad as I once was. I credit the medication for that, however, as I explained above, there are still things that I "have" to do to ease the anxiety and my brain. I also still count. I have to constantly count and I also have a fear of certain numbers. I avoid such numbers at all costs.

Getting back to your question....I would hope that there will be a time that I can be free of it. Do I think it will happen? No, for me, I think I will always be like this in some way or another.

I hope that your daughter finds a way to break free because I wouldnt wish this on anyone. It is terrible not being able to stop yourself from doing certain things.
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Unread 11-08-2005, 07:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: OCD - Throwing things away and giving things away.

You spoke about being frightened about someone breaking in and hurting your family. I live alone but that is also one of my big fears. I think about someone breaking in and killing me or raping me. It's very awful. I used to get so terrified that I would want to hide in the wardrobe. Things are a little better now that I take medication. I seem to sleep alot deeper. But sometimes have really weird dreams. I don't like going for walks because I don't feel safe. I'm always afraid that someone will hurt me. I also feel that something bad will happen because I cannot stop worrying about it happening. You know how people say 'what you say is what you get" kind of thing.
Today I felt like everyone was looking at me. It's an awful feeling. I worry that I'm going to go crazy and that things are going to get worse.
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Unread 11-29-2005, 01:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: OCD - Throwing things away and giving things away.

Hi estee and jmo and Myzen,

I do suffer from OCD and it takes quite a toll on my relationship with my wife, God bless her heart since she has the utmost patience with me, but I too suffer from thoughts similar to the guilt thoughts expressed above.
I don't take medications, but I underwent cognitive therapy, it proved to be very very helpful I am waaaaaaayyyyyyy better now.
Hi estee and jmo, I agree with Myzen, to a certain extent, some of the techniques have I learned in my therapy brake down to the ideas presented by myzen


analyze you fears, confront them.....categorize them.......and you will begin to see patterns..it is all the same....then break them down..and I guess what I mean is....get to the bare bones of what your fear is and challenge the interpretation of that fear.
e.g compare youself to others..."would X person worry about this.."...if not ..." why am i so special" why am I havong such a HUGE standard on myself.....and X doent have to???? (where X is some ne you admire...)
find the cognitive errors OCD has made you think are valuable interpretations (and they are really not)

or find what ever suits you. but break the intrusive thought down to the point you begin to recognize the patterns that most affect you..and before you know it, you will thinking before carrying out your compulsion and you will get the courage to NOT carry out your compulsion..i.e like giving away because you feel guilty in not doing so....
and If your nature is to be kind to others and give, you WILL do it but with an entire different feeling!

easier said than done, I know, any how just wanted to chip in some thoughts!

keep on, and I firmly believe there is hope for every one!
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