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Are my intrusive thoughts proof of who I really am?

No.OCD is a liar. The intrusive thoughts are what is referred to as the "feared self." The feared self is the opposite of who you are and what you value. Many people with OCD value being a good person, someone who doesn't offend someone or get others sick or molest their children. OCD seizes this vulnerability and pummels the conscious mind with intrusive thoughts. Without the fear associated with intrusive thoughts, OCD deflates like a popped balloon.

It's important to recognize that intrusive thoughts are unwanted and a thought is not a fact or an action. Accepting them as simply spam email to be deleted and not reacted to, is one strategy to allow them to recede. Over time, with the diligence of turning attention away (as opposed to distracting) intrusive thoughts will lose their ability to induce fear.

Psychiatrist Pierre Janet, a pioneering French psychologist asked a patient why she only had harming thoughts about her child, but not her spouse. She responded, "I don't love my husband enough to have such thoughts."

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