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What If Your Compulsive Thoughts Are Making You Suicidal?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 22 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Ocd Ocd Symptoms Intrusive Thoughts Ocd

OCD symptoms can be very overwhelming, especially intrusive thoughts which seem to come out of nowhere and keep going around your mind. Sometimes, these intrusive thoughts can be so distressing that they lead you to feel that there is no way out. If your OCD symptoms are making you feel suicidal, it's important to know that there is help available.

Check Your OCD Medication

If you're currently taking OCD medication, it may be that you need to switch to something different. Some types of OCD medication can encourage suicidal thoughts so it's worth bringing up the subject with your doctor to see if this might be a big factor, especially if you've been living with OCD for some time and have never previously experienced suicidal thoughts. Some SSRI antidepressants are thought to contribute to suicidal thoughts, although there isn't any strong evidence to prove this.

Getting Support

As intrusive thoughts are not always acted upon, it doesn't necessarily mean that you've got the intention to do anything drastic but because they are so scary, it's understandable that you'd worry about carrying out suicidal thoughts. If your intrusive thoughts are making you feel suicidal, it's best to get some support as soon as possible. Organisations like The Samaritans will listen to you without passing judgement if you call their phone line and speak to one of their trained call operators and it can also help to communicate with other OCD sufferers to help you feel less isolated and overwhelmed.

Getting Treatment

If you're experiencing high levels of anxiety alongside your OCD symptoms, it may be that the thought of suicide is becoming (or has already become) an obsession as an escape route. On top of this, your unconscious mind may be worried that suicide will become an obsessional intrusive thought. Because the very nature of OCD means that thoughts are seized upon and analysed in great detail, suicidal thoughts may become an obsession even though the initial thought only popped up once. Whereas someone who doesn't suffer from OCD would probably dismiss the thought, this tends not to happen for OCD sufferers.

To help you manage your thoughts, it's a good idea to see a mental health professional. Your GP should be able to refer you to the most appropriate form of treatment and support. While you may never act on suicidal thoughts or ever have the intention of doing so, this kind of intrusive thoughts is likely to make you extremely anxious, which can then make your existing OCD symptoms worse and create a vicious circle.

Putting Intrusive Thoughts Into Context

It's important to remember that experts believe that OCD symptoms are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Your intrusive thoughts are not your fault and don't make you a bad or crazy person so there's no reason why you should feel ashamed of your symptoms or let this prevent you from seeking treatment. Many OCD sufferers are able to regain control of their lives through a combination of medication and CBT (or similar) treatment.

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