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Car Crash OCD

Hi everyone, 

I'm in year 12 and I am finishing up my exams. I have a few months until university, so that means plenty of holiday time! In a few weeks, my friends and I are going on a road trip to a tourist attraction site. The place is about 2 hours away so that will mean plenty of driving. I am looking forward to the few nights stay at the place, but, I've been plagued with intrusive thoughts about being involved in a fatal car accident along the away. Reports about car accidents are not helping the situation. Do you guys have any tips on how to stop car crash OCD/anxiety? 

 

Thanks 

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Re: Car Crash OCD

Hi @michael17 , I've also just finished my year 12 exams, what a fun time it is! After all these years of hard work, you definitely deserve to go on a road trip to celebrate. I'll be completely honest, there will always be that risk of crashing. However, you've maybe read on the news about that one car that crashes everyday, but you're forgetting about those millions of other cars that pass through safely everyday! The chances of something happening are quite low, especially if you drive safely. Have you talked to your friends about it? Who's driving, and how experienced are they at driving? I'm sure your friends will share similar concerns, so don't be afraid to talk to them about it! Let me know how it goes. Enjoy your break!

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Re: Car Crash OCD

Hi @panda_6940 , 

Thank you for your response and great job on completing your exams! Its been quite difficult this year for us, especially with COVID-19. I have read your response and it has helped me to understand more that car accidents are unlikely. The person driving has had their licence for sometime now. I have discussed this with some of my other friends. I think its more my parents' worrying that is causing anxiety about this, mainly because I know that they're worrying about me because they're constantly saying things like "text me when you get there" or "the roads are curvy and dangerous down there" etc. etc. I think its more parental worrying than anything else.

 

Thank you!

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Re: Car Crash OCD

No worries @michael17 ! It's great that you understand the low probability of car accidents and that the person driving is quite experienced. Your parents worrying is a good thing, it means they care about you! However, it's important that they're not too worried, so talk to them about their concerns and assure them that you'll be with a safe driver. Have fun on your trip!

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Re: Car Crash OCD

Hey @michael17 , 

 

First off, well done for finishing up your exams, it must be an amazing feeling after such a tough year, and a road trip sounds like a super fun way to celebrate! 

 

I think that @panda_6940  has given some really fantastic advice here.! My only other 2 cents would be to focus on what you *can* control - so making sure that you're well-rested if you're driivng, taking a break if you're feeling fatigued, making sure your phone is nowhere near you when you're driving (I've started leaving mine in my bag on the back seat), and making sure you stay a safe distance away from other cars when you're driving.

 

Are intrusive thoughts something that you've experienced before? It can feel quite scary but is definitely something that you can learn to manage. 

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Re: Car Crash OCD

Hi @Janine-RO,

 

Thank you for your advice! And to answer your question, yes, I have had intrusive thoughts before. I have had OCD for ten years and was diagnosed a few years ago and have been on medication for over a year. Its just annoying that intrusive thoughts always find a way to plague daily life and ruin fun experiences. 

 

Michael17

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Re: Car Crash OCD

Hey @michael17,

A road trip sounds like so much fun! Smiley Happy Totally annoying that intrusive thoughts sometimes find a way to pop up in any situation. I echo what everyone else has said here and I would also add that it might help to let your parents know that you have got the situation handled and that you will update them along your journey. Sometimes other people's feelings of worry can cause us to also feel weighed down by worry too.

You also mentioned that you have had intrusive thoughts before, are there any strategies that have been helpful for you in the past? I am also wondering if you have any current supports that you talk to about your OCD?
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Re: Car Crash OCD

Hi @Taylor-RO 

I’m currently seeing a psychologist that I have been seeing since March last year. My therapist recommended using CBT techniques. It was difficult at first but I think the medication has made it more helpful in using CBT. However, I have noticed that many intrusive thoughts have been coming back lately. I don’t know if it’s from the medication wearing off or stress from year 12. 

Thanks!! 

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Re: Car Crash OCD

Hey @michael17 

Finishing year 12 is super stressful, well done on getting to the end! Do you feel there is a connection between the intrusive thoughts and that stress? Would you feel comfortable chatting to your psychologist about the thoughts coming back?

Good on you for taking action and control over your wellbeing Heart

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Re: Car Crash OCD

Hi @Hannah-RO,

Thank you for your response! I do find that there is a connection between my intrusive thoughts and stress. I think that 80% of my intrusive thoughts/OCD are caused by stress. I did bring it to my psychologist’s attention previously and will bring it up again. I’m not sure if it’s my medication slowly fading in effectiveness or other circumstances. 

Thanks!