First of all, just because a therapist said you have OCD doesn't mean you do. You don't say what's going on with you but do know that the term OCD has been greatly expanded by the latest diagnostic manuals from what I'll just call true OCD, which involves rituals and repeated actions that if you don't perform you get very anxious. I've been an anxiety sufferer for many years and all anxiety and depression involves obsessive thinking. There is a term used nowadays called Pure O, which is OCD that only involves obsessive thinking and not repeated actions. But like bipolar disorder, this expansion of the use of the term has gone out of control. Many of these recent changes to the manuals used by mental health professionals are quite controversial among practitioners and appear to come from the pharmaceutical industry, in the pay of which most health professionals participate. So you have a drug and you get doctors to know it might help with OCD, if you expand the definition of OCD you sell more drugs. It is what it is. I only say this because this issue comes up so often and others will vehemently disagree with me on this, so don't take anything here as gospel truth but my opinion and the opinion of many who practice mental health treatment. Mostly I write this so you don't panic over being told you have OCD, because you really might not. But whoever told you OCD was incurable was wrong. It is true that many of us with anxiety disorders will never find a cure, many of us will. There is therapy that treats it, but it's quite a bit different from the therapy used to treat other anxiety disorders so it is important to know if you have true OCD or you have obsessive thinking, which is treated with different methods. But all anxiety disorders can be treated with therapy, with CBT being the therapy most in vogue right now and hypno-therapy being there as well. If it can't be fixed, medication can help tamp down the symptoms. As for raising a child to be mentally ill, that is possible but you don't have to be mentally ill yourself to do it. Lots of parents stress their kids out so much for so long it can cause a problem without those parents being considered mentally ill. It's not, however, contagious. Most of us who get it just seem to have a predisposition for it -- you can put every member of a family through the same basic stuff and only one of them will turn out to have a mental disorder. Most members of the military don't get PTSD. There's something in those of us who do get it but nobody knows what that is at this point in time. So don't panic about it, don't let yourself be defined by a label even when it comes from a therapist, instead focus on getting the therapist to get to work helping you learn how to get over it and if that doesn't happen, get a different therapist who specializes in the treatment of anxiety -- most don't. If that doesn't work, get referred to a psychiatrist and try medication. You're not doomed by having that term thrown at you.
Hi there. Well, I'm glad you took the stop to work with a therapist and seek true help for what is going on in your life. That's an important thing to do and can be life changing! You may have OCD, however, a mention of it doesn't mean you are officially diagnosed with it. To be diagnosed, you have to be assessed and match the DSM criteria. Then you come up with a way to treat it if it is indeed the case. Like everything, there is going to be a continuum with it. More severe for some people than for others and frankly, a lot of people with OCD manage very well. It is not a doom sentence to receive this diagnosis. I personally have always felt like once you put a name on your health issue, that is a good thing because then you can try the time tested ways to overcome it that very well may work for you. :) The time frame of not knowing is harder when you are floundering, better to know so you can act. Anyway, I'd explore the possibility of ocd further.
My son has had this come up. He's very mild with this aspect of anxiety. But has some characteristics of it. He works on it with a psychologist. It's been very helpful. Please keep your situation in perspective. There are people that I've seen outside their psychiatrists office who can not exit the car because they are counting and touching the dashboard. Their rituals rule their entire life. This does not seem to be you from what I can tell. Medication and psychotherapy work for treating the symptoms of OCD. But you, again, have not even been officially diagnosed.
What do you do now for anxiety? OCD is an anxiety disorder and some of the same tools should work to quiet it. I call a brain that won't turn off as noisy and this is what happens to a lot of people when they are anxious. Constant thought. You want to stop the tape running over and over in your head. What about trying to actively change a thought pattern? Like when you catch yourself ruminating, you go ahead and stop the thought. Acknowledge it. Then say -- okay, now I'm going to think about this and go to the new set of thoughts. Like picturing yourself in a happy situation that is a go to happy place for you?
Have you ever tried any of the meditation apps? I wasn't a big fan but they have grown on me. My son uses headspace and I use Calm. They guide you through meditation and they are relaxing to my mind.
I've known several people with OCD who have gone on to live good lives.
I am pleased that you are so self aware of the problem. I see you are actively seeking out answers, thinking about relationships, what situations you do well in and what situations cause difficulty, what thoughts are troublesome, and looking for ways to deal with those situations and thoughts.
And you have a therapist to help you along.
People have problems; people are not their problems. Someone has a disease, someone is not the disease. It's the difference between having a problem, and being the problem. When we HAVE a problem, the problem can be addressed and remedied, and we retain our identity. When we ARE the problem, there is no solution, because the problem and our identity are one and the same.
It's a subtle difference in framing the issue which makes a huge difference. People HAVE problems, but we retain our personal identity, and it is our personal identity which makes us unique and interesting and attractive to others.
Men like you because you're female. The really good men will like you because you are you and you are a wonderful person and they will see your problem as something you HAVE, not something you ARE; something that can be dealt with and worked on, (and even something that makes you attractive, because the really good men like fixing things.)
(I also agree with the meditation suggestion. There are numerous apps one can try. 'Headspace' has some good animated videos on youtube.)
I'm here because you asked me to post.
For background for everyone else - I've been talking to Gemi in the STD and Herpes forums helping her work through some fears and diagnoses.
I am not a therapist or a mental health expert. I do know that you have been through a LOT - like a LOT - in the past few months, and that your upbringing, culturally, wasn't what many of us experienced, leaving you with a lot of shame around sex.
Personally, I think you need some time away from your ex (like permanently, but you already know that) and time to work through all the health stuff before worrying about a mental health diagnosis. Let your brain and body settle a bit.
Maybe it's OCD, maybe it's a more generalized anxiety disorder. Maybe it's more O than the CD, but you'll figure that out in time. I know you have a need to know and understand - I do, too. The absolute hardest thing for me is not knowing because I can't sit down and tear it all apart and figure it out so I can put it back together in ways I can understand it. "Taking time to settle" never sits well with me, but it always works best.
You have so much going on, personally, and you are in a very high covid19 area, and that has to be affecting things, too. I imagine your college is closed, and maybe you are living back home. That has to be a change.
Without getting preachy, God doesn't use infection, including STDs, to punish us. Any infection is just a germ doing it's biological thing, reproducing and spreading. It doesn't know or care if you are a virgin, have had 50 partners, help elderly ladies with groceries cross a busy street on your way to church, or whatnot. The only difference between an STD and strep throat or a cold or even covid19 is the mode of transmission. 90% of us will get HPV in our lifetimes at least once - this is not a divine punishment.
Hugs to you, Gemi. You're going to be fine. :)