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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I looked at these board a few years ago while undergoing a bout of dp, I was better for years ... and now I am back. :(

This now is much more hardcore than the first time it has happened to me, and it is accompanied by the worst (strongest) anxiety I have ever experienced. The first time, I simply awoke one morning with the lovely, strange feelings of unreality. It was about the end of my senior year in high school. Then I went off to university, and I was fine. Mind you- I did not, ever, realize that "I am fine now," but it just happened. I was living (a good) life.

Now I feel absolutely terrible. So much worse than ever before. Is it a coincidence that it has happened to me in the midst of a huge life change? I think not. I am starting law school right now (yesterday, actually) and, because of some unfortunate waitlistings, I was only accepted to a school where I do not want to be (a very very strong "not"). My family is from a certain European country (lived there until I was 13) and this summer is the first one in five years that we went there for a visit. Also note that I am extremely close with my parents and that my family is very important to me. The dp began while still there, and by the time I awoke from the jet-lagged sleep the first morning back here, I was... horribly anxious and unwell. There was a week left until I went away to law school, my mind-states were worse and worse, and now.... I am just... feeling kind of paralyzed and incredibly afraid.

Okay, I think that I *could* deal with this were it the only problem. I view dp as myself-induced and I would be "okay" working through my actual problems which caused it again. However, I think that I have developed some kind of an OCD problem. THAT is what raises my anxiety through the roof and seems to disable my functioning and paralyze me with fear of WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME. I have done research (oh, yes :cry: ) on OCD symptoms and, though I do not want to go into detail, they are (terribly unwanted thoughts) of an aggressive nature. It started while in Europe, while just beign with my dear extended family there, but once the thoughts were concerning my family here- I was in a complete, over-the-top anxious, self-hating limbo. These DSM-dubbed "aggressive nature thoughts" are not like "I want to kill X" but "OMG, what if I do it? What if ....," and then I am in total horror with my sick mind and become terified and ... so on it goes. I want to emphasize that "no, I do not think I will actually do anythign bad to anyone," as one of my undergrad majors was psychology and I know well the details of these things. But the very nature of the thought absolutely freaks me out and is followed by self-rationalizations of "it is anxiety produced. BUT WHY? it is not true...." And so the cycle goes.

Now, I am additionally aware of the likely underlying emotions and problems of all this anxiety, and then OCD thoughts, and then dp. And I do nto want to take any medicine. I want to sort out my life (for example, I think I may have decided to go to law school because of family pressures while *I* really want to go to English graduate school)and be strong. I will not be like this forever, I know this, and just like the dp has gone before, so it will again. So will the OCD thoughts.

But, similar stories? How the heck do I deal with the hurtful OCD thoughts? Any input, commentary, help? Thank you very much. :D

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1,197 Posts
If you are at a school you strongly do NOT want to be attending, get yourself away from it. It's obviously TOXIC.

Listen to your HEART, my friend!!

You sound like you know what you want -- go get it.

Do NOT do what your family pressures you to do. Do what YOUR OWN HEART wants.

Re your violent OCD thoughts with your family as a target -- sounds like they are a good "target," if you are angry with their forcing you to go to a school you don't want to be at. Don't be frightened.

You are angry with them and you cannot face your anger head-on, so you put a little twist to your DP schtick and now you have both.

You love and hate your family right now. That's all. But try to get in touch with your strong feelings of anger toward them.

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786 Posts
lawstudent22 said:
Anyone else? :wink:
I second Sojourner, to be honest.

My best friend graduated with a Master's in English two years ago. He's teaching English-related courses full-time at a university -- and loving it.

Therefore, if English is your true love please -- at the very least -- reconsider your present direction.

Kind Regards,


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2,710 Posts
I'm not sure how directed anger towards his parents is going to help. His is very close to his parents...I don't understand it. Take some responsibility people. We are adults. We can't blame everything on our parents. They are an easy target, and one very popular with therapists.

As for dealing with OCD...well, there's the trick. You've got to remember that an obsessional thought is caused by anxiety - sounds simple. The 'content' of the obsession is irrelevent. The more mental energy you pour into trying to rationalise it, the worse it will get. You're just feeding it. Despite the ferocity of OCD, it is in fact very fragile. It relies on your continuing anxiety to survive. When I was embroiled in OCD, and once I and spent weeks obsessing over something or other, and I thought that was that, another obsession took it's place. Over and over. One good trick is to, when the obsessional thought strikes, is to think the exact opposite. Another is distraction - something silly like whenever your obsessional thought rises from it's stinking pit, run down the stairs backwards, or write a list of all the people you've loved, or put some money in the 'Obsession Jar'. If you keep at it, I promise, the OCD, and more importantly perhaps, the anxiety, will fade. And when you recover, you will look back and laugh at the absurdity of it all.

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1,197 Posts
How the heck do I deal with the hurtful OCD thoughts?
You look at them like the analytical person you are. They are a smokescreen for your anger at having given in to family pressure.

You said:

I think I may have decided to go to law school because of family pressures while *I* really want to go to English graduate school)and be strong.

You are evidently unable to stand up for yourself, so your unconscious is allowing you to express your alienation from those who have pressured you into doing something you don't want to do by creating AGGRESSIVE thoughts against those with whom you are angry.

If you don't see this now, ask a friend for a textual analysis of your post. It's very clear you are angry, which is why I suggested getting in touch with your true feelings. Your TRUE feelings are not as bad as your OCD thoughts. But because for some reason you cannot ACCEPT having negative feelings toward your family, you have constructed OCD feelings, which are indeed freaky and scary. Your unconscious is doing this to spare you the conscious realization that you are LEGITIMATELY ANGRY with those who PRESSURED you to do something you do not want to do.

You can spend the next 30 years of your life running from your negative feelings, or you can experience them now in all their glory and be delighted when you do that they ARE NOT AS BAD AS YOUR UNCONSCIOUS THINKS THEY ARE.

Standing up to those who pressure/bully/cajole/emotionally bribe us is HARD, but it's ultimately a wonderful thing that can restore us to ourselves.

You are split -- you both hate and love your family. We all hate that, but we all have to -- sooner or later -- come to a sort of peace with the fact that we both love and hate those who are close to us.

Be your own person, my friend!
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