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Strange symptom developing from OCD

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Hi everyone


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

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ShowMe --


I didn't originally respond to your post because I don't personally suffer from clinical-level OCD; it's my son who has the direct "OCD experience." So, given the esoteric nature of what you're experiencing and attempting to communicate, I didn't feel as though I have a lot to contribute.


I'm fairly certain that my son has had some similar mental experiences to what you've described, but he hasn't felt the need to analyze and/or articulate it to the extent you've felt compelled to. To him -- to me -- this is just another aspect of the OCD and its "cousin," attention-deficit issues, that he frequently deals with. Like with most obsessive thinking components of OCD, his response is to push through, push aside, keep moving and continue to work at tuning out the "noise" such obsessive thoughts can bring to the table in favor of things he wants/needs to focus on at any given time. For what seem like obvious reasons, I think this is more easily done when he's got something in front of him that truly interests him, and more difficult when whatever task is in the forefront is less engaging, less interesting, less "up his alley."


Sorry no one else has responded, and that I have little to contribute myself. Not exclusively, but to a large extent, these ACN forums are visited most frequently by parents of kids with these mental challenges, rather than older adolescents or adults actually suffering from the conditions themselves and posting their experiences. You may have more active exchanges on some of the other OCD support forums such as OCDSupport.org, etc.


All the best.

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