Always Practice Exposure and Response Prevention
I am writing this post while sitting at a huge water park. This experience is very triggering. In my introductory post on this platform, I stated which types of OCD I had and one of them is POCD. This is where you are afraid that you could be a pedophile. More info about this condition is located here: https://www.madeofmillions.com/ocd/pedophilia-ocd
Needless to say, being at a water park like this is a tough endeavor. There are kids everywhere and all this does is increase the frequency of my intrusive thoughts. This really does suck, but instead of letting this fill me full of guilt or shame, I am going to use this as an ERP tool.
My previous therapist would have told me to purposefully think the thoughts and then you will habituate yourself to them and you’ll be fine with thinking these terrible things. I thought this was crazy. It turns out I was right. My current therapist told me that I will never be OK with these thoughts. I am not meant to be OK with them either and going about my OCD this way was causing more harm than good.
Her methods focused solely on my reaction to these thoughts. She said that having these thoughts is perfectly OK and even normal. She said what you do after is the important stuff. Normally what I did was analyze them. I would tell myself that I would never do that, or that I am a good person. Essentially, I was ruminating. All this does is tell your brain that there is something to be afraid of. It’s letting your brain know that its fear of the thoughts is valid. This is what keeps these thoughts around. It is an awful cycle that, unless you train yourself, feels like it will never end.
Anyway, the point of this post is to tell you that you should utilize every tool available. I am on vacation, but I am still working at my OCD, and that is perfectly fine. I would much rather it be this way than what I was like before.
Take the first step and find yourself a competent OCD therapist. There is no reason to live in misery. You will wonder why you didn’t start to work on yourself earlier. You can do this!