OCD and Memory

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As I've reported before on here I had been dealing with sexual orientation OCD for about a month now and a common compulsion I would do would be to scan my memories for any evidence of anything for or against my belief in my orientation. After weeks of doing this and facing any memories it brought up for the first time today I had a false memory feel real. It was like "what if this happened and you can't remember or repressed it?" Type of thing and then I went into anxiety attack about it because even though I know in my heart I never kissed a guy my OCD is like playing with this by trying to have me imagine I did with someone I knew in middle school

It's like I know it didn't happen but I keep doubting it. Yesterday I didn't have this problem but suddenly all it took wassome intrusive thought to become a possible mememory. I read that those with harm OCD often experience this where they can't remember if they harmed someone or not

Does anyone have any advice for this

I'm desperate your memory should be something you trust and I'm afraid if this continues I'll go crazy because I can't trust my memories or that my mind can just make them up and I won't be able to tell the difference

I've had a rough three months of GAD and anxiety and have been on this forum helping others and asking for help

I see a therapist we talk through these things I've taken her advice I exercise sometimes even twice a day my diet could be better but it's not horrible I even take a sleeping aid to help me sleep

I'm trying to practice mindfulness and meditation. I've had OCD and anxiety orrery severely all my life and never knew because I kept going on with my life until these past three years where things got so stressful I think my anxiety became worse

I hate that things like this happen where my OCD lathes on to my fear of doing something gay or bisexual when I was younger and not remembering or repressing

I have repressed a memory before but I dealt with it and acknowledged it this one is different because I know it didn't happen and OCD uses the fact I have repressed memories before to doubt it's like my mind hates me or knows what I fear so I feel like two people battling

I just want my mind back. I have never had a problem with my emery every. There's a difference between knowing something happened and repressing it and OCD introducing a intrusive thought as a memory m and then doubting if it was real

Even if you don't have OCD about your sexual orientation can anyone with OCD and Pure O relate or give advice

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    And therapy has helped a ton and recently I've been trying to recover my faith I'm just trying to find all the things nearly four months of General anxiety and OCD can take away

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    • Posted

      There are so many things I wanna do with my life. I wanna make use of all the talent I have but It's like OCD and anxiety are like parasites that just fight you harder as you begin to overcome them and every time you get a foot forward they undercut you with something else or something "new"

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    • Posted

      perhaps you could try looking at it like this....whether it happened or not - does it matter? Each of us is human. Every single one of us - no excepetions! Would it really matter to you if it did happen? Don't get bogged down in labels - they are meaningless - I believe so anyway. It's who we are on the inside that counts - our souls are what is important - not what body we were born into. I consider myself 'straight' - but who knows - I might meet a woman one day. I don't know! Nobody does. Don't beat yourself up over something that probably never happened anyway. What is it you have 'faith' in? We should have faith in ourselves. Love each other as human beings. We are all flesh and blood. Live, laugh, love, grieve, die. If it did happen, it was with another human - not some evil creature. I'm not trying to berate you - I just want to point out that you are beating yourself up unecessarily.

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    • Posted

      I know it didn't happen I guess I was just angry and frustrated with myself that I've got so little control over my OCD that I can even continuously question something like my own memory I mean it's my own memory how did I let OCD invade there and create questions where there never was

      It's like OCD makes something out of absolutely nothing it took something that never happened and almost made me believe it did that's scary to me you know

      And as far as the orientation the thing is I never cared about that ever I was always open minded and respected people for who they are and encouraged them to love who they love. It wasn't until a month ago that I needed any certainty for my sexuality. I was just always straight and then I saw a scene in a film where a guy came out and I asked myself what if that was me and flash forward a month here I am stuck in the cycle for certainty

      I've always been the farthest from homophobic or ignorance I even as a writer have written gay and bisexual characters for representation and never felt triggered or confused never worried or anything

      Now it's like because of OCD everything is up for grabs what can't easily be proven or disproven or at all is a matter of co say that doubt and debate

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    • Posted

      Hi Christophe, sorry about my post, I've had a drink and my mood is a bit weird. 

      OCD thoughts are awful. I used to suffer terribly as a teenager with them, but I've only experienced it at your level a few times since then. I'm sorry I can't really say anything to help. All I know is my anxiety was completely through the roof the times it has happened. Our brains do all sorts of terrible things to us when anxiety strikes. I believe OCD is just another thing the brain uses trying to cope with whatever it is anxiety is doing to it. It's like we should all be in charge of what our brains do - I mean our brain is us, isn't it!? - but we are not!! I prefer my physical illness any day over my mental one. I honestly wish I could say something to help. But I know the OCD mind cycle is something that's very hard to break out of. Have you any other diagnosis? Are you on any meds? Perhaps it's worth pursuing a different or addistional diagnosis? I don't know - just thoughts. Sometimes OCD is a symptom of another mental illness. Not that I want to add to your woes! But I'm just thinking perhaps another diagnosis might lead to better treatment. Sorry - I'm really no help at all. I think I should shut up now.

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    • Posted

      I don't want you thinking I took any offense to anything I said I appreciate you responding so much and I've been diagnosed as far as I know with Generalized anxiety and OCD I've seen a Pyschiatrist but he never diagnosed me with anything just said I had a chemical imbalance but I don't know how much to trust him he prescribed me Lexapro I was scared to take it cause people talk about feeling numb I don't know what's worse feeling this worried or feeling almost nothing and yeah mental s**t sucks

      I'm seeing another Pyschiatrist in a month who is more holistic

      I was a spiritual person before all of this and I've tried to refind that but I am honestly barely hanging on after so much thank you for replying again a lot of people don't

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  • Posted

    Hi Christophe

    You're definitely experiencing HOCD, so am I, I know your struggles!

    OCD is a circle of irrational fears because your body has all this anxiousness and it needs somewhere to direct it. 

    Unfortunately, I can't help you in any way because I'm still suffering myself but I know what you are feeling so please don't feel alone, as I'm writing this I'm questioning myself because What if I am gay and don't have HOCD and I'm just fooling myself. But this is when you know you are an OCD sufferer because it's all about the questioning and nothing about fact. 

    I also completely relate to you saying that you have nothing against people who are not straight, I stand up for sexuality and equality and I'm proud of the pride movement we have. So when you start fearing you might be gay, you begin to feel guilty that you are fearing it because there would be nothing wrong with being gay but your body is telling you so. But the only reason you feel the fear is because your mind is telling you you are someone different from who you've always been and feel, people who are gay suffer from HOCD too because it's not about the sexuality but about the questioning of your identity, OCD can make you fear anything.

    I want my mind back too, I miss the freedom I used to have and the ease with which I used to look at sexuality without being triggered. Now, anything about sexuality triggers my anxiety and I obsess repeatedly to the point that I'm losing my attraction to guys because I'm to busy being anxious that I won't be attracted in the first place. It's ruining my life right now because there's a constant doubt.

    I know this is no help, but I sometimes think hearing people experiencing the same issues can give relief so I hope it does for you. 

    Try searching more about HOCD,  it helps me to know more facts and information about it. x

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the reply. I know eventually we will get past all of our obsessions. We just gotta hang in there. I have accepted that I may need medication because it all stems from not being able to accept a decision.

      Like before this you could make a decision and move on but eventually our OCD got to a point where it won't let us do that now, it's keeps questioning, worrying and hanging on.

      You doing any cognitive therapy?

      I am but I think medication will help my therapy actually set. Because in four months of coganitive therapy ranging from health, existential, to now sexual obesions no matter how logical the lesson or how much progression I make in there my mind just seems apt to fall back into an obsession rather HOCD or other ones I have. Everyone has the thoughts we do but they can make a decision, move on, or just stop caring.

      That's what we need help doing.

      Moving on.

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    • Posted

      No problem, I think it's important to talk!

      Yeah, I was on a low dosage of medication for generalized anxiety but I wasn't sure if it helped or not, so I've stayed off it since. However, I think right now I would like to try again because I can't seem to get out of this OCD circle. Sometimes I think help is needed and that isn't something to be ashamed of. When your brain is attacking you, you have nowhere else to go, you can't escape, so an interference can be the only relief for us.

      No I haven't tried cognitive therapy, I haven't really tried therapy at all. I suppose I'm afraid now because I don't think OCD, in particular, an obsession with sexuality is well known, and people who don't experience it I wouldn't think would understand. So it's the only part of my anxiety that I have never talked to anyone about which sometimes I believe can make it worse for us because we're just getting deeper into our own heads, plus it's the part of my anxiety which affecting me most which is why I decided to come here, because I need like minded people to talk to. 

      Exactly! everyone has our thoughts, but for some reason, we over calculate everything and switch off from any rational thoughts, or any 'evidence' that shows how irrational you are being and you just focus on these imaginary thoughts and question, it's always a 'what if?' I see you mentioned health anxiety as well, which I also deeply struggled with, to the point that I was paralyzing myself. It just shows that our OCD is attacking anything it can get its hands on, there is no rhyme or reason for it. 

      We just need a way to break this pattern but I'm not sure how to do it yet, hopefully, something will work soon though! I hope your new plan of medication and CBT will work for you, maybe I will try too. x


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    • Posted

      Look for an OCD therapist as they specialize in OCD and you'd be surprised how common HOCD is or obsessions about sexual orientation is, it will help

      And I tried Lexapro for three days and I don't know if it was placebo affect but I felt so paranoid and scared on it for the first three days but I'm seeing another psychiatrist in about week so hopefully we find a combination to help because yes our mind just keeps attacking and latching onto things randomly and without logic but we both know OCD cares not for logic regardless of how much we know so outside help I think is the best option for both of us

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    • Posted

      Yeah I will definitely look into that thank you! 

      Yeah I'm not sure if the ones I was taking were giving me side effects or if it was all me. That's the problem with anxiety and OCD it blurs the line. 

      Yeah I will definitely look into outside help though, I just need money to afford it haha

      Hope it all goes well!


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