What If I Don’t Really Have OCD?

In most cases, being diagnosed with a disorder is definitely not a pleasant experience. But my story is different. The day I found out I had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) was the start of a new chapter in my life and I will always remember it as a rather happy, joyful day.

Please, please, please – do not stop reading my post thinking that I am a freaking lunatic who has completely lost his mind. Because at the end of the day, I have just told you that being diagnosed with a mental disorder had been a great thing for me – and well, I can totally understand if you find this statement alarming but!

Just to make it clear: I am not happy for having OCD and I really do not think anyone could possibly be happy for having it ’cause believe me, it’s not fun at all. However, after spending years worrying about irrational and disturbing things, it was a huge relief for me to find out that I had OCD because learning about this disorder finally helped me understand why I was having weird thoughts and why I was feeling the way I was.

But I guess you can imagine that getting my diagnosis was not the end of the story. My OCD was preparing for an ultimate attack. A new question so creative that only OCD could invent. Or we could say: a new obsession to rule them all.

What If I Do Not Really Have OCD?

Nowadays, I do not have any doubts about the fact that I have OCD. But I wasn’t always so sure about it. It took some time for me to convince myself that I really had it and to stop ruminating over the questions my OCD was asking me. I am sharing my story with you because I really hope it will help those who are struggling with the same problem.

I have had disturbing, intrusive thoughts ever since my teenage years. Back in the days, I did not use to know why I was having them so I guess you can imagine how I was feeling. Many people think that OCD is a kind of cleaning addiction but unfortunately, it is so much more than that. It can make you question even the most fundamental things in your life and make you scared of things that are, in most of the cases, completely irrational.

The list of different obsessions that OCD sufferers can have is endless. Some of us are afraid of contamination, others have a terrible fear of harming others. But one thing that can easily “give OCD away” is the “what if?” questions. Hmm.. what do they look like? Let’s see a few examples:

And well, as I mentioned earlier, it would be next to impossible to give you a complete list of all the “what if” questions that OCD can come up with, but in today’s article we will be exploring one in particular:

What if I do not have OCD?

Being diagnosed with OCD helps you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Everything starts to make sense. You finally realize that you are not the monster you thought you were and that having intrusive thoughts is something that happens to a lot of other people.

This realization will make you feel so much happier. Before finding out that I had OCD, I used to think I was insane, creepy and downright dangerous. After being diagnosed, I started to understand myself and see the whole world from a different perspective.

Being aware of the fact that I had OCD made me feel so much calmer and that’s when a new problem started to arise. I started to feel that I wasn’t worried enough about the things that I was supposed to be worried about.

I mean, how come I am no longer scared to death by the thought of accidentally poisoning someone? Or how come I am so irresponsible that I am not even hiding the knives anymore? (Was scared of losing control and harming someone I love…)

These are the thoughts that would soon lead me to the ultimate question: what if I do not even have OCD?

The fact that I started to be less anxious about the things that used to give me sleepless nights, made me question my diagnosis. I knew my psychologist was competent enough but everyone makes mistakes so I thought she might have misdiagnosed me.

And obsessions usually come with compulsions – because you just have to do something about your fears, don’t you? In my case, the most logical step (and the worst thing one could do) was simple enough: let’s just start worrying more about everything.

When I felt that I wasn’t worried enough about jumping off a bridge (one of my worst nightmares) or if I was not optimally anxious about not having locked the door, I would just force myself to worry more about these things. It was like a kind of mental ritual. A ritual that I performed in order to make sure that I had OCD.

I am a visual person, so I have decided to create a little flowchart to show you the way things happened.

So as you can see, instead of fighting against my OCD, I was actually fighting for it! Because at the end of the day, I thought that not having OCD was a scarier thing than having it.

And well, let’s not forget about reassurance seeking. Another thing that I did was buying tons of psychology books and spending hours on Google reading about OCD and checking if I have all the symptoms. Now, if I try to look at the bright side of things, I can at least say that I was learning a lot about psychology during that period.

How Did I stop Obsessing Over This Thought?

  1. The first step for me was realizing that the fear of not having OCD was an actual sign of having OCD.
    It took some time to absorb this, but once I managed to do it, everything became so much easier!
    Do I Have OCD?
  2. Personifying my OCD
    Another thing that helped me a lot was imagining that my OCD was an actual person. An annoying creature who loves harassing me with crazy thoughts and bombarding me with creepy questions.
    The Face Of The Devil – Personifying Your OCD
  3. Watching out for “what ifs”
    Now, talking about personifying your OCD – one of the major red flags is when your inner voice is asking you questions starting with “what if”. OCD simply adores this type of questions and the best thing you can do is trying not to give an answer to them. ‘Cause even if you manage to answer one, there will always be a next one…it’s like a never ending story.
    OCD – A Living Hell Of Uncertainty
  4. The Last Obstacle
    Finally, thinking about the “what if I do not have OCD” as if it was a kind of last obstacle also helped me stop ruminating over this whole question. I knew that if I managed to acknowledge the fact that I had OCD, things would soon change for the better.

Important: Seek Professional Help!
I am not a certified therapist and my blog is just a place where I share my thoughts and experiences with you in the hope that you will find them helpful. However, I do not want to encourage you to self-diagnose or to try treating your OCD on your own because without the guidance of a professional therapist, it can be downright harmful.

Further Reading

Your Story

As you know, there’s one thing that I love more than sharing my stories: reading yours. Please share your thoughts/ideas/experiences/stories in the comment section! πŸ™‚

Love,

Mark

18 thoughts on “What If I Don’t Really Have OCD?

  1. Sometimes I think that my ex has OCD, because besides the fact that he has an avoidant attachment style, his behavior of being worried and anxious all the time with little things… hmmm!

    Mark, are you still having professional help? Hypnosis or hypnotherapy is very effective in OCD treatment.

    πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there,

      Yes, he may have OCD but based on your description it sounds more like GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) to me:
      https://over-coming-ocd.com/2019/12/21/how-to-tell-the-difference-between-ocd-and-gad/

      Now, I am not a certified therapist and obviously it’s impossible to come up with a diagnosis just like that but I kind of know the feeling when you’re anxious all the time.

      Not at the moment. Most of the stories I share are from the past, over the years I have learnt to keep this whole thing under control so obviously, there are times that are more difficult but in general I can say that I’m doing just fine! πŸ™‚ But do agree with you about hypnotherapy!

      Thanks for your comment ❀

      Cheers,

      Mark

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Mark,

        Individuals with avoidant attachment styles have attachment trauma, and for that reason, high levels of anxiety will be present. Even they can have or not traits of narcissism. My ex, from what I could see and feel he never had someone to teach him how to love and be present in relationships.

        He used to go to card readings to understand our relationship and if it was worthy of his investment. As a woman, and when you know what you want, who you are, and where you are going, with time, your body starts to give you that something is wrong. He was anxious all the time, couldn’t relax, and was always asking other people what they thought about me.

        When he decided to end the relationship, and I told him that the only thing I could wish to him is that he would seek professional help. But of course, he didn’t. When you are surrounded by people that are always expecting the worst from others, that becomes your normality, and you self-sabotage your romantic life. You dump good people because good people are synonym of someone that will use you in the long run, which is one unhealthy way of thinking.

        I am glad to know that you are dealing well with your “gift” and sharing your stories to help others.

        Big hug πŸ™‚

        Alexandra

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Alexandra,

        Honestly, I have always felt sorry for people who had this kind of “attachment trauma” – that is something I have heard from many people but I could not really relate to it. Like…I do not say that I was lucky with the relationships I had because I obviously had some difficulties just like anyone else but I have never had a “real trauma”. But I have been seeing a guy for some time who had some terrible experiences in the past and he doesn’t really want to take our relationship to the next level – and I think it’s mainly because of the bad experiences ’cause he is just…afraid of having a serious relationship.

        And that must have been very difficult for you – it’s a terrible feeling when someone that you’re in a relationship with needs to ask other people what they think about you. I mean, I am sure he did not do it on purpose or for hurting you but it does hurt a lot when someone starts questioning if you are “worth of his investment” 😦

        And you are absolutely right about the fact that being surrounded by people that always expect the worst from others will make you see the world in a similar way. And it’s not only about romantic relationships but basically..about everything else in our world. I am the type of person who loves smiling at people in the street and sometimes I seem to be overly helpful and it will often make people think that “I want something” in exchange. And again, I know they think so because of the experiences they had or because of what they heard from other people buuuut…it can be pretty offensive.

        Anyways..people are complicated but that’s what makes the world a beautiful place.

        And I really hope that we will soon find true love – or just keep enjoying our single life ’cause I honestly do not think that happiness depends on having a romantic relationship. That’s what they keep telling us in Hollywood movies but at the end of the day I do not feel unhappy being single to be honest.

        Thank you for sharing your story and for reading my blog ❀ it means a lot to me! πŸ™‚ And well, I really hope my stories will help others – I still remember the times when I was "new to OCD" if we can say it that way and seeing that I was not alone with this whole thing was helping me a lot.

        Big hugs ❀

        Mark

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Mark,

    Thank you for your reply to my commentary. This part, especially, resonated inside me a lot: – “I am the type of person who loves smiling at people in the street and sometimes I seem to be overly helpful, and it will often make people think that β€œI want something” in exchange.”

    I 100% with you when you say it can be pretty offensive. I would add disrespectful also, because we can’t judge people based on our past experiences because it will only lead to disaster and push away from us good hearts.
    I experienced that when one of his family members asked me how much I spent to send two bottles of wine from Portugal to Australia because it was easter. I didn’t hear that it was special and they liked it, no… how much I spent was more important!

    As you can imagine, those things, with time, start to make you question if you are doing the right thing, and that maybe its time to leave because you got that feeling inside that something is quite odd. Now, I don’t advise any woman or man to date someone that makes you feel hot right away because you are reacting through your hormones and not with your feet on the earth.
    Hollywood love syndrome conducts potential good couples to breakups because one of them thinks that love isn’t a thing that we should workout. Also, many are so addicted to the higher levels of dopamine that when those levels diminish over time, they think they fell out of love.

    “And I really hope that we will soon find true love – or just keep enjoying our single life ’cause I honestly do not think that happiness depends on having a romantic relationship.”: I am feeling great being single, Mark! He, for example, went after some time to dating apps and started to add girls on Facebook lol! I am sorry to say, but no one can compete or fill the void of hurricane Alexandra!

    ahahah!

    I want you to have a lovely weekend!

    Big hug!

    Alexandra

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Alexandra,

      Thank you for your reply and again…apologies for the late reply. Spent a lovely weekend with my friends in the middle of…well..nowhere, in a forest.

      I can totally relate to that! I too would find it offensive if someone asked me about the price of a gift but I am not sure if this is something cultural in my case – in our culture, talking about the prices of gifts is a taboo but I guess some people do not feel comfortable if you spend too much money on the gifts they receive.

      In my case, one of the most offensive things that I experienced happened a few months ago when I found a cell phone on the tram, managed to unlock it and found a contact called “Mum” so I obviously called the girls mother (was the phone of a teenage girl) so that I could tell her that I had found her phone and wanted to give it back. And well, we met in the city and I gave back her phone and the girls Mum wanted to give me money for giving the phone back to them…. And obviously, she wanted to do that because she had felt very grateful and happy ’cause we all know how many things are in one’s smartphone, all the memories and everything but I just found it so humiliating that they thought I was the kind of person who was expecting something in return. So at the end, I agreed to have a coffee with them and told them that I thought it was just a normal, human thing to do. So well, at the end of the day, they really did not want to offend me or anything but it was just so sad to see that we live in a world where people are surprised when you are behaving just like…a normal human being.

      I love the expression “Hollywood love syndrome”, it is so descriptive! And that is so true – in most of the cases, when you feel that you fall in love with someone at the first sight, the whole thing will turn out to be nothing more than just a crush 😦

      It is good to be single ❀ and one day, we may find the love of our lives but it doesn't make sense to be obsessed about it and spend a crazy amount of time looking for Mr./Mrs Right.

      Totally unrelated question: I see you said you were in Portugal but in some older post of yours you mentioned a few things about Brazil. Are you Portuguese or Brazilian? πŸ™‚ (Just our of curiosity 'cause I love both countries and I am currently learning Portuguese haha)

      Big hugs ❀

      Mark

      Like

      1. Hello Mark,

        Well, I would say that if you are coming in from a 28 hours plane trip to visit your boyfriend on the other side of the world, the last question you expect is about how much you spent sending one gift a few months before you arrived. Right?

        The truth is all this was part of what I call now, a psychological test from insecure people. And, my dear, you can’t date someone who is insecure and is surrounded by intrusive people. I am talking about a man who is almost 39 years old now and let his mother play the intrusive role of asking questions to see if the other person is fake.

        The only thing I know is when I do or give something. It is because I want, not because I am expecting something in return. Which lead me to the conclusion that everyone talks about love and relationships, but only a few know how it works.

        I am Portuguese with Dutch ancestry. And well, I have a few conversations about Brazil because one of my readers is from there. And well, as you must know, Brazil was part of Portugal till the middle of the XIX century.

        I am happy to know that you had a great weekend with your friends and that you are having fun. ❀

        One big hug!

        Alexandra

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Alexandra,

        Well, I too would be very upset if my boyfriend asked me about the price of a gift I gave him – and the fact that the question came after your arrival to another continent after a long journey you made for seeing him.

        And the part about the “intrusive mother” is just shocking. I mean even if I felt so insecure that I secretly wanted to find out things about my partner, I just cannot imagine my Mum helping me with that – she would be like “You gotta be kidding me…”

        Portuguese with Dutch ancestry – that is a very unique background. I am Hungarian with German & Romanian ancestry but that’s pretty common here (we all used to be living in the same empire for centuries)

        Yes! My weekend was amazing indeed – I just love hiking.

        Big hug ❀

        Mark

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hello, my dear,

        His mother did the circus number with his acceptance because a real man or a man who isn’t a pushover would stop the situation. Was her who said that I was spending too much money and even asked me if I thought the salary of her son would pay my luxury life and all the other fictional shit.

        Now that I talk about it, I don’t cry anymore, or I don’t feel hurt. But it was a big disrespect for everything and everyone. After eight months of the breakup, I wish him the best, even because I know he is already trying to find someone new.

        You have a unique background also πŸ™‚

        Take care of your precious heart, I can sense you are pretty much good human being ❀

        Like

  3. I can understand why getting a diagnosis is a relief. At least now you know where you are and that you are not insane you are just insane. I’m not trying to be funny but knowing there really is something wrong means that now you can come to an understanding of it ,learn more about it, and get some help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Anne,

      Thank you for your comment and apologies for the late reply.

      Exactly! That is exactly how I felt and I guess I am not alone with this feeling. After so many years of struggling and thinking I was crazy, it was such a relief to learn that I had OCD – obviously, it is not a pleasant thing to have, just like any other disorder but it helped me understand what had been going on with me. And well..ever since my diagnosis, I have been getting better – of course, it is a long journey and based on what I have learnt, OCD will always be there in the background but at least, now I know how to manage it.

      Blessings,

      Mark

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Only a person with OCD would ask “What if I don’t have OCD?” When I was diagnosed with Tourette I had the opposite reaction than you did. I spiraled into a multiyear embarrassment funk over it. Even though I already new I had it, hearing a neurologist say so really affected me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes – agree with you on that. And it’s not only about the “what if I don’t have OCD” but all the “what if” questions are pretty much like…a red flag.

      I too were asking myself whether I had Tourette but in my case, it turned out to be another OCD thought.

      Long time no see, how have you been lately with all this crisis going on?

      Cheers

      Mark

      Like

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