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Re: whats wrong with me? disturbing dreams/intrusive

Kit

Please try to calm down. These intrusive thoughts don't mean anything. They're not 'who you really are' or anything like that. Like you said, you can't help what you dream about! We sometimes do all sorts of strange things in our dreams, it doesn't mean we actually want to do them in real life. For example, I could have a dream in which I murder somebody, does that mean I want to do it in real life? Of course not! Our dreams are just fiction. No matter what your 'dream self' was thinking or feeling, that doesn't actually mean anything about your real self!

As for the feelings that you're worried are 'arousal' - you're quite correct in saying that when we focus on a particular body part, we end up feeling like there's a 'feeling' there. I think that what you're experiencing is something that I believe is known as the 'groinal response'. It's a bit difficult for me to explain, but basically you end up so desperate and anxious to prove to yourself that you're not feeling any arousal, that you end up convincing yourself that you are feeling something - does that make sense?

I also want to say you're not alone in what you're going through. I'm not trying to diagnose you here, but what you're experiencing sounds exactly like what many people with OCD go through - including myself. I used to get really horrific intrusive thoughts about really horrible sexual things - they were so incredibly distressing and sometimes they would make me cry from how bad they would get and how they wouldn't leave me alone. I still get them now and sometimes they still get on top of me but they do become much easier to handle once you recognise them for what they are (just meaningless random thoughts) and get some help in how to tackle them. I know you said you don't want to speak to anyone about this but I would really recommend finding a good psychologist to speak to who can help you deal with this.

Try not to focus on the intrusive thoughts. The more you actively try to fight them off, the more you actively try to stop them or get them to go away, the more upset you get, the more they'll stick in your mind and the worse they'll get. As hard as it is, just try to stay calm and not get upset. Just let the thoughts 'be' - don't pay them any attention, don't analyse them etc. You may find they end up getting worse at first but things do improve. Just remember, these thoughts don't mean anything about you. You are not disgusting!

And please try not to dwell on anything you might have done when you were younger. Dr Robert has written a lot on his site about sexual experimentation during childhood - it's not abnormal and it's nothing to feel guilty about.