Perfectionsim OCD leading to Avoidance

Page 1 of 3Next

Hey I have this theme for over a year now and I don't see it discussed anywhere. That's why I want to bring it up.

Here is a quick background:
For the longest time I had a compulsion where I would rewind while watching movies or series. My brain told me that I didn't get something right and I would rewind to no end. This took all the fun and enjoyment out of watching movies.
Luckely I've manged to get rid of it with ERP (mostly at night) by purposfully watching shows while not rewinding.

The theme:
I have a high sensitivity to noise. Specifically noise outsite my room/house.
Everytime I have to concentrate on somehting or do any leisure activity and there is noise around I get a huge feeling of uncomfortableness.
I get annoyed and can't focus anymore. This then leads me to either quit the activity and wait until it's quiet again or avoid it all together. (It's mostly the later)
It has got so bad that I just sit it my room all day doing anything but the things I actually want to do. I also get a little paranoid since I already know most of the time when the noise will occur.
The noise I'm talking about is regular all day noise like children playing outside and screaming. Dog's barking. Car's driving through etc. however for me it's painfull.

I talked with my therapist about it and it seems like it's some kind of perfectionism OCD. I tried doing ERP but it's just too difficult.
Leisure activities should be fun but once the noise comes in the anger starts and sucks all the fun out of it. It's a paradox for me.
I see no way out. I just want to have fun doing my hobbies again.

Satori97 has reacted to this post.

I think the one sentence about "I tried doing ERP but it's just too difficult" sums up the main problem.  As far as I know ERP is supposed to be difficult or it would not work. By doing it we are changing how our brain works. Also we have to do more than just try. We have to keep doing it. I know for me at one time I was more all or nothing but now I realize that ERP has to be done one step at a time.  Start out slowly - perhaps doing something that you want to do for a few minutes while the noise is happening.  As you may notice, by avoiding the noise things have only become worse for you. You say there is no way out, but there is a way out but it is one step at a time and of course you will be anxious and of course it will be difficult.  Be prepared for that.

I can identify with your first paragraph. I have also had the issue of going back and trying to figure things out - when reading, watching a movie - asking husband details I may have missed etc. - hard to let go and realize I don't have to have everything figured out or perfect. Okay to be anxious about it if I don't have everything figured out and perfect in my mind. - Learning that little by little, but like I said it is "difficult".



Thanks for your reply Seamstress. In the past month I started slowly doing stuff again. Now I just have to push myself to the next step. The reason why I'm so hesitant of doing ERP is because I don't want to overdo it or I will go back doing compulsions (rewinding rereading)

Let's take watching movies or tv series as an example for ERP. Like I said I got rid of the rewinding by watching and purposefully not rewinding mostly at night where no noise is present.
If I now sit down and watch a 20 minute episode and some noise happens outisde half way through the episode I will lose focus, get angry and probably quit. It's like a snowball rolling down a hill.
Since the noise is unpredictable it can be there for several minutes or longer. So what should be my goal here in terms of ERP? When the noise happens should I just keep watching? Because if I'm done watching I will likely be upset because I didn't unserstand something ruining the whole experience for me. I will also  get the urge to rewatch the episode or some parts of it. I of course can refuse doing this but whats the purpose of me watching a show and not understanding it? Do you understand where I'm coming from?
Ali once said in one of her videos that how you feel during ERP doesn't matter and I shouldn't even try to be comfortable. And I get that but it's so backwards when you're doing ERP on something you are supposed to enjoy.
Edit: I forgot to mention this but I tend to watch a lot of forgin stuff which means I need to be even more focused when reading subtitles.


I guess I would agree with Ali and suggest that you just keep watching and don't try to analyze whether or not you understand the movie. Acknowledge that you are anxious and don't try to fight the feelings of anxiety or focus on the feelings. ERP is rather backwards as to what you would expect I suppose.  Try living with the uncertainty of whether or not you understand the movie - isn't that what all types of OCD are about - uncertainty. You said you don't rewind anymore so that is good. 




So what exaclty is the response prevention here? Is it just sitting through one episode without pausing/quiting regardles of what happens around me?


Yes. I would do that. Maybe try it in smaller amounts of time - say start out with a certain length of time and increase slowly without re-winding. Try to disregard the anxiety and the feelings of wanting to re-wind because you don't understand content.  I would say the response prevention is not pausing or re-winding and staying with the feelings of uncertainty.

Just my opinion. Maybe others have different ideas. I am also learning.


Just thinking about it is scary. I know for sure how I will feel after I've done it. Do you think doing this multiple times (for months) will eventually break this feeling I get? I have to have faith in this or else I will just "ruin" one show after another for myself

Hoping has reacted to this post.

Well, give it a try and see. I think it is supposed to be scary. If it was easy you would already be doing it. Actually, by pausing and re-winding a number of times sounds to me like "ruining the show" as well.  Like I said try doing it in small amounts of time - like watching 15 minutes at first and if you miss something or don't understand, so be it- maybe just shrug it off and say "Oh well".  Maybe the next time go 5 minutes longer. Do the amounts that you feel are right for you  - challenging but not too challenging.

I wish you the best and let us know you make out. 


Rewinding shouldn't be an issue since I put the remote out of reach when sitting down to watch something. The struggle begins after i'm finished watching an episode. Refusing the urge to rewatch parts or the whole episode again. I will report back thank you for your advice.


Hi: How have you been doing?

Page 1 of 3Next