This page is dedicated to Pure Obsessional OCD which is a sub-type experienced by some who have OCD.
I have this majorly, it is one of my main sub-types I struggle with.
With Pure Obsessional OCD you basically suffer from intrusive thoughts more than anything else.
With most sub-types you have physical compulsions you use to counteract the obsessions/intrusive thoughts you have. These would be compulsions that can be seen by others at some point. But with Pure O(as some call it) your compulsions occur in your mind.No one may know that you're compulsing at all, even if they're sitting right next to you.
For example, say you randomly have a bad thought as you're trying to carry out daily tasks or just relaxing. It will go something like this:
You're watching tv, reading a book, or even doing dishes(random daily things) and for some reason a thought is triggered in your mind that one of your family members dies or gets hurt, and usually you feel kind of complacent about it which then makes you start to panic. In that one moment your whole life is on pause to try and deal with this awful thought or thoughts that decided to pop out of nowhere and make you question every fiber of your moral being and love for others.
Since the thought popped up out of nowhere, you start to panic and wonder why on earth you'd think such a thought. Then you have to go over it in your mind, over and over to try and figure out whether or not you'd really want that(whatever your thought was) to happen, and/or why you're not responding in a way you feel you should to said horrible thought. Of course in reality you don't feel the way the thought is making you feel, but your mind cannot connect to your true feelings because it is stuck in a loop of this thought, and your basal ganglia is shooting out error messages at record speed.
Now anyone without OCD would think that this is crazy and wonder what is wrong with you. Its just a random thought, move on. But someone who suffers with OCD knows all too well what I'm talking about and may experience this several times a day, or several times an hour depending upon how bad their OCD has gotten.
You can't just move on, your brain won't let you dismiss the thought quickly like non sufferers will be able to. Your brain is stuck trying to make sense of the thought because your true feelings seem to be on lock down and you cannot access them. Sometimes you can get to a point where you can actually feel your real feelings quickly, but sometimes it takes hours..days to get there.
Let's go back to the point of the compulsion. You carried out the compulsion(to counteract the thought)solely inside your mind. No one saw you checking anything, or washing anything. You may have seemed distressed at the moment or in a daze, or not, depending on how good you've gotten at hiding your OCD. People don't see you physically doing anything and they have no idea what anguish you're going through in your head right then. Awful thoughts of death or harm and feeling detached from your own feelings and emotions and feeling stuck in a cold place, trying desperately to find one bit of your true feelings in the chaos, so that you can feel relief, is what you're experiencing. Totally in your mind.
That is Pure Obsessional OCD.
How to deal with it
I have spent MANY years with this awful sub-type. It got much worse after I got married and left home. My father had died when I was 13 and it was just me and my mom, and we were very close. I moved about an hour away, so the adjustment just devastated my thoughts and feelings. Also after I had my child, it got much worse. Because that child was more important to me than life, so every sort of "what if" scenario would pop up ALL THE TIME. It was awful. Somehow I still managed to enjoy my son growing up and thankfully for me anyway, once the years passed I didn't always remember the bad thoughts I had associated with situations. If it was really distressing I might remember years later.
One thing you probably need to do first is get on a medication to aid you in balancing, depending on how bad your OCD is. Mine was bad. Once you are a bit more balanced you can reason better. I have realized your ability to reason correctly or at all is pretty much GONE when these situations occur. When I can reason, I have found that pretty much EVERY SINGLE TIME this would happen to me, and a thought would come up about something horrible, it was the complete opposite in nature to how I really felt all the rest of the time. It's almost as if OCD takes your feelings and shows you a polar opposite of them and tries to convince you this is how you really feel. Which is VERY distressing. Especially when you don't have the ability to immediately correct the thought with how you really feel.
So for me I became aware of this fact and when these thoughts came, it became easier to tell myself, it's just OCD and has nothing to do with how you really feel.
Now that sounds like it's an easy fix, right? Well with OCD it isn't. Your brain is going to persist because of the error messages flying around your brain like a tornado.
Consistency in telling yourself this is not me, and trying to refocus is going to be what eventually breaks the habit of prolonged panic. It does get easier, and eventually most times you can shake it off in a more reasonable amount of time. After a while it becomes almost comical in a way when these thoughts just fly out of no where expecting you to lose your mind and you actually can recognize them for what they are.
There will be days where you're worse though and you can't recognize it or deal with it as easy, so expect that. But for the most part you'll be in control of your mind now instead of those error messages.
To me being able to learn to realize that these thoughts are NOWHERE near similar to anything I feel personally in my heart and mind, was a huge relief. You realize you are not a bad person, you're not crazy, you brain is just physically different than non OCD suffering people, and it glitches. You can recognize the glitch and act accordingly.
Check out the dedicated page here: Pure Obsessional
You can find a good book on intrusive thoughts on the dedicated page as well.