Pure O (Pure Obsessional OCD)


I ran across an article on wikipedia recently I found interesting. Instead, it touts itself as OCD without the outward manifestations and only “both the anxiety-inducing obsessions and relief-seeking compulsions of OCD take place in the mind.”

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From Wikipedia:

Left untreated, Pure O can be debilitating to the sufferer, who often finds work and social time consumed by the condition. While OCD is an anxiety disorder, the longterm effects of its stress can include exhaustion and depression.

Recent developments in treatment of type “Pure O” OCD has been very successful, with improvement/remission rates of 90-100%, according to specialist on purely obsessive OCD Dr. Steven Phillipson, Dr. S. Rachman and others. New York based Phillipson in fact classifies “Pure O” as a psychological condition rather than a mental illness or disorder.

Pure O” is a highly treatable condition that can be cured, however it requires the right kind of professional treatment/therapy and an absolute determination to become better. Successful treatment ranges from 4-6 months (milder cases) to 1-2 years for the average case.

A person with Pure O experiences periods of intense rumination that are triggered by intrusive or unwanted thoughts, sometimes called “spikes.” Spike traits vary widely by individual, dictated by personal makeup and circumstance. Some frequently cited illustrations include:

  • A heterosexual man is making love with his wife when the name of his male best friend happens to flash through his mind.
  • A loving mother spots a pillow and has a momentary apprehension of infanticide.
  • A young bachelor checks a mirror prior to a date and feels a surge of confidence, but shortly afterward cannot recall what exactly led to that feeling of pride.
  • An aspiring painter glances at one of her works and experiences a sense of insecurity about her abilities.
  • A son is eating a cake his mother made for him with great care and love. He suddenly gets an idea how nonsensical it would be to throw the cake into trash instead of enjoying it and then telling his mother that he enjoyed it.
  • A passenger is waiting on a train platform while the train is coming. He has a thought of what if he did a sudden erroneous movement and fell under the train.

Of course, these instances are not unique to those with Pure O; they are the sorts of day-to-day emotions and quirks experienced by human beings across the board. And for most people, such thoughts are passing and benign; at worst, they are momentarily jarring. For the Pure-O sufferer, however, such thoughts can be the spikes that induce panicky obsession, leading to an amplified sense of fear or self-doubt.

To neutralize the perceived danger presented by the spike, the Pure O is compelled into rumination, an often intricate mental routine driven by a pressing need to “solve” the fear or uncertainty. Ruminations vary from person to person. One type of rumination may involve continually reconjuring an unpleasant scenario. Another example might be an effort to precisely recall the sequence and order of thoughts that led to the spike.

These ruminations can be highly scary. For the example with the train, the passenger would normally react with stepping back a bit to be more safe and forgets the matter. However a Pure O sufferer after stepping back starts worrying about what if these thoughts actually increase the probability that he makes the erroneous movement? After longer time he starts worrying about the time spent with these thoughts and starts worrying if persisent intrusive thoughts of this kind actually cannot cause him a temporary impulse of disabled judgment when the train comes next time and him jumping into the rails actively.

These ruminations are accompanied by anxiety ranging from mild to severe, and can endure for extensive stretches, often hours at a time. Sufferers have described episodes that persist over a series of days. In most every instance, the rumination is all-consuming, essentially taking full occupation of the mind. During rumination, sufferers often find themselves unable to turn their focus to anything else, including “legitimate” sources of stress or danger. For instance: Genuinely bad news — say, word of a friend’s hospitalization — may not trump or even penetrate the anxiety felt by an OCD sufferer who is ruminating on even a seemingly innocuous matter.


169 thoughts on “Pure O (Pure Obsessional OCD)

  1. Emily, talk about the drug ‘chlomipramine’ to your GP or consultant psychiatrist. This is specifically good for OCD.
    Committ yourself to Cbt&Erp, reading if ya can :)

    one day theres no questions or obs keep in mind faith.

  2. Emily: Thank you for the book suggestions. I recently been reading OCD for dummies, and it has helped tremendously! My therapist and me have been working on CBT, and it has been going pretty good so far. I am a nursing major so I am very goal oriented that I will conquer this, or learn how to cope with it so I can be a great nurse. Thank you for the books advice again! Keep me updated on how your treatment goes.

  3. Hi guys,

    I left a message quite a while ago. Would just like to say that I’m living a fairly sane life at the moment and that there’s hope out there. I spent a couple of months of quetiapine and chatting with a social worker (didn’t work as quetiapine is a drug for psychotics and this social worker knew nothing about pure O and hence couldn’t diagnose me correctly) then moved onto citalopram, which was better but not very nice, before I saw a wonderful psychologist. He got me through CBT with both kindness and efficiency. Within a couple of months of an hour long session per week I was back to a tolerable level of rumination. I came off citalopram after a long battle with my GP to stop the course and was free of it by August last year.

    My religious OCD has pretty much disappeared and occasionally gets replaced by other disturbing thoughts, but a lot of the time the CBT helps me handle it. I think to myself “Well, I’d never do anything like that and, if I’m worried about it or thinking about it too much, it just goes to show that I’m really, really not likely to it.” There are plenty of other strategies. Now and then I have relapses, but nothing as bad as it was. Looking back on my time on meds and having therapy, I’d say that CBT helped me most. Taking the citalopram was only good for calming my mind enough to take in the CBT. I had had OCD so bad that obsessive thoughts would go round my mind at least two or three times a minute so I’m very thankful for all that was done for me and that I have made such a speedy move towards (almost) normal.

    The only thing that concerns me for the future is that since the onslaught of the OCD and even more so since taking citalopram, I’m suffering from disassociation. Sometimes it gets so bad, I forget where I live or whether I’ve eaten. I look in the mirror and I can’t really tell if it’s me looking back. More recently I’ve forgotten the sound of my voice so it sounds like someone else talking for me. In CBT, they tell you to ignore this and it’ll go away, but it’s been like this every day for nearly two years and it’s gradually getting worse without any obsessions going on. Anyone got any suggestions? I’ve been told descriptive therapy helps, but I’m a writer so describing is pretty much what I do constantly anyway so I know that’s not working.

    Anyways, all the best to you guys out there. There’s no simple answers and what worked for me might not for you, but if I can get through the darkest of times and come out smiling then anyone can. Give everything you have, even if you feel too exhausted to fight, because the alternative is something you’ll never want to go back to. I watched Sucker Punch the other night and one line really got to me. It made me think about finishing my CBT and meds and starting trying to live life again:

    “You have all the weapons you need. Now fight!”

  4. Hi all,

    I like this forum, as its the first I’ve seen dedicated specifically to Pure OCD. I’ve lived with this type of OCD for almost my whole life, and I diagnosed myself with OCD while back in high school. I told my parents I wanted to see a shrink to verify my suspicions, but I quickly found out that shrinks who specialize in OCD are rare, and shrinks who specialize with Pure OCD are even more rare.

    So I decided to help myself, as many have, and I read a myriad of books that all suggested similar strategies to fight this type of disorder. The common thread between all the self help books I found was the suggestion that fighting this type of OCD requires a paradoxical understanding of the act of fighting. Forcefully trying to combat my thoughts, head on, inevitably only leads to worse ruminations, greater obsessive cycling, and increased anxiety. Instead, the only way that works for me to fight pure OCD is to employ the type of fighting the Ghandi championed–that is passive aggression.

    So, everyday, for the last 5 or 6 years now, I dedicate an hour every morning to training my brain to live without thought, not just OCD thoughts. I do this through various forms of meditation, breathing techniques and breathing. One method that works particularly well for me is standing meditation, where I stand still like a tree, arms to my side, tell myself to relax my mind of all thoughts–good, bad, indifferent, obsessions, compulsions, memories, dreams–every thing and every type of thought is given equal weight so that no more importance is placed on pleasant thoughts over bad thoughts. Instead, I just try to observe them all. It is impossible to tell the mind to stop producing thoughts. The mind will naturally suggest all types of thoughts to think about, 95% of which are random white noise. But what is possible is how we choose to approach our thoughts once they arise. Our brains aren’t trying to harm us, they respond to us as we respond to them. So, if we choose to think in depth about an obsessional thought, the brain will think that this thought is important because we made a conscious choice to think. Obsessional thoughts are most difficult to observe with no attachment, because they are sent to our pre-frontal cortex with an associated anxiety signal. The trick is to use this anxiety signal as a key in identifying which type of thought has just been suggested by the brain. The first step in reducing the thoughts power is by identifying it as an OCD thought. Once its identified, congratulate yourself for having the confidence to differentiate this thought from other thoughts and be proud of yourself for choosing to accept whatever anxiety comes as a sidekick of this thought. One trick that I learned to stay focused during times when obsessional thoughts enter my mind is to breath focused breaths–in through the nose and out through the mouth–and after each breath count backwards from 100. While counting, visualize the number you are on. This is a good trick because often we don’t even realize we’ve relapsed back into rumination, but if you breath and visualize counting, you won’t be able to both at the same time. So, if you stop focus breathing and stop visualizing, it allows you to realize you are ruminating and gives you a tool to then re-start your breathing and re-focus on counting. Over time, the mind will re-wire itself to not send you thoughts that it doesn’t think you will pay attention to, and the anxiety associated with previously anxious obsessional thoughts will all but go away. I still have OCD, and will for life, but now I credit it for allowing me to be able to learn better mind control, and my ability to identify OCD thoughts is much improved.

  5. Josh,
    thank you for your post. I just randomly came across this site as I was searching for information on Pure-O’s. I know realize that I have been suffering from OCD since I was in my teen years. I’m now 29 and am in the full throws of this awful disease. I don’t want to be a downer, but I am incredibly discouraged and feel desparate. I found Dr. Stephen Philipson’s site last Friday and have been thinking about his type of treatment ever since. I am SCARED TO DEATH though to do it. I just made an appt with one of the MD’s that works with him for June 1st. I’m so scared and scared of doing the homework.

    Your post was helpful though and shows that doing it this way is the only way.

    I have to believe that something will help, becuase I can’t keep living this way. I’m literally afraid of myself…my own thoughts. nothing brings relief to me. I want to get better for myself and for my husband. Any other information/advice would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Hi Kate,

    I’m glad you found some usefulness to my post. Often I find that if I just write about my OCD or the techniques that I use to help alleviate the ruminations, I feel better because I remind my self that there is always light at the end of the tunnel–even though its hard to see when caught in the web of OCD world.

    I’m sorry your experiencing an allergic reaction to life right now. I think that’s the best explanation that I’ve heard about OCD. OCD is a disorder of doubt, fear of losing one’s self, values and identity– and fear of the next obsession.

    The worst aspect of OCD is that it picks on things to doubt that you are most certain about. The things in your life that define you and give you a sense of pride and confidence are usually the most susceptible to anxious questioning and doubting. This is why OCD might be described as an allergy to life.

    For me, my OCD questions my talents, my profession, my values and my personality. For others it questions their faith, their relationships, their morals or anything else they hold dear. Their is a simple reason why OCD does this.

    OCD at its core is no different than any other anxiety disorder. For no particular reason, the minds anxiety center, located in Thalmus, is triggered to turn on. Based on my observations, this occurs as a result of two things. The first is due to random misfiring of neural connections. The second is a result of random memories of past OCD thoughts surfacing in the flow of everyday “normal” thoughts.

    In the first case, when the neurons randomly misfire, the anxiety center is triggered, but the brain can’t figure out exactly why. So it searches. The search process goes something like this: The mind first goes through the things in your life that you would most hate to loose: e.g. should I be concerned about my job, my wife, my kids, my sanity, my confidence, my ability to love and be loved? etc. ? It also searches for past thoughts that you’ve previously ruminated about. It will inevitably settle on one thing and the “thought” and the “anxiety signal” will merge into one and become an ” obsession”. Of course this mostly happens in a split second, so it often seems like the thought comes first–which gives it more credence. But sometimes, if you’re observant you can prolong the attachment process and realize the searching behavior of the mind to find something to attach the anxiety to. If you can do this, the thought naturally becomes less powerful as you realize that the thought, just like you, is a victim of the false anxiety signal and not the culprit.

    The second way that the anxiety center is triggered is if the mind randomly thinks about past obsessions that have come and gone. Sometimes the thought of a past obsession can freely flow in and out of mind without new attachment. But this is not always the case because the problem with these obsessions, or as I call them “rogue memories” is that they still have an associated attachment of an anxiety signal. So when the memory of the OCD obsession occurs, often this is enough to once again trigger the anxiety center to turn on because it has been conditioned to do so. The conditioning comes when we choose to prolong the anxiety signal associated with random thoughts by the performing of mental compulsions to “rid ourselves of the anxiety”

    It is this conditioning that needs to be de-conditioned. This is where methods like Dr. Phillipson and Dr. Schwartz and others come in handy. The only way to de-condition our mind to form attachments between anxiety and thought is to consciously accept the anxiety and the associated thought. You do this by impartially observing the thought and allowing a small corner of your mind for the thought to exist. But, you are the captain of your own ship, and this is where the effort comes. Once the obsession has been commandeered to a small corner of the mind, you must now take over where the brain can’t by shifting the gears in your mind manually. Choose to think about something different, mundane, and boring and consciously catch your self every time you start compulsively thinking about the obsession. Over time, the anxiety will fade, and the mind will naturally realize the ridiculousness of the worried thought. OVER an extended period of time, the neuroplasticity of the mind will actually change your brain chemistry so that the mind will learn to disregard random anxiety messages all together if it doesn’t think you will pay attention to the suggested “though culprit”. This is the law of conservation of energy. There is no need wasting energy compulsively ruminating over something that is ultimately a waste of time. Good luck to you and to every one who practices this “exposure therapy”. I think it is the only long term help to OCD and doesn’t come with all the nasty side effects of drugs.

  7. Kate; Pure O stinks, I know from experience. I found a book that really helped me and hopefully it will help you too if at any point you feel like you want to read it. It’s called “The OCD Workbook, third Edition” by Bruce M. Hyman and Cherry Pedrick. It has a section specifically on Pure Obsessions OCD. It helped me to realize that I won’t act out on my thoughts. I know that when an intrusive thought comes it still might scare me for that moment but I am getting better at recognizing it is just OCD no matter how much anxiety it might come with.

    The book also helped because it clarified that what people obsess about is the opposite to their character. The thoughts get stuck because they are so opposite to who we are or what we would ever do. I hope this helps a little bit. Take care.

  8. Thank you guys all so much for your posts! Kate I understand exactly how you feel I am so scared to do the exposure method too :-( I havent set up Amy appointments yet because I don’t know where I can go where they will understand me. I feel like why we go through sounds just so crazy to anyone that doesn’t experience it themselves and that goes along with my obsessions- I get scared that I really am crazy! Anyways good luck to you guys and if you can suggest and more techniques I would love it! Thanks! We can beat it!

  9. Thank you to all that have replied to my post. I need to go back and re-read them so I can comment further, but Jess, I wanted to comment quickly on your post. I’m at work right now and only have a few minutes to write. I will write more later. Since I posted my last message, I started to see a therapist that is specialized in OCD treatment. I actually was seeing her about 2 years ago, but was very resistent to doing the homework and stopped seeing her. Boy, was that a bad decision…I also went off my medicine at that time because I wanted to see if I could. I know now, that I can not do that. It has been a horrible struggle and I’m still struggling with it…every minute of every hour of every day.

    I didn’t realize then, how lucky I was to have Regina as a therapist and didn’t realize how very important it is to have somebody that is specifically trained in OCD/anxiety disorders. I have gone through many other therapists who have NO specialty training in OCD. It was a nightmare. They kept trying to pick me apart and find the reason WHY I had these thoughts. Like something had been done to me as a child, etc. Not the case. I have OCD…that’s WHY the thoughts are there. Anyway, I finally realized that I should contact Regina again. The wake up call was when I went to this web site: http://www.adaa.org/ and used the “find a therapist” tool. When Regina (my previous therapist in 2009) was one of the few listed in my area as a specialist in OCD, I knew she was who I needed to contact. Dr. Philipson’s staff in NYC is also specifically trained and I tried doing a Skype session with them (since I live far away from NYC), but it was very expensive and I didn’t think that it would work for me since there was a lack of face to face interaction. Please try to go to this site and search for a therapist. I know what you mean with feeling like you can’t find somebody that understands, but believe me, once you talk to a therapist that is specifically trained to help with OCD, you will realize that they truly understand what is going on in your head. It’s like they can tell you exactly what is going on inside your head without you even having to say anything.

    I am in the middle of doing a lot of exposure and am in intense therapy sessions with my therapist (at least 3/week plus email/texting). It’s SO HARD and I’m having a REALLY hard time stopping my compulsions (which is seeking reassurance or “telling” my husband things because I think that this will protect me from what I’m afraid of). I thought I had pure O but Regina noticed the compulsion side of mine right away. I’m still very scared of everything. My thoughts are like ongoing nightmares to me. Regina has been trying to teach me that i have to live with uncertainty and the “what if”. Something I am really not comfortable with and continue to struggle with, thus the compulsions continue. I HAVE to stop because my poor husband is living in hell with me. That’s a whole other issue and something that Im HOPING so very much I can get the courage to fight through.

    I hope that the web site offers you assistance in finding a specialist. Please don’t waste your time with someone that tries to “figure out” why you’re having these thoughts. I believe it was Dr. Philipson that said on his video on his website that if a therapist trys to dig and figure out why you’re having the thoughts and what the cause behind them is, then they’re a fool and you’re wasting your time. It’s OCD…that’s why you have the thoughts. I continue to try to figure out where they migh have come from or when it started, but ultimately, it doesn’t matter. What matters is learning to deal with it.

    Hmmm…if only I could listen to myself when I’m in an obsession.

    Best wishes and thank you to everyone who is commenting and helping me with this. It’s truly appreciated.

    Kate

  10. I’m so glad I found this thread. Thank you so much for posting your experiences here. I am at my wits end here dealing with yet another spike of obsessional thinking. I’ve been dealing with this type of thinking almost for as long as I can remember. I’ll go for very long periods with no symptoms though.

    Only in the last couple months have I realized it’s due to OCD. Amazing how long I’ve been going around, half joking that I used to have it, but thinking I had grown out of it or just had a phase when I was young with hand washing and confessing and prayers and what have you.

    Now I’m grown up and have terrible slideshows in my head of all the awful things I hate. They come and go and change themes like a movie theater switches out the old ones for the new.

    I go to a very good therapist but I don’t know if I should stay with him or seek a specialist. Just recently I have talked to him about these thoughts since they only recently cropped up again, and tomorrow I have an appt where I will tell him how much worse they’ve gotten in the past few weeks.

    I wish all of you luck! I really want this to end in a good way. I understand it will be a struggle and will likely rear its head again further down the road, but if I can only find a way to live with it everything will be ok.

    Thanks again everyone.

  11. Kate thank you so much for all of the advice I really appreciate it. I just need to get out there and fin someone to help me and stop procrastinating or avoiding that. I’m so happy for you that you have reached that point and are taking things into your own hands. I hope I can find someone to help me too. I’ll check out that website and I will come back and let you all know if I’ve learned any helpful tips. Thanks again for your support!
    Jess

  12. Wow. What a relief to read everyone’s post. I have noted everyone’s advice, recommendation of books, doctors and recommended thought processes to correct my stupid brain. I’m 35, and I never had a name for what I go through until now. I just started watching Obsessed on Netflix, and so far there is only 1 person that had Pure-O, and wow, how I related to this. Thankfully the show named it, and I have been researching it since.

    At first I thought (still kind of think) that I have always struggled with an identiy crisis. Oh the suffering I go through with these thoughts. I think about conversations hours, days, weeks, months and years after I have had them. But I also have those ‘crazy’ thoughts too that were mentioned above.

    Now we are thinking of having a baby, and I have been delaying it because of my brain. “What if!!!” I want to fix it so I can live normally, and get the most out of life. It sure comforts me to know that there is this forum and OCD Online. It does scare me though, because it seems the cost of CBT for Pure O is very expensive. I will research tomorrow to see if my insurance does cover it. Gosh, I sure hope it does. If it does, I hope I can find someone in my area that specializes in it.

  13. Hi All,
    this site is really interesting. I have not been diagnosed with this but I think that is just because I feel a bit scared to talk fully to my GP. I now fully believe this is what I have and have suffered for years. Over the new year period I began to get lots of unwanted thoughts that became scared of and obsessing over (lots of different subject matters). These first started 6 – 7 years ago and I have had several relapses. I think you all agree with me that at the time when you feel at your worst there is no one that feels worse.

    I am married with 1 child and another 1 due soon. I really love my wife and my kid(s) but when these periods of spikes, rumination lead to deep anxiety I feel guilty and that I shouldn’t be feeling like this because I love them so much.

    I have been with my partner for very nearly 10 years and have been married for 4 yrs. She has seen it develop and only in the past year really deeply spoken about these horrible, disturbing thoughts that I do not want but they do get there and I cannot shift them. when you start questioning thoughts it sends you in a spiral that goes so deep it is nearly unthinkable to get out of. The feelings of guilt, anger, disgust just make things worse. I have been on and off Citalipram for the past 7 years. My wife is very understanding and she can also start to recognise signs which is good because she can get me motivated again.

    Since reading a few books and looking on the web you start to realise that you are not on your own. Just knowing that other people suffer with this is a massive relief.

    When I have been in this cycle it it very difficult to know which are your own thoughts or even how you would normally think. It has only been in the past year I have started to realise when thoughts start to ruminate. Once I have realised this it slowly eases off.

    Sorry for the long text but I really do feel that just reading some of your stories has helped me lots. I really do want to beat this and I am sure we all can.

    Thank you all

  14. Hi Everyone,

    It is a relief to know that there are many others out there suffering from the same condition. Mine started as a child, and initially I would try to counteract an unwanted thought with an action such as counting, reading a passage from a book a certain number of times etc…

    Fortunately, I was able to kick those actions pretty quickly, and I had a good run more or less symptom free. However, it seems as those these unwanted thoughts and the subsequent anxiety have resurged. I’ve been doing some CBT, and one thing that has really helped me is just labeling the thought then moving on.

    Some days are easier than others, and I go back and forth trying to decide whether or not I should take medication. I’m worried about the side effects, and because I am interested in started a family soon, I’m not sure if I want them in my system. It also seems that it’s kind of a “quick fix” in a way, as many people say the thoughts come back once they stop taking medication.

    Do you guys have any thoughts/opinions on medication? If the thoughts, albeit annoying, are more or less manageable, is it worth it to take something for those more difficult days? I’m yet to try meditation consistently, and that seems to have worked for others.

    Thanks for your posts, and any thoughts you have on the matter!

    Jaimie

  15. It’s ok ‘A’ and others you are good people!! :) The main thing is to get yourself into a state where intusive thoughts no longer make you panic, or even take up your attention. I thought this was impossible but have achieved it using ; relaxation techniques daily, regular exercise, treating myself ,identifying a spike and acknowledging it as ‘just ocd not me’, reminding myself to take a calming breath to relieve the anxiety of a spike and getting out there and enjoying being around people. Regularly practice the above techniques-they will become a second nature-and within a few months life will come naturally again.
    Good Luck

  16. Cas,
    Thanks for the note. I hope that I can get myself to the point where the intrusive thoughts no longer make me panic. They control my life and are really hurting my marriage. I have a very strong superstitious part to my OCD. My OCD specialist therapist says that the OCD goes after the very thing you value the most. Makes sense for me becuase I greatly value my marriage. She said that she treated a lady that was an amazing mother, but her obsessions were that she was gonig to kill her child. OCD went after that because she values her child. OCD is a horribly manipulative disease.

    I am going through therapy and am on meds…don’t think I’m on the right meds though. Have another MD appt today and hopefully incresing or changing meds.

    Thanks to all for your posts and encouragement. It’s funny that strangers can help you so much.

    Keep plugging away (I need to tell myself that too!).

    Kate

  17. Hi again,

    I have to even add that I’m obsessing about even reveiling what my OCD involves. I don’t want people to think “yeah right, he probably did deceive her and she’s blaming it on her OCD”. This has been the center of my OCD for as long as I know…even before I was with my husband. It’s such an awful thing and people lable me as a “distrusting negative person”. Those are very sad things to hear about myself becuase I see myself as a very giving person, but I do know that I have a very high guard up. If anybody has any advice about “letting that guard down”…I would appreciate it. My husband tells me to do that all of the time…if I could only figure out how, I would be so happy!

    just didn’t want you all to think that I was a dilusional wife blaming it on my OCD.

  18. Hi guys.

    First of all, I’m grateful for you all sharing your stories. You seem like great people, and to be honest I can’t help but think that my problems are small in comparison.

    But in my head, they’re not.

    If you don’t mind, I will tell you my problem and you can tell me in your experience if this is Pure-O or not. This is the first time I’ve written in any detail about it anywhere, because this page seems most suitable by far and really strikes a chord.

    I’m now 25. I started a serious, long term relationship when I was 18 which lasted for 5 years. The girl had a sexual history whereas I didn’t, and it soon came to the surface that I had a problem with this. I would ask her names, details, get angry at her, think about her previous partners all the time causing difficulties not only in the relationship but in work.

    I’ve condensed 5 years of misery and despair into one short paragraph, so please don’t be fooled by my lack of detail of which I don’t want to bore you with.

    We argued a lot over these particular subjects. Other things that I thought about every day were what she wore…I didn’t allow her to wear certain things, I didn’t allow her any male friends, I read her messages a lot etc etc. I had no reason to not trust her, but that’s what I was doing for some reason.

    I forbid her her relationship with her sister because her sister hung around with a lot of these guys that my girlfriend once was friends with, and a couple of which she had dated.

    I would constantly bring up events from the past and use them as some sort of ammo to cause grief to myself and my girlfriend. Constantly.

    There was one common theme with that girlfriend, and it was always that I was thinking too much about her past and it really troubled me. Needless to say, we broke up because of all this. I actually broke it off because I was able to grow a pair and realise that I was hurting both of us. We still talk, and actually I’ve just sent her a link to this page to see if she could relate it to my actions.

    While I was going out with her, I visited a ‘therapist’. She is a holistic healer, and she tried meridian practices and hypnotherapy on me. I don’t think that they worked, and I saw it as a waste of money so I left. Also I recall her recommending Bach remedies which I still to this day have absolutely no faith in.

    So after that, my next serious relationship was for about 8 months. This ended because of similar problems. I got extremely angry one night when she kissed a guy on the cheek after just meeting him. I got angry when she wore a top where her cleaveage was visible… Soon enough I started to ask her questions about her sexual history and she gave honest answers which didn’t help me, but only fueled the fire. I was heartbroken after this one ended, but I know I only have myself to blame.

    The next serious relationship lasted all but a few months, but had a slightly different pattern. I found myself always questioning if I really wanted to date this girl, and I told her one evening. I told her I wasn’t sure if I really wanted the relationship. I bailed out of this one.

    I’m going out with a girl now who really is a fantastic girl. Italian. Elegant, beautiful, funny and intelligent. It all went well at the beginning, but we have been arguing a lot recently and I think that I know it’s my own doing. Her past doesn’t bother me a lot, because she’s only had one sexual partner before me. It’s so sad to say, but when she told me this after knowing her for only a few days I was extremely relieved. ‘Less for me to worry about’ I thought!

    We had sex on the first night of meeting each other. I’ve only done that once before, but I find myself blaming her for this and resenting her for it. I know why she did it; she was just out of a long and tiresome relationship and wanted to move on. But it doesn’t satisfy me.

    A month or so back we were out with a male friend of mine. She got very drunk, and she’s generally a self admittedly a cold person at the best of times, but on this night she was talking to my friend with her hand on his leg. Outside, I told her I loved her and she said ‘So?’
    She apologised for this when I recalled the events, but I’ve brought it up quite a few times and her apology just doesn’t seem to be enough.

    Anyway, my main problems in this relationship are that I keep dragging everything up that she’s done wrong. I hate it when she talks to guys, I check her Facebook every day to see what she’s doing. When she adds a guy, I go crazy in my head!

    Late last night she was walking home in a fairly dangerous spot and I got pretty annoyed with her for not booking a cab. Today I spend the whole day thinking about it, and building it up in my head. I send her an angry text and needless to say it caused an argument tonight.

    I realise that my story is quite different to most here. It’s problems with girls mainly, and maybe not OCD.

    But the thing is, I have obsessive thoughts every day, every hour and sometimes, like today, every single minute. Today there literally wasn’t a minute when I had negative thoughts about my girlfriend, mostly related to the incident where she placed her hand on my friend’s leg as she spoke to him whilst extremely drunk! So stupid, I know!

    It’s almost like I enjoy thinking about these things, and having these thoughts. Sometimes I believe that. But that makes no sense! But since I’ve read about Pure-O I’ve thought that maybe it’s just how my brain works and I can’t combat these thoughts without some form of help.

    I feel like I’ll never hold this current relationship down because of these problems. I’ll recall incidents from the past and lay them down to argue about with her, until either she admits defeat due to sheer tiredness, or I’ll store everything up again and do it another day.

    I’m really in love with this girl, and I know she feels the same. I need to find help with my problems and know how to deal with them better!

    Is insecurity a big part of Pure-O? I think I must be very insecure to hate seeing her talking to guys or having any contact with guys. I’ve always been the same in all my relationships.

    She said to me tonight ‘How many times are you going to bring this up? 1000? I don’t think you have the ability to just pass over things’.

    The bottom line is that whatever problems I have, I have realised that I cannot fix them on my own, and every time I leave one of these relationships knowing that it’s my fault, a little piece of me crumbles and I don’t think I’ll get it back.

    I’d greatly appreciate any feedback or thoughts. I am willing to see a Doctor next week, but I just wanted some advice from you guys first. Thanks.

  19. hi iam suffering from pure o at last 8 months please tell me pure o ocd is cure or not cure?

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