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On the question of ultimate reality: Specifically for Xain


Forums Forums General Discussion On the question of ultimate reality: Specifically for Xain

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 115 total)
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  • #307835
    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    @timb

    Well, this was my diagnosis. After some 15 years. It pretty much ran my life. And I can tell you from the inside, it is like having a broken arm, and then reading the definition of a broken arm, and going, Yes, that is it exactly. It is extraordinarily specific.

    #307837
    TimB
    Participant

    Certainly your experience with and about the disorder goes well beyond any experience I have with it.  My only knowledge of it, is that it is typically conceptualized as the presence of obsessive thoughts which elicit anxiety, which are followed by compulsive behaviors which may decrease some anxiety, temporarily, thus setting up and maintaining the self-reinforcing chain of dysfunctional behavior.

    So in “existential OCD” I am assuming that the obsessive thoughts would be like, e.g., “Buddhism says that my “self” is an illusion.”  The compulsive behaviors would be, what?, trying unsuccessfully, and to an extreme degree, to get assistance to understand or deal with the thoughts?

     

    #307859
    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    1 of 2

     

    @timb

    So in “existential OCD” I am assuming that the obsessive thoughts would be like, e.g., “Buddhism says that my “self” is an illusion.”  The compulsive behaviors would be, what?, trying unsuccessfully, and to an extreme degree, to get assistance to understand or deal with the thoughts?

    Yes. Actually, when I said …

    However, most people (even professionals) don’t know about “Pure O” OCD — obsessions that are just in your head, and don’t lead to compulsions (washing, locking, etc.)

    I should have said, “don’t necessarily lead to outward behaviors.”

    @snowcity is doing a classic OCD thing. … asking for reassurance, again and again, but never being able to actually believe that reassurance. That is a compulsion.

    But another compulsion that goes with scrupulocity/existential OCD is excessive rumination that is uncontrollable, but that is never shared with other people.

    So the “compulsion” is an inner thought. As hard as it is to NOT wash your hands or check your locks, it’s 10,000x harder to NOT think of something.

    And with Pure O is often that the thoughts are so disturbing, people don’t even tell their therapists. (Examples: What if I am a serial killer? What if I have stabbed people and forgot?)

    Another problem with Pure O OCD is there is never ANY reassurance.  Take “classic” OCD: Since you left home this morning, you have been thinking, “What if I left the stove on?”

    But you might be able to call your wife and ask her to look and verify it’s off. Or, you can take a photo with your phone each morning to show you the date and the fact that the burner is off.

    But questions like,

    What if I accidentally sold my soul to the devil?

    What if I’m in a vegetative state?

    What if I wasn’t supposed to be born?

     

    ….can’t have reassurances.

     

    #308039
    Xain
    Participant

    It does sound accurate as it’s almost a compulsion that I NEED to know what Buddhism thinks about everything or I think about how they would think about it and take that to be gospel and people who disagree are deluded or living in illusion.

    But it is like I can’t say no or disagree or let it go, it’s either right or wrong and in the case of Buddhism IT is ALWAYS right.

    Like when they say we don’t like people just abstract traits or how we don’t miss people just the times we had, there is no discussion or dispute it’s just right because they said so (and also because I can’t think of another response to that because their answers seem correct and the more I think about it the more right it seems).

    #308050
    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    @snowcity

    It does sound accurate as it’s almost a compulsion that I NEED to know what Buddhism thinks about everything …

    But it is like I can’t say no or disagree or let it go, it’s either right or wrong and in the case of Buddhism IT is ALWAYS right.

    …I can’t think of another response to that because their answers seem correct and the more I think about it the more right it seems).

    Xain, yes, I 100% understand this.

     

    I realize that all I have posted on OCD is a lot to digest. I also realize that the back of your mind is warning you that this is the wrong path.

    But I hope you keep dropping in and reading this over the next few weeks or months.

    At some point, you may decide to browse the websites/links I posted above, contact one of the organizations, or connect with a mental health professional where you live and tell them that you have Existential/Scrupulocity Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

    This is literally a biological “hiccup” inside your brain.

    I am as certain of this as I’ve ever been certain of anything in my life, bro.

     

    #308052
    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    @snowcity @timber

    2/2

    I meant to come back yesterday and finish this.

     

    I posted this before, but this is the absolute best article I have ever read on Pure-O OCD.

    It is VERY long. But Xain may want to save it and read sometime.

    It described, better than any other book or article, what it felt like in my brain when I had this. (For years.) It included things I never even told my own therapist.

     

    #308056
    Lausten
    Keymaster

    been meaning to say thanks for the links Tee. The concepts you discussed have been presented over the last couple years, down to specifically mentioning CBT (I think that was πrat). it’s a classic “fall through the cracks” situation though; you have to want the therapy to get it, “first step is realizing you have  a problem”, and all that. coming to an online forum is a classic avoidance strategy, it has the appearance of acting on the situation but accomplishes very little. But you’ve given it a name. “Existential OCD” would have never occurred to me. It sounds like something made up.

    It reminds me of a podcast about the brain I heard a few years ago. A guy watched too many horror movies and couldn’t get images of himself acting like a horror movie villain out of his head. He couldn’t even pick up a knife without images popping in to his head. His psychiatrist told him that his obsession was not due to him being a potential axe murderer, it was because he was hyper good. Once he started worrying about being bad, he couldn’t stop. His therapy, DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME, was to hold his hands around the neck of his dog, and begin to trust himself that he wouldn’t do any harm.

    #308178
    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    Thank you, @lausten

     

    The concepts you discussed have been presented over the last couple years

    Scrupulocity OCD is finally starting to enter mainstream awareness. And it is incredibly common. I’m in a couple OCD (all kinds) groups on FB, and it comes up again and again.

    CBT

    Yes, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and ERP (Exposure And Response Prevention) are common treatments for all forms of OCD.

    But these “Pure O” forms are the worst. It is one thing to NOT check a lock, and another thing to NOT have a certain thought. (You know the old “don’t think of a white polar bear…)

    So, if @snowcity ever goes to a professional, they will probably treat with a form of Mindfulness: Essentially, learning to simply accept a symptom (thought).

    The reasoning: it’s the anxiety around having the thought that locks it in and makes it worse. Just accepting it, paradoxically, can help it fade. SSRIs, specifically Prozac, also help some.

    coming to an online forum is a classic avoidance strategy

    Well, it actually IS the symptom, akin to an alcoholic taking a drink.

     

    But you’ve given it a name. “Existential OCD” would have never occurred to me. It sounds like something made up.

    I really hope I have brought some awareness. Even now, many professionals are unaware of it.

    And most sufferers never seek help, because this form of OCD is “invisible.” People recognize excessive handwashing or lock-checking as problems, but you can have a mental obsession/rumination for years or decades and never recognize it as an illness.

     

    couldn’t get images of himself acting like a horror movie villain out of his head…

    Yes, this is an example of Pure O OCD.

     

     

    #308179
    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    @lausten

    @snowcity

    @timb

    I’ve been trying to think of a way to describe Pure-O OCD. But even though I’m a “wordsmith,” it’s really, really hard.

     

    This is what I came up with…

    Imagine it’s the 1980s (or any time before cell phones).

    Your 12-year-old daughter, Emily, has left with her Girl Scout troop for a massive annual camping event that attracts troops from all over the US.

    You’ve just arrived at work when you overhear a news report that a bus carrying a Girl Scout troop has gone into a ravine, crashing 60 feet below.

    Many girls are feared dead. First Responders are on their way.

    One report says it was Troop 45, and another reports it was Troop 47.

    No other information is available.

    You begin to panic. What troop is Emily in again? Is she in 45, or 47? Or a completely different one…?

    You place a couple of phone calls, but can’t get any additional information. But you can’t stop wondering: Which troop went over the ravine? And what number is Emily’s troop?

    Now you are expected to be doing your job, which means you will be away from a phone and news reports for several hours.

    You mention it to a few coworkers. They remind you:  Hundreds of buses of Girl Scouts went to this event… The chances of this being HER bus are very small … Don’t worry about it. Try not to dwell on it.

    But you can’t stop dwelling on it. This is your daughter, and she could be hurt or dead.

    Was it Troop 45 or 47? And what Troop is she in? 40-anything? Wait, is she in 24? Or 44? You can visualize all sorts of numbers on her uniform. You need to KNOW.

    You mention it again to a couple more coworkers. Now they are getting irritated. There were 200 buses!! And paramedics are there!  You can’t DO anything about this anyway, so just forget about it for now. Probably Emily is just fine!! 

    But this is huge. You need to know.

    Finally your boss says, “Dude! STOP! Focus on your job! You want to get fired??”

    So you stop asking.

    But logic and statistics don’t really help. You have a bad feeling about this. Didn’t you have a dream last week that Emily was hurt? Was that a sign? And what Troop is it…?

    YOU HAVE TO KNOW.

    YOU CAN’T JUST DECIDE NOT TO WORRY ABOUT IT.

    Now, imagine having that feeling about something. But for days, months or years.

    That’s kind of what Pure O feels like.

    It is urgency plus uncertainty, with no way to verify the truth.

    It is a VERY specific thing. In this scenario, you have LOTS of worries: The economy, your aunt who has cancer, the roof needs repairs….

    but Emily’s bus occupies a certain place in your brain.

     

    >>>> Tell me. Does that help? Can you imagine that?

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    #308181
    3point14rat
    Participant

    I think I get it.

    It’s something that’s there whether you want it to be or not, and, oddly, you don’t always not want it to be there. It’s something so worrying that you don’t want to stop worrying about it even though you know you should stop. You say you want to stop and those closest to you tell you to stop, but you aren’t comfortable with stopping because it’s such a big thing that not worrying about it seems wrong in some way.

    The analogy about the daughter is good. I imagined it would be like letting your daughter walk to a friends house after you saw a report on the news about a serial rapist on the loose in another country. Although you might rationally know that the odds didn’t change due to the news story, you feel like you should worry more (what kind of parent would ignore something so terrible!) So you willingly obsess over her safety.

    Now imagine not wanting to ever let go of that fear. You know it’s irrational and harming your relationship with your daughter, but why would you choose to not worry about her safety?!? That’s even worse!

    I think the rational yet irrational need to cling to the obsession is what makes it so hard to get over.

    #308196
    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    @3point14rat

     

     

    It’s something that’s there whether you want it to be or not, and, oddly, you don’t always not want it to be there.

    Yes!!

    it’s such a big thing that not worrying about it seems wrong in some way.

    Yes. You are AFRAID to NOT worry about it.

    serial rapist in another country…So you willingly obsess over her safety.

     

    Almost.

    The thing that would make this OCD (rather than anxiety or delusion) would be the rumination loop over needing to know a certain detail that would relieve your anxiety, but you can’t know it.

    So imagine the real rapist had a fixation on redhead girls, and your daughter is a redhead. Someone with OCD might spend hours a day researching rapists in America to find out which ones like red hair, and needing to plat every one of them on a map.

    But not all news reports contain all details. So it would be impossible to know each and every redhead-killer.

    So you study and study on Google, police reports, microfiche, etc. And listen to every crime podcast about redhead-killers…once you know each one of them, you can keep your daughter safe. (But you can’t.) See?

     

    #308199
    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    @3point14rat
    @lausten
    @snowcity
    @timb

    A really important & interesting thing about Scrupulocity, Existential OCD & related types

    The OCD exists separately from an individual’s beliefs and opinions.

    This makes it distinct  from, say, religious fanaticism or brainwashing.

    You realize the level of your rumination is irrational, and possibly, you don’t believe it at all.

    A significant minority (over 1/3) of people with Religious Scrupulocity aren’t religious, and weren’t even raised in religious homes…like atheists fixated on the idea that they sold their soul to Satan.

    Others are religious, but are obsessed about something from another religion….like Catholics fixated on the idea that they need to know the number of Hindu gods.

    They get the “detail” from the culture around them, but they weren’t “indoctrinated” as kids. The idea just pops into their head one day and gets stuck there.

    This REALLY suggests to me that it IS a disease, a physical brain thing. There is some research into viruses and parasites, and symptoms sonetimes begin after strep throat. Not saying you “catch” the IDEA, but that a “bug” creates a “stickiness” in your brain and the next thought gets trapped there.

    Another really common one is an obsession about same-sex attraction in people who don’t personally view homosexuality as wrong. It isn’t being gay that would bother them, it’s being unable to ever stop wondering if they are gay.

    In OCD groups I have seen people say, “My family is tolerant and I have gay friends. It would be no problem if I was gay. So if I could just BE gay, so I could stop worrying about it, that would be great. But I can’t.”

    Often with these forms of OCD, it isn’t just the worry… it’s the worry ABOUT the worry.

    I suffered this for decades before I read this and went, Oh my God…it’s a thing!! It’s a thing that people HAVE!!

    You can see why so many suffer in silence, never even telling their shrink. I suspect it is MUCH more common than we know, and likely fuels a lot of other MH issues including suicide.

    I want everyone to know!!!

    #308206
    Xain
    Participant

    I think the problem with perfection is how you define it because perfect is a matter of perspective, or in the case of Buddhism everything is perfect (to paraphrase).

     

     

    But what makes it all worse is that even though I have compulsion to read this stuff or endlessly think about it to the point that I NEED to know the result is that when I cave I am given a new bit of information that is hard to disprove because it sounds and is likely right. Like not being attracted to people but just abstract qualities or how we don’t miss people just the times we had or the traits exhibited. Because the more I ponder the less I gather information about the opposite side and the more I end up proving BUddhism right. Then I’m left in a mire of trying to cling to my old false beliefs just because I was happier that way rather then the new true ones.

    #308218
    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    @snowcity

    Yes, I understand the way you feel about Buddhism.

    But how do you feel about my thoughts on why you keep thinking about it?

    This is personal, and you don’t have to answer here if you don’t want to. Up to you

    I have no idea of your sex, age, or what country you live in. But I am wondering … When I talk about OCD (Obessive-Compulsive Disorder), is that something you have ever heard of?

    Have you have ever been diagnosed with classic OCD, or had symptoms of it even if you were never diagnosed? Some examples of it may be:

    • Repeated hand washing, locking and relocking doors or touching things in a certain order
    • Extreme or exaggerated fears of contamination, family members being hurt or harmed or doing harm themselves
    • Use of magical thinking, such as, “If I touch everything in the room, Mom won’t be killed in a car accident”
    • Repeatedly seeking assurances about the future
    • Intolerance for certain words or sounds
    • Repeatedly confessing “bad thoughts” such as thoughts that are mean (thinking a family friend is ugly), thoughts that are sexual (imagining a classmate naked) or violent (thinking about killing someone)

     

    Because sometimes, people have various forms of OCD at different points in their lives. Not always but sometimes.

    Do those symptoms remind you of a parent, sibling or other family member? OCD also may be partly genetic.

    Or, have you dealt with anxiety, depression or substance abuse?

    Again, Xain: You can answer these questions in your head, if you want.

    But at this point, I am not really interested in hearing more about why you believe Buddhism seems right.

    I understand that is your obsession. I don’t need to know more about it.

    I know that I can’t “diagnose” someone online, and I am not a doctor. But … you have Existential OCD. Period.*

    You might be stuck in this Buddhism thought loop for 20 years. Or you could wake up tomorrow, with an obsession about something else. That is how OCD works.

    But I think it is very important for you to seek medical care. Okay? I’ve done my job here 😏

     

    *Damn, I could have charged you  $2,000 for this

     

     

     

    #308253
    Xain
    Participant

    But I think it is very important for you to seek medical care. Okay? I’ve done my job here 😏

    You haven’t because no one has answered my questions about the truth of their statements.

    Yes part of it all is that there always seems to be some kind of new disaster that I obsess about once one is gone, well more like buried. But it’s more like questions that impact how I see the world or change my interactions.

    But what makes it all worse is that even though I have compulsion to read this stuff or endlessly think about it to the point that I NEED to know the result is that when I cave I am given a new bit of information that is hard to disprove because it sounds and is likely right. Like not being attracted to people but just abstract qualities or how we don’t miss people just the times we had or the traits exhibited. Because the more I ponder the less I gather information about the opposite side and the more I end up proving BUddhism right. Then I’m left in a mire of trying to cling to my old false beliefs just because I was happier that way rather then the new true ones.

    The problem that I reference in this paragraph has huge implications for my interactions and experience with intimate relationships in that the nature of them might not be what everyone has told me to be true,  which is something you fail to grasp in your haste for a diagnosis. It’s more like the compulsion drives me to know what they think, but the real problem is the truth of the claims after that. If you don’t have an answer for their claims then you aren’t helping and it was the same with professionals, they had no answers for the claims of Buddhism and could only apologize.

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