Wednesday, May 4, 2011

OCD A to Z: B is for Body Fears

page 214 Nervous System

My awareness of my body as something to be feared started at age 8 or 9, and as symptoms started cascades of anxiety, I grew to believe that my body was against me, betraying me. I once made a list when I was 19 or 20 of all the different body fears I'd had experienced: swollen lymph nodes, strange moles, pounding in my stomach and on and on. I filled a long sheet of looseleaf, both sides. I would get very angry at my body, imagining it was willfully sabotaging me, generating symptoms. About 10 years ago, I had irregular bleeding, and the fury I felt at my body was intensifying, when I had a sudden thought: My body doesn't know any more than what's going on than my mind does. My body isn't plotting on how to get me anxious. OCD is generating the anxiety based on what I feel in my body, but adding a whole layer of interpretation, quick plunges into fear of serious illness, and increasing my focus on the symptoms.


  1. I'm so afraid I have a disease that I only go to the Dr. if I'm about to die.
    I thought at various times I've had cancer in various places. Head, oral,throat, back, breast, underarm, stomach, kidneys, all my unmentionable places. Still never sure.
    for several years I had an AIDS obsession. I believed I'd accidently one day step on or sit on a dirty needle or bodily fluids might get on me. Thankfully that one has eased up significantly, probably b/c HIV is far more treatable than it once was.

  2. I think this is how my OCD actually started....well - it was this or Scrupulosity. The Scrupulosity is gone now, but I still sometimes get "sickness" fears. Not very often though. Great series BTW!!

  3. ocdbloggergirl--it's so weird how the obsessions can be the same, but the compulsions so different! I would go to the doctor but you would avoid going!

    Pure O--thanks for the encouragement about the series--definitely an exposure!