What is Pure O?

Pure Obsessional OCD (also known as Pure O) is when people are experiencing obsessions but without any observable compulsions (also called intrusive thoughts). 

Pure O are thoughts that consistently pop into your head and then won't leave. They often pop in at the most inopportune times and can go on to create a lot of anxiety. Pure O or intrusive thoughts come under the umbrella of OCD.

Some people can experience violent intrusive thoughts. They may believe that they are capable of doing aggressive or violent things and this can cause a huge amount of anxiety for the sufferer. Others may experience unwanted sexual thoughts whereas some may find themselves with memories that they would prefer to be rid of.

Intrusive thoughts are treated the same way as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It is a serious anxiety-related problem that affects people regardless of gender and social or cultural background. Sufferers often go undiagnosed for many years, partially because of a lack of understanding of the condition, and partially because of the intense feelings of embarrassment, guilt and sometimes even shame associated with what is often called the 'secret illness'.

Obsessive behaviour can have a totally devastating effect on work, social life and personal relationships. The World Health Organisation (WHO) ranks OCD as the tenth most disabling illness of any kind, in terms of lost earnings and diminished quality of life. Most sufferers know that they are having irrational thoughts and their behaviour is senseless, but feel incapable of stopping them. This has a significant impact on their confidence and self-esteem and as a result, their careers, relationships and lifestyles.

Obsessions and Compulsions are different - obsessions are felt and the compulsions are acted out. Obsessive thoughts can be intrusive and the sufferer can't stop thinking about them (for example a love obsession). It may feel as though the brain has been invaded by thoughts with no means to stop them.

All of us at some point in our lives have experienced the occasional obsessional thought, however when it reaches the stage that these thoughts completely take over our lives and affect our everyday functioning it becomes a full blown obsessive disorder.

What are the symptoms of Pure O?

Symptoms of Pure O can vary widely from person to person. Here are a few examples:

  • constant thoughts of physically harming or killing their family, friends or random strangers

  • persistent intrusive thoughts or mental images that might be considered bad or sinful

  • fearing that they might accidentally cause harm to other people - unknowingly hurt them and put them in danger

  • scared that they will molest a child

  • repeatedly worrying that they have run over a pedestrian while driving a vehicle

  • repeated thoughts that they are homosexual, even though they aren't

  • constant doubts that they are in a relationship with the wrong person

  • repetitive thoughts that one has said or written something inappropriate

Is it possible to treat Pure O?

Overcoming Pure O is absolutely possible. OCD and self harming can be treated very successfully using a 5-6 week programme. We can discuss the best way forward for you when you come in for a chat.

I have successfully conducted many sessions via Skype so regardless of where you are in the world I can help you. All you need is an iPad, laptop or PC, a good internet connection, a Skype account (it’s free) and some privacy. Skype can be downloaded for a PC or Mac by clicking on the Skype logo immediately below or, if you have an iPad, going to iTunes and downloading the app. Sessions can also be conducted via FaceTime or Messenger.

If you would like to finally feel in control, calm and peaceful in your thoughts, please either email or call me on 0409 254 500 and we can arrange for you to come in for a free no obligation consultation or a chat via Skype. We can discuss your options and you will be able to get clear answers on any questions you may have. There is no obligation on either your part or mine!

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