Is Childhood Trauma Related To OCD?

This post has been thanked 1 time. 5 July 2014 - 23:43

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I've begun to identify and write down all of my obsessions and compulsions for the last couple days. It made me begin to think about when the OCD started and I can remember that it began at a very early age. Those early memories of repetitive obsessions and compulsions usually occurred during times that I was being 'disciplined'.

As I began to look over everything I was writing, I realized that there was a deeper meaning to a lot of my OCD. So, here are my questions to you:

-What are your thoughts on the relationship between childhood abuse, trauma or strict parenting and OCD?

- Can you see any comparisons between your obsessions/compulsions and your environment growing up?

I do believe that OCD can be genetic but I also believe that the development and environmental factors for many people creates a pattern in our rituals etc.

What do you all think?

 

 

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This post has been thanked 1 time. 6 July 2014 - 11:05

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Hi there, my thoughts are that any trauma, abuse, disciplined, ridicule at any time of life when a person is vulnerable can trigger ocd. My ocd started during a very stressful time - health problems, work pressures and family disputes - I felt under “attacked” on all sides!!!!!

You mentioned in another post that you have the “Mind over Mood” book, I started reading that but due to my current depression I am having difficulties in concentrating enough to read it.

This post has been thanked 1 time. 6 July 2014 - 14:41

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Hi there. I'm inclined to agree. In the 1960's parenting was very different to what it is now, and that was my childhood years. Having said that, there are no parenting courses so we are brought up the best way our parents knew how. To be honest, I tried to be different when bringing up my own kids, but it all got mixed up. It is just something where we make the best of things at the time. Depression goes hand in hand with ocd. But keep plodding on, we will get there, wherever there is of course!

Wannabe

6 July 2014 - 16:03

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Just to clarify! When I say in my post "I do believe that OCD can be genetic but I also believe that the developmental and environmental factors for many people creates a pattern in our rituals etc."

I'm talking about the reason behind certain rituals, where I see a lot of comparison in my problems growing up.

I feel like this is very important because it helps me realize why I have certain rituals, which gives me a new perspective and understanding of myself. I feel like this is helping me accept my OCD. I know that everyone is different and everyone has different aspects of OCD and related illnesses but I'm just realizing that this is a good way for me to cope with the illness. It is also good when I am working on C.B.T. because I feel like I can see a clearer picture of the structure of my thoughts, feelings, habits and more successfully confront them.

Maybe there are some connections with some of you as well. I find a good example of this is intrusive thoughts. Maybe an intrusive thought of a sexual nature could be due to the way you learned about sex, your first sexual experience (especially if it was incest related) which is all a part of your sexual development. This is very important in understanding ourselves because it's even been said that many people can have a default negative view of sex their whole life if they have a negative sexual experience at a young age

Another example is constantly having to say sorry, making sure that someone understands you, or habitually asking for reassurance because you constantly feel like you've done something wrong or people are upset with you.

I've recently questioned this compulsion that I have and the feeling that everyone is always upset with me. I remember that my whole life my mother has always told me that I was doing something wrong, or I was making a mistake etc. She was in a consistent state of anger with me and it was very harsh considering that I didn't have abnormal behavior issues. I was always very isolated and even in my teen years I had to ask permission to go somewhere. It felt like I was constantly being punished.

I think anyone growing up like that may feel a lot of unnecessary guilt or shame but maybe with people who have OCD, this can become a major part of their illness. When I came to understand this about myself it helped with confusion concerning why I constantly have to seek reassurance from everyone. I almost find relief feeling like I have an answer.

I don't think that there are deeper answers for every obsession or compulsion. Many people battling OCD have never experienced trauma of any sort but yet have OCD 10X more severe than I do.

For myself I feel that OCD just kind of latches onto certain things that have upset me in the past or present. I know that without my negative experiences the OCD would appear in different ways.

Would this idea help anyone?

6 July 2014 - 16:56

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Hello Enough,

I have a hard time focusing on Mind Over Mood as well. I think it was because I didn't quite get the exercises at first but I did some research on how clinicians use the book to help clients with OCD and I learned a lot just from doing that.

I can definitely see why it's greatly beneficial to us because it almost holds us accountable to our negative thoughts which affect us daily....like depression. I don't think we even realize how much negativity is trapped inside of us sometimes.

I feel like it could help you see the big picture for why you feel the way you do and then you'd be able to step back and decide how you can change your circumstances to become more encouraged. For me it's so many different small and big things that really effect me, which is mostly likely the case for everyone. So my goal is to one by one target those negative things (emotions, feelings, thought processes, core beliefs etc) and break it's cycle through creating a new positive response. Mind Over Mood is perfect to do this because the book takes you through a step by step process.

This post has been thanked 1 time. 6 July 2014 - 20:15

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Hi there, why r u looking into child experiences etc about wat may b behind our rituals ? Are u doing some type ov study of something ?i know were ur coming from,but woudnt it b best to focus ur ocd mind on how to beat it !thanx Dave

Ocd cant b understood its a nonsense and will turn ur mind inside out if u let it!Dave.

This post has been thanked 1 time. 6 July 2014 - 22:24

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Well my sister grew up in the same family as me and she does nor have ocd. There are billions of people that grew up with severe abuse. They may suffer from ptsd but not ocd. I look at ocd independent of abuse. But maybe the ocd is triggered by my past trauma. But definitley not the cause. I dont try to figure it out anymore or link it to trauma. Psychoanaysis is ineffective in treating ocd. Its a brain disorder. The only way i have been able to get freedom from ocd is by accepting this. They are actually two very seperate and different. There has been allot of reasearch to support this .

This post has been thanked 1 time. 7 July 2014 - 15:07

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Yes, I definitely understanding what you're saying. I agree with you and I don't believe that trauma causes OCD. I am just saying that for me it gives me relief to 'feel' like I understand why my OCD takes on certain fears and then magnifies them. That's just me, I'm not saying that's for everyone at all...I was just wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences.

This post has been thanked 2 times. 7 July 2014 - 15:37

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I'm think you're right, Isabella, that if someone has OCD, then the way his/her OCD manifests itself will depend largely on his/her past experiences and environment, though the connection may not always be obvious. I can't see any connections in my own case. My father used to work in a hospital laboratory handling nasty bacteria and he had to wash his hands and clothes thoroughly after work, but my own obsession with cleanliness is not related to preventing becoming ill but rather preventing foreign flavours getting inside my mouth and impairing my ability to taste and my pleasure of eating food. Your question is very interesting to ponder but I think the answers are fairly speculative. Thankfully the success of CBT is not dependent on understanding the roots of our condition. If self-psychoanalysis helps you, then good, go for it, just so long as your quest for understanding doesn't become an obsession in itself. I hope you're having a good day.

This post has been thanked 1 time. 7 July 2014 - 17:06

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Interesting how looking at childhood development implies for many people psychoanalysis. There are rich bodies of research into developmental psychology: attachment theory is one of them and is partially influenced by psychoanalysis. A enormous amount of brain development occurs in the early years of life and there are interesting studies of the relationship between child development and brain development. Also the science of epigenetics reveals that even identical twins can have different genetic manifestations on the basis of their experiences. Certainly it is known if a child has been isolated early in life with minimum social contact then he or she will suffer and not develop language among other things. If we accept that extreme deprivation can result in impairment cannot there be degrees of impairment? As to the exact causes of OCD along with a whole list of other things the jury is out. Certainty CBT looking at current thoughts and not being so concerned about their causes can help.

8 July 2014 - 1:14

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Thank you Goofy and Check, you have given very good advice! I am actually very obsessed with 'knowing things' and I spend hours everyday researching. I'm going into Library and Tech so I guess that part of my OCD is going to be put to good use. I originally had started writing down all of my obsessions and compulsions just because I find it really hard to talk about them outloud and I'm a writer so that's how I process and share things. Check, I really like your points as I am firm believer that who we are today has much to due with our developmental years. Specifically because as you say there are so many studies of the relationship between child development and brain development.

Anyways, when I started reading over what I wrote and a lot of it started making sense for me so I did more research and found that there was some information to back that up. It just interested me very much so thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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