10 Comments

  1. Alex
    March 7, 2017 @ 6:33 pm

    I get really stuck at the “Recovery OCD” part. I guess I want a simple formula for feeling in control of all the pain I’ve experienced, and “cutting out compulsions” or “taking action” has that sort of appeal. It’s made trickier by the fact that, when you do remove compulsions or become kinder to yourself, you start to feel really good! Then, you get afraid of losing it and become paranoid and hard on yourself about inducing a relapse. Congrats on your hard work! Very inspiring to see a success story like this.

    Reply

    • Kamran
      April 18, 2017 @ 3:33 am

      Yeah, you hit on really good points! I think part of the recovery process is feeling good and then having those old behaviors kick in again to try and chase feelings. Over time, you learn to apply these skills all throughout your life, and the hold OCD has over you lessens and lessens. It’s not perfectly linear progress, in fact, I had many instances of extreme panic and anxiety through this journey, but through those gained a greater understanding of my mental health as I got through those situations.

      Reply

  2. Susie
    March 8, 2017 @ 3:12 pm

    I’m so happy I read this. GREAT ADVICE. Unfortunately I also fell into the recovery OCD. That’s a tricky one to get stuck to.

    Reply

    • Kamran
      April 18, 2017 @ 3:34 am

      I’m so glad this helped! I delayed writing this article for a long time because it seemed weird to articulate the solution to my problem. I was worried no one would understand or it would make some poor soul more confused.

      In reality, it was nothing Mark hadn’t already talked about in his videos, it was just I was learning how to apply them in the context of my own experience and perspective!

      Reply

  3. Rob
    February 20, 2018 @ 1:54 pm

    Hi. First of all, I congratulate you on your success in recovery from OCD and I thank you for sharing your story with us.
    I had a few questions:
    1.The worst thing about OCD is that it keeps getting more complicated as we think more about our attitude towards the disorder and recovery. After reading your story, I know I should not “expect” things to get better while doing things healthy for my mind. But, the problem now is I “expect” to recover by not expecting to recover. I mean, “expecting”, for me at least, is something that is not under my control. Could you please shed light on how you controlled “expecting” to recover?
    2.Also, I have really begun to fear the kind of inferences and conclusions I am drawing from reading about OCD and recovery. I don’t know which of them is wrong and which of them, right. At one point, my mind told me that thinking of or practicing recovery from OCD was a compulsion in itself, because it would give relief!! How does one deal with thoughts like that?
    3.How on earth were you able to focus on studies when scary intrusive thoughts were plaguing your mind?
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply

    • Kamran
      October 30, 2019 @ 11:13 pm

      Hi Rob,

      Kamran here. I know this was posted almost two years ago but maybe it’ll help.

      My recovery and understanding of it have advanced even further since writing the original post. What I can say is that a lot of your questions are based in OCD, as I’m sure you might have already guessed. The best, simplest, and most effective advice I could give is that when you have all these thoughts and questions regarding these really really specific thoughts and feelings in recovery, as well as a fear that if you have them, you will not recover… it’s a good sign that you should focus on just not answering them.

      It’s gonna feel really scary and like you’re losing control of your life, your mental health, and all your chances at recovery. But it is supposed to feel like that! The feeling is temporary. Any time your brain throws up a thought or idea that you need to feel a certain way or think a certain thing in order to recover, that’s your OCD trying to make sense of uncertainty. Work on cutting through all the noise to just get out of these repetitive thought patterns. The questions become irrelevant and as a bonus, you’re loosening OCD’s grip on your mind!

      As far as my studies go, it was really tough! Haha. My grades in school started dropping, I wasn’t enjoying my time in college at all, and I had no friends basically because I was so focused on trying to do well in school and then my existential crises brought on by OCD. I left vital assignments to the last minute and I felt I didn’t have any lasting knowledge of things I learned in school because I was just focused on being reactive… i.e. just passing the next test just to get through it.

      My approach on learning now is far more proactive. For one, without OCD riddling my mind, I can focus much more greatly. This makes learning far more enjoyable. I also do things to make sure I prep for whatever I have to learn, and write down summaries to review my knowledge at the end of a lecture, and make connections to things I just learned to things I already know. Sleep also helps greatly for school and for recovery!

      I don’t know if this will help all this time later, but let me know how you are doing if you’re still around!

      Reply

  4. Sofie
    September 4, 2021 @ 5:00 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this post!! I have suffered from recovery ocd for a very long time not understanding why I would not heal…

    Reply

  5. Kamran
    November 22, 2021 @ 2:31 am

    I wanted to write an update to this article as I’ve progressed a lot in my mental health journey since I wrote this.

    I feel a big reason I struggled with “Recovery OCD” was there was a deep-seated belief that my emotions were inherently threatening. If I had them, there was going to be an imminent meltdown of my life. I don’t really believe this was a conscious belief I had, it was operating more outside of my awareness. Where I’ve felt this has come from was trauma related to childhood and my attachment style.

    A lot of mental issues I think can stem from childhood, and OCD may not be different. My thought is that OCD is an extreme form of ordinarily helpful behaviors (thinking, planning, checking) but taken to an extreme for our survival. One thing we need for survival is love and relationships. If our upbringing and relationship with parents, family, and peers was mostly troubled, then these things leave a mark on us our entire lives. That is essentially what trauma is.

    One of my traumas revolved around feeling that emotions were unsafe. My father disliked whenever we would express emotion, and actively discouraged it. I grew up unconsciously feeling like my emotions were something that were an obstacle. I thought they were a liability even more when it came to romantic relationships. So recovery seemed like a great way to finally get away from the emotions.

    When you’re fighting against unconscious beliefs or unprocessed traumas, I think recovery OCD can come about. I felt I needed to get rid of emotions and recovery became a way to do that, rather than a way to purely just feel.

    Now, I have no struggles with this. Thanks to EMDR therapy and a new therapist that works on trauma and attachment style issues, I have taken my mental resilience to a new level and truly do not struggle with the paradox of wanting to get rid of emotions by fully feeling them. All the emotions can be there and will pass on their own time.

    Reply

    • Mark
      November 23, 2021 @ 6:51 pm

      Thanks for sharing this insightful update on your adventures, Kamran!

      Reply

  6. Kamran
    November 22, 2021 @ 2:32 am

    You’re welcome Sofie! I am so glad this helped.

    Reply

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