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Social Do you have difficulty with "stepping away" from negative thoughts? What is your opinion on the concept of "stepping away" from one's mind?

GodofWhimsy

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Many renowned philosophers, and "spiritual gurus" (whom personally I don't place much faith in) discuss the concept of stepping away from one's thoughts. To come to the realisation that these negative thoughts (stressing over possible outcomes, focusing on bad past experiences, etc.) are tied to one's mind and that we have the ability to recognise, then "step away". And that this may be paramount in conquering personal anxiety and self-doubt issues. Recognise, then step away.

Personally, I take some issue with this philosophy. For me recognising that I'm in a situation that is making me experience a negative tread of thought can actually worsen the experience. Because well, now I'm completely aware that I'm stressing/being anxious. That may in turn cause me to focus on it even more. "Stepping away" feels more like lying to myself about how I'm perceiving my situation right now.

What're your thoughts on this Gaf? do you experience difficulty with negative thought? Sorry if this is considered too "deep" or boring for a thread topic.

*EDIT* First thread and I post it in the wrong Forum. Get ready for the era of Whimsy 👍

*EDIT* this one should just be deleted I've already created a separate thread in the correct forum. Would've been nice to know mods can move threads before I went and created that one 😅
 
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May 11, 2011
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If you you know that you are higher in neuroticism than most people, consciously recognizing those negative feelings when they occur and trying to step back from them, could be a good idea.
Apparently psychopaths are super low in neuroticism. Try to be more like a psychopath - to a degree.
 

funcojoe

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I have suffered through panic, anxiety disorder from a pretty young age, as of now im 40 and suffer a daily ocd problem thats disabled me for a good 10 years now.

I've learned to live with most of it, im married, have a kid, live as normal of a life as you could imagine. I have more pure ocd then the thing popularized in movies, so in essence its ritualuziing in my mind as opposed to the physical world. So alot of family and friends have no idea when im in peak freaking the fuck out mode.

As for the question can one step away from the mind , I can say after practicing this very thing for almost 2 decades its almost impossible without the help of some sort of distraction.

Which could be
Benzos
Weed
Crisis - will snap you out of it quick
A game that relies on at the moment thinking such as fps pvp.
A movie, book, entertainment
Working on something

You essentially have to have a distraction, for me anyway.

You can't ask me to sit in a room and step away from my thoughts , that's not going to happen
 
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synchronicity

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Meditation (and some other methods) can be very useful in "watching" the mind rather than "being" the mind. Most often, there is a strong identification with thoughts (and body) to the point that they are presumed to be identity. But it is possible to detach and to see (experience) that thoughts (as well as all other phenomena) simply occur. A common analogy is that recognition arises that you are the screen (the empty potential / background) and not the movie (the activity happening).

Of course, anxieties are tied to attachment, and in the releasing of misplaced attachments, anxieties lessen or disappear altogether. Meditation is useful because you sit and watch without judgment or response. You simply let it be, and that is very much at odds with anxiety/negativity.
 
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SKM1

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After meddling with meditation and self-deconstruction over two years or so my neuroticism dropped dramatically.
I don't meditate much now. I think the effects were permanent.
Nowadays when I feel anxious I recognize that as a purely physiological reaction to some event and wait it out.
It happens maybe once a week or so.
 
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I've never REALLY tried to meditate, I've half assed it, but in the ocd world I've heard great things about it.






90% (not exaggerating) people will not have the hips or lower back to sit in the "cross-legged" pose without weeks or months of opening and strengthening parts of the body they've never used.

SEIZA actually means Correct-sit or something like that. There's a reason the Japanese call it that. Start off by getting a cheap bench and use some sort of cushion. I'm using an old coccyx cushion for me knees, which gives my hobbit feet more room to face down without pressure.

If you don't have a strong back (good posture) -> can't breathe -> can't really meditate. This is why JUST GO FOCUS ON YOUR BREATHING is nothing but a vacuum idea. It presupposes we're all sparkly healthy and fit. Stop sitting in a chair. It's a big ask which is why when they popularised meditation in the West they knew it would be impossible to gain traction asking folks to sit on the floor and opted to leave chair meditation as an option.


Also recommend this little tool to help you explore different methods and give you some timing assistance.
 
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JasonVA

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Everything that is going to happen has already been pre planned by god, so there is not much to worry about outside that.

Try and fellow Jesus and that's all you need to worry about, being alive on planet earth is just a quick blink, heaven is eternal, worry about heaven more than earth stuff.
 

GodofWhimsy

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As of a few days ago, I stopped watching the local fucking news! There's no good news anymore. That shit started to give me stress chest pains. I try to chill out as much as possible now and listen to some good music, even jazz/soul on the radio.
Mainstream news honestly has more of a negative impact on people's lives (and in turn the world) than a positive impact. I don't see any benefit from consuming the "news" it doesn't even keep you very well informed anymore. By the time you wade through all of the opinion pieces disguised as "news", the obvious inflammatory theatrics, and ads, what do really have left? usually another dreary story that does nothing but reinforce your negative view on the world as a whole.
 
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Jtibh

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One of the benefits of being my own boss is to eliminate people i dont want to deal with.
I fillter every client , i cancel every client who becomes a problem.

I feel most of my strees is put on me by others.
I am almost a magnet for negative energy its like negative people follow me everywhere.

I could sit all by myself far away from everyone and someone somehow always finds me and ruins my day
 
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funcojoe

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I read up on mindfulness for awhile, basically looking at thoughts as just that, thoughts. We have thoughts all day, what to eat, am I hungry, what do I wanna watch later. That when really looking at them most are just floating around our heads and we never really bother with them.

Its the thoughts we give meaning to that can fuck us up, weather its anxiety related; stress, or ocd. Once you assigning a meaning to the thought it becomes its own monster and grows stronger the more you try to avoid it until its a complete fear inducing panic machine.

So mindfulness is kinda like meditating in the fact you separate yourself from the meaning and just accept it as a thought, one that is no different from the other hundreds you have a day . I've tried to I ractice this but again I gave minimal effort as for me the fear, and negativity of allowing these thoughts in becomes too much and I retreat.
 

BigBooper

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Kind of. I practice a serenity philosophy. Accept that you can't change people's mind unless they want it. Change the things you can. Accept the things you can't.

You don't have long to live. Why spend your life full of worry?
 

rofif

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Everything that is going to happen has already been pre planned by god, so there is not much to worry about outside that.

Try and fellow Jesus and that's all you need to worry about, being alive on planet earth is just a quick blink, heaven is eternal, worry about heaven more than earth stuff.
Jeebus will lead us !
 
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joe_zazen

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I've never REALLY tried to meditate, I've half assed it, but in the ocd world I've heard great things about it.
meditation is a for-profit industry in the west, so the downsides are never really talked about by all the folks selling books, courses, and retreats. For some, it can worsen mental illness, hence if you have a mental illness, talk things over with your doc.
 
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synchronicity

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Kind of. I practice a serenity philosophy. Accept that you can't change people's mind unless they want it. Change the things you can. Accept the things you can't.

You don't have long to live. Why spend your life full of worry?


meditation is a for-profit industry in the west, so the downsides are never really talked about by all the folks selling books, courses, and retreats. For some, it can worsen mental illness, hence if you have a mental illness, talk things over with your doc.
There's never any downside to following the advice of your doc. (in that strictly not-for-profit structure) And no one has ever been harmed via prescription medication (or surgery).

 
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Stiflers Mom

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90% (not exaggerating) people will not have the hips or lower back to sit in the "cross-legged" pose without weeks or months of opening and strengthening parts of the body they've never used.

SEIZA actually means Correct-sit or something like that. There's a reason the Japanese call it that. Start off by getting a cheap bench and use some sort of cushion. I'm using an old coccyx cushion for me knees, which gives my hobbit feet more room to face down without pressure.

If you don't have a strong back (good posture) -> can't breathe -> can't really meditate. This is why JUST GO FOCUS ON YOUR BREATHING is nothing but a vacuum idea. It presupposes we're all sparkly healthy and fit. Stop sitting in a chair. It's a big ask which is why when they popularised meditation in the West they knew it would be impossible to gain traction asking folks to sit on the floor and opted to leave chair meditation as an option.


Also recommend this little tool to help you explore different methods and give you some timing assistance.
brap brap TeezzyD TeezzyD
 
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#Phonepunk#

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"Stepping away" feels more like lying to myself about how I'm perceiving my situation right now.
Not sure what you really mean by the term. To me it is “observing the observer”. Taking a third person camera view of what you are doing.

It seems to be a technique of meditation. You will be sitting there, trying to empty your mind, and something will come to you. Maybe something you are worried about has hijacked your attention. You could engage and start ruminating and hemming and hawing about a problem and may you will figure something out maybe you will just get frustrated. Or you could look at yourself from the third person, say “oh look there that thought about x has taken control of my mind again, on to the next thing” and re-center back to nothing or what you need to focus on. Notice your mind going off on its own rant and saying “we done here? Thanks”

We spend so much time “in our own heads” that sometimes we let things take over and distract us from our true will
 
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Relativ9

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It varying degrees of success I've always lived by a simple mantra:

If I have a problem that I can fix, then there is no need to worry.
If I have a problem that I can't fix, then worrying won't help anyway.

I don't look at it as stepping away, but instead viewing the situation as objectively and resolution oriented as possible, leaving emotions as the least prioritized aspect.

I tend to mostly get stressed not because of the situation itself, but because I'll feel the need to control the situation, and when there are outside elements (people unable to keep calm) it complicates things and often restricts my ability to resolve things smoothly and efficiently, leading to me getting frustrated and stressed.

Not to say I alway have a solution or that it always works, but this has helped me shrug things off even when it things go belly up.

When it comes to more deep seated anxiety I can't say I have any experience...have pretty much never been anxious in that way (and I have people close to me that does suffer from anxiety and panic attacks so I know what I looks like).
 
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synchronicity

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Not sure what you really mean by the term. To me it is “observing the observer”. Taking a third person camera view of what you are doing.

It seems to be a technique of meditation. You will be sitting there, trying to empty your mind, and something will come to you. Maybe something you are worried about has hijacked your attention. You could engage and start ruminating and hemming and hawing about a problem and may you will figure something out maybe you will just get frustrated. Or you could look at yourself from the third person, say “oh look there that thought about x has taken control of my mind again, on to the next thing” and re-center back to nothing or what you need to focus on. Notice your mind going off on its own rant and saying “we done here? Thanks”

We spend so much time “in our own heads” that sometimes we let things take over and distract us from our true will
One common technique in the vein of what you are describing is to watch the thoughts as if they are floating by on a river.

Personally, I use a mantra since the mind loves having a chew toy. Breathe. Mantra. Breathe. It's like having a thought that isn't a thought to return to over and over imho. A distraction from the activity.
 

GodofWhimsy

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Not sure what you really mean by the term. To me it is “observing the observer”. Taking a third person camera view of what you are doing.

It seems to be a technique of meditation. You will be sitting there, trying to empty your mind, and something will come to you. Maybe something you are worried about has hijacked your attention. You could engage and start ruminating and hemming and hawing about a problem and may you will figure something out maybe you will just get frustrated. Or you could look at yourself from the third person, say “oh look there that thought about x has taken control of my mind again, on to the next thing” and re-center back to nothing or what you need to focus on. Notice your mind going off on its own rant and saying “we done here? Thanks”

We spend so much time “in our own heads” that sometimes we let things take over and distract us from our true will
I guess what I mean by that is that I don't really have the mentality to just "step away" from my thoughts. I can't pretend I don't care about these things because I do. It feels parts wrong, and dishonest.
 
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Mr Nash

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It always struck me as kind of pointless to simply step away from negative thoughts. They don't happen in a vacuum. They're caused by something. The best thing to do is try to fix the problem so that the negativity doesn't happen in the first place.

As for the meditation people have brought up in the thread, I do the whole mindfulness thing more to train my brain to come the fuck down. I find that I've become a lot more well rested since doing that, and this is despite having a touch of insomnia.
 

PanzerAzel

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Speaking from the perspective of the mentally ill (Bipolar), I’ve come to the realization over the years that I am in very little control of my thought process.

It’s not simply negative thoughts. It’s not like I’m on some objective mental middle ground and some thoughts are positive and others are negative, and that I can then perfectly recognize this without fault and act accordingly in accepting or rejecting these thoughts to whatever idealistic outcome I desire in life. When I'm in my downswings, my mind exists in a state of extreme negative perception. Everything I perceive feels to be through a clouded lens, and as such, I'm 100% unable to recognize what others would see as negative thoughts because my entire perception and mindset is negative. To me, that is the objective middle ground when it is there.......the default, the normal.

This is the fundamental flaw in therapies such as CBT, of which I've tried for years.....they operate upon the assumption that a sick mind can cure itself simply through willpower of cognitive process. I have tried, and I am unable to recognize my flawed thinking until someone points it out or I see it reflected back to me, whether that be in professional or social consequence. And no matter how much I try to reframe my thinking to the "correct" way, it does nothing to change the underlying way my mind operates when I'm on my downswings. Everything is negative, hateful, vindictive, hopeless, nihilistic. Then on my upswings, the world comes to life, I notice my senses much more, I see color, notice smell, touch, and my thought process is 100% opposite. I'm enthusiastic, positive, I have energy, a can-do attitude, I want to consume everything I can, people want to be around me, I'm happy, hopeful, willing to forgive, etc etc. And then, inevitably, it all gets torn down....and the cycle repeats.....again, and again, and again.

I have come to the conclusion through this disease that it is biology that dictates how my mind works and thinks, not me "choosing" to reject or accept anything. If only it were that easy. I've done that, made concerted efforts, and it's done jack shit to help. It's like being at the helm of a ship steaming straight for an iceberg and screaming to turn left. It does absolutely nothing. I hate to say I'm not in control, but it certainly doesn't feel that way. I'm on a constant roller coaster ride mental mindfuck that dangles the carrot right in front of me, showing me the potential of a life possible, then constantly rips it away.
 

funcojoe

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Speaking from the perspective of the mentally ill (Bipolar), I’ve come to the realization over the years that I am in very little control of my thought process.

It’s not simply negative thoughts. It’s not like I’m on some objective mental middle ground and some thoughts are positive and others are negative, and that I can then perfectly recognize this without fault and act accordingly in accepting or rejecting these thoughts to whatever idealistic outcome I desire in life. When I'm in my downswings, my mind exists in a state of extreme negative perception. Everything I perceive feels to be through a clouded lens, and as such, I'm 100% unable to recognize what others would see as negative thoughts because my entire perception and mindset is negative. To me, that is the objective middle ground when it is there.......the default, the normal.

This is the fundamental flaw in therapies such as CBT, of which I've tried for years.....they operate upon the assumption that a sick mind can cure itself simply through willpower of cognitive process. I have tried, and I am unable to recognize my flawed thinking until someone points it out or I see it reflected back to me, whether that be in professional or social consequence. And no matter how much I try to reframe my thinking to the "correct" way, it does nothing to change the underlying way my mind operates when I'm on my downswings. Everything is negative, hateful, vindictive, hopeless, nihilistic. Then on my upswings, the world comes to life, I notice my senses much more, I see color, notice smell, touch, and my thought process is 100% opposite. I'm enthusiastic, positive, I have energy, a can-do attitude, I want to consume everything I can, people want to be around me, I'm happy, hopeful, willing to forgive, etc etc. And then, inevitably, it all gets torn down....and the cycle repeats.....again, and again, and again.

I have come to the conclusion through this disease that it is biology that dictates how my mind works and thinks, not me "choosing" to reject or accept anything. If only it were that easy. I've done that, made concerted efforts, and it's done jack shit to help. It's like being at the helm of a ship steaming straight for an iceberg and screaming to turn left. It does absolutely nothing. I hate to say I'm not in control, but it certainly doesn't feel that way. I'm on a constant roller coaster ride mental mindfuck that dangles the carrot right in front of me, showing me the potential of a life possible, then constantly rips it away.

I also am bipolar, Hang in there, are you on any meds for it? Its cool if you don't want to say.

I'm diagnosed
Bipolar
Panic disorder
OCD

My shrink of over a decade has me on,
Lithium for the bipolar

Xanax for the panic

Zoloft cause my family dr prescribed it at 16 and I'm 40 now, def not trying to fuck around with thst withdraw to get off it.

Serequel - its an anti psychotic and I would recommend never taking it as the side effects are brutal, but it helped with my insomnia at first and then later on a extended release ,we found helped with the ocd.

For ocd the only thing that works is expisure treatment, basically putting ones self into the obsession and refrain from doing the ritual. The theory is as 10,20,30 min goes by you see that the feeling of complete fear, chaos, and dread subdues until usually within an hour you have completely forgotten about it.

The problem is doing this all day is extremely stressful on the mind and if my wife's not around to help I will always run back to the ritual to get that relief, I swear its like a dope head getting that dopamine , high, calmness, it makes you feel like you can move on and if you don't do it , for me its everything i hold dear to me will perish, and its sickingly real, my brain is automatically thrown into ritual mode to keep them safe.

So I'm struggling with the rational thought of , this is all bullshit and you're a fucking loser who can't get past an imaginary thought.

Bipolar which the guy above me described perfectly.

Plus a dash of panic disorder causd why not lol.
 

synchronicity

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Dec 16, 2011
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Speaking from the perspective of the mentally ill (Bipolar), I’ve come to the realization over the years that I am in very little control of my thought process.

It’s not simply negative thoughts. It’s not like I’m on some objective mental middle ground and some thoughts are positive and others are negative, and that I can then perfectly recognize this without fault and act accordingly in accepting or rejecting these thoughts to whatever idealistic outcome I desire in life. When I'm in my downswings, my mind exists in a state of extreme negative perception. Everything I perceive feels to be through a clouded lens, and as such, I'm 100% unable to recognize what others would see as negative thoughts because my entire perception and mindset is negative. To me, that is the objective middle ground when it is there.......the default, the normal.

This is the fundamental flaw in therapies such as CBT, of which I've tried for years.....they operate upon the assumption that a sick mind can cure itself simply through willpower of cognitive process. I have tried, and I am unable to recognize my flawed thinking until someone points it out or I see it reflected back to me, whether that be in professional or social consequence. And no matter how much I try to reframe my thinking to the "correct" way, it does nothing to change the underlying way my mind operates when I'm on my downswings. Everything is negative, hateful, vindictive, hopeless, nihilistic. Then on my upswings, the world comes to life, I notice my senses much more, I see color, notice smell, touch, and my thought process is 100% opposite. I'm enthusiastic, positive, I have energy, a can-do attitude, I want to consume everything I can, people want to be around me, I'm happy, hopeful, willing to forgive, etc etc. And then, inevitably, it all gets torn down....and the cycle repeats.....again, and again, and again.

I have come to the conclusion through this disease that it is biology that dictates how my mind works and thinks, not me "choosing" to reject or accept anything. If only it were that easy. I've done that, made concerted efforts, and it's done jack shit to help. It's like being at the helm of a ship steaming straight for an iceberg and screaming to turn left. It does absolutely nothing. I hate to say I'm not in control, but it certainly doesn't feel that way. I'm on a constant roller coaster ride mental mindfuck that dangles the carrot right in front of me, showing me the potential of a life possible, then constantly rips it away.
If there is no control, then there is liberation.

I'm such a depressed fucker dude. Shit sucks.
It's alright. Just try to "see" that dude and have compassion for him.
 
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PanzerAzel

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Oct 31, 2019
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I also am bipolar, Hang in there, are you on any meds for it? Its cool if you don't want to say.

I'm diagnosed
Bipolar
Panic disorder
OCD

My shrink of over a decade has me on,
Lithium for the bipolar

Xanax for the panic

Zoloft cause my family dr prescribed it at 16 and I'm 40 now, def not trying to fuck around with thst withdraw to get off it.

Serequel - its an anti psychotic and I would recommend never taking it as the side effects are brutal, but it helped with my insomnia at first and then later on a extended release ,we found helped with the ocd.

For ocd the only thing that works is expisure treatment, basically putting ones self into the obsession and refrain from doing the ritual. The theory is as 10,20,30 min goes by you see that the feeling of complete fear, chaos, and dread subdues until usually within an hour you have completely forgotten about it.

The problem is doing this all day is extremely stressful on the mind and if my wife's not around to help I will always run back to the ritual to get that relief, I swear its like a dope head getting that dopamine , high, calmness, it makes you feel like you can move on and if you don't do it , for me its everything i hold dear to me will perish, and its sickingly real, my brain is automatically thrown into ritual mode to keep them safe.

So I'm struggling with the rational thought of , this is all bullshit and you're a fucking loser who can't get past an imaginary thought.

Bipolar which the guy above me described perfectly.

Plus a dash of panic disorder causd why not lol.
:messenger_tears_of_joy: Yeah, when it comes to this.....when it rains, it seems to pour.

I'm only on Depakote now, down from Depakote and Lamictal. Lamictal only prevented my highs, so I was like.....why? I love the highs and wish they lasted forever. I don't want to be on meds that rob me of the good part of the disease, and hell if I'm going to endure only the downswings. I tried Serequel, and that's not happening. It's a horse tranquilizer. It cured my insomnia also (think this is a common symptom with Bipolar), but I was literally walking into walls the next day from residual side effects. It clouded my mind. Same with Lithium. I'm not taking anything that turns me into a walking zombie, which seems to be what a lot of these meds do to treat the symptoms.

Sorry to hear of your OCD, that sounds like a living nightmare. I have some of it, but it's nowhere near to the point where I can't dismiss it when it gets annoying.

Hang in there as well, and thanks for relating.