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Is compulsory fantasy part of OCD?


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In a different forum, we are trying to figure this out - and some have suggested it might be a part of OCD. Others have said it might have an OCD "flavor", but isn't actually OCD. I thought I'd come here to ask you all what you think. Here's one description (my own) that several said resonated for them, as well:

 

 

I've also had times when I had a fantasy that was so HUGELY compelling that I could not stop thinking of it. During these times, I would create more time alone each day so I could "act out" my part in this fantasy, even to (silently if need be) mouthing my side of the "dialogue" and acting out what I could act out in a closed, private room. I was aware this was not "real" but early on I was compelled to act it out anyway, and then soon I would find that the fantasy began to color my sense of reality and they began to blur together until I was totally lost in what now felt like reality but was not totally.

When these get started, they can last for months. In my young adulthood they could last for years. I've learned that the earlier I stop this, the easier it is to get rid of. However, its very "tempting" when it first shows up, and at a minimum it usually takes me 2 to several days to realize I'm not hanging onto reality and about to go down a bad path.

 

Does anyone here have any thoughts on this?

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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't know, but I've just gone cold reading this. It's what I do, all the time and I have never had a problem with it or even considered it to be anything MI related. I have never stopped, occasionally I will start getting bored of it and it will change into a different 'story.' It usually takes about a week for the transition to happen, and it happens every couple of years, although when I was a kid it would happen a lot more.

 

If I read a story I used to pick a character and just live how they would live off the page, in my head. Everyone has always commented on my imagination, which is what I've always put it down to, an over-active imagination. 

 

As a teenager I couldn't act it out with my toys, people would say that it was great that I was growing up but still had time to play with my sister. I've always been good with kids because I can step down to their level and pretending is second nature. I started reading fantasy. I turned my school days into a mental harry potter, science became potions, etc. I didn't use the characters from harry potter, rather I used the setting and based it around that. Then I read beyond the deepwoods and became OBSESSED with a character called Maris. I used to be her all the time, I would wait til my parents left so I could act it out and speak my parts rather than having to just mouth them. I would stay up til 3am just playing scenarios in my head. 

 

I have always been into books, fantasy mainly. And I can get through them like toilet roll, and re-read them a million times without them ever getting boring. I pick up parts of stories and I added them into my own. 

 

About three years ago something changed and I created my own characters with their own names, for the first time ever I was not borrowing characters from stories, or the setting. I had made my own. 

 

It has taken me three years but I have a full cast of characters, I have places and the history of a world that feels more real than my own. There are so many characters and I know each one of them off by heart and I can tie them into any part of the story and tell you how they relate to this, or why they behave like that. I sit and write it all down, perhaps I'll turn it into a book oneday? If I ever do there will be tons of them ha!

 

I pretend to be some of these characters in my day to day life, depending on what I am doing depends on the character I am. I turn washing the dishes into being X who is travelling with soldiers as the cooks assistant, I converse with this soldier who is her friend and he jokes with her and oh my gosh without them I wouldn't want to live. 

 

Your signature says you have depersonalisation disorder, dissociative disorder and PTSD. PERSONALLY, and this is the only theory I have ever come up with and is by no means a medical diagnosis or even close to the truth, but I believe that for me to cope with my depersonalisation disorder and dissociating I HAD to create somewhere alternative to live, so I could feel alive. Even during an episode I can always revert into my brain and live out my story. I think that's why my DP never caused me issues as a kid or early teen, because I could cope well with being in my own world, coming out and being seen as different added a whole new chapter and caused me to do it in private for fear of being different. I have anxiety, caused by coming out of my DP and being too terrified because I didn't know what normal was like, and it felt wrong. Again I used my own world to cope, particularly with scary situations.

 

Sorry for the essay... I have never spoken to anyone about this... I had no idea other people had it like I do, all the time.      

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  • 1 month later...

i have a similar kind of fantasy life, and i do have OCD.

 

OCD and compulsory fantasy feel quite different to me.

 

with the OCD, the compulsions are a direct response to certain, repetitive unpleasant thoughts and feelings. the compulsions are not things I actually enjoy doing, but I feel the need to do them anyway because it will make the even more unpleasant thoughts and feelings (aka obsessions) leave me alone for a bit.

 

I have had various...alternative realities, I guess...since sometime in elementary school, and I spend more time than i'd like to admit fantasizing. (my job allows for a lot of alone time...) the difference is that I engage in the fantasies because I actually find them pleasurable in an of themselves, whereas I engage in OCD compulsions even though I don't particularly enjoy them because they keep the obsessions at bay for a bit.

 

just my two cents, even though this is an old post and the debate in the other forum is most likely resolved or forgotten by now.

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I don't know, but I've just gone cold reading this. It's what I do, all the time and I have never had a problem with it or even considered it to be anything MI related. I have never stopped, occasionally I will start getting bored of it and it will change into a different 'story.' It usually takes about a week for the transition to happen, and it happens every couple of years, although when I was a kid it would happen a lot more.

 

If I read a story I used to pick a character and just live how they would live off the page, in my head. Everyone has always commented on my imagination, which is what I've always put it down to, an over-active imagination. 

 

As a teenager I couldn't act it out with my toys, people would say that it was great that I was growing up but still had time to play with my sister. I've always been good with kids because I can step down to their level and pretending is second nature. I started reading fantasy. I turned my school days into a mental harry potter, science became potions, etc. I didn't use the characters from harry potter, rather I used the setting and based it around that. Then I read beyond the deepwoods and became OBSESSED with a character called Maris. I used to be her all the time, I would wait til my parents left so I could act it out and speak my parts rather than having to just mouth them. I would stay up til 3am just playing scenarios in my head. 

 

I have always been into books, fantasy mainly. And I can get through them like toilet roll, and re-read them a million times without them ever getting boring. I pick up parts of stories and I added them into my own. 

 

About three years ago something changed and I created my own characters with their own names, for the first time ever I was not borrowing characters from stories, or the setting. I had made my own. 

 

It has taken me three years but I have a full cast of characters, I have places and the history of a world that feels more real than my own. There are so many characters and I know each one of them off by heart and I can tie them into any part of the story and tell you how they relate to this, or why they behave like that. I sit and write it all down, perhaps I'll turn it into a book oneday? If I ever do there will be tons of them ha!

 

I pretend to be some of these characters in my day to day life, depending on what I am doing depends on the character I am. I turn washing the dishes into being X who is travelling with soldiers as the cooks assistant, I converse with this soldier who is her friend and he jokes with her and oh my gosh without them I wouldn't want to live. 

 

Your signature says you have depersonalisation disorder, dissociative disorder and PTSD. PERSONALLY, and this is the only theory I have ever come up with and is by no means a medical diagnosis or even close to the truth, but I believe that for me to cope with my depersonalisation disorder and dissociating I HAD to create somewhere alternative to live, so I could feel alive. Even during an episode I can always revert into my brain and live out my story. I think that's why my DP never caused me issues as a kid or early teen, because I could cope well with being in my own world, coming out and being seen as different added a whole new chapter and caused me to do it in private for fear of being different. I have anxiety, caused by coming out of my DP and being too terrified because I didn't know what normal was like, and it felt wrong. Again I used my own world to cope, particularly with scary situations.

 

Sorry for the essay... I have never spoken to anyone about this... I had no idea other people had it like I do, all the time.      

i cant believe you wrote down exactly what i am going through. 

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Yeah, it can sometimes be hard to determine where personality and preference and stuff become a "disorder" like OCD.  There are alot of things in my life that I like doing well, I really enjoy trying to perfect them.  In hobbies and sports I like practicing with the goal of being perfect.  With my OCD rituals I try to keep myself free of contamination with the goal of being perfect.  In some cases it is obvious but in some cases I notice where a desire just to do a good job practicing something starts to have rituals work around it.  I guess it comes down to enjoy what you are doing and whether or not the obsession is preventing you from doing stuff you would like.

 

I've always sort of kept a running fantasy narrative thats like an alternate version of my real world and devise all sorts of algorithims to use the outcomes of real events to determine what happens in the contrived one.  I have always enjoyed it and it doesn't prevent me from doing stuff I like so I have never seen it as a problem or anything.

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