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Re: whats wrong with me? disturbing dreams/intrusive

Don’t worry about the length - sometimes you just have to let stuff out!

It really doesn’t matter if your dream self was going to do it because of the website – because you’re not your dream self and your real self was not aroused by the website in your dream.

I really can’t say why the intrusive thoughts take the forms that they do, apart from guessing that it’s because they’re things that distress you. As for learning to ignore them, unfortunately you can’t stop intrusive thoughts appearing in your head (although you’ll probably find that eventually they’ll arrive a lot less often) – it’s about learning how to handle them when they do. Trying to keep your mind off them is a good way to go about it – not in the sense that you should do something else to try to force them out of your head, but to stop you focusing on the thought and worrying about it. So if a thought pops into your head while you’re not doing anything, try reading a book or playing your Nintendo DS or something, and just let the thought naturally fade from your mind. The trick is to not concentrate on the thought, but still not try to force it away – both of which give the thought more power in a sense. Another important thing to do is to remain as calm as possible – when you get a thought, and find yourself getting anxious or worried, take a deep breath, and then find something to distract yourself. There are other things you can do too – something I’ve heard some people do is when they get an intrusive thought, they tell themselves “no, I’ll deal with that later”, and carry on doing whatever they were doing, and then they give themselves maybe five or ten minutes every day to think through the intrusive thoughts and try to deal with them (I thought that it was called ‘compartmentalizing’, but according to wikipedia that has a different meaning, so I dunno what it’s called). Different things work for different people when it comes to dealing with intrusive thoughts I guess – like for me, what works best is when I get an intrusive thought, I try to remain very calm and think firmly to myself “no, I know that’s not true, and these are the reasons why”, list the reasons to myself, then find something to distract myself. Then when the intrusive thoughts come back, I can just let them come into my head and leave again, because I feel confident in myself that they’re not true. It’s hard to explain.

I know that you don’t want to think about the stuff in the thoughts. Like you said, the thoughts just happen and you’re absolutely only getting that ‘feeling’ because you’re so anxious and you’re concentrating on that area, looking for feelings there. As hard as it is, try not to worry about it.

I’m sorry that things are tough at the minute. Please, please don’t take any pills or do anything to harm yourself in any way, no matter how difficult things might get. Suicide is not the answer. And it would not make anything easier for your mother – I’m sure that she loves you very much and if you were gone it would tear her apart. Please don’t do it.

Firstly, (you probably know this but I’ll say it anyway just to be sure) there’s nothing wrong with masturbation; and the majority of people do do it from a pretty young age. Children often don’t really recognise that it’s considered to be a ‘private’ activity, though, hence why your childhood self had no qualms about doing it in the same room as your mother. (I am absolutely not saying you did something bad or should feel guilty or anything like that, of course.) As for what happened between you and your sister, many many many children do things like that with each other – that sort of ‘sex play’ is due to childhood innocence and curiosity about sex. It doesn’t make the children bad or mean they’ve done anything wrong – it’s a pretty normal part of their development. (And again, the thoughts you’ve had about your sister are simply intrusive thoughts, they don’t mean anything about you)
As for what you did with your dog – again, please try not to worry about it. Dr Robert talks about childhood experimentation with animals here: http://askdrrobert.dr-robert.com/_bestiality.html Again it’s something that many children do, and it doesn’t make you a bad person or ‘disgusting’ or anything.
I’m sorry about what your grandfather did to you. I hope you know that none of what he did was your fault in the slightest, and I hope that you have done/are doing whatever you need/needed to in order to deal with it.
What you did to the baby was not abuse (and neither was any of the other stuff you’re worried about that you did during your childhood. Just to clarify, what your grandfather did to you was abuse). You were an innocent, confused child trying to make sense out of what had happened to you. You are not a bad person, and I haven’t judged you badly for it at all. I know I’ve said it before, but you really have no need to feel guilty about any of the things that you did as a child. Try to let them go and stop dwelling on them.

You’re avoiding these things (being around your nephew, tv shows, your mother etc) because they’re ‘triggers’ for your intrusive thoughts – they make you scared and anxious that you’re going to feel something (which in turn leads you to focus on the area and convince yourself that you feel something). It’s very common when dealing with intrusive thoughts for people to avoid situations that trigger them. You could try finding ways to deal with these situations that make them easier for you – for example, if you’re watching tv with your mum again, try having a book or magazine with you, so when it’s the adverts or a programme that’s causing you stress, you can read the magazine/book to distract yourself so you don’t have to watch the programme? The whole idea of exposure therapy is based around dealing with this sort of thing – basically, the person doing the exposure therapy puts themselves in a situation that causes a very small amount of anxiety, then when the situation no longer causes them any distress, they try a situation that causes them slightly more anxiety, and so on. I’m not sure if that’s something that should be done without input from a therapist or psychologist though.

You don’t have to have stress or depression to get intrusive thoughts. People do deal with things differently because no two people’s brains are the same. As for whether people know they have OCD or not, it can depend I think. Like, now that I’ve been diagnosed with it (although technically I diagnosed myself and the psychologist I spoke to soon after confirmed it), I recognise that I have it, and I can tell when something that’s bothering me is due to my OCD. However, looking back to before I was diagnosed, I think I’ve probably had it for most of my life and simply never realised anything was ‘wrong’ – like there were things in the past that I can now attribute to OCD that would really distress me at the time, but I didn’t realise it wasn’t ‘normal’, if you see what I mean. My mother was the same way in that she didn’t realise that she has it until after I was diagnosed and she found out a bit more about it. And we’ve both come to the conclusion after living with her for a while that it’s likely that her mother, my grandmother has it too without knowing it (although we’re not sure whether we should express this to her as she’s not particularly understanding about mental illness and would probably take it as a huge insult or something and get upset, and as it doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on her life or distress her or anything... but that’s a whole other matter really)

It’s good that you’re looking into finding a psychologist to help you. Judging by what you’ve said about your previous psychologist it sounds like she just wasn’t right for you. It happens – psychologists do have varying approaches and styles so you’re not always going to find one who works well with you straight away. Obviously there will be some amount of discomfort during therapy due to the things being discussed and stuff, but you should at least feel comfortable with the person you’re talking to. You do also have to try to communicate with them if something is making you uncomfortable – they won’t be offended, they’re there to help you as best they can. But never be afraid to ask to see a different psychologist if the one you’re currently seeing isn’t working well with you – if you don’t feel comfortable with them and you don’t feel that they’re making an effort to help you feel comfortable, if they make you feel like they’re judging you etc – it’s often worthwhile asking to see somebody else instead.
I think that writing things down is probably the best way to go if you’re not comfortable talking. You can always type it up on your computer and print it out before the session so that you don’t need to handwrite it.

I’m glad that you’re sleeping okay now, and I’m very pleased that I’ve been able to help. : )