The Dark Spiral of OCD and Bipolar
As i sit typing I am aware of every noise in the house and outside being "They/Them" coming to get me. My OCD has been leading me down dark rabbit holes of thoughts and images recently (in a self-destructive spiral) and I couldnt take it any more.
I chatted with one of the BeyondBlue people who helped me to seek out a positive distraction for the night so I joined this community and started to type.
For me OCD is like a little urge going "just one more dark thought, just until midnight, then i will let you go...." but it never stops! It is never satisfied until I feel like giving up and taking one way out or another (neither are good options by the way!).
I am a good person with a good heart and I know i would never do these things yet that spiral is so strong, so desperate and so persistent that I fear I may not be strong enough to fight it. Seeing others going through this same process makes me feel like im not alone, yet i fear that "They/Them" would have me locked away because of the "Darkness" within me.
When I was younger (18-19 yrs old) I first experienced this dark spiral and it terrified me so much that I contemplated suicide so that I could never hurt anyone like that! Thankfully I am alive but the OCD "Darkness" remains and it is a constant battle. How do you fight what you cannot see/touch/destroy?
Im sorry for this stream of consciousness post but im really trying to convey my feelings as best as i can. Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for (hopefully) accepting me as I am.
(ps: I am seeing a psych and I am medicated and for those two things i am forever grateful).
thoughts and compulsive behaviours become so consuming they interfere with our life, and whether you display these obsessions or hide them, doesn't really matter because they control our
I say this because it's almost 60 years I've suffered from it, whereas my twin doesn't it, which I'm so pleased for him.
We can't see those 'intrusive thoughts' yet we suffer from them, but we can see 'the checking the door locks' which mainly happen in familiar situations, but both cause disruptions to our routine and how we feel and once we try to avoid the thought, it only makes the situation worse.
There is no justification when we're caught out, although we do offer an excuse, which can then cause embarrassment, so we repeat these behaviours over and over until we are satisfied that any anxiety has been reduced and the degree to how different people suffer from it will vary.
It's not your fault you have this illness and no explanation will satisfy another person who doesn't suffer from it, they don't understand the strength that this condition has over us.
I once did a
Remember you are not alone and there is a huge section on OCD on this site if you type it in the search bar at the top of this page.
Hope to hear back from you.
Thank you geoff! Your reply to my post made me feel like i was not alone with this and if others can see this dark spiral im going through and still have kind words for me then I know I can make it through.
Today was hard though, I felt like i was screaming underwater with a chest full of glass, having to be happy and cheerful when inside i feel empty and shunned by the world. I deliberately took on too much work in the stupid thought that if i failed then at least someone might ask if i was ok and i might be able to unburden myself on them (mindless self-indulgence i think now). There are people I can talk to here who wont judge me and who know what i am going through personally so why do i need to ruin someone else's day?
I listened to some interesting music that made me feel capable of getting through the day and i am focusing on creative outlets like artwork and game design for tonight. I am staying clear of the dark rabbit holes that my OCD wants me to be lulled into and instead embracing the sharp agony of existence where not everything is ok.
Your statement "There is no justification when we're caught out, although we do offer an excuse, which can then cause embarrassment," resonated with me so much! I have often done this, offered up excuses and justifications where there are none, as a way to ease the guilt. Sometimes even going so far as to talk to my mobile phone so that They/Them would understand (because They/Them are always listening according to my my OCD/BPD Paranoia!) that i was not a "bad person" or as a way to convince They/Them not to come for me!
It all sounds so silly when I re-read what i have written but for me its as real as Quantum Physics (cant see it, cant touch it, dont really understand it, but without it Reality falls apart, haha).
Anyway, thank you again for your reply and I hope to keep in touch with you and everyone else who is going through similar patterns of behaviour/thoughts.
ps: for the sake of brevity, i am happy to be called "L7" ...as typing "LaTeRaLuS777" can cause your fingers to cramp up when typing it lol
I'm not sure if I'm qualified to reply to you since I'm pretty much suffering the same condition as you do. There has been many ups and downs with my symptoms and the phases come and go ever since I was a child(13 years old or so when I first noticed it). I didn't know that was bipolar then, talking my shrink wasn't helpful to me since he couldn't place my symptom at that time, maybe he's not as good as advertised.
I guess what I'm trying to say is I do feel you, the dark circle, the confusion, uncertainty and mood swings, once a dark thought rooted in my head it simply won't go away. First it was the anxiety, uncontrollably lingering for days, messing with my sleep, my self discipline,then because of that, followed the depression, disappointment, and questioning the meaning of life.
I tried suiside so many times that I can't even count, the worst time I was in ICU for a week, that was when I was 15. I took every anti-depressing pills or drinks I can find, nothing works beyond gaining a few pounds.
I know there are so many things will set us off, and sometimes we can't function in a regular, mordern life. But I do believe you are a good person with good heart, because sometimes that's where the issue lies, life is messy, full of dark and ugly stuff, sometimes I just cannot live with them.
P.s I'm into game design as well. Games, or let's say arts, when you create a world using nothing but your imagination, it's so much better and attractive than the real world, do you think? Reality is always heavier than your fictions, no matter how you weaving them up.(That was something I read from a book, sorry about the translation.)
Hi Geoff and Alyca, thanks for your replies.
You are right Alyca, these phases come and go and I know it will eventually come good again but its so hard to fight this dark spiral. Its strange that the cycle happens still even though im medicated (i hate to think what it would be like without meds!) and it seems to be on a semi-regular basis of every couple of months.... weird.
It took me long time for my correct diagnosis of OCD and Bipolar. I would be medicated for depression and things would be ok for a little bit (when i was down the meds seemed to help a bit with the sadness) but then the mania and whirlwind of thoughts would come back and i would start the rollercoaster all over again.
Thank you both for your kind and supportive words, they mean a lot to me as I havent really shared this inner turmoil with many people, especially in this much detail before.
Thanks again. Sorry for short message but i just woke up.
Ps: Alyca, have you heard of a FlowScape? Its a program/game for creating beautiful 3D worlds. Its really cool you are into games and creative stuff like that also, i think it gives us an outlet and a distraction against the darkness sometimes.
Hi L7 (and a wave to Geoff and Alyca too),
I may not truly understand OCD (depression is more my issue) but one glance at your username made me want to stop and welcome you too. Years ago a friend introduced me to the band Tool and I found myself wondering if your choice of name meant you were a fan too?
These forums can be an absolute god send on days when we need distraction from our own thoughts. I hope you can explore the forums and join in wherever it helps you.
Hi Quercus (Nat),
Yes! most definitely a fan of Tool and i chose this name because of the spiral in the song Lateralus as well as the OCD joy of each consonant being an uppercase letter and each vowel a lower case letter and the way it mimics the ups and downs of bipolar (haha, deep huh?).
Music can be a great way to explore or distract from the ups and downs of our lives. I have found that exploring music can lead me on to some amazing bands and songs. Often I wonder what we would all be like without music... Im not sure it would be a happy place.
Yes, these forums have been wonderful and I hope that I will continue to post replies and ask questions long after this spiral ends (which thanks to you all should be soon, you have been wonderful).
Thank you for the welcome and all the best wishes with your own battles too.
< L7 >
Just a quick update on how im going...
Today was really good at work, i managed quite well and even started to feel like my usual self again. Being happy and cheerful to customers wasnt as painful as the other day (which is really good).
I think i may be coming back up and i just have the OCD thoughts, paranoia and guilt associated with the dark spiral to deal with as they occur (my brain does weird stuff lol). I have to be careful now though that I dont go off the rails into mania and start the process all over again, despite the fact that it bounces like this every couple of months or so.
I truly hope you have gotten something useful out of my posts and know that you are not alone with this condition, BeyondBlue are an incredible bunch of people who really care about us and want to help. Please call or chat (as i did) when you need help.
You are most welcome to continue this thread but I will probably be offline for a while as work is getting really busy and taking more of my time.
Thank you to Geoff for your initial reply to my first ever post, it meant more than you can possibly imagine to read that i was not alone with this OCD spiral and thoughts. And a massive thanks to everyone who found this thread helpful and spoke out into the void.
In summary: OCD Bipolar spiral is real, we may not be able to see it or fight it but we can learn to ride it out and find positive distractions (like posting here) and listening to music or doing artwork. Please keep going and please seek help if you feel like your world is crashing down.
Thank you all and goodnight,
Hello L7, thank you for the lovely comment.
One thing I forgot to say is that when I was at school as well as after the one reason I couldn't have these obsessions/compulsions was when I was playing many different sports of various varieties.
Good luck with yourself and please don't forget us.