Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Doubt and Uncertainty
Monday, February 12 2018 Cheryl Slavin
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) doubt and uncertainty is something I've struggled with since I was a young child. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is often dubbed “the doubting disease” because it makes you second-guess yourself. And uncertainty about life can make my anxiety skyrocket. Obsessive-compulsive disorder doubt and uncertainty about life can be debilitating, but I am finding small ways to cope.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Doubt and Uncertainty Create Extremes
“The cat is in the dryer,” I tell myself. “The cat is most definitely in the dryer.”
A worst-case-scenario to some, perhaps, but a daily worry for me. Our kitten tries to climb into the dryer whether the clothes are wet or dry, increasing the possibility that she will meet her demise by my unwitting hand. In addition, a friend once told me a real-life horror story where a kitten was killed in this manner. The doubt and uncertainty of OCD cause me to look for the cat every time I start the dryer, even if it’s clear that the cat is not wriggling around beneath the clothes.
Severe Consequences for My Actions Because of OCD Doubt and Uncertainty
Doubt and uncertainty from OCD often lead me to believe in extreme consequences of my actions (Effects of OCD: Living with OCD). When I was in elementary school, I worried about things that most kids don’t give a second thought about. Some little girls on the playground told me that because I wasn’t baptized, I was going to hell. The thought of hell and the uncertainty about my good nature plagued me. When I tricked my teacher into giving me an unclaimed book from the class book order, I began to obsess that I had stolen the book. One negative thought led to another, and pretty soon I was lamenting my certain condemnation to hell. My OCD forced my doubt into overdrive, thus making a seemingly insignificant event have dire consequences.
Life Is Full of Uncertainty—What If?
I have always had trouble with life and the “what if” factor. What if I don’t do something and it causes a catastrophe? Incidents where my doubt is proven right only enforce the tendency to doubt other things in life. My life since my divorce has been full of doubt and uncertainty and my OCD is often at full throttle. One outcome depends on another, and I have several major life-altering events in play right now. Though the OCD doubt and uncertainty try to take over, I find I am better equipped to handle the possibilities for seemingly simple reasons.
Switch Positive Possibilities for Dire Consequences with OCD Doubt and Uncertainty
I am learning to cope with OCD and the daily uncertainty of life by imagining positive outcomes instead of negative ones (Calm Anxious Negative Thoughts in Seconds). I am more confident and self-assured since I survived the dissolution of my marriage. And though there has been heartbreak and uncertainty, there has also been some great joy.
I’ve often seen a quote from a poem by author Erin Hanson on social media. “You ask ‘What if I fall?’ Oh but my darling, what if you fly?”
I have to believe not all things must end with death or despair. I have to believe that despite my OCD doubt and uncertainty, I can handle whatever life throws at me. I've been surviving for many years. It's time for me to thrive.