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Catastrophising OCD: Tips & Question

Community Member

Struggling immensely. I'm going to just touch on the topic because I'd like to dive straight in but will likely prevent anyone from sharing some helpful words. Question below.

Let's start with the following: (IF you're not feeling like doing any of the below then start small, trust that it helps as this has helped me from what my psychologist terms "a really severe dose of OCD"):

  • Think "protect my energy" where you feel burnt out or overwhelmed or interacting with people who cannot empathise. Then, where possible, go and take the 20 minutes doing something "selfish" like having a cup of tea in silence and try to build up to regularly
  • These are all going to sound hard, it's definitely not easy but one small start is better to be 5% closer to feeling better than not e.g. journal for 10 minutes.
  • allowing yourself space and time from various stressors such as the above with the cup of tea. 


Either way, I'm not sure the above made sense.

Question: I'd really like to know how someone with severe catastrophising anxiety/OCD and someone whose catastrophised & critiqued nearly each step recently under high anxiety setting has gotten by? e.g. It's been tense unravelling childhood traumas, then experiencing a psychotic break and now moving straight to another place after returning home and on new medications.

Things that have helped: space from stress, taking time to meditate & protecting my energy from family etc. 


~ Thank you where possible for caring ~

4 Replies 4

Hi ResilientBear,

Welcome to the forums and thank you for sharing your experience.

It sounds like you've got some really good strategies for dealing with catastrophising and we are grateful you are sharing these with the community. We hear that you've been through a lot with moving recently and trying new medications so we applaud your efforts. We agree that it's a great idea to take a step back from stress and negative situations to protect you peace.

It's also important to seek support so that if you're having a tough day that you can rely on someone to provide some kind words to help provide a grounding influnce. We'd recommend calling the Beyond Blue Support Line on 1300 22 4636. The counsellors there are super kind and supportive, they’re understanding and can be good to talk to right in the midst of the anxiety symptoms. You can also reach them via web chat.  

Our community will be able to relate to a lot of what you’ve been going through and be able to also share some of the methods that have helped them. Here’s some resources from our website that might help: 

The Beyond Blue pages on treatments for anxiety 

Some strategies for managing anxiety  

Thanks again for sharing. We appreciate you sharing your story and we hope our community will soon spot this thread and add their experiences.

Kind regards, 

Sophie M 

Community Member

Thank you for sharing this, Resilient Bear. I am in the process of getting help for my catastrophising. It is so awful to go through it. Sometimes I tell myself it's the anxiety talking and it's not going to beat me. I won't let it. I tell it to eff off. 


I'm hoping to get to the bottom of my catastrophising very soon. I'm seeing a counselling and she identified it. Last time I saw her, I talked about other things in my life but at end of session I mentioned I had identified a regular pattern for a few years of this behaviour - we are going to work on it at our next session. 


Like I said, I tell myself it's the anxiety talking. I haven't had a formal GAD diagnosis, but I will ask her about that when I next see her. 

Community Member

Hi Resilent Bear,

I have GAD, OCD, Agoraphobia, Misophobia, Social Phobia and Major Depression just to name a few. I know how horrifying life can be every moment. I myself, live in complete terror from one day to the next, for no apparent reason. My level of rumination is high and frequent. Living in the moment is very very hard for me though I do try to practice relaxation, meditation etc. Most nights it takes me over 4 hours to get to sleep even though I'm tired when I hit the sack. My OCD/Perfectionism is insane regarding cleaning the home. One little hair, piece of lint, dust, I see them all. Jobs that will take any 'normal' person an hour, will take me days due to the need to go over and over it. Alignment of items, space between items, angling of items, labels etc, I have it all. My OCD brain has sent me into meltdowns in the past, regarding items that aren't "perfect". I was actually relieved when the distressed look came in for furniture lol. I am cleaning for a rental inspection today and I hate these the most. It takes me a full 4 weeks to have everything just right. I can't do anything by halves. Its leave it till it's unliveable or get as close to perfection as possible. If I don't have the time to do that, it gets left because I can't deal with the idea of a quick clean or vac. I feel as if I leave it, at least I didn't do a bad job. I didn't do any job. I've been doing some reading and think I might actually have OCPD instead of just OCD, as all the signs and symptoms fit perfectly and explain my entire lonely life. I hope you can find some time for yourself. I know it is very very hard. Have a great afternoon

Community Member

Much easier said than done, but try and say to yourself "I have thought, but I am not my thoughts" and "I have feeling, but I am not my feels"


Theory is to detach yourself from your thoughts to try and take their power away.


Reason I say easier said than done is because im useless at 😂