Memory Hoarding and Note Taking

This post has been thanked 10 times. 15 May 2015 - 19:50

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Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone had experienced similar feelings or patterns and if anyone had any advice. My OCD has gradually got worse over the years and I now find myself obsessively taking notes about events or thoughts that I am having, for fear or forgetting them and feeling this need to try and remember and hang on to everything. I find that it affects my enjoyment of what should be enjoyable events because my head is swimming with thoughts and I have this need to make a note of what I am thinking or something someone has said. I really don't know what to do. I know it's completely irrational but it's so hard to stop... Sometimes after the even and it could be something really boring like where I was standing while waiting for a friend at the station or saying goodbye, and I find myself reliving it and going over and over non-events and getting very anxious and cross at self in the process.

If anyone had any words of wisdom or similar experiences I'd be so grateful. I feel alone and so abnormal, I just wish I could enjoy things the same way other people do...

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This post has been thanked 2 times. 15 May 2015 - 20:34

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Hi Teaandbiscuits,

Oh I've definitely had a lot of that. Before my OCD found some things to constantly torture me with, it would seize onto occasional things out of every day life and I'd feel the need to revisit and repeat until I had the right understanding of it, or until I got the satisfactory meaning that I seemed to have somehow missed the first time around. And it really could be abut anything. But if I was stopped from doing that I'd get annoyed. Just wanted to be left alone to think the thing through to completion. I remember this getting way out of hand in a night job I had where I was looking after a hotel on my own and - I started acting a bit strangely really, developed some plain weird compulsions and looking back there was no real need for any of it, there was no obvious threat, other than I hated my job, and sometimes it was creepy being in a big hotel all night.

I'm not quite like you with the need to write things down but I do get annoyed if I had a thread going on in my head and I lose it. I will go to great lengths to recall it and finish it off. And I'm not even talking about my regular OCD there(although arguably it still is OCD obviously) but just anything really. It's like a microcosm of my regular OCD without quite so much anxiety or non-negotiable need to shut the world out and deal with it immediately. But even so I'll be annoyed and feel bad if I don't recall the thing and finish it. I suspect we all have way over-busy minds and that is part of the problem. I think that's why so may people recommend meditation - an attempt to quiet the mind.

In terms of advice, really , all I can say is read about OCD and sign up for CBT. That's all I know of that's helped me at the moment.

Cheers,

David.

This post has been thanked 3 times. 16 May 2015 - 20:20

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Interesting that the thread title includes the word 'hoarding'. It is a huge task writing and storing every conversation, event or thought which you experience. You just might just be able to record the gist of a conversation but to record every thought is a near impossibility. How many notepads do you have and can you access them? At rare times in life it is good idea to record a conversation after an event - for example after a disciplinary or appraisal interview at work, a phone conversation where you make a complaint to a company. Where there are real and identifiable consequences to a conversation and there are perceivable legal or quasi legal consequences.

If you feel a compulsion to record a conversation with a friend. Stop doing it and allow the anxiety to surface into your conscious brain. Pinpoint and experience the anxiety. CBT therapy should reveal to you that your recording compulsion does not alleviate you anxiety but intensifies it. Apart from the huge storage problem which you a building  up. Good luck.

This post has been thanked 2 times. 17 June 2015 - 16:33

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Thanks for the helpful advice. I know that I need to do something about it as it is really affecting my enjoyment of certain events and means that I overthink things pertaining to relationships and obsess unnecessarily over certain memories. It's a lot of hard work! 

This post has been thanked 1 time. 25 January 2016 - 19:48

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Do you have an email address so I can chat with you about my experiance because I feel so alone at the moment?! Thanks!

This post has been thanked 1 time. 25 January 2016 - 21:11

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Hi there, and welcome to the forums Soph_dLe. That post by Teaandbiscuits dates back to June last year, but what you can do is click on the blue 'Send message' Button. From there you can send a personal message, which will be flagged up on their email account. That may bring them back to the forums.  In my previous job, everything was documented as policy. We spent more time reading and writing than we did looking after the people in our care, or so it seemed. I was expected to read care plans and policy documents, on night shifts... All this while doing multiple different shifts in the same week... I was permanently overtired... Had no chance of remembering everything... Any important things at home I'd make lists, then more lists on lists... All this to prevent against anyone being accused of negligence... There be an inquest over the slightest shortcoming...

This post has been thanked 1 time. 18 August 2016 - 22:50

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I am in the same situation here! I've had EXACTLY what you describe for years now.

If anyone would like to message me to discuss please feel free! 

7 February 2017 - 17:40

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Hi there and welcome to the forums. Please do stay in touch. This forum has been a lifesaver for me...

Wannabe 

This post has been thanked 1 time. 9 February 2017 - 10:14

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Hello, i dont write things down but i always try to remember exactly what i said, why i said it, how i felt, why did i think this and that, how did i think, which words or sentences i used in what order etc... My ocd brain always asks me a question and demands an answer. It forces me to remember things that i said or felt before. Sometimes i overcome this by saying " it is not me it's my ocd" it is ocd talking dont listen to it let him talk

This post has been thanked 1 time. 9 February 2017 - 11:27

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Hi Barkin. It sound absolutely exhausting. As I said previously in this thread we tend only to remember the gist of conversations. At least you won't have the storage problem of extensive note books. Are you in therapy and have you been diagnosed? What is the obsession that lies at the root of your mental compulsions and what do you feel would happen if you stopped your mental compulsions?

9 February 2017 - 13:06

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I was diagnosed with ocd 13 years ago when i was serving in the army. At that time i wanted to be a perfect soldier. So  i felt like everything needs to be perfect about me. Especially the way i speak to people. I started to ruminate over conversations i had with my friends in the army. Like did i use right word, did i insult my friends ,maybe i was wrong, why did i say this i am a perfect soldier i shouldnt have said that etc... And one day i started crying like crazy and i was taken to a military hospital stayed there for five days. Doctor gave me a pill so i just slept during those five days. No Cbt or any other therapy. When i was back to civil life i was ok again. But approximately two years ago my obssessions started again. But this time it is all about being uncertain. I cant basically stand uncertainty. I have the feeling that i need to know it perfectly or remember it perfectly whatever it is. So now it is like " what did i think, how did i feel, did i use this word or that word etc..." And i cant find answers to those ocd questions. That makes me crazy, down, upset. Even if i find an answer somehow then ocd tells me " are you sure maybe you said or thought that way" , " maybe you had this feeling while thinking about it" and  i feel like if i stop my mental compulsions i will never know the exact answer. Nobody will know it, doctors cant know it cause it is in my mind. So i keep ruminating. 

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