When you have an obsession about whether you are a good person or not, you inadvertently find yourself engaging in a debate. The question that your mind always seems to ask you is ‘Am I a good person?’ This is a Yes or No question. Your Harm OCD engages you in a debate about the goodness or evilness of your character.

But in moments of clarity, being a good person who does not want to cause harm may be an obvious opinion about yourself. No matter how real your doubts may seem, you may have recognized their irrationality. So, there is no point in repeatedly engaging in a debate with your Harm OCD for the same question. Hence, you need to End the Debate in your mind.

When your mind asks you if you are evil, you do not have to engage in the debate. You have to remember that the debate has ended and that you know the answer even if it does not seem plausible in the moment. The Yes or No question is irrelevant, even though it seems valid and real in that moment.

Ending the debate is easy. Reminding yourself mindfully that no more engagement is needed will require work. When you have ended the debate, the next step of acknowledging without agreeing can be taken. When you put in the hard work through ERP, you will move forward in your recovery journey, by dealing with your obsessions without doing the compulsions.

Note: In case you still think that the answer to the debate could be a ‘no’, that is you may actually be a bad person, your psychological insight may be low and you may need to work on it along with a course of medicines that will help augment insight.

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