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Author Topic: Pure O, my therapist doesn't believe me  (Read 710 times)

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Offline cnelson8611

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Pure O, my therapist doesn't believe me
« on: March 13, 2014, 06:45:59 PM »
I've been to the forum on and off for about four years. Recently, I went through an event that possibly set off some post-traumatic stress and caused a "relapse" of pure-o OCD. I'm currently seeing a counselor to work out this trauma, as well as going to a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy sessions weekly.

About 10 years ago, a different counselor told me I have OCD. He didn't say "pure-o" but he did say the obsessional type, not the compulsive type. My counselor I have now, doesn't believe in pure-o at all. She says to have OCD, you MUST have the physical compulsions. I think it's wrong.

Since there's probably no way I can change her mind, should I look at finding a different therapist? I haven't been seeing her long, plus she really doesn't work with me at all.

Or do I have pure-o at all? I've had anxiety disorder for 18 years. I started to develop obsessional thinking when I was 21, and the intrusive thoughts invaded when I was 26 (I think). Most obsessions are typical (I guess) and sometimes silly, but the real intrusive thoughts are about violence and hurting myself. It takes forever for me to get over those thoughts, but I still try to stay away from objects like guns and knives if I can because there's a real fear I might do something, even though I know I won't.

That sounds like pure-o from what I've read.

Of course, I've only had that one therapist ever recognize it for me. I'm not sure if I'll ever get a proper diagnosis.

Sorry, this turned into a rant.
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Offline StudentOfHope

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Re: Pure O, my therapist doesn't believe me
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2014, 07:35:49 AM »

First- it is rough to feel invalidated by a treatment professional.
Based on what you've written here, it sounds like you may very well
have OCD.  Compulsions take shape in many ways.  Avoidance is one such
way.  You'd mentioned having self-harming fears, and that as a result,
you avoid knives.  If you are actively going around the use of a knife/
pushing away the thoughts of self-harm by contesting your obsessions-
then those are compulsory behaviors.

It can be hard to listen to ourselves as clients because we have a tendency
To put therapists in the light of all-knowing and powerful.  But, at the end of the day,
It is important to trust ourselves and life experience.  That isn't to say that the therapist
Is 'bad' or an insensitive person-- but, it is clear that she is missing a crucial
part of your treatment.  So, I say go with your gut on this one.  It may be beneficial
For you to find a therapist who specializes in OCD.  The other important factor
In this is the post trauma you'd mentioned.  Without knowing your history,
I'd say that your current therapist is likely focusing on this.... And it will
Be important to continually process it.

Best wishes,

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Offline stephtronic

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Re: Pure O, my therapist doesn't believe me
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2014, 04:01:29 PM »
Hi there!

As StudentOfHope mentioned, your avoidance of knives is in fact a sort of compulsion, although you might not realize it. However, Pure-O is completely real and a suitable diagnosis for someone as well, and it does in fact sound like you are, for the most part, Pure-O. If your therapist doesn't know that it's a real thing... I would suggest finding a new therapist. Perhaps one that is better versed in OCD than this particular one.

And of course, remember, it's not about getting a diagnosis, it's about getting help.
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Offline emilyeee

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Re: Pure O, my therapist doesn't believe me
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2014, 02:29:49 PM »
You sound similar to me, I have the same kind of intrusive thoughts. I agree, avoidance is like a compulsion. As far as your therapist goes, I know I personally wouldn't see a therapist who gave me that kind of trouble. If you can find a new therapist, it'd probably be a good idea. I hope everything works out for you!
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Offline Walnut

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Re: Pure O, my therapist doesn't believe me
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2014, 11:27:17 AM »
Therapist is wrong and studentofhope is right. Im 33 and have had anxiety since childhood. I have seen many professionals and I can tell you now that I have been misdiagnosed so many times. I was finally diagnosed with OCD when I was in middle school. You do NOT have to be a handwasher or a door lock checker to be OCD.  Pure O is not really recognized by many. I personally thought pure O was real but after more studying I dont believe in pure O. Just the phrase Pure O means purely obsessional but we do have compulsions they are just mental compulsions. Like studentofhope said avoidance is one. Reassurance seeking is another mental compulsion. Suppression, trying to suppress the thought. The compulsion is the ritual that you do to try and get relief from the anxiety caused by the obsession. So, avoiding situations or items or people is a compulsion.  Intrusive thoughts are a nightmare I know.
I hate to be the type of person that says a professional is wrong but in my lifelong experience I disagree with him or her. Ive had run ins with professionals who obviously needed more help than I did. Sometimes you have to be your own advocate. Dont be afraid to question treatment. Often times we hold these professionals up to such a high standard and think they have all the answers and they are just human. Anything they have learned about treatment you can learn from a book just as they did. Im not saying not to listen to your therapist but sometimes it takes several tries to find someone who is right for you. Its good to have someone to talk to and help guide you in treatment.

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