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Hi....technically I'm bipolar, but I'm having obsessive thoughts and I didn't know where else to put this.

My mind replays unpleasant memories in my head, usually of times where I was embarrassed or made to look foolish. I end up reliving my most awkward moments over and over again, and it makes me cringe at myself until I can distract myself with something. But then it comes back! It's driving me crazy because I know whatever bad memory it is is over, but my brain will replay it indefinitely and recreate the embarrassed feeling. I just think of it involuntarily, so I don't know how to stop it.

I count things that don't need to be counted, assign meaning to numbers, walk in patterns on the sidewalk, and other such things. I always ignored that behavior because it wasn't so intense that it interfered with my life. But this highlight reel of worst moments really does because I can't concentrate, plus I feel embarrassed all the time. As I get older and more awkward moments accumulate, I feel like it will only get worse.

I don't know if this is OCD-related, but does anyone with experience in this have any advice or tips for combating the replay? I could really use some help.....thanks.

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One thing my therapist suggested to me is to list off things devoid of emotion after I've obsessed for a few minutes. I count backwards from 100. She said she recites Goodnight Moon (she has it memorized as her kid had her read it over and over when little). You have to be mindful when you do this, lest it becomes compulsive.

Another thing you can try is to expose yourself to the bad memories until you've become "immune" to them. You can do this in writing or with a voice recorder. Get out a piece of paper, and mark on a scale of 1 - 100 how much anxiety and discomfort it produces. Then expose yourself - either listen to the recording or write it out - and then write down your anxiety level after writing or hearing the recording. Do it again and again, until your anxiety decreases to 20 or so. This exercise is out of the OCD Workbook, which you can find a copy of in the CrazyStore.

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