PURE "O"


Did I lock the door?
Did I lock the door?
Did I lock the door? 
Okay, I locked the door. 
Now I have to wash my hands. *opens door to wash hands.* 
Shit, did I lock the door?

I get out of the car. I did lock the door. Fine. This is typical of someone with regular OCD. They have the obsessiveness of did I lock the door? Then there are always the compulsiveness of touching said doorknob, washing your hands fifty or so times to make sure that they are clean. I'm just trying to come up with a decent example. I know this isn't typical for everyone or even anyone with OCD. 

However, I am trying to open up a dialogue about "Purely Obsessional OCD." It's just like it sounds, too. It's purely obsessional. But so many people don't even understand that this exist. This means that my mind acts much like a broken record, or a CD that skips. It focuses on one small little thing that pops into my head. But the problem with purely obsessional OCD, is that  it will "often manifest as intrusive, unwanted, inappropriate thoughts, impulses or “mental images." We're often suffering in silence, and often without the "compulsion" aspect of regular OCD. 



It can be broken up into different areas, as well. This is taken from ocdla.com. It explains a little better about what purely obsessional OCD patients ruminate over. Now, notice one word that keeps popping up is "unwanted," and "intrusive." 


  • Recurrent intrusive harm thoughts or mental images of physically assaulting or killing one’s spouse, parent, child, self, friends, or others (sometimes called “Harm OCD“)
  • Repeatedly worrying that one has or will run over a pedestrian while driving a vehicle (sometimes called “hit and run OCD)
  • Excessive fears that one might accidentally cause harm to other people (i.e., burning down the house, unknowingly poisoning others, inadvertantly exposing others to toxic chemicals)
  • Persistent fears of molesting a child (sometimes called “pedophile OCD” or “POCD”
  • Recurrent fears that one might be a homosexual, when in fact he or she is not (sometimes called “Gay OCD” or “Sexual Orientation OCD” or “Homosexual OCD” or “HOCD“)
  • Excessively worrying that one does not actually love his/her partner, or is not with the “right” person (sometimes called “Relationship OCD” or “ROCD“
  • Repetitive thoughts that one has said or written something inappropriate, such as swearing at ones employer or writing hate-filled letters to a friend
  • Persistent intrusive thoughts or mental images that one considers to be sinful, sacrilegious or blasphemous, such as wanting to worship Satan or have sex with Christ
  • Recurrent fears that one is sinning or not living (or thinking) in a manner that is congruent with their religious, moral, or ethical values (sometimes called “Scrupulosity“)
  • Repeatedly thinking about benign somatic issues such as breathing, swallowing, blinking, eye “floaters”, ringing in the ears, digestion, where ones eyes are looking, physical sensations in a specific body part, etc. (sometimes called “sensorimotor OCD” or “somatic OCD)
  • Recurrent thoughts questioning the nature of the self or reality (sometimes called “existential OCD”)


Now, I am not going to open up and say which ones that I am living with. I think broadcasting that across the internet for the world to see would probably not be the best idea. But yes, I do live with one or more of the above recurrent thoughts that manifest in my mind. But the biggest thing that comforts me is that almost everything that I read, as well as assurance from my psychiatrist tells me that I would NEVER act upon any of these thoughts, as they are the furthest thing from said patient's character. Thus, why they scare the patient so much. 



Diagnosis was, well, for lack of a better word, a total bitch. I was diagnosed as bipolar, depressed, you name it, I was called it. Medication was thrown at me, I was tossed into the mental ward without any doctor even trying to pick apart what was truly going on. If it wasn't for a therapist I was seeing at one point that even mentioned Pure O, I would likely still never know that it existed. I lived with it since I was NINE years old. Can you imagine a nine year old living with these kinds of intrusive thoughts? It was a scary ride to get to where I am now. 

Imagine once I became a mom. These said thoughts got worse and worse, couple that with post-partum depression, and I was a holy mess. I was scared that I was a bad mom, like I didn't deserve this beautiful child that I had. 



Today, I am on the proper medication, seeing my psychiatrist regularly, and I am not so afraid of my own mind anymore. But I wanted to truly open up a conversation about Purely Obsessional OCD. I barely see it anywhere, and it needs to be talked about more! 

Here's a great question: If you have a mental illness, will you stand up for it? 
Will you help others by sharing your story?

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1 comments:

debra daigle said...

A friend of mine has OCD and I hate going over to her home. She refuses to come to ours because of the disorder. We have to meet up at a local coffee shop or someplace really clean. Great write up!