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7 Years: an update

PostPosted: November 20th, 2014, 10:48 pm
by jcrissman2
I've been on this forum sporadically for a month shy of 7 years now. I've continued twitching and having other symptoms of *** the entire time. Physically, I am still fully functional. Mentally, though I've gotten over my fear of *** I am still the same person I've always been.

I've come to grips with the fact that my fear of *** was driven by mild depression, moderate anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. My physical symptoms were completely real. Benign, but real.

I've also learned that me merely reading about a symptom can literally cause that physical symptom. I cannot stress that enough. I used to think things like, "Sure, I have twitching and that can be frightening but at least I don't have X." Sure enough in the next week X would manifest itself through some percentage of actual physical symptoms and some percentage of exaggerated perception of the actual physical symptoms. For example: it is trivial for your mind to produce excess saliva. (Don't believe me? Take notice the next time you're about to eat your favorite spicy meal. That's your mind producing excess saliva due to a mental state.) Then I read that excess saliva is a symptom of some disease I'm worried about and BAM it becomes a self-reinforcing process of worrying about excess saliva and my mind actually producing excess saliva because of my hyperaware state of the saliva content of my mouth. Twitches and other symptoms are affected the same way.

The pattern for me is that my OCD is triggered by depression. My intrusive thoughts (i.e. health anxiety) are triggered by my OCD. My compulsion to research symptoms is triggered by my intrusive thoughts. Rinse, repeat. I see this pattern in a lot of people posting on this forum. It's a real shame - for all of us.

While I spend my time worrying about dying, I am not fully living. I miss moments with myself, with my spouse, with my children, with my career. I spend time obsessing on thoughts I know are ridiculous logically, but I have a hard time stopping the thoughts from coming back. I think, "but what if?" no matter how remote the odds are. I have difficulty stopping myself from thinking I am the 1% chance of the 1% chance of the 1/1000% chance. I think, "sure my symptoms don't match exactly, but maybe I'm showing an atypical presentation?"

The right answer is to live my life right up until the moment my life is over. If I experience symptoms of a disease, I shouldn't worry. Odds are (and my experience shows) that most symptoms are temporary and benign. Instead of worrying I should continue living my life. If I am diagnosed with a disease, I should still continue living my life as best I can for as long as I can. And when the time does come - likely many decades from now - for me to depart this world, I will hope that I spent the vast majority of my time in doing something - anything - other than worrying.

My best advice for everyone here is to get off the Internet. Reading anything about *** or this forum isn't healthy. Stop googling, just do your best to stop thinking about this stuff. Continued good luck to all!

Re: 7 Years: an update

PostPosted: November 20th, 2014, 11:41 pm
by buddyroxy
Thank you for the update, you have good advice, i will challenge myself to take some of it. And glad you are doing well.

Re: 7 Years: an update

PostPosted: November 21st, 2014, 7:33 am
by LKP1231
Excellent post with good advice. The truth is no matter what, every day should be lived to the fullest.