If you are struggling with recurring suicidal thoughts due to obsessions and compulsions related to OCD, there are steps you can take to find relief from this condition. This article will inform you about what OCD is, how you can recognise OCD patterns of thinking, and how to cope with suicidal OCD.
What is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is an anxiety disorder marked by obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted and intrusive thoughts, images, or impulses leading to intense anxiety and distress. Compulsions are behaviours or mental acts that a person does repetitively to reduce the stress caused by the obsessions.
Obsessions can include unwanted thoughts about uncleanliness, sex, violence, religion, relationships, checking things repeatedly, symmetry or excessive concern with orderliness, perfectionism, control, etc.
Compulsions can be related to obsessions, such as washing hands, counting items, repeating actions, or arranging objects in a certain way. However, a person with OCD may also have compulsive behaviours unrelated to obsessions. Common examples of these compulsions include hoarding, hair pulling (trichotillomania), skin picking, and self-mutilation (such as cutting).
People with OCD can experience both obsessions and compulsions simultaneously, or they can experience only one of the two at any given time.
What are the symptoms of OCD?
The three most common symptoms of OCD include:
Obsessive-compulsive disorder takes many forms, but the most common symptom is having disturbing thoughts that do not go away. For example, your mind might trick you into believing something unreal. You might also think that if you do not perform certain behaviours, something terrible will happen to someone you care about — even when it is untrue.
Many people with obsessive-compulsive disorder perform rituals or routines repeatedly to get rid of obsessive thoughts and reduce feelings of anxiety or distress.
These are the feelings of dread and shame associated with obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. When you have anxiety related to OCD, you feel anxious because you are worried that something terrible might happen. This anxiety causes repetitive, obsessive thoughts and compulsions and extreme behaviours.
What are intrusive suicidal thoughts and obsessions?
Intrusive suicidal thoughts and obsessions are unwanted, unpleasant, and anxiety-provoking thoughts about suicide. They are distressing, but they are not the same as planning to take one’s own life. They can cause a great deal of distress and difficulty functioning, though.
The most common intrusive suicidal thoughts involve imagining or visualising one’s death by suicide, such as seeing or hearing oneself jumping off a high building or lying on train tracks. These thoughts may also involve feeling like one is losing control over their actions or feeling guilt after these thoughts.
While these thoughts disturb those with them, they do not necessarily indicate that someone will attempt suicide. Many people experience these thoughts without ever trying to hurt themselves. Nevertheless, intrusive suicidal thoughts can be highly disruptive to work and relationships, and some people with such ideas may develop plans for suicide in response to them.
How to deal with intrusive suicidal thoughts and obsessions?
Wondering how to get past suicidal thoughts and cope with suicidal OCD? Here are some steps you can take if you are dealing with intrusive thoughts:
Identify when the idea occurs
Does it happen every day or every couple of days? Does it involve a specific person or situation? Is your mind wandering off to other thoughts while these are going on? Try talking to someone. It helps to have a support system in place, but it does not have to be someone you know well.
Understand the consequences of your plan
What comes next in the story? What are the consequences of carrying out the destructive plan? It will help you make sense of what has happened and focus on more constructive activities.
If the thought is frequent or prolonged, consult with a therapist or psychiatrist. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is the primary therapy for suicidal OCD, and intrusive suicidal thoughts and obsessions are cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).
How to cope with obsessive suicidal thoughts?
There are many reasons why someone would have suicidal thoughts. A traumatic incident could bring it on or be a symptom of depression. Whatever the cause, suicidal thoughts can quickly escalate into a desire to do the deed. However, if you are currently experiencing obsessive suicidal thoughts, there are ways to cope with them.
Obsessive suicidal thoughts can become unsettling when they interfere with your daily life. Reach out to your loved ones as it can help you to a great extent. Engage yourself in more constructive activities such as going out for a walk and joining a dance class. Doing so will help you distract from these thoughts.
You may need to seek professional treatment if your symptoms have lasted longer than two weeks. Medication and therapy can ease symptoms and help you regain control of your life.
How to get past suicidal thoughts?
Suicidal thoughts are a sign of mental illness. They can be terrifying and can lead to self-harm or even suicide. If you are suffering from suicidal thoughts, you will need to reach out to friends, family, or professionals for help. If you feel suicidal, talk with your doctor or mental health professional. Because sometimes, an intrusive thought can be a symptom of another mental health issue that requires professional help.
United We Care’s directory of OCD counsellors is professionals specialising in finding solutions to manage or overcome obsessions, compulsions, and fears. Willing to confront your OCD symptoms head-on can be pretty tricky, so you need to seek treatment from a professional who understands obsessive-compulsive disorders and is trained to help you with your condition. You will find UWC’s OCD directory helpful in helping select the best OCD therapist for you.
The thoughts and compulsions engaged by OCD can be intense, horrific, bothersome, and even terrifying. In a state of panic brought on by these obsessions, it usually feels like there is no way out. But treatment can help. Your therapy isn’t going to work overnight, but you can start to feel less trapped by OCD by continuing with your medicine. You will continue to face anxiety at first, but with time and effort, you can manage it. And one day, the intrusive suicidal thoughts and urges that come to disrupt your life will no longer be a concern.
To sum up, it is crucial to get the right help when you can, whether it is a therapist or a trusted member of your community. If you are having difficulties with intrusive suicidal thoughts or obsessions, we hope this guide has helped shed some light on the issue and how you can better manage them when they arise.