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OCD - Obsessing over personal statement Watch

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    I have suffered with OCD for several years now, and having applied for 2013 entry for university, I have developed an obsession regarding my personal statement. Basically, I am concerned that I lied in it. It was a small sentence regarding skills I obtained whilst doing voluntary work and I cannot stop obsessing over whether or not it was a lie. They are two fairly generic (and similar) skills and when I wrote my PS, I assumed that I had obtained these skills, but in retrospect I am not sure whether I actually had. It was never my intention to lie - in fact, I put so much emphasis on honesty throughout the application process that I decided to put my module grades on UCAS so that admissions tutors were able to obtain a more realistic picture of my abilities. However, I feel incredibly guilty, to the extent that I genuinely do not think I will be able to go to university this year as I feel that anything I achieve in university and afterwards will be 'tainted', undeserved and based on a lie. Is anyone able to offer advice to me regarding this issue?
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    I am preparing to write my PS now and I also have OCD. My obsessiveness is centred around what and how much reading I should do, but I know that focusing on the anxiety will only feed it so I'm forcing myself to free up. I suggest you do the same; the fact that you're fretting over it so much proves your sense of moral grounding.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I am preparing to write my PS now and I also have OCD. My obsessiveness is centred around what and how much reading I should do, but I know that focusing on the anxiety will only feed it so I'm forcing myself to free up. I suggest you do the same; the fact that you're fretting over it so much proves your sense of moral grounding.
    I appreciate the response, and I wish you the best with your personal statement and your OCD. I understand your point, but it isn't necessarily my sense of moral grounding I am worried about. It bothers me that that sentence may have contributed to an admission tutor's decision to give me an offer.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I have suffered with OCD for several years now, and having applied for 2013 entry for university, I have developed an obsession regarding my personal statement. Basically, I am concerned that I lied in it. It was a small sentence regarding skills I obtained whilst doing voluntary work and I cannot stop obsessing over whether or not it was a lie. They are two fairly generic (and similar) skills and when I wrote my PS, I assumed that I had obtained these skills, but in retrospect I am not sure whether I actually had. It was never my intention to lie - in fact, I put so much emphasis on honesty throughout the application process that I decided to put my module grades on UCAS so that admissions tutors were able to obtain a more realistic picture of my abilities. However, I feel incredibly guilty, to the extent that I genuinely do not think I will be able to go to university this year as I feel that anything I achieve in university and afterwards will be 'tainted', undeserved and based on a lie. Is anyone able to offer advice to me regarding this issue?
    Is it a skill that you will be able to obtain in some other way? I don't know if that will help, and obviously depends what the skill is, but if you can obtain it either before you go or towards the start of uni, would that help you to feel deserving of the place, seeing as you'd still be in possession of the skill even if you picked it up at a different time?

    Otherwise, are you absolutely certain you didn't obtain this skill? You seem unsure. Is there some way of identifying for definite?
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    (Original post by sophiasunshine)
    Is it a skill that you will be able to obtain in some other way? I don't know if that will help, and obviously depends what the skill is, but if you can obtain it either before you go or towards the start of uni, would that help you to feel deserving of the place, seeing as you'd still be in possession of the skill even if you picked it up at a different time?

    Otherwise, are you absolutely certain you didn't obtain this skill? You seem unsure. Is there some way of identifying for definite?
    Thank you for the response; I appreciate any feedback I can get on this issue! I'd say that by now, I have obtained the skill through the voluntary work...however, because the development of skills is difficult to quantify, I am struggling to convince myself of this and I am not certain. There is a possibility that I had obtained the skill at the time of writing the personal statement, but I am very unsure. Aside from this, I am beginning to obsess over the truthfulness of other parts of my personal statement. At the moment, I'm finding it very difficult to deal with this issue and I think it may well cost me my chance of going to university this year. I think I generally feel undeserving of a place of university...I am very keen on being deserving of the things I have in relation to education/career and if I feel as though I am not deserving of them, I find it difficult to cope.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'd say that by now, I have obtained the skill through the voluntary work...however, because the development of skills is difficult to quantify, I am struggling to convince myself of this and I am not certain. There is a possibility that I had obtained the skill at the time of writing the personal statement, but I am very unsure. Aside from this, I am beginning to obsess over the truthfulness of other parts of my personal statement. At the moment, I'm finding it very difficult to deal with this issue and I think it may well cost me my chance of going to university this year. I think I generally feel undeserving of a place of university...I am very keen on being deserving of the things I have in relation to education/career and if I feel as though I am not deserving of them, I find it difficult to cope.
    The main things that matter when applying to university are how interested you are in what you have applied to do and whether you are someone they feel that they can teach. As long as you feel that you can get the required grades, then you are deserving of a place regardless (as you beat all that could not).
    Given that you are 'obsessing', as you put it, it seems very likely that you will have done the same thing when writing your statement. Assuming this, it seems also very likely that you got someone, likely more than one person, to proof-read your statement to be sure that it made sense to impartial eyes. Since it is only now that you are concerned, and none of your external readers questioned your having said skill before it was sent (if they had questioned it, it seems likely you would have removed the clause immediately), I reason that you have always had that skill and need not actually worry unnecessarily.
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    No, sophiasunshine, no, no, stop! The kind of "making sure" you are encouraging Anonymous to do is only going to make her OCD worse and lead to her ruminating even more over whether she accidentally lied. OCD is called "the doubting disease" for a reason -- people with it (like me) have a really difficult time tolerating uncertainty, but the sad fact of the matter is that the ONLY way to get better is to accept the thoughts you're having and accept the uncertainty.

    That sounds really bad at first -- the idea that you may never be certain about whether you lied or not, or if you deserved your place at university -- but it's what you've got to do. Uncertainty is the way to go for things like this.

    Next time you have the intrusive thought of "what if I lied and they base their decision on that?", just ACCEPT IT. Say to yourself, "yep. That may be true." And then try to move on. I know this is like walking uphill when the ground is sliding out from under you -- believe me, I know -- but you've got to do it. It's hard at first. It gets easier. Every time you have an intrusive thought, nod to yourself and agree with it. And then carry on as though you never had the thought in the first place.

    Doing this will increase your anxiety levels for a while; there's no way around it. But that's what you want to be doing. You said you've dealt with OCD before -- then this should be familiar to you. Your obsession is whether you lied, and the compulsion I can see based on your post is ruminating about it and analyzing it and trying to "figure it out", which is detrimental to recovery. Accepting your thoughts and allowing that anxiety to flow -- without letting yourself do any compulsions -- is the only way to get better, because you learn to tolerate more and more anxiety. And eventually, the obsession seems silly, and you can move on with your life.

    You might stumble a little and have some setbacks. That's normal and okay. But you CAN and WILL make progress with this. It's just a matter of facing your fears, accepting uncertainty, and not letting yourself take the easy way out by compulsing.

    Hope you feel better and good luck!
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    (Original post by Isobelily)
    No, sophiasunshine, no, no, stop! The kind of "making sure" you are encouraging Anonymous to do is only going to make her OCD worse and lead to her ruminating even more over whether she accidentally lied. OCD is called "the doubting disease" for a reason -- people with it (like me) have a really difficult time tolerating uncertainty, but the sad fact of the matter is that the ONLY way to get better is to accept the thoughts you're having and accept the uncertainty.
    .

    !
    Aaah, sorry! I'll file that one away for future reference then, thanks for letting me know.

    OP IGNORE EVERYTHING I SAID.
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    No problem -- sorry to sound snappish, I really didn't mean it that way! OCD is weird. Treating it is kind of counter-intuitive to the way people normally deal with uncertainty, so almost always, people want to be kind and helpful and reassure the person, not realizing that it can actually make things worse.

    The reason it can make things worse is because getting reassurance is actually a compulsion in the same way that rumination is. The person with OCD has a distressing thought, usually starting with "what if...", attaches a lot of importance to it, and starts to obsess and grow very anxious. Wanting to relieve their anxiety, they perform compulsions, and going to someone to be reassured that it's really all right is one of the most common ones. So the best way to support someone with OCD is to remind them that you can't reassure them, but that they have the strength to face their thoughts. Tough love, basically.
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    (Original post by Isobelily)
    No problem -- sorry to sound snappish, I really didn't mean it that way! OCD is weird. Treating it is kind of counter-intuitive to the way people normally deal with uncertainty, so almost always, people want to be kind and helpful and reassure the person, not realizing that it can actually make things worse.

    The reason it can make things worse is because getting reassurance is actually a compulsion in the same way that rumination is. The person with OCD has a distressing thought, usually starting with "what if...", attaches a lot of importance to it, and starts to obsess and grow very anxious. Wanting to relieve their anxiety, they perform compulsions, and going to someone to be reassured that it's really all right is one of the most common ones. So the best way to support someone with OCD is to remind them that you can't reassure them, but that they have the strength to face their thoughts. Tough love, basically.
    No, don't worry, you didnt sound snappish at all and I'd rather know than not. Its frustrating seeing well-meaning people make the same mistakes from just not getting this kind of thing so I appreciate you having the patience to explain it, so now me and anyone who read that can go and not do it again and everything is a bit more helpful
 
 
 
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