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Someone Somewhere

Hi, New Here, Need Help with mental health

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Hi,

I dont know what it is that I am suffering from, whether its one thing or multiple things, I am not sure, probably the latter.

Well the thing is my father died of cancer in 2007, after about 1 year of having the disease. That incident sort of drove me nuts. I don't know how to explain. But during his illness I started to feel that I had a control over his health. I developed all kinds of insane habits, like I didn't walk on tiles where they intersected fearing that if I did I would harm him in some way. Its long ago, but thats when it started, these little bouts of insanity at first.

Then he passed away and I started to grow more and more fearful of my mother's health and this over protectiveness that she must never get cancer or any illness. I stopped doing anything I used to do in the lead up to my father being diagnosed. So suppose if there was a video game that I used to play, the mere mention of the name of that game would send me in a panic attack, or any song I was fond of listening to in those days, the mere mention of it sends me in a state of complete panic.

Then my mind started to play tricks on me and force me to think of bad stuff happening to my mother. In nights I used to get dreams of her getting cancer or dying. I had to develop a coping mechanism for it, so I came up with alphabet combinations ending in the letter 'z'. As in EZ, after every bad thought was my way of undoing that thought, as in ctrl z. It was okay for a while, but then it got overbearing. Not only did bad thoughts come into my mind, but my mind almost made me want to 'scare' me. It was like there is this whole another thought in my head that now scares me. In the sense this train of thought that I cant control, now 'says' that bad stuff happen to my mother, and then I have to say the opposite that the stuff that happen to my mother not happen to my mother. Or project that bad thought on someone else.

So whatever bad thing this voice says happen to my mother, I say that exact thing happen to someone else I know.

Its annoying and there is this fear of being happy in me. Its like I am always worried that bad stuff is around the corner. I have become pessimistic and become limited to being involved in only a few activities. I don't have suicidal thoughts, but when I am not able to fully over-ride by projecting or ctrl Z-ing these thoughts, I get irritable, and angry. Whenever I try to do something new, these thoughts try to get the pleasure away from it. For instance I started writing something. But when i think of writing in the morning it was try and say something horrible about my mother and then go, well you can't start something new after that horrible thought came into your head about your mother. Its always trying to stop me from doing anything new, or fun. It wants me to live in a perpetual state of being afraid and fearful.

There it is. I must sound completely to whoever is reading this. But those are some of the issues I am having. What is it that I am suffering from? Anyone know anything of this type of mental ilness?

 

Please help.

 

Regards

 

EZ

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Hello, EZ, welcome! :)

Your problem doesn't sound strange to me; I know it happens, in various forms. (As a teenager, I even had a very similar thoughts and "coping mechanisms" in principle; the biggest difference is that in my case, it wasn't as intense, as strongly influencing my everyday life. In my case, it was even linked to several things, one of them being that some died - in that case, "everything" that I remembered (shortly) preceding his death induced fear that "now someone else will die (so I should somehow avoid this thing happening again)".)

We cannot diagnose here; we are not healthcare professionals and (almost?) never have complete info to make a conclusion, but from what you've written, I presume (with quite a high certainty) that you suffer from OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). It was triggered by the trauma of your dad's illness and death and developed slowly due to your - natural, just not helpful - tendency to substitute the huge fear of "not having any control (over what happens to those you love and care about)" by the illusion that "you do have a high level of control". 

I tried to find something about this, but I have found (at least so far) only this:

http://anxietyireland.ie/control-fallacies/ - read mainly the "Feeling we have omnipotent control" part.

https://www.verywellmind.com/cognitive-distortions-and-ocd-2510477 - one quote: "Through a process called thought-action fusion, people with OCD are often prone to equating their thoughts with actions. For example, if you have OCD you might believe that having the unwanted thought of harming a loved one is morally equivalent to actually harming them. You might also believe that such a thought means that deep down inside you really want to harm your loved one."

(You might, perhaps, also want to read more about different fallacies, probably mainly to see that this kind of thinking is "normal / natural / widespread", it just causes a lot of harm if it gets out of control and is mixed with very strong emotions... For instance: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-world_hypothesis or even more from here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies)

You may read more about OCD on many websites, for instance: https://www.psychguides.com/ocd/ - there is also this sentence: "When patients are able to identify a logical fallacy, they are more likely to be able to resist completing their ritualistic response to triggering situations." I hope it makes sense to you and you're willing to try... However, it's not easy and a professional help would be a very important part of healing. Have you the possibility to see a psychotherapist?

So, no reason to feel desperate and confused anymore: Your problem isn't unique as it seems to you; it's a well-known condition and can be treated with relatively high success rates. :) 

Good luck and take care!

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