How OCD ‘talks’

Throughout this blog you will see me writing that OCD ‘told’ me one thing, or that I did as OCD ‘said’ or ‘wanted’. I want to make it clear that this does not mean that I can hear OCD in my head – it is not a verbal hallucination. I can’t hear it in the way that a person with psychosis might hear a voice. OCD comes in the form of thoughts. For a small number of people, OCD can involve images of horrific events, but usually it involves thoughts and actions.

The reason I say that OCD ‘says’ something is that I distinguish the thoughts which are generated by OCD from the thoughts that I see as coming from me as a person. For example, the thought “my mum will die if I finish this blog post” is an OCD thought. The thought “I’d like to finish this blog post” is from me. It is not always easy to distinguish between OCD and not OCD, something which I discuss in another post. But by and large the experience of OCD is of an argument between two opposing positions in my head (OCD vs. me) – the opposing positions are both thoughts, not voices.


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