Devil inside my head
Most often, when people think of obsessive compulsive behaviour, they primarily imagine the most widely known and common form of OCD which is usually characterized by visible form of compulsive rituals which includes chronic hand washing and bathing, repeated checking whether the door is locked or not, excessive cautious and frequent examination to make sure, the cylindrical gas is off, dirt phobia- problem with handshaking with people, extreme cautiousness about the clothing and utensils not to be contaminated or share with others and so forth.
But there is another form of OCD which is rarely known, where the obsession of unwanted thoughts leading to compulsive ritualistic behaviour mostly occur internally in the mind, unseen and invisible physically to the outer world. Internal Obsession of unwanted, illogical and insignificant thoughts that lead to perform certain compulsive rituals internally in the mind looking for all possible ways to come out of the ‘dark long tunnel cave’ to see the light outside is one of the key characteristics of Pure obsessional OCD.
Pure OCD is both a monster and a journey of knowledge, if observed closely for those interested in the psychology and philosophy of mind. Pure O is like “trying to grab a multiple number of fruits falling from a tree at one go”. In Pure OCD, the thoughts which are extremely hideous with lots of intricacies and violent in nature pop up against the will of the sufferer at one time and naturally the mind is so limited to accommodate all those thoughts and to solve all those problems simultaneously. These thoughts are extremely distressing and upsetting, and sometime the sufferer may be astonished about herself thinking, “Is it possible for me to think such thoughts”. In reality, the thoughts which occurred do not have any connection with the sufferer's own character or personality. However the obsessions accompanied with fear compels them to think and perform certain rituals, through illusion and identifying the thoughts with themselves. It is completely weird and surprising to the sufferer, how and where those thoughts came from ? And most often the pure O victim repeatedly feels extreme guilt about themselves for having such thoughts.
It is like having two personalities in the same mind; one which drag the sufferer down and act like a monster that compels them to think and perform certain rituals and the other was the logical ‘mind’ which counter the irrational thoughts. To cite some cases, one day a student with pure ocd was listening to a lecture in the classroom, and the lecturer was mentioning some violent words related to the topic they discussed like accident, death, sexual assault, diseases, crime etc. Suddenly, a thought just popped up to the student associating those said words with a fear of harm to her loved ones or family. “What if those said words occur to her family or loved one”. The ocd sufferer knew that the thoughts were irrational but the obsession tried to relate and compelled her to think repeatedly about the subject against her conscious will. Whenever the ocd victim try to respond and counter the thoughts, the unwanted obsession increases its volume and size, as if she was feeding the thoughts by reacting more to it. Though she knew the thoughts were irrational, the obsession compels her to think that ‘something will happen to her family’ of which she does not know. This doubt, accompanied with fear is one of the key factor intrinsic with Pure O. So, she develops a process of mental ritual or reassurance to protect her family among which, includes counting of certain number repeatedly but the end number should not fall odd etc and she tries to find all possible ways, applying logic and reason to prove herself that the obsession was wrong and should not identify with herself.
When one doubt or ritual was solved or disappeared, another thought just popped up as if the other thought was waiting in the pipeline. The actual experience and reality was harsh, causing tremendous amount of stress, waste of time and sometimes suicidal thoughts to the sufferer. Stuck in one thought, the pure O victim may take almost 8 to 24 hrs to solve one such thought which ultimately has negative cumulative effects to the overall health and destroying academic life of the student as she could not focus on anything. There was always a background of thoughts running behind the mind though the sufferer tried to control it. Sometime there was a sound of music in the form of melody or a visual music suddenly appearing against the conscious will of the sufferer in the mind during the exam.
(To be contd)