1 January 2015 - 19:21
I'm quite new to this forum. I've been trying to get to grips with my OCD for the past 2 years. Hard to say how much progress I've made(or if I have made any sometimes?), but I am in my 2nd round of CBT.
Something that has come up on the forum today, and has come up time and time again in books and on other forums, is this idea of not rejecting the thoughts; if you fight something it gives it more power; just let the thoughts be, accept them, dwell on them, embrace them; and apparently in doing so they lose their significance and associated anxiety, and presumably everything returns to normal.
I've got to say, that out of all the aspects of therapy, this one troubles me the most. For the obvious reasons - because OCD sufferers want to perform compulsions to put out that immediate fire and get a "hit" of short-term relief, and to begin with it feels very wrong not doing that. But I'm actually OK(well as OK as I'll ever be!) with the concept of not performing compulsions and I've made some significant in-roads with that in some areas. No, it's something else that doesn't sit right about it for me.
It seems to me that I have a problem with some of these doubts and thoughts for very good reason - because they are morally offensive to me, they are genuinely opposites, and that's why it feels so important to restate my position on them. And accepting them or embracing them feels morally irresponsible and very wrong on some level. e.g. do I really want to dwell on the thought of sexual intercourse with a child, a family member, etc? Do I really want to say "hey maybe I do want to hit mum over the head with that hammer?" and dwell on that for a while?
It feels like I am saying "yknow what, actually I don't care and it's ok if I'm into that after all". But the reality is that it is really is not OK if I am into that at all so I really struggle to say or think that about those things. It feels like I'm turning over "to the dark side" !
Now I'm also aware of the inherent trap in what I'm saying here and that, in many ways, I am simply describing the way OCD works and keeps us trapped, ... yet it feels like there is a discussion to be had here nonetheless.
So I 100% accept that we need to stop performing compulsions, and like I say I've managed to do that to some degree without this acceptance idea. But I'm not "better" if such a thing exists. So I wonder if it's really a necessary step to take, because as it stands I'm reluctant to undertake this acceptance approach unless I absolutely have to.
And by the way I have tried a few times to explore the idea but it derails pretty quickly and I end up rejecting it.
So am I doomed if I carry on this way, or is it possible to get better without doing that? Also is this acceptance idea what largely makes up ACT, as I've heard of it a couple of times but not read up about it. Clearly I'm lazy and could just google it at this point