Hi. I have had Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder for a number of years. I eventually got help for it, and it went away for a while , but it has now come back again. I hear a voice telling me that if I do not do a particular ritual, I will die. (I also have phobias and general fears). As I have had OCD for many years (since I was 11 years old), I believe I can more or less deal with it. However, in recent months, I have experienced new voices. They are telling me that I do not love my boyfriend. They do not require any kind of ritualistic behaviour and therefore i cannot make them go away. I constantly have 2 different thoughts and i argue with myself all the time in my head. These thoughts are very painful and disturbing and I do not know how to deal with them. Could they be a different form of OCD? or could it be some form of schizophrenia? Either way what is the best approach to deal with them and finally make them go away? Thank you very much in advance for your help.
The most well-known symptoms of OCD are things like repetitive hand washing, checking the same thing over and over, or needing things in a certain precise order. However, another form OCD can take is what you may be describing. Often the person experiences it as a verbal “loop” of words or phrases, usually negative, that just won’t stop. It may go away for awhile as mysteriously as it began, only to return later. It’s frustrating and disturbing and can definitely get in the way of functioning in life.
On the other hand, hearing “voices” can also be a symptom of a psychotic disorder. One way to distinguish between the two diagnoses is identifying where you think the voice comes from. If you know it is a thought in your own head, it’s usually thought to be OCD. If you experience the voices as coming from outside of yourself, it is usually a symptom of psychosis. In order to make a correct diagnosis, I’d need to talk with you to learn more details.
Since we can’t do that, my best advice to you is that you confer with an experienced psychiatrist or psychologist. You already had success when you got help before. It’s time to go back for some more. There are medications as well as therapeutic techniques that can help either condition. Find out what your options are so you can make a wise decision about how best to help yourself.
I applaud you for reaching out, and I wish you well.