The most disturbing part of OCD no one ever tells you about.

People always call themselves “OCD” because they like things neat or wash their hands a lot. That isn’t OCD. Actual obsessive-compulsive disorder is debilitating compulsion to perform rituals beyond any normal behavior. People also forget that OCD includes thoughts—i.e. obsessions. A person can have one or both of them. I don’t really have compulsions, but my OCD consists of unwanted, intrusive thoughts.

Intrusive thoughts are unwanted because of their content, which often includes disturbing violent or sexual thoughts, images, and fears about one’s identity. Obviously, they wouldn’t bother you if you wanted them. It isn’t a question of simply trying not to dwell on them; much of the distress comes from not being able to stop. It often involves something near and dear to you.

For example, if you have a newborn, you might think, “What would happen if I snapped its neck and threw it out the window?” You’re horrified but you can’t stop thinking of killing it while questioning what the hell is wrong with you and why you’re so fucked up and evil. The more you try to stop, the more you keep doing it, which triggers more panic that you actually are a monster and everyone is about to find out.

Sometimes it’s just harmless repetitive images or short phrases. Other obsessions sort of come and go, like a mental fad. Sometimes they come as a physical urge, like riding as the passenger and suddenly wanting to grab the wheel and pull the car into a telephone pole.

As a religious person, I experience some of the most intense ones in church, unsurprisingly. They can range from the harmlessly stupid to the lewd and obscenely blasphemous. My method of trying to calm myself down is to shake my head a little bit and mentally recite a list of all the obscenities I can think of, and that usually gets it out of my system. If I try not to think about it, it only worsens.

Again, these are unwanted. There is zero desire to dwell on them in any way. That’s why they freak you out. They’re not the random thoughts that pop into everyone’s minds from time to time. They are relentless, disturbing, and intractable.

But I promised you I’d tell you the most disturbing part. What I just told you is not the most disturbing part.

What IS the most disturbing part is when I have really absurd and embarrassing images of other people making weird faces and dancing in a cringey manner. I mean really bizarre, embarrassing, and cringey. The WORST part is if I am talking to them while music is playing and the image pops into my head. I will never, ever, not think of them when I hear that song.

My respect for many people is gone due to what I have imagined them doing. Some people, I can’t even look at their face and I hope I never see them again. I find myself wondering, do other people know what I’m thinking? Can they hear my thoughts? Do they see them dancing? Or are they judging me because I am imagining them dancing and they think I’m enjoying it?

No, sir, as a matter of fact, I am not enjoying it. Your shimmying and pelvic-thrusting disturb me to no end.

11 thoughts on “The most disturbing part of OCD no one ever tells you about.

  1. Interesting. I too have invasive thoughts like you’ve mentioned above, but never thought much about them. I don’t feel bad either. I just accept my mind as being a separate entity from myself. Maybe I might need to look up this thing a bit more.

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    1. Yeah I think the best way to deal with it is to think of it as something separate and not actually you. Having knowledge about it helps as well because you know it’s a thing and other people have it too. If you believe it’s only you, you’ll go more batty. And having a good sense of humor about it!

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  2. I always had trouble with numbers. Like counting. Or tapping out little repetitive rhythms. Dut dut dududu dut doo. Dut dut dududu dut doo. Wy I had trouble with drummers until drum machines. Because I could fuck up and they wouldn’t complain. But seriously, you know how a four on the flor techno DJ counts 5/4 time? One an Two an Three an Four Five, One an Two an Three an Four Five… Think about that next time you try to count in a straight line.
    Talk about obsessive, vintage gear people. You know how many it takes to change a light bulb? One. The rest stand around and lament how good the old one was. Get a new hobby.
    Next time you see them dancing, imagine them really needing to take a dump and the stall door is locked and you have the only nickel in five miles. Bound to cheer you up.
    Not to put too fine a point on it, but there were four, maybe five good novels lurking in your post. I knew a guy, brilliant guitarist, semi famous, toured opening for Journey and Top among others. He was OCD with rituals that played right into obtaining booze for alcoholism. He beat it with seratonin uptake. Until he blew his brains out at 60. So there’s always a bright side. It’ll end some day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. At least numbers don’t bother me. But I can definitely picture it.

      As soon as you said think of one of my dancers having to use the loo, immediately I thought of my boss, begging me for the nickel, as I sadistically hold it up and smile….

      That poor guitarist. All his accomplishment did not help him beat that monster in his head. Very sad.

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  3. We often think OCD is just extra clean. But you are right thinking ,obsessively is a type of OCD.

    Do you exercise?

    When negative thoughts come do you have a stock of positive thoughts to replace them with? And/or a task to do ?

    Also if at all you can meditate daily and let God shower you with his love, and tell God all these issues you have. Let his love clear all of this.

    I had a lot of pain in my life and it has only just easied up after over 25 years. It hurt so badly I was a bit overthinking about it. Which it made it worse. Our issues was with a person being extremely terrible to us . But then I really worked on affirmations, gratitude, meditation and it all helped. Then more meditation, positive thinking, and letting go exercises. And it made it all better and manageable.

    I am sure in time they will disappear. With gods help, positive thinking, talking to god, saying affirmations and some physical exercise, or gardening, or plain chores.

    I feel we can change anything about ourself with regular daily effort and routines. I believe it because I have achieved success in it. It is an on going process.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bella. Thank you for your great advice. I agree completely that positive thinking and activities can help alleviate this sort of thing. I should probably replace my current method of dealing with the thoughts with something more uplifting. Keeping busy and putting my mind to something else that is beautiful would probably benefit me. We can only hold so many thoughts in our head at once, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This was great! I do stuff like this too. I always thought of it as a skill except for some of the shit that was too awful to be a skill.
    There’s been a few hundred times when I thought “woah! The F*** was that. What the heck is WRONG with me?” Most of the time it is just odd shit. Entertaining mostly.
    Love your style.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “shit that was too awful to be a skill.” LOL! That’s the thing, you’ve got to be entertained by it somehow. Sometimes it’s upsetting when you have a bad thought at a time you really shouldn’t (oh, if this person dies tonight, I don’t have to go to work tomorrow), but I’ve learned to just take it as though someone else handed it to me and throw it away.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the thing. First people lie to you and say OCD is washing your hands and straightening your desk. Then when they’re forced to admit that’s incorrect, they try and scare you off by telling you it’s all horrible violent and sexual thoughts. No one wants to be the one to admit the existence of the dancers.

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