So I’m not completely sure whether transference is the best term to describe this type of OCD but it feels like the best word to use for now. When I think about OCD transference I think about a belief that someone else’s issues/problems can be ‘transferred’ onto you by just hearing about them/coming in to contact with them. I would say it’s very closely linked to magical thinking OCD where there doesn’t have to be any actual factual link, your mind has just associated the two things together and triggered the anxiety and from then on you’re just back peddling.
I get this a lot, I mean A LOT. It’s almost like when I hear something new, say on the news or in the paper I have to self assess myself to see if I am capable of what I’ve read or if there’s any event in my past that I can link to what I’ve seen. Sometimes there’s even a fear that I could do what I’ve heard in the future. So yes, it pretty much covers all bases.
Something I have found really helpful with getting through this type of OCD (which pretty much still hits me daily) is liking and believing in yourself you have to know yourself incapable of unthinkable acts. It does get a bit trickier when it’s something out of your control like a fear of contamination or a health issue. We can spend so much time worrying about things happening to us that we forget to live. This is probably one of the saddest things about OCD, I know I have missed out on a lot over the years through fear. It’s so frustrating for me to look back now and I really try hard not to let it get to me anymore.
Having an awareness of what is happening can help, I’ve had OCD for a long time but I probably had it for nearly 10 years before I really understood what it was that was happening to me. Without the understanding the anxiety and fears are more real because you just ‘go with them’, your body is telling you to be scared so you are. I am now so aware of my irrational reactions to things that sometimes I am combating them before they even hit me. Obviously it would be amazing to get to a stage where I have no reaction to the news etc but I’m not sure if this will ever be possible for me. There’s only so much you can change the way your mind works.
So one of the things about transference is that a lot of them time you know the associated thought is irrational, I’m going to use an example sorry.
Say you have found out a friend has cancer, when you are hearing about it you think of yourself and then you have a fear that you will also get cancer unless you neutralise the thought with a ritual of some sort.
You have transferred someone else’s issue onto yourself. It’s quite a basic example but you get the general gist. What can also happen for people with Pure O is that you realise the thought is irrational and you have to try and work out why your brain has linked it and why it’s completely irrational, therefore giving the thought time and making it stronger and more distracting.
I’m sitting here writing this now and I don’t like the fact that I’ve used myself in the example. As by writing it my OCD is telling me that it could make it more likely to happen, which I know is completely irrational but still, the thought is there and I’m so tempted to change my example but I’m not going to!
It’s tough, this sort of OCD because you can’t avoid it, you have to face it. Try to live in the now as much as you can, don’t think about the past, at all. Try not to think too much about the future because you can’t truly know what is going to happen and you have limited control over it. If you can take a positive action then do it but otherwise let it be.
- Make the most of what you have, write a thankful list each day to help you realise all of the good things that you have and how lucky you are.
- Seek out the positives in life and don’t let other people drag you down.
- Always do your best to fight the thoughts, it will get easier over time.
- Use every tool you have to stay on course through your recovery.
- Eat well and exercise if you can
- Don’t use alcohol to drown out the thoughts, this never works!
Stay Strong xxx
3 thoughts on “OCD – Transference”
Love this! I’m fighting my battle too and have only admitted it after 14 years! This is really well written and expressed. Here’s the link to my blog – a wee honest opinion would be lovely to read!
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Thanks for the feedback Ashley, I really appreciate the positivity. I’ve had a quick read of your blog and some of what you say is so similar to what I have experienced. My OCD started with having to do everything 4 times to keep my family safe. Have you read my post https://conqueringocd.com/2017/05/10/overcoming-ocd-compulsions/ ? This is how I overcame my compulsions. Also this one is a continuation of the previous one.
Might be worth a try? Good luck with your recovery xx
I hadn’t read it but I have now! It definitely makes sense. That’s a great Idea – fight fire with fire kind of thing! Xx
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