We do not need to solve all the doubts our Harm OCD throws at us. But it seems like the mind will not find relief until we do. There is intolerance of uncertainty which could be both prospective (I would like to know all the answers) and inhibitory (I cannot function until I know the answers) (Pinciotti et al., 2021). Your doubt about being evil may have been disproved time and again but your mind still keeps asking you, ‘what if you are right this time?’

For example, let us say that you get the feeling that you want to kill your dog. This may make you react in an undesirable manner. You may punish yourself through self-harm. But after your obsession has passed, you may realize that you did not need to get agitated or upset about the thought. When you are triggered, though, your mind may ask you ‘what if this time it is real that I have indeed turned evil?’ The thought may seem real and Jay may force you to try and find the answer. So, how do you resolve this need to always know the answer and learn to stay with the uncertainty?

Let us understand the difference between possibility and probability. When we consider possibility, the only answer we can get is either yes or no. So, is it possible for me to win the lottery? Yes. So, if I buy a lottery ticket should I start celebrating right away? No. Because even if the possibility of winning exists, I may still not, since the probability of winning it is minuscule.

In Harm OCD, however, Jay might tell you that even if the probability is low, it still exists and that it should be attended to. If Jay is able to convince you of that, he wins. It is like Jay telling you to celebrate your win just because you have bought a lottery ticket. If you can tell Jay that you will wait until you win the lottery to celebrate, you have to tell him that you will worry about the disaster only if it happens and not attend to every thought that Jay gives you, since the possibility exists, but the probability is low.

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