Have very recently discovered ACN Latitudes and really thankful I did! I've found it really encouraging to see so many people dedicated to effectively fighting mental illness, and lots of articles which actually seem to acknowledge the complexity and individuality of people's own experiences and the inefficiency of some of these general labels and checklists.
I'd like to ask whether anyone has ever experienced something which has really troubled me for the past 4-5 years:
It's very hard to describe. The best way I can put it is a real difficulty moving my mind in particular mental directions. Lots of ordinary thoughts and mental processes trigger this unpleasant mental sensation, which I find impossible to accurately put into words but is a little like the feeling you have when you instinctively flinch at something (ie. if someone unexpectedly claps their hands right in front of your eyes*).
Often it's triggered by very miniature, individual things like attempting to recall a memory ("What did I do last Tuesday?"), taking in/absorbing information and instructions, moving my head or eyes in certain directions, focusing my attention on working out simple everyday problems, appreciating visual beauty (I can rarely enjoy looking at a painting because this feeling comes over me and keeps attacking me depending on what I look at or concentrate on), conversing with people, being creative, and a vast myriad of other things.
I find it really hard to concentrate on whatever thought/action it effects. Even if I try to expose myself to it and continue on it its presence, my focus becomes uncontrollably jumpy and instinctively moves away from all the little mental 'movements' that happen to prompt more of the feeling. The concept of a reflex action comes to mind, when you touch something unanticipatedly painful (like a hot stove) and your arm leaps away before you can even think about it. It kind of feels like that - as though my mind is in a room full of objects, many which are electrified, and depending where it goes and what it touches it's liable to get shocked and instinctively flinches away from the pain.
I've had lots of different OCD-related symptoms in the past, although in the past few years have made a miraculous recovery from most of them. I think this problem relates to OCD as initially when it started, the unpleasant sensation would be connected to an acute awareness of an object in my field of vision that a part of my brain felt was out of place (like a piece of fluff on my sleeve or one of my hairs hanging down in front of my eyes), and I would feel an immediate, artificial-feeling urge to move it. My attempts to ignore this stuff and concentrate on whatever I was doing resulted in the same jumpy, flinchy focus of attention.
Would be really interested to know if anyone has had an experience similar to this and if so whether they've been able to do anything about it. It's been completely destructive to my life, and the conventional doctors I've seen haven't in any way helped (partially because they don't typically put much effort into listening to me).
*probably an odd example, but it's the only one that would come to mind