Is using an OCD forum a form of reassurance?

5 August 2012 - 11:45

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Is using an OCD forum a form of reassurance?

It very much depends on how we use it as to whether it is reassurance. It is if we come on continually seeking reassurance from others, but that's not the only way to use the forums.

We can use it to help to motivate and inspire each other including posting in the Achievement Section

We can use it to prevent ourselves feeling quite so isolated and depressed.

We can use it to share our experiences with others who understand and who won't judge.

We can use it to get help and support from others in a similar situation. For instance if we get stuck with our CBT in between sessions or if we're having problems at home because of our OCD.

We can use it to gain knowledge from other members - remember we can learn just as much from the negatives as we can from the positives.

By reading the posts we can discover that we're not alone with our particular OCD symptoms. Finding out that others have similar symptoms can give us the courage to tell the professionals about all our symptoms.

We can use it to build our confidence and self esteem. Many who have joined this forum didn't have the confidence to go to their GP to get help for their OCD as they were too embarrassed to speak about it. But by coming onto this forum and talking to others they were able to take that first step and see their GP.

Discussions on the forum enable us to exercise those little grey cells, by discussing latest trends etc and it also gives us the opportunity to get to know each other.

It's also a great place to share details of any media items about OCD that we find.

The Coffee Break Section is great for escaping from our OCD and for having a laugh. When I was at my lowest I frequently sought refuge in the Coffee Break Section.

The forum is like a community and as such it's us, the members, that make it a truly supportive and friendly community.

Just saying "Hi" to someone can make them feel wanted

What are your opinions on this subject?

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5 August 2012 - 15:16

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Hi Truddles, Thank you for that. I have found the forum very helpful. I was a lurker for a very long time before taking for me the big step of joining recently. Good wishes,Lena

6 August 2012 - 12:35

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I'd say for many it is. I know my therapist didn't approve of forums for that reason! In fact, some only come here for reassurance. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, I think it saves some people's lives, to be honest.

6 August 2012 - 13:12

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(This thread is about a deeper question than it seems on the surface; as soon as I think I have some meaningful thoughts on it, I will return. It's a brain-breaker...)

6 August 2012 - 13:47

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Hi, A bit of both I think. I agree sometimes the isolation can just be so bad, knowing others think like you do is a lifesaver, but perhaps also a reassurance which can feed to OCD. Tricky, good thread to follow.. will be watching.

6 August 2012 - 14:01

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"Dear Forums, if I go check my electrical sockets and faucets one more time, will I then be more sure that they're all unconnected and/or off? Or am I wrong in this assumption?"

Sincerely, your Chubby Checker.

------------------

What should we tell this dear member?

6 August 2012 - 17:52

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Great thread and something which has been troubling me for some time. I have heard of several OCD sufferers undergoing CBT who have been advised not to use forums like this because of reassurance - but where does that leave the rest of us. The forum has changed so much since I joined nearly three years ago and I'm sorry to say the changes have been far more negative than positive, the sense of belonging to a big OCD family has diminished and no wonder if people start therapy and stop coming on. This leaves us with those who come on day after day to try to support those who are struggling and just become part of the furniture and the ones who are just embarking on the journey and who need a lot of support and a great big hole in the middle. We need to fill that hole if the forum is to return to what it used to be - a place of sharing, giving and taking.

7 August 2012 - 0:39

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I think it all depends on what stage of recovery an individual is with his/her OCD. If someone who has not received proper treatment and does not understand his/her OCD well comes and posts on the forum because they are so distressed, I don't think that kind of reassurance is bad. In fact, it's probably very helpful.

But once we come to understand our OCD and realize that reassurance seeking is counter-productive, and learn about how to apply CBT, using the forum for reassurance should not be considered, just as one should not consider doing any compulsion.

7 August 2012 - 8:58

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Mike, I agree with you entirely but that does not mean people have to stop using the forum altogether which seems to be what has been happening. As Trudy has said at the start of this thread there are very many ways in which we can use the forum and most of these can be extremely helpful for ourselves and for others. I find it very upsetting when people who have played a big role on the forum posting very regularly, allowing others to get to know them, telling us about their journey through OCD and actively supporting others just stop posting or remain purely as forum lurkers which leaves the unanswered question - "why"? and the inevitable question when we have OCD "am I responsible"?

7 August 2012 - 9:12

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I am with Tess, I'll try to explain:

IMHO there is 'reassurance seeking' in the narrow sense, and in the broad sense. The narrow sense then would imply: someone is ruminating constantly about whether she/he has overrun a child in the supermart parking lot, and asks whether it is good to making checks over and over again to make sure that that wasn't the case (and asking for new methods to do so). I'd say that what the replies in general would be here is pretty obvious.

The forums serve a good and important function here. No doubt about that.

The seeking of more safety in the broad sense to me means: one's in a rut, and as a means to get out, is looking for support here, encouragement (and that can be in the example sketched above, as well in all others possible in OCD). Then, one task for the others is to provide that warmth, interest, and good advice, whether if it has to do with telling that patient it's better not to check a particular thing again, or not.

Again: OCD Action can and should do its particular 'soul thang', so to speak.

Perhaps, after all, it is a non-problem disguising as a problem.

(I write this after having pondered what type of post, with or without containing a request for more reassurance that would be in fact potentially harmful to the writer, would be suitable for a therapist to advise: please don't write such an entry and steer clear of message boards.

I couldn't think up such a post.)

7 August 2012 - 9:44

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Hi Cuthbert, thanks for supporting me on this and I absolutely love your suggestion that perhaps it is a non-problem disguising as a problem and I hope the professionals will take this on board as we should all be working together not obstructing each other.

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