Friday, February 5, 2016

Where Do OCD Themes Come From?

I'm not sure I believe this yet,
but I'm working on it.
Every person who has OCD has a theme or themes that affect him or her. One of the more obvious and well-known themes is contamination–the fear of being contaminated by someone or something. You have to wonder where these themes come from. If a person had no knowledge of illness, bacteria, etc. would he or she still present with contamination OCD? Would the feeling of being dirty just manifest with different obsessions? It's hard to say. The person may develop a different theme or no disorder at all. I became interested in this question last night when my therapist pointed out that there may very well be a source for my OCD themes.

As a Pure-OCD sufferer, there are a lot of themes to my OCD. I have relationship obsessions, some medical obsessions, violent obsessions and more. Until last night, I just thought it was about whatever I found abhorrent. That isn't exactly incorrect, but my OCD may have been guided, so to speak, by events in my life. For example, I have a fear of becoming addicted to my anti-anxiety medication, so I struggle when I have to take it. There are many addicts in my family, and a close family member died of alcoholism. I don't drink at all anymore. I was never addicted, but when my anxiety started, I stopped even taking sips of beer. In some way, it may have latched onto things I was already afraid of.

I remember watching a show once, I think it was Obsessed, about a woman whose father died in a terrible car accident. She became terrified of driving, obsessed with his death. I mention this because it is no secret that this disorder takes advantage of trauma and tragedy the way it did with this woman. I was just surprised it did that with things you thought you dealt with, things that were well in your past. I'm sure that is not the case with everyone who has intrusive thoughts. Sometimes, it really is just the worst thing you can think of, whether you have experienced it or not. Still, to think there may be something else at work there gives me hope that maybe I can dig down deep and fight OCD on another level.