Those of us who specialize in OCD treatment hear these stories every day, and after a while, not much surprises us.
In fact, patients are often reluctant to tell us some of their “worst” obsessive thoughts for fear that we will think they are crazy or that we might laugh at them. When we tell them that we have heard the same thing from many other patients, they are often stunned. But, it’s the truth.
However, the main reason that we do not laugh at our patients is that we can understand how difficult it is for them to live with this disorder. OCD can be devastating.
To constantly fear that you will harm or have harmed people, to think that you are contaminated, or to have a nagging thought in the back of your head that you did something wrong that will just not go away, these are all very serious concerns. Those of us who work with OCD patients understand how this can affect a person’s entire life, and we understand that they want, more than anything, to be free of their OCD. Yet challenging their OCD is what they fear most, because they so fervently believe that if they do not do the rituals, bad things will happen.
Over time, as a person sees improvement, a therapist and his or her patient can look back at some things and chuckle together about what behaviors the person used to do, but a therapist would never behave this way when first meeting a patient or as a way to tease a patient.
If your therapist does something like this that in any way makes you uncomfortable, think about confronting the therapist to let him or her know that your feelings have been hurt, or consider finding a new therapist as soon as possible.