I have been formally diagnosed with OCD, the buzz words the therapist who diagnosed me used were violence and responsibility, and through the limited therapy I went to it is was discovered that I have had OCD since before college. Through self-realization, self-diagnosis, and the help of a co-worker and her therapist sister, I have found out I have primarily obsessive OCD. I HAVE NO RITUALS. This was a concept that my therapist, at the time I was seeing her, could not understand. She kept forcing the issue of conquering my OCD through deconstructing my rituals. That probably works, but like I said I have no rituals. My obsessions are extremely violent, and always involve death by knives. Most obsessional thoughts involve the murder of my family and myself by a Faceless Man who is completely black. Others involve me killing my children and husband. There has been one and only one where my husband killed my children, and I; and I know why I had that one and am trying to resolve the issue. Lately I have felt presences. There is a woman in my children’s rooms whose anger is directed at me, and I feel she is there to protect the boys. I know she is all in my head, but she is there nonetheless. The second is an old man, and I feel protected when I see him. I actually see this one out of the corner of my eye. Is this normal? Is my brain trying to protect me from my obsessions?
You discussed having previously been in therapy and my impression is that you are currently not in therapy. If so, then consider returning to counseling, perhaps this time with a different therapist. It is important that your symptoms are monitored.
To answer your question directly, the presence that you feel is not your brain attempting to protect you from your obsessions. It may be a hallucination. A person experiences a hallucination when they sense things that they believe are real but are in fact not real. Examples of hallucinations include hearing voices, experiencing bodily sensations, smelling odors, or seeing lights or beings that are not there. Hallucinations are associated with psychotic illnesses, drug use, and disorders such as epilepsy and narcolepsy.
Your symptoms are unusual and require a thorough investigation. This is especially important because the nature of your thoughts are violent and aimed at your children. I would recommend having both a medical and mental health evaluation. A medical evaluation can determine if your symptoms are attributable to a health problem. A mental health evaluation can determine or clarify a diagnosis but more importantly it can identify treatments to reduce your escalating symptoms. Antipsychotic medication can be particularly beneficial for reducing hallucinations and violent thoughts. Please take care.
Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.
APA Reference Randle, K. (2018). Primarily Obsessive OCD Help. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 17, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/11/28/primarily-obsessive-ocd-help/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 28 Nov 2014) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.