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Old 09-04-2012  
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Default Re: Can't stop staring at people

I came back with what i learned, my thoughts, and something that i hope could help us all a bit.
First, I suggest reading books about OCD, especially this one book I've started reading called Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts by chrstine Purdon and David A. Clark. It doesnt specifically focus on our type of OCD but, fortunatally, not the OCD that many people recognize (like washing hands, germaphobic, ritual actions). It focuses on the obsessional THOUGHTS. it's very relatable and it makes sense as you connect the obsession that we have. The book is written to treat with cognitive behavioral therapy. I haven't got too far into it because i got it a week ago and it instructs for the reader to advance chapter by chapter in a weekly basis. It's pretty informative and it aims to treat this OCD!
I've learned, that the thing is, we need to balance our thoughts and feelings; don't let one of them off balance. Like, when you are in a situation where you are overcome with this obsessive thought, dont let it off balance your feelings, because in that situation, for example what happens to me is, I first encounter that obsessive thought, then the actions (looking and using the peripheral vision) and thoughts, then the anxiety, then (while in my anxious state) continuing the obsessive actions and thoughts. Trying to think rationally and not in a exaggerated way would help tangent my thoughts which, in turn, will help me calm down my anxiety.(like a hoop sequence maintaining my thoughts and feelings)

Instead of repressing my actions/thoughts/whatever from my obsession, let it happen. (stare whoever i have the desire to, then, attempt to remiss the situation of my belief that the person is thinking about me in someways, or at the very least lessen the thought of it) And in time (hopefully) I will realize that it's not harming me or anyone in anyway. For instance, if you fear and avoid acting upon this obsession because of the harm you believe it will do, you will never be sure that it will be harmful or not. In our case, what's the worse that can happen?: strangers- it won't matter because no matter how they react to us, they will still be strangers and they dont matter to you (vice versa). friends and family- depending on how they react, it will put them to the test of how much compassion and belonging they share with you. Remember to be yourself.
It's just all in the head and the obsession. We need to always remind in our head that there needs to be moderation without repression nor force. Also this process requires time and patience. ALSO, i personally need to build my confidence; learning to stay on my ground and learning not to shrink in situations where i feel uncomfortable (which i found to be helpful in this treatment process).

Don't repress your obsession, let it go and explore! (convince yourself nothing too drastic will happen in being effected by this obsession- without force)
Do NOT try to NOT THINK or UNTHINK or REPRESS certain thoughts and feelings, if you ever tried this you can agree that it's futile (because this becomes a cycle). AND don't try not to think AT ALL either! Remind to be yourself and relax, then the desired thoughts will come.

I believe we need to understand this obsession more from the roots, rather than building our knowledge from our biased thoughts.

The people talking about how your eyes look: I can relate, i get conscious about how mine looks too and how it's affecting me and the people around me. BUT I believe that's a part of the OCD that we have and that's something we need to remiss because it only builds the obsession.

So far, this is what i have learned and I'm now in the process to ingraining this habit and strategy in to my mind. I hope this thread has not died. I actually have a bit more on my mind so, if anyone has read what I wrote and want to talk more about this, feel free to contact me! Also, i hope i related to any of you guys here and helped in some way. I also want to add that I believe this OCD we have is something that cannot be cured because this will always be in our heads, but the hope is to loosen the obsession to the point where we can function normally. Remember patience really is virtue; keep hanging in there! Much luck to you all.
PS. Excuse me if my direction of context get flown off at some points. I have struggles with that!

Last edited by feelsconfusing; 09-04-2012 at 11:34 AM.. Reason: grammar and additional content
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Old 09-04-2012  
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Default Re: Can't stop staring at people

People don't stare at me much. If anything, I feel like I'm staring at them. The few lessons I learned about communication that stuck with me? "Smile more" and "make eye contact." I do both, and I have to say they don't help me much at all. The smile isn't genuine and my eye contact is way too deliberate. I think it puts people off, especially strangers. So I'm probably better off not doing anything.
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Old 09-04-2012  
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Default Re: Can't stop staring at people

same problem, to avoid this i wear a cap, btw i am not alone
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Old 09-10-2012  
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Default Re: Can't stop staring at people

To anyone with this problem of obsessive or compulsive staring, join our facebook group!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/OCDstarring/

60 members and growing. There are a lot of starers out there it seems!

Last edited by zen_mistress; 10-25-2012 at 04:19 AM..
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Old 09-10-2012  
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Default Re: Can't stop staring at people

I do this too on public tranportation, I'm not sure if I do it obsessively but when I do stare at people I look at their entire body for minutes and try to get a feel of their personality, other times I just keep looking at their face until they look back or they move their face in another direction to avoid mine, it kind of feels like a game and I count how many people awkwardly turn away from me.

I feel bad other days too and feel the pressure of everyone staring at me, I drink water or stare at ads and/or try to laugh it off, I think the worst thing I do for myself is lick my lips or try to adjust my face muscles because it worsens my mood and face.

I think if I had less anxiety I'd probably be chatting with someone on the subway just to break the awkward silence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by feelsconfusing View Post
I came back with what i learned, my thoughts, and something that i hope could help us all a bit.........
^^^
Thanks for the awesome post.
I agree with you about repressed thoughts and feelings; since I've been more open to some friends and family about how I feel on a weekly basis I feel a lot better about myself, less stress and less anxiety. I'm more out going than I was a few years ago when I hangout with friends or even just myself, I feel like there's less judgement against me and I feel more human, I make mistakes sometimes but so does everyone else.

Andrew

Last edited by 1person; 09-10-2012 at 06:36 AM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 09-13-2012  
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Default Re: Can't stop staring at people

Do you sleep well? Do you have a repairing sleep?

Ive been noticing that every-time I sleep poorly, I can't focus my eyes and this problem becomes even worse... So this leaded me to question if when I have this problem, if I slept well the night before... And I think this may be the root of the problem...

What do you guys think?
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Old 10-07-2012  
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Default Re: Can't stop staring at people

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1person View Post
I do this too on public tranportation, I'm not sure if I do it obsessively but when I do stare at people I look at their entire body for minutes and try to get a feel of their personality, other times I just keep looking at their face until they look back or they move their face in another direction to avoid mine, it kind of feels like a game and I count how many people awkwardly turn away from me.

I feel bad other days too and feel the pressure of everyone staring at me, I drink water or stare at ads and/or try to laugh it off, I think the worst thing I do for myself is lick my lips or try to adjust my face muscles because it worsens my mood and face.

I think if I had less anxiety I'd probably be chatting with someone on the subway just to break the awkward silence.


^^^
Thanks for the awesome post.
I agree with you about repressed thoughts and feelings; since I've been more open to some friends and family about how I feel on a weekly basis I feel a lot better about myself, less stress and less anxiety. I'm more out going than I was a few years ago when I hangout with friends or even just myself, I feel like there's less judgement against me and I feel more human, I make mistakes sometimes but so does everyone else.
Oh you're welcome!
I'm so glad that you are being more yourself. You have a lot of courage for opening up to other people, I have much trouble with that. Keep at it and take care!
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Old 10-07-2012  
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Default Re: Can't stop staring at people

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohdude View Post
Do you sleep well? Do you have a repairing sleep?

Ive been noticing that every-time I sleep poorly, I can't focus my eyes and this problem becomes even worse... So this leaded me to question if when I have this problem, if I slept well the night before... And I think this may be the root of the problem...

What do you guys think?
For me, it doesn't matter how much I sleep.
I suggest that you try some sleeping pills or try relaxing all your muscles. When I have trouble falling asleep, I notice that somewhere in my body is tense- usually my face and all around my head. If I focus only on relaxing all my muscles I eventually fall asleep. Also, try not getting frustrated that you can't fall asleep during the night because that will really make it worse. Take it easy.
Hope it helps!
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Old 10-07-2012  
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Default Re: Can't stop staring at people

A cure for staring!

For the love of god, I thought I was alone! I don't have this problem anymore, and I can tell all of you something very important and true. You might not believe it, but it is all in your head! Your actually not staring, it's called a peripheral vision, meaning that you can see what is happening to your right and left, without your eyeballs moving. The reason you think you stare, is because you notice your peripheral vision, which stops you from focusing, and which makes you look at people directly sometimes. I would look at people occasionally, when I thought I stared at them, meaning I would stare at people when I thought i stared, which I didn't to begin with!

If you don't believe me, record yourself with a webcam, and try to look at a point at the screen, while noticing stuff around you, for example a lamp. When you see the recording you will notice that you don't stare "from the side", meaning it's your peripheral vision. I repeat your not staring!!!!! This is very important to understand, it's all in your head! I saw a therapist a year ago, because I just couldn't take it anymore, it changed my life 180 degrees.
My therapist made one exercise where she would sit next to me, and she would tell me if I stared. I noticed her, and I thought I stared, but she told me I didn't. She told me my eyes didn't wander. It was all in my head. When you get nervous, you begin to notice stuff around you, in your peripheral vision. That doesn't mean you stare, it just makes you more nervous and stops you from focusing!

Simple exercise: Record yourself, and look at a point at the screen, whilst "staring at stuff around you". Trust me, the result will blow your mind!
I actually asked my friends in the end, if they had noticed me staring at them, and they told me again and again, NO! And these are friends I have known since I was a kid. You can even take your computer, and go to the library or canteen/public place, record yourself, and look at the screen, do your stuff. You will notice stuff around you, but your eyes won't wander! Trust me! You might move your eyes, when you look directly at something, but not when it is in your peripheral vision. After a while you will get more calm, and the anxiety will go away. Record yourself again and again, and notice that your eyes look completely normal. After sometime you won't even notice anymore!

I don't see my therapist anymore, I saw her a couple of times, she worked with cognitive therapy, and I didn't take any prescription drugs. Just by talking to her, and doing some small assignments, it worked.

And if you think that your problem is worse than mine, than get this: I had this problem with thinking I stared at people since I was 16, up until a year ago. I'm now 28, meaning I had the problem for 12 years of my life. Stop wasting your time, and trust me. It is all in your head!

I hope you all the best, and please write back on your experiences, after you record yourself. It will blow your mind!

I will check up on this page once in a while.

Yours sincerely

Joey
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Old 10-07-2012  
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Default Re: Can't stop staring at people

Quote:
I actually asked my friends in the end, if they had noticed me staring at them, and they told me again and again, NO!
Good for you, that people don't notice you looking at them. Unfortunately, things didn't go as well for me.

I am very aware of my environment, as well as socially anxious, so I tend to look at people through my peripheral vision. But when I do so, people tend to notice me doing this and they feel uncomfortable, talk to their friends about me, look away, etc. No, I am not being paranoid. I actually got bullied by people for looking at them out of the corner of my eyes! Some people even swear at me. I remember several years ago when I was in class, there's a dude sitting next to me and we're strangers. I did glance at him through my peripheral vision (not directly) so I notice him. But he must have noticed because he made a big deal out of it. He told another person, "She keeps looking at me, F--- her" and started fidgeting in his seat.

So you see, people do notice when I glance at them through the corner of my eyes, and my eyes aren't even that big. Have you ever heard of someone saying "I can smell your fear" or "I can feel your fear" even though you don't show it? It's as if they have intuition. Every human being is born with intuition, but intuition is stronger in some than in others.

As for the webcam trick, I will try it and see how that goes.
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