Hello dear Brave one!

Here is this week’s spotlight on Suicide OCD:

Suicide OCD is characterized by recurrent and persistent intrusive (unwanted) thoughts, urges or images about harming or killing yourself along with compulsive, repetitive behaviors or mental acts aimed at reducing anxiety/distress or preventing a feared outcome from happening, all of which cause distress and impairment in functioning.

Common obsessions:

-Intrusive and graphic thoughts/images of hurting or killing oneself

-What if I committed suicide?

-What if I harmed myself on purpose?

-Excessive fear you might drive off the road into oncoming traffic or off a bridge

-What if I want to commit suicide (hang myself, stab myself, jump off a bridge/into traffic, etc)?

-If I do/don’t do X, I’m going to die

-What if I want to harm myself?

-Was that actually an intrusive thought about suicide or do I really actually want to die?

Common Core Fears:

-Death/loss of life

-Fear of feeling sad, hopeless, helpless, worthless, depressed, losing meaning/purpose in life

-Fear of being responsible for irreparable emotional suffering of others, being a bad person

-Loss of identity: I didn’t think I would ever be a person who could commit suicide

Common compulsions:

-Excessive rumination

-Researching suicide and people who have died by suicide

-Avoiding stories/movies/shows that depict suicide

-Avoiding unpleasant emotions (sadness, disappointment) or certain situations for fear of becoming suicidal (i.e. avoiding dating for fear of heartbreak)

-Avoiding being alone

-Checking how you are feeling and whether or not you want to harm/kill yourself

**Please note: themes help us get more information out to individuals suffering with OCD, but anything can become obsessive and/or compulsive and themes can overlap. It’s also important to remember that the content of OCD is not important, it’s all the same mechanisms responding to different triggers. We recommend working with a therapist trained in ERP.

Stay Brave! -The OCD MN Team