How To Recognize an OCD Thought
For people with OCD it can be very difficult to tell if their fears are real or just a symptom of OCD. If you feel like you are in that situation here are some ways to distinguish real fears from OCD.
The easiest way to do this is to remember this:
If you have a thought and you doubt whether or not this thought is OCD, it always is an OCD thought. This is THE RULE.
Think of how many times you had an obsessive thought. Has it ever came true? Ever? Now think of something that has happened to you in real life. Something significant that made a big impact on your life. Have you ever doubted that this was just OCD? This is why this rule is a great way to identify OCD thoughts. Use it every time an obsessive thought pops
into your mind. Here is a example: A person has a fear of getting HIV. This fear keeps growing and even after many negative tests, he can not stop this fear. By using THE RULE he can say to himself:” No matter what I do I still doubt that this HIV fear is just an OCD thought. Since I am doubting it, this definetly IS just an OCD thought.” This approach is not easy and takes a lot of courage, but when used continuosly it does greatly reduce OCD thoughts.
I also understand that this approach can be too difficult for you, and you may need more time to work up the courage to use THE RULE.
For me it took a few years to completely trust THE RULE. If you are not ready here is a milder approach to identifying an OCD thought:
1. Think of someone you know who you would say is “normal”. Ask yourself, would this person think this fear is a real fear or would he/ she say that this is silly or irrational?
2. Ask yourself this: have you ever worried about this before this became a part of your OCD?
3. Would your doctor say that this is an OCD fear?
4. What is the logical probability of your feared situation being real, as seen through the eyes of others?
5. Have you had a similar worry before that turned out to be OCD?
I truly hope this article can help you and if you have any questions about it, please leave a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
Remember the rule and do not feed into the fear. Just identify the thought as OCD and move on.