It’s quite common that somebody struggling with OCD can easily become very compulsive about trying to expose themselves to thoughts and feelings they don’t like or start to worry that they’re not doing therapy “right” so they’re constantly searching online for reassurance or repeating therapy exercises or any number of ways this might manifest itself.
This is all very normal if we look at OCD as being all about trying to avoid things we don’t want. It’s natural that somebody struggling with OCD will also try to avoid OCD. It’s a thing they don’t want, just like any other illness, crime, accident, disaster, nasty thought or whatever.
In this, you can see the same behavioural pattern that underlies any compulsion: If I do this thing, then I’ll avoid/control that thing I don’t want. Like: If I do this ritual to prove the thought wrong, then I’m not a bad person. And that just gets extended to therapy: If I do this therapy exercise (ritual), then I can avoid/control the illness/anxiety. And like any ritual, then the brain tries to be certain about whether you did it “right”, whether you believed it fully, whether you missed anything, etc. And, of course, because OCD loves irony, trying to get over OCD just becomes a way to practice making it worse.
There are a couple of things to consider here. If you’re doing this, it might be helpful not to look at what you’re currently doing as “ERP” or as therapy. You’re just doing compulsions. There’s nothing therapeutic about this. If somebody feels they must consistently expose themselves to thoughts or situations that cause them anxiety, it’s a very similar to the types of reassurance compulsions a person might engage in to test their arousal to images they don’t like. If just exposing ourselves to thoughts and feelings we don’t like could somehow cure OCD, nobody would have OCD because they already spend all day experiencing thoughts and feelings they don’t like.
If you’re not working with a therapist that has a track-record of helping people recover, also consider that your idea of ERP/therapy is actually not at all how one does it effectively. If you’re working on your own and trying to succeed via self-help, definitely get some help from a knowledgeable source.
And then one thing I found really helpful with therapy was orienting it around where I want to go in life and how I want to spend my time and energy. Compulsions are about trying to avoid and control uncertainty and other feelings I don’t like. OCD is all about trying to get rid of things like anxiety. So that can’t be the goal of therapy. It helped me to focus on doing the things I care about while learning how to experience thoughts and feelings. That creates a framework for effective ERP because your brain will try to get you to stop doing the things you care about so you can spend time trying to solve thoughts and feelings (that’s the Exposure) and then you can choose not to react to that by continuing to do things you care about (that’s the Response Prevention).