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My Pure O and sensorimotor OCD experience

N

Nich2211

New member
Joined
Dec 31, 2020
Messages
1
Location
United States
Hi guys

this is my first time posting here and thought it would be helpful to talk to others who may know what I’m going through. I suffer from”Pure O” OCD, with sensorimotor OCD being something I struggle with in particular. I can divide most of my obsessive thoughts and fears between two categories. Social, and body-oriented(sensorimotor). My Social obsessions are fears I have about how I interact with others, or fears that I will lose my ability to do so. For example, I’ve always considered myself a pretty funny person. Not hilarious, but for as long as I can remember I’ve been able to make people laugh and consider it a core reason I’m able to make friends. When I was about 14 years old, right when I started experiencing my first OCD-like symptoms, the obsessive fear entered my head that I would lose my ability to be funny. This one fear cascaded in to a full blown devastating scenario. If I lost the ability to be funny, I would lose my current friends, and not be able to make new ones. For years this one fear was at the center of my OCD experience. I would overanalyze what made something funny in my head, and convince myself that I truly didn’t know what it meant to be funny. Similar fears also centered around me suddenly losing the ability to competently interact with others. I became terrified that I would spontaneously turn into an extremely awkward person that no one would want to be around. I became scared that I would spontaneously develop a stutter, or a lisp, that would make holding conversations with others impossible. Of course in the front of my mind I knew these fears were totally irrational, but as you all know, irrational fears are the fuel OCD runs on.
While I have thankfully been able to get my social fears and obsessions under control over the past few years, my sensorimotor obsessions remain my largest current struggle with OCD.
My first sensorimotor obsession, and one I still struggle with to this day, was breathing. One day, a couple of years ago, a thought popped into my head. “What If you became aware of your breathing, and were forced to manually breathe for the rest of your life”. This one thought has haunted me for years and I still have episodes consisting of days or even a week at a time were I’m aware of my breathing for every waking moment. Soon other similar fears emerged, fear that I would become aware of my blinking, and be forced to blink manually forever. Fear that I would become aware of my swallowing, and would be forced to manually swallow forever. Over the years I’ve had dozens, if not hundreds, of obsessive sensorimotor fears that pop in and out of my head, some more panic inducing than others.
While I’ve seen therapists for my OCD and have been prescribed Zoloft for about 3 years now, I can’t definitely say that I have seen any concrete results from therapy or medication. Most of my progress with this affliction as come from me conducting my own CBT and exposure therapy, and using the experience I’ve had from years of suffering through this to help me overcome whatever new obsessive fear comes along. While I’ve made a lot of progress, it’s still mentally exhausting to live with this. I describe it as trench warfare in my head. Mental defenses I have built up over the years fighting and taking back ground from the OCD, but never quite fully defeating it.
For anyone who has gone through something similar to my experience, especially sensorimotor OCD sufferers, have there been any particular medications, therapeutic practices, or personal experiences that have been helpful in overcoming it?
Thanks
 
J

JeanPierre

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
2,159
Location
Southern USA
I wanted to say hi! Welcome here!
How's it going now for you?
You seem to understand your condition very well.
Good for you!
 
A

anishabux87

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Messages
12
Location
Leicester
Hi guys

this is my first time posting here and thought it would be helpful to talk to others who may know what I’m going through. I suffer from”Pure O” OCD, with sensorimotor OCD being something I struggle with in particular. I can divide most of my obsessive thoughts and fears between two categories. Social, and body-oriented(sensorimotor). My Social obsessions are fears I have about how I interact with others, or fears that I will lose my ability to do so. For example, I’ve always considered myself a pretty funny person. Not hilarious, but for as long as I can remember I’ve been able to make people laugh and consider it a core reason I’m able to make friends. When I was about 14 years old, right when I started experiencing my first OCD-like symptoms, the obsessive fear entered my head that I would lose my ability to be funny. This one fear cascaded in to a full blown devastating scenario. If I lost the ability to be funny, I would lose my current friends, and not be able to make new ones. For years this one fear was at the center of my OCD experience. I would overanalyze what made something funny in my head, and convince myself that I truly didn’t know what it meant to be funny. Similar fears also centered around me suddenly losing the ability to competently interact with others. I became terrified that I would spontaneously turn into an extremely awkward person that no one would want to be around. I became scared that I would spontaneously develop a stutter, or a lisp, that would make holding conversations with others impossible. Of course in the front of my mind I knew these fears were totally irrational, but as you all know, irrational fears are the fuel OCD runs on.
While I have thankfully been able to get my social fears and obsessions under control over the past few years, my sensorimotor obsessions remain my largest current struggle with OCD.
My first sensorimotor obsession, and one I still struggle with to this day, was breathing. One day, a couple of years ago, a thought popped into my head. “What If you became aware of your breathing, and were forced to manually breathe for the rest of your life”. This one thought has haunted me for years and I still have episodes consisting of days or even a week at a time were I’m aware of my breathing for every waking moment. Soon other similar fears emerged, fear that I would become aware of my blinking, and be forced to blink manually forever. Fear that I would become aware of my swallowing, and would be forced to manually swallow forever. Over the years I’ve had dozens, if not hundreds, of obsessive sensorimotor fears that pop in and out of my head, some more panic inducing than others.
While I’ve seen therapists for my OCD and have been prescribed Zoloft for about 3 years now, I can’t definitely say that I have seen any concrete results from therapy or medication. Most of my progress with this affliction as come from me conducting my own CBT and exposure therapy, and using the experience I’ve had from years of suffering through this to help me overcome whatever new obsessive fear comes along. While I’ve made a lot of progress, it’s still mentally exhausting to live with this. I describe it as trench warfare in my head. Mental defenses I have built up over the years fighting and taking back ground from the OCD, but never quite fully defeating it.
For anyone who has gone through something similar to my experience, especially sensorimotor OCD sufferers, have there been any particular medications, therapeutic practices, or personal experiences that have been helpful in overcoming it?
Thanks
Yes for me mindfulness and acceptance x
Body scans and just telling yourself its okay when you notice the hyperawarness of which body part, its okay and youre safe. Ive had mnay types of sensory motor obsessions
 
S

spacerider

New member
Joined
May 20, 2017
Messages
1
Hi!

I have the same problems, but my fears are replacing each other, and sometimes are replaced by usual OCD with obsessions and compulsions. For example, I have a breath-control obsession one week and the next week it stops and the fear changes to blinking. Do you also have one sensorimotor fear at a time or multiple at the same time? (sorry for my english, this is not my native language)
 
LoqLamp

LoqLamp

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2021
Messages
360
Location
UK
I hope you find some help while you’re here. I don’t personally have experience with the type of intrusive thoughts you are talking about but I have suffered with them and know how annoying it can be. I think trying to help yourself is a very good thing, there is no cure after all. Regardless of therapy it will come down to us to apply it at the end of the day.
 
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