Guilt - please help
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Guilt - please help

This is a discussion on Guilt - please help within the OCD forums, part of the Mental and Physical Health category; Hi everyone, I am new here and should really make a proper introduction post but I am desperate to write ...

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Old 03-06-13, 08:05 AM   #1
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Default Guilt - please help

Hi everyone, I am new here and should really make a proper introduction post but I am desperate to write this as I have been feeling horrible about it for quite a while now.

I have suffered from ocd ever since I can really remember, I remember when I was about 6 I had a massive fear of being poisoned by bleach, and it worried me absolutely constantly. That progressed to needing to wash my hands everytime I had touched a person or object. I also had the compulsion that I had to say goodbye to all my stuffed toys in my room before going away for a night or something, and that I had to have 8everything in pairs etc and do eveything an even amount of times. When I was about 13 I had an absolutely crippling fear that I was suffering from dementia ... then cancer. After this it actually seemed to disapear for a while, although it was replaced by depression. About a year ago the depression improved a lot and ocd wasn't really a problem either.

Sadly now the ocd seems to be coming back a lot. For the last 2 months roughly I have been feeling incredible guilt for something I did when I was probably somewhere between the ages of 8 and 11. I don't know if this is definately ocd as it is guilt over something i actually did do :S but they was it is crippling me constantly makes me feel its ocd, and the way it has come on so suddenly when iv never really thought about it before.

I am not going to say what it is that I am feeling guilty about but I know that at the time I had no idea that what I was doing was particularly harmful or wrong. And I know that stuff that I had been going through abuse at home - which probably was part of the reason for me doing it, but I just feel like I don't deserve to be happy or amount to anything in life because of it. I know that what happened would be illegal if i were to do it now, and i dont really know if being young makes a difference, I just know that at the time I had no clue that it was a big problem - because as a child i was terrified of getting into trouble and wouldn't have done anything to cause that. I also know that I really am a nice person now and I would never do that now, but its still hard, I feel like I deserve punishing and I also fear being punished.

Basically despite the fact that I really had no idea what I was doing, I feel like I am horrible and don't deserve the air I breathe. A part of me feels this is irrational because I was too young to understand and was having a ridiculously hard time with ocd and abuse already at that point, but another part of me feels guilty for ever being happy. I am 19 now and in college so this is really stressful.

Has anyone else ever felt similar?

Thanks, xx
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Old 03-06-13, 09:05 AM   #2
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It sounds to me like anxiety has been an issue for you from an early age. There are some patterns that suggest elements of OCD but also there is a lot of evidence of generalised anxiety. You seem to have greatly exaggerated and irrational fears about a number of things. These fears can dominate your mind for extended periods. The majority of your mind states seem more obsessive than compulsive although clearly you have felt some compulsions too.

As for this thing that you feel guilty over, I'm assuming that what you did was quite a long while ago and you were a child at the time. That does not release you of all responsibility but the gravity of what you did depends on the nature of the thing that you did. If you killed someone, for example, then time does not release you from responsibility. If you bullied someone, as another example, then you should most definitely regret doing so but you will serve nobody by putting your life on hold. You would be best served by making sure you don't repeat the same mistakes and by trying to make the best of your life.

Only you can know how serious this thing was and only you can truly know if you knew it was wrong at the time. If you would like some reassurance then I would suggest speaking to a psychologist or counsellor about it. They are obliged to maintain confidentiality unless you pose an imminent threat to yourself or someone else, which I don't believe is the case. At least you might be able to get some feedback. I think that's what you seem to need because you don't seem to be able to forgive yourself.

Kids do all kinds of stupid things or simply things based on childish curiosity. Some of those are considered quite normal. Again, without details it's hard to be specific and I don't want to say that age justifies everything because it simply doesn't.

What you should most definitely do is to analyse the nature of your guilt. If it is guilt for guilt's sake then it's worthless. Guilt is only worth anything if you are prepared to make amends. If you don't intend to do so, or you can't do so, then let the guilt go. It is a self made prison and it won't fix anything. It will just hold you back. So, either confront what you did and let it out, talk to someone, confide in someone, or let go of the guilt. Feeling guilt is neither punishment nor compensation in its own right, nor should you see it as such. Feeling bad about something does not make it okay that it happened. It makes you human though and it shows that you have a conscience. What counts beyond that point is the decisions that you make.

In summary, let it out or let it go. If it fixes something then it's worth something. If it fixes nothing then it's worth nothing.
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Old 03-06-13, 12:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by super147 View Post
It sounds to me like anxiety has been an issue for you from an early age. There are some patterns that suggest elements of OCD but also there is a lot of evidence of generalised anxiety. You seem to have greatly exaggerated and irrational fears about a number of things. These fears can dominate your mind for extended periods. The majority of your mind states seem more obsessive than compulsive although clearly you have felt some compulsions too.

As for this thing that you feel guilty over, I'm assuming that what you did was quite a long while ago and you were a child at the time. That does not release you of all responsibility but the gravity of what you did depends on the nature of the thing that you did. If you killed someone, for example, then time does not release you from responsibility. If you bullied someone, as another example, then you should most definitely regret doing so but you will serve nobody by putting your life on hold. You would be best served by making sure you don't repeat the same mistakes and by trying to make the best of your life.

Only you can know how serious this thing was and only you can truly know if you knew it was wrong at the time. If you would like some reassurance then I would suggest speaking to a psychologist or counsellor about it. They are obliged to maintain confidentiality unless you pose an imminent threat to yourself or someone else, which I don't believe is the case. At least you might be able to get some feedback. I think that's what you seem to need because you don't seem to be able to forgive yourself.

Kids do all kinds of stupid things or simply things based on childish curiosity. Some of those are considered quite normal. Again, without details it's hard to be specific and I don't want to say that age justifies everything because it simply doesn't.

What you should most definitely do is to analyse the nature of your guilt. If it is guilt for guilt's sake then it's worthless. Guilt is only worth anything if you are prepared to make amends. If you don't intend to do so, or you can't do so, then let the guilt go. It is a self made prison and it won't fix anything. It will just hold you back. So, either confront what you did and let it out, talk to someone, confide in someone, or let go of the guilt. Feeling guilt is neither punishment nor compensation in its own right, nor should you see it as such. Feeling bad about something does not make it okay that it happened. It makes you human though and it shows that you have a conscience. What counts beyond that point is the decisions that you make.

In summary, let it out or let it go. If it fixes something then it's worth something. If it fixes nothing then it's worth nothing.
Hiya, thank you for replying :)

I agree that I do stuggle more with obsessions than compulsions, I mean compulsions are definately there they just don't cause me so much upset - the list in my post is just a few of the ocd related thoughts etc.

What I did was around 9 or 10 years ago. I didn't kill anyone, and I didn't ever bully anyone either, I was never a nasty kid. I wish I could explain what happened but I feel like I can't.

I know kind of why I did what I did, and it was because someone had behaved in the same way towards me and made me feel like it was a big grown up thing to do, and then I guess when my mums ex became abusive I kinda felt really small and needed to feel like I wasn't quite so weak? Thats kinda how it came about, and I know that at the time I didn't know that I was hurting anyone, and I didn't know that what I did was punishable either. But I can't excuse myself from it, like I feel like because I really really didn't know I can't really be a horrible person, but I still feel like I am and that I don't deserve a life.

I feel kinda angry at the things that caused me to at the time feel like it was a good idea or feel like I needed to do it.

I have been thinking about going to the doctors and maybe speaking to someone, but if I can't say what happened then I don't know if theres any point. I half think this might just go away after a while, like all the others did, its just whether its a good idea to stay this way until then as I know its not healthy.

My other huge fear is that if I talk to someone about it, it will turn out that its much worse than I think it is and I really will be in trouble. I know that there nothing I can do to make amends, I don't know the other person involved at all and I can't change the past, but it doesn't stop the gulit and worry from being there :S

Thank you again your reply really helped. xo
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