Reddit Reddit reviews Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts: How to Gain Control of Your OCD

We found 9 Reddit comments about Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts: How to Gain Control of Your OCD. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts: How to Gain Control of Your OCD
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9 Reddit comments about Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts: How to Gain Control of Your OCD:

u/Xemnas81 · 5 pointsr/Anxiety

So sorry to hear this. It sounds like you're experiencing intrusive violent thoughts; [this is very common, nothing to be ashamed of, and is nothing to fear.] (

Have you ever been diagnosed with OCD or 'Pure O'? [Here is a booklet explaining the difference between mainstream clinical Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Pure O.] (

tl;dr Pure O involves frequent distressing intrusive thoughts impacting quality of life, but which you lack compulsion to act on.

edit: OK knife-checking, I spoke too soon sorry; so it's more likely you have mainstream clinical OCD. As you can see on the links above, checking rituals are common compulsive behaviours with OCD and intrusive thoughts, but they reinforce the fear of uncertainty and thus increase anxiety around intrusive thoughts! It's a form of [magical thinking, a cognitive distortion very common for people who have
OCD to find themselves engaging in.] (

The important thing to remember is thoughts are not facts! Just because you think, say, that you want to slap someone (let's keep it mild for now) doesn't mean that you'll actually do it. So it is with even the most severe thoughts of harming, even killing someone. In fact, the very fact you are extremely distressed about these thoughts, is a good sign that you're unlikely to act on them! :) Psychopaths and sociopaths wouldn't think twice about such thoughts and might even indulge them. Likewise, those most at risk of suicide have a much more passive, resigned acceptance of fate, with a troubling lack of being affected by such serious ideas, almost at peace with the idea of death,. You are here screaming "I don't want to die," which strongly suggests that these are intrusive thoughts, and not suicidal intentions or ideations.

What differs the average person from a OCD or Pure O sufferer is the significance that they attach to intrusive thoughts. Most people can just have them metaphorically go in one ear, out the other.However, people on the OCD and anxiety spectrum are more prone to have fears of loss of control and identify as a person who appreciates control. Therefore they perceive lack of control, even over one's thoughts, as more of a moral character flaw than the average person. This means that the thought distresses them even more, exacerbating stress symptoms and anxiety, increasing a fear of intrusive thoughts and their significance, increasing the feeling that one needs to perform a compulsion and creating a vicious cycle.

As an example of a sexual intrusive thought… A person not suffering from OCD might think for 10 seconds something awful like "man, I'd love to sleep with my friend's 14-year old daughter, she's really hot" but then they'd briefly notice it, think "wow, what a silly thought, the mind is a weird thing sometimes haha" and carry on with their day. Contrast to a person with OCD who may have such a thought, then ruminate over whether they are secretly a pedophile and ephebophile, tell themselves "I am an awful person and must be punished or arrested for thinking such disgusting criminal thoughts," catalysing a crippling depression and social phobia from fear of hurting children.

So the most important parts of recovery are to accept:

i) I am not 100% in control of my thoughts, and that is OK

ii) Just because I have a passing thought, doesn't mean I want to act on it

iii) Just because I think bad things, doesn't mean I am a bad person

All of this can be conditioned into your mind by practicing some form of mindfulness such as meditation on a regular basis, and getting in the hang of observing one's thoughts and feelings, without judging them or attaching any significance to them. Just observe, and let it pass.

The r/OCD sub specialises in these issues, but we can support too. Do you have a university counsellor to speak to? Mine were very helpful when I was at my worst, as was my GP. They'll explain everything I have in more detail.

If you don't have specialist support available, I cannot recommend these books enough.

  1. Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts, by Purdon&Clark

  2. Brain Lock, by Jeffrey M. Schwartz

    Remember-you are NOT what these thoughts say you are. I believe that you are a good person. But, in the long run this reassurance that the thoughts are nothing to be afraid of should not come from me or anyone else, or it'll create a reassurance-seeking cycle of checking behaviours. It's up to you, to teach yourself this. But I have faith in you.

    Take it easy friend :) good luck! Here if you have any questions.
u/Gr158 · 3 pointsr/OCD

3-4 years ago when I first started dealing with my harm ocd, I told myself that being afraid of the thought meant I was a good person and so there's no way I could do these things. It was true, but not helpful. For me, it was a compulsion. Self reassurance and the relief if brought was only temporary. I didn't seem to really make progress until I began forcing myself to have these thoughts intentionally. If I had something pop up, I would force myself to keep it going, make it more gory or terrible in my head and I truly think that for me, it worked. I think it desensitized it and that took a lot of its power away. I can't say it would work for anyone else but I've been medication free for 3 years now and doing exponentially better. I couldn't go in the kitchen with my wife for close to a year and now I can stand next to her holding a knife and not think a thing about it.

I have a 6 week old daughter now that I was terrified to have because of pedocd and while I have the occasional thought that I'll do something terrible, I'm able to brush it off as the nonsense it is.

I really recommend this book Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts: How to Gain Control of Your OCD I think the message that I got from it's little lessons were really valuable.

I wouldn't say I'm completely cured, don't ever plan to be. I have some issues regarding health anxiety and the thoughts of harm pop up but as I said, I'm able to look at them as they pass by and not run. The thought isn't the problem, your response to it is. If you can lessen the fear of the thought, you'll find they come less frequently and for me, forcing myself to have them lessened the fear they caused.

I wish you the best of luck in your journey! If you haven't already, check out iocdf and the adaa. They have some great resources and I found both the therapists I've seen in the past on iocdf. Also, if you can't afford treatment by an ocd specialist (you want a specialist, the first guy I saw made. Me worse) that book was honestly very helpful for me. The exercises seem goofy at the time but there's one in particular regarding a pink dog that I still refer back to on a regular basis. It really stuck in my head and helped me understand the reason the thoughts kept coming back.

u/iliveinablackhole_ · 2 pointsr/Advice

I've dealt with severe anxiety and pure o ocd in the past and right now I'm pretty much cured. I still have occasional rough days but they are rare and if my anxiety was 100% back then it's now 4%. Be careful with benzos if you take them daily they are just going to make things worse. You want to attack anxiety at the core and benzos don't do anything to fight it they just suppress symptoms. I only used benzos when I REALLY needed it. They are great for emergencys. For ocd I would highly recommend this book

This book deals with curing obsessive thoughts not so much compulsions. So if your ocd is more compulsions this probably isn't the best book for you. I didn't have compulsions just obsessive thoughts and this book cured me before I even finished it.

u/moonfever · 2 pointsr/Anxiety

Honestly the biggest help for me was this book: Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts. Therapy helped me to see what thoughts were obsessive and irrational, and that book helped me deal with them. CBT didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know, but it gave me a baseline.

I tend to approach my mental illness more ~intellectually, and find that if I know the exact reasons for what is happening, and the process in my brain that is making them happen, I am more likely to be able to be successful in changing the "bad habits". The book helped me with that.

Medication-wise, Paxil CR and Zoloft were good and keeping things under control, and currently my Imipramine is working well, though my psychiatrist tells me that's weird. SNRIs are the usual treatment for OCD, but they caused my panic disorder to worsen. Most people don't experience that, though, so that will probably be the first line of stuff your doctor goes to.

Depersonalization really sucks. I hope you find something that helps you.

u/SewerDefiler · 2 pointsr/OCD

Have you read any books on the disorder?

I have found Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts as one book that has helped me in particular with pure o.

u/hannahsaysmeow · 1 pointr/purelyobsessional

Newly diagnosed, myself. OCD can be unwanted and intrusive thoughts that really linger, where in many people, they shake off the idea within seconds. I get those too. My doctor/psychiatrist gave me this book:

You gotta pace yourself with it, I'm only on the first 2 chapters but it explains what might be going on with the thought process and how to overcome the less desirable thoughts.

Best of luck to you :)

u/jenna_r · 1 pointr/raisedbynarcissists

You mention going to a doctor, so if anything I say goes against the doctor's suggestion please dismiss it.

I used to have terrible intrusive thoughts. After some work, I eventually realized a lot of them were actually in my mother's voice. I had to externalize them and recognize they were not my own, but ones planted by her. Some of them I can just tell to go away; others I had to forcefully change the dialogue of ("You're being unreasonable!" to "You're upset. Take a breathe and get back on track"); the one that tells me to kill myself is now a ridiculous cartoony voice and I sometimes laugh when I 'hear' it. These two books have been the most helpful: and .

Also, are you female? I ask because these kinds of things can ebb and flow with the fertility cycle and it can help pinpoint when it is worse. Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) helped me a lot with gaining control.

u/TuttiFrutti · 1 pointr/

You have a mental condition that is diagnosed as "Obsessive Thoughts". Other people have similar hyper-aware thoughts,... thoughts that they are going to do something horrible to a loved one, something perverted sexually, something sacrilegious.

These articles capture the condition well:

For a good book on it, probably the best on it, check out:

What you write about is discussed in the book: "Doubts as to whether you have accidentally harmed someone"

u/fnfal · 1 pointr/OCD

Just saw this 5 min ago on Amazon. Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts: How to Gain Control of Your OCD. The reviews for it are mostly good