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28 Responses so far.

  1. Sean Conte says:

    Hello,

    Love what you’ve written and at least for the moment is has changed my views in a positive and powerful way. If there’s more, I’d love to hear it.

    • robbiepringle says:

      thank you Sean, your comment is most appreciated and yes, there is much more to come, this is naturally a very important project for me, and one which I hope will help a great number of people recover or at the very least gain some encouragement from.

      • Frankabreu says:

        I’m Just now starting to seek info to help my self .
        I do feel scared and lost but your words help me feel better like I might be Abel to feel normal agin that’s all I want is to feel like me self and stop living in fear that I’m crazy and will hurt somebody, it truly is the worst feeling in the world .if you have any other info that can help me I would greatly appreciate it . I’m I the spot where you once where and I’m trying climb out

  2. EcleticJoe says:

    Whoa man, do I have some material for this board. I have been fighting self harm OCD for eight months. Getting a little better each day, but I still have peaks and valleys. Now my OCD has morphed into “what is the purpose of life” and why am I here stuff. I thank you and would gladly tell my story on this wonderful outlet.

    • robbiepringle says:

      Hi Joe, I have to say my friend, as much as it’s nice to converge with others who share a similar story and know you are “no longer alone”, far better to get ahead is the promise of hope, based on the surety of those who have fully recovered. And while I’m sure there will be “hope” in your story, I’m less sure open forum will be conducive to the optimism I would here wish to inspire.

      Nevertheless, I know it’s difficult to speak about surmounting a difficult time without now and again alluding to that difficult time, so for the benefit of making a point, I would say high anxiety manifests itself in manifold ways and so often as the very worst fear we can conjure at that particular moment in time, related to the circumstances we find ourselves in. For example, one time when I was on a road trip with my friends up north, I feared jumping off the top of the Wallace Monument, Stirling. Another time, on stage at a civic function in front of hundreds of people I was sure I was going to suffer a publicly humiliating panic attack.

      So here’s how I see it going: it’s a mixed bag at times; while there’s a “main theme”, if you like, exhausted/stressed minds are by far less capable of elevation than those that are entirely hale and can latch on to, regardless of prior experience, what is there and then the worst possible scenario for you to imagine. Of course, this all depends on how “sensitized” you are at the time; for as your nerves heal, a scenario repeated will have a less an effect than before, you just think “oh, it’s my nerves again”, and you learn to let go, and so on and so on until you are fully recovered.

      What I would say with regards to Harm OCD rising out of health anxiety is that we can endure unhappy, stressful life conditions for only so long before that “famous triumvirate of powers – body, mind, and soul” will interject and provide you with something you cannot ignore, or in other words “stop you”, or frighten you, into completely revising how you are living your life. Physical symptoms of anxiety manifest over a time and by not hearkening to their message and “returning to balance” we’re basically opening ourselves up to their intensification and thus the possibility of interpreting them in variable ways, nothing’s black and white: health anxiety is misinterpreting physical symptoms of anxiety as a sign of an impending physical health problem but one set of physical symptoms can advance into another set of physical symptoms and thus be seen as something entirely different, although in essence the crux is the same – too much tension!

      Too much tension depletes our energy and thus we end up with nervous fatigue(anxiety), and often depression.

      Of course, this is the simplified and unsatisfactory version but the good thing is, although it is hard to see at first, what’s most likely to make us do the necessary to return to full health is frequent occurrence of what most disturbs us. And as alluded to here, what’s most necessary is the reducing of tension. Tension perpetuates anxiety. Focus has to be on doing what is necessary to recover. Focus has to be away from “the story”, detaching from that, detaching from your identification with Harm OCD, without fighting, without struggle, without contracting your energy and by finding a way of “looking beyond it”.

      Anyway, there’s a lot you can do, which I hope to make clearer over the course. I really appreciate your comments and I want to say, to everyone who reads this: you’re looking, so you will find a way, because there is a way, and sooner or later there will be a shift in your thoughts and your feelings that will confirm you are on the right track, and from there on in, the path will be clearer.

  3. EcleticJoe says:

    Most people I have talked to with harm OCD have also had bouts of prior health anxiety.
    Do you find this to be the case also?

  4. CassS says:

    Hello,
    I’ve struggled with severe anxiety my whole life, and in just the past few years the harm OCD started showing up. I took the initial troubles with harm OCD as the final kick that I needed to see a psychologist and, shocker, I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and OCD. My initial fears were very much so helped by my doctor, and I felt like I could be normal again. But just these past few months I’ve had what I guess can be considered a relapse. A way, way worse than before relapse. And my usual techniques of putting my terrible thoughts behind me have not been as successful.

    I started going back to my doctor (I stopped several years ago due to returning to college) and he gave me some more suggestions. I seem to be okay for a few days at a time, but one little trip up and my panic attacks hit with full force. And recently I started wondering if perhaps I need to reach out to others who have overcome this problem. I love this website. You have already provided me with a lot of encouragement and suggestions for self help. I started reading the God Memorandum and have since saved it to my computer. I went out to buy vitamin B and fish oil supplements. I like that you encourage a setting of optimism on the site. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I go looking online for help I just find people describing in vivid detail their fears and, guess what, my wonderful anxiety filled head picks those fears up and makes them my own. And then I’m MORE stressed out and miserable. But reading your passages, hearing it coming from someone who is confident in the possibility of beating this thing no matter the specifics, is incredibly encouraging and gives me back hope I’ve struggled with the past few months. Please keep it coming. I know developing a website isn’t exactly a walk in the park, but please know I feel like the right kind of help is available here.

    • robbiepringle says:

      Hi Cassandra, I can’t tell you how much your words mean to me, I am so happy to help, I know all too well how difficult it is to sift through a whole plethora negative stuff for the seeds of hope we so desperately crave, and how important it is to find them, and look to them always, and to start to see and eventually know we are in truth so far removed from this “thing” that seems to consume us, that its “let go” is certain, it is not who we are.

      So yes, much more is coming, and would that I could convey it all right now, it would please me no end. However your kind words will certainly prove massive encouragement for me to keep going with this. Thank you.

  5. Jason says:

    I hope you are keeping up with this website. What I’ve read here is an optimistic approach to overcoming this “thing” that I think everyone who is struggling needs.

    When my OCD flared out of seemingly nowhere at the end of January 2013, it was in the form of harm OCD. I didn’t know I had OCD (I’m 33 years old), I thought OCD was hand washing and counting…cute movie and tv show stuff! After thinking I was completely insane and terrified, I began the slow, daunting ordeal of trying to figure out what was wrong with me. It took me months to actually gravitate from accepting that this was some acute side effect of anxiety to what I learned was harm OCD. I still have not been evaluated by an MD or clinician, but I know I don’t need anyone to tell me what I already know. Looking back on my life I can see where OCD has manifested itself strongly in my life before, I just never realized what I was dealing with. Based on testimonies and all google-related reference material, my case is for lack of a better word, textbook!

    Your site is the kind of optimism about overcoming challenges that I have always had at my core. I love challenges. I love to overcome. I felt utterly defeated when this “thing” materialized overnight.

    I fully agree (as I perceived from your articles and posts) that harm OCD is essentially a manifestation of us not dealing with our own needs in a healthy way. For the sake of preserving what you are trying to do here, I’ll keep the specifics of my case silent.

    But thank you for this site. Here I am saying that today is the day I draw the line in the sand and decide not to try to recapture the man I once was, but embracing that a healthier me than I have ever known is now emerging.

    • Geoff says:

      Wow, Jason, your experience is almost identical to mine. I am 35 and never thought of myself as OCD before and never had any idea it could have a theme of harm. Like you, it came out of seemingly, no where. But looking back at my life, I never handled stress well and always tried to control all uncertainty. In my particular case, I think my recent experience was exacerbated by my addiction to caffeine and my terrible decision to stop taking my thyroid medication, cold turkey (back on it now though). Still, it is what it is and I now have to deal with the OCD like everyone else, no matter what the cause.

      I really look forward to getting past this and being able to help others with the same issues. It’s definitely true that people who haven’t suffered from this, can’t possibly fully understand it.

      Robbie – Please keep this website going. There are clearly many people that you are and can help. Thank you for your optimism. Keep up the good work!

  6. Justin says:

    Glad to Hear that I’m not the only one struggling out there with this !

  7. anacondick says:

    hi there, been suffering from harm ocd for a long time now… hope to find some support here! keep up the good work!

  8. dunebat says:

    Hi. I’ve been dealing with intrusive thoughts for some time now, and I’m at my wit’s end.

    Thank you for writing this. Your words have been one of the few rays of hope I’ve seen, online or elsewhere.

  9. Christian says:

    Man, this is such a relief! To think that you’re really going to hurt somebody is just awful. But it’s all just OCD. Huge load off my shoulders.

  10. Jason says:

    I wanted to check back in and hopefully offer some encouragement.

    This website was really the first place where I found advice that made any sense and gave me a good starting point to do the hard work of looking inward. It seems really scary –I know– to slow down and let your mind breathe, but that is certainly what has helped me the most.

    The disturbing and intrusive thoughts, whether they are harm themed or anything else, are just a symptom. Even after I posted here for the first time I still fell time and time again into the very tempting trap of trying to “fix” my thoughts. Cannot and will not happen, not ever. Instead, I finally agreed with myself to sit quietly and let my mind throw any self-loathing tantrum it needed to on a daily basis (I prefer in the morning). For me, I came to realize that my thoughts were symptomatic of some low self-esteem and real-world stress, neither of which have anything to do with harming anyone.

    I would encourage anyone reading this to be good enough to yourself to allow yourself to be scared, do not be mean to yourself about that, and give that hurting voice all the room it needs (sit down and be quiet with it) to air out.

    At any rate, it has helped me significantly and hopefully will help you too.

  11. Andrew says:

    Hey everybody! I thought I would add my experience to share and hopefully help others. I am currently within my healing process and am doing okay! You have already started healing by searching and reading this website!

    I started to have these thoughts around 7 weeks ago, beginning whilst watching a horror movie. I was so incapacitated by them I could not leave bed, had extreme physical symptoms for the first 2 weeks (everything you can imagine) and didn’t want to live, eat and didn’t know what was happening to me! As a result, I lost 20 pounds in a 2 week period. I am currently seeing a therapist who has helped me a lot and through self examination I realised how much anxiety I have had over rhe past few years, mainly socially and also eating (fearing I would choke on my food etc).

    The first thing to remember are these are just thoughts! You have reacted to them in this way as you realise they are wrong and you would never dream of bringing harm to anyone. Through time, you will be able to just see them for what they are. It is initially difficult to let them flow and not react to them, but as you learn and accept they are just thoughts caused by OCD, they will become easier to handle. I have struggled mightily with this as I consider myself a really caring, loving guy who likes to help people and take care of the ones they love. Fortunately, I have a partner who has stood by me and supported me through my struggle. It is important to be able to share how you feel, it is not easy to do and it will test you as a couple but it is vital and has been to me.

    I have come to terms with what they are and was informed by my therapist to reinforce the thoughts with poaitive obes afterwards. I feel this can help in the short term as you are coming to terms with them. Simply say to yourself, these are just thoughts caused by an OCD, I am in complete control of my actions and I know I would never bring harm to anyone like this, they are just thoughts and I am letting them go! This is tough to do but stick with it! I felt as you then are able to see the thoughts for what they are, you can let them pass without reaction to them.

  12. angela says:

    Hey thanks for this website in my darkest days your advice shines a huge light. I have had every form of pure o ocd since a very big panic attack on some very high thc cannabis strain. I smoked too much got a panic attack then suffered ocd symptoms that never went away when I came down from being too high. I beileve this is caused however by something in my past since before this I was very depressed and had suffered a hard abusive childhood. I also remeber mild ocd like symptoms when I was a child on more than 1 occassion. Ive always been “worry wort” lol. I am looking forward to your book. I have been waiting since feb. For your update on it and was getting discouraged. Im very exited to read the details of how you overcame this. Thank you for dedicating your time to this. You are a godsend

  13. Mary K says:

    Thank for giving me some hope. Would love to hear more from you.

  14. Dee says:

    I have not been diagnosed with Harm OCD, but I have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, Agoraphobia as well as anxiety and depression. I had issues with my emotions as a kid my but after the birth of my child (5 years ago) things have gotten harder. After his 4th birthday I felt myself fall into what I feel was a “meltdown” and ever since I find myself exhibiting catastrophic thinking.

    After looking into the scary feeling I had started to develop about myself and my loved ones I came across Harm OCD. As soon as I read into it I immediately burst into tears as it was like I was reading my own thoughts on paper. I’m I hope to get back into therapy especially since now I struggle with him starting school. Your website came to me just on time. I look forward to hearing more positive and optimistic things because I am very loving and could not dream of actually harming someone. Thank you again for your encouraging words.

  15. Leo says:

    You truly have no idea how much this helps me. I dont know any of you but God Bless you all for fighting this “thing”. I only wish there was some way to contact the creator of this site and share my story. There IS hope.

  16. tony says:

    Your post gives me hope helped me to smile and for the first time in months I feel light hearted .I have searched many sites and felt nothing …But your post gives me hope !!! Thank you ..God bless you !

  17. Bas says:

    Hi all. I am recently having these thoughts as well. I hate it. I am not this type of person to think about harming anyone. I wish I could be my old self again. This post helps me feel so much better knowing that there is help. I would never hurt my kids or anyone so I really just want these thoughts out of my head.

  18. Alex says:

    Thank you Robbie for your care in developing this site.
    It shows the great lengths you have gone to recover from a horrid condition.
    I have suffered from harm ocd for a couple of years.
    From impulses to crash my car into pedestrians to jumping off a high escalator.
    These impulses trigger high levels of anxiety.
    I sought help from a psychiatrist and take anti depressants.

    I have made good progress and am of the mind that I will pass through this with courage and humility.
    It is a learning curve of the highest order.
    Ocd attacks with total ruthlessness and targets ones most precious morals.
    I cannot tell you why this happens , but it does.

    What helps alot is allowing the thoughts to be and watch them pass.
    It is not easy to do so , but with persistence it strengthens your resolve .

    I own a successful business and have a family.
    I do not share my stuff as nobody can understand it without suffering it.
    I also do not wish to alarm my loved ones.
    It is a personal battle.

    Ocd people are generally highly intelligent and super sensitive people in my view.
    I am even being abit ocd writing this as I am worried about disclosing these truths.

    However one needs to challenge ocd and create new positive brain highways.
    There is solid research that this is entirely feasible.

    Everyday I practice creating a positive event every time a negative ocd event occurs.
    I cook ( with big knives ) , play trumpet , swim laps , garden and go for long motorbike rides.

    Ocd still bothers me , but to a much lesser extent because I have learnt to tolerate it , then get on with other stuff.
    One must allow the anxiety to be and give it space.
    Sit with it , it`s an old companion.

    One always worries that normal people will think you are mad and must be locked up.
    That is a ocd thought!
    Challenge it and create the new highway.
    I have gotten to the point that I am starting to laugh at my crazy thoughts.

    Seriously though , it is an anxiety disorder and bad childhood experiences do contribute.
    It is emotional stuff that has not been dealt with and has flared up.
    Stand up to it , be brave and you will see the light at the end.
    This is a time of a very special personal growth phase ,
    The hardest lessons are the best ones.

    It is only when a person is sufficiently unsettled that they can grow.

    Be Strong !

  19. Irish_lass97 says:

    It means so much to me that this site is here. I really feared that I was going crazy and the thoughts are an indication of what I may do but when I read through this site I started to feel so much better.

    I didn’t understand what I was going through and was desperately searching for answers. I can admit that the thoughts haven’t gone away BUT I now know what I’m dealing with and I don’t feel as bad and I now know there is hope 🙂

  20. john says:

    found the remarks by many people to be right on the money as far as symptoms,thought i was mad.are you going to send updates and more info to the site.told me more than my doctor ever did.john

  21. gay says:

    When someone writes an piece of writing he/she keeps the idea of a user in his/her brain that how a user can know it.

    Thus that’s why this piece of writing is outstdanding.
    Thanks!

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