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About BelAnna

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  1. Thanks Jennie, Skullpops and St Mike! I am worried that I should have just watched her for symptoms. There are various OCD related issues with this: 1. I have had obsessive fears about my dog eating toxic substances and sharp things since she was a puppy so what if I overreacted where a normal person might assume she had not eaten any of the mushrooms? (Strange pet-related health OCD and responsibility). 2. My actions might have caused damage to my dog's heart (Responsibility OCD) 3. I'm worried that I'm a bad person who did this intentionally to inflict harm on my innocent little dog.. Had I not taken her to the Vet I would be feeling very anxious tonight. My dog has just eaten her dinner and is feeling better. I coped with the vomit despite my Emetophobia (vomit phobia) and even spoke to two vets, when I have social anxiety issues. I just don't know whether I made the wrong decision but I guess there's no point ruminating over it now!
  2. Hello All, When reality interacts with OCD I find it really difficult to make decisions. Today my dog ran around some trees on her dog walk and kept stopping to sniff and eat something (I was calling her away and telling her to 'leave-it' but she has selective hearing!). Anyway she sniffed a part-eaten poisonous mushroom and I wasn't sure if she had any of it so I took her to the Vet. The Vet from our Vet Practice was on call and not there so we had to travel to an Emergency Vets where I stayed with my little pup whilst she was given a heavy duty emetic injection to make her vomit profusely (20+ times). There was no trace of mushroom BUT the Vet said that it was definitely better to be safe than sorry with the type of mushroom in question. (I hadn't been able to see what she was eating/sniffing when she was under other trees where there were mushrooms). I am now really unsure whether I made the right decision: my dog has a mild heart condition and vomiting so much was miserable for her, I had to pay £390 (will get £200 back on insurance I think) and the day was ruined. On the other hand the mushroom (had she ingested it) could have caused seizures or much worse and we were able to identify the mushroom as poisonous. Feeling a bit anxious, particularly about whether it put a strain on my dog's heart and caused her emotional damage too. What would you have done?
  3. I'm really sorry you're struggling at the moment. I know what you mean about the anxiety producing nausea and then making you more anxious- it's a vicious cycle! Do you find that you can leave the house for some things but not others or do you spend most of the time at home? I can cope with going for a run (providing I avoid other people and don't run on any suspicious vom-like substances on the ground) and with going for dog walks in the countryside because the chance of norovirus exposure is quite low but can't cope in town very well. That's great that your therapist is providing you with more time each appointment- 15 minutes is just a joke, no one could make progress in that time. Personally I think you have severe OCD and not just Emetophobia with OCD features because you have contamination fears and because of the level of disruption that your contamination fears cause. The contamination OCD is triggered by and resulting from Emetophobia but I do believe it's OCD. People have with simple Emetophobia do not have extensive contamination obsessions and rituals and their lives are not severely affected. So someone with simple emetophobia would avoid being around drunk people, ill people and perhaps places like hospitals- they might have some limited OCD features such as handwashing briefly after meeting someone who has recently been unwell with a bug. For someone with OCD they have a contamination obsession, extensive compulsions and it severely affects their lives! For an OCD diagnosis (according to DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria), you only have to have: A. Either obsessions or compulsions (you have both!) B. Acknowledge that the obsessions or compulsions are excessive or unreasonable. C. Marked distress resulting from symptoms, which are time consuming (take more than 1 hour a day), OR significantly interfere with the person's normal routine, occupational (or academic) functioning, or usual social activities or relationships. So it's clearly OCD. I have multiple variants/symptom types of OCD and also label my contamination obsessions and compulsions as OCD even though they are related to my Emetophobia.
  4. Hi Legalseagull, That's great that you're starting CBT again! It might be good that it's at a time when your OCD is at its worst. How are you managing at the moment? I think December is the worst for mine too; I'm very scared about Norovirus throughout Autumn/Winter but I'm most scared of catching it and ruining Christmas or worse still being stuck in the house with someone throwing up and knowing that it's inevitable/very likely that I'll catch it (I've actually gone to stay elsewhere every time anyone has been unwell in the last 10 years). Do you have a lot of 'safety behaviours' for your emetophobia (e.g. using wipes/sanitizer, anti-emetics, mints, avoiding certain foods etc.?) I hardly leave the house, insist everyone uses sanitizer and cleans their hands after going out, wash my hands until they bleed and use anti-emetics if I feel very unwell... so lots of compulsions! Hope you're ok! Poor you, yes I definitely feel the same! Hope things are as relaxing as possible for you this Christmas!
  5. Is this just crazy?

    Hi HDC, thanks, would you speculate about what it was or just wipe it off and carry on? Thanks Ashley, I've had OCD long enough that I should be in that place but I've had a very stressful time recently, I'm feeling physically unwell and I'm just not managing it very well at the moment so couldn't eat the other packets, which is helpful for my diet but not my OCD! I haven't thrown them away yet but they're in a bag and I wiped the kitchen surface down. I'm not sure that a normal person would necessarily even notice the tiny bit of gloop on the packet. In analogy if I saw a red substance on something I would not necessarily notice it nor assume that it was blood but someone with an HIV contamination fear might well do both. I think my fear always seems to win, even though most of my life has been ruined by OCD!
  6. Hello, I got a 'Graze' box through the post (a cardboard box (with wholes on it) with plastic packets of snacks inside) and I'm panicking a bit. The internal plastic packets felt a bit wet and one of them has something creamy/beige on the outside of the packet. I have convinced myself that this is vomit. I don't imagine this is a very normal thought? Surely it's more likely to be food? I only discovered the gloop after I had eaten some popping corn from one of the four packets (I did microwave it though). My fear is making me want to chuck the food packets away, put disposable gloves on and Dettol wipe the kitchen surface that has the graze box on it. I might be panicking more than usual because I've had abdominal pain all day prior to this and because i'm terrified of being unwell at Christmas!
  7. Hi Angst, Thanks! The pharmacist told me it takes two weeks to work and the NHS website says 10-14 days. I do have asthma but it's relatively mild and I have not needed steroid inhalers this year so I got a jab at Boots- I'm not sure whether most GP practices are providing the three-flu-strain jab or the four-strain-jab. Both vaccination types cover two type A strains of flu (which tend to be the most severe) but either one or two type B strains. I have a newborn nephew who I don't want to give flu to over Christmas and the one time that I caught flu several years ago I had a chest infection followed by very bad asthma for about a month afterwards. I'm much less afraid of flu than of Norovirus! It's difficult to explain quite how terrifying I find sickness and being around anyone who has been unwell with a stomach bug within the previous month!
  8. Hi All, I just wondered if I'm the only one! My contamination OCD stems from my phobia of vomiting (emetophobia) and I am most afraid of Norovirus (the winter stomach bug). I am starting to really struggle with this fear again, particularly as I am going to Scotland for Christmas this year and am concerned that I'm more likely to catch the bug whilst travelling and seeing family. It doesn't help that a lot of people go out whilst contagious with stomach bugs (it's important to stay home for at least two whole days after the diarrhoea has stopped) so they get everywhere! This year I'm also scared of contracting flu- I've had the flu jab this week but it takes a fortnight to start working so I won't be covered whilst travelling and apparently the jab I got only covers 3 flu strains. Does anyone else struggle more with contamination OCD fears in the Winter?
  9. flu jab tomorrow (didn't have flu before!), hoping that I don't react too severely!

    1. daja


      Good luck BelAnna. I have my jab either tomorrow if they can fit it in with a blood test or the next day, Wednesday.

    2. BelAnna


      Hope it goes ok Daja! My brother had a flu-like reaction for a day afterwards with a fever so I'm hoping not to get that but I think it's worth having if it prevents 3 weeks of flu virus!

    3. daja
  10. Definitely!! Oh no!! Freudian psychoanalysis really is gobbledeegook!
  11. From a Clinical Psychologist: 1. "Why don't you just stop all of your compulsions?" 2. "I imagine you're really tidy" (the reality: I have a psychiatric disorder, I am not "a bit OCD" and by the way I am the messiest person ever but also very creative but thanks for asking and not assuming). 3. "That's gobbledeegook" after I described one of my 'magical thinking' OCD thoughts with great embarrassment and distress! From a Counsellor: 1. It's abnormal for OCD to go on for such a long time, normally it's a minor condition. 2. If you keep staying in bed until 2pm you'll end up in a hospital, and you know what kind of hospital! (said in a slightly frightened/threatening- "isn't that a terrifying thought" way, knowing that I had been to the ADRU for anxiety disorder treatment BUT clearly completely unaware that people do not get locked away for lying in bed a bit too long nor that I had chosen to go to the ADRU to get over my "minor condition"!!) From a CBT therapist: 1. It's probably more of a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (yes, yes I'm sure it is- the fact that I've been to a Centre for Excellence in the treatment of OCD and diagnosed with profound OCD (and also seen five psychiatrists, two previous CBT therapists and had Clinical Psychologist sessions for years, who all agreed it's severe OCD!). From another CBT therapist: 1. "Ok so you have a compulsion to wash your hair because you feel it is contaminated... how about you cut it off/short?"
  12. You are still alive so you have a life . You can still live it, you might need more help to live it to the full but it can happen! If you are in good physical health then it's quite possible that you have 40-50 years to live and they can be wonderful years!
  13. ADRU at SLAM advice please!

    Hi MelEdwards, How is your partner getting on now? I definitely considered leaving for most of the first month! The turning point for me was when I started to have fun with the other patients and felt that it was worth continuing for the social support and genuine empathy/understanding of other patients, which I found really motivating when carrying out therapy tasks. I also found the O.T. therapists really helpful and did leave the ADRU better than I was when I was admitted. I think that my CBT therapist had an approach that didn't suit my particular symptoms and that was not appropriate for me so I did not make the progress that I may have made with a different therapist. (I have since made some more progress with another CBT therapist on an out-patient basis). I wonder if your partner could ask the O.T.s or assistant psychologist (if there is one at the ADRU at the moment) for extra help in leaving his room and attending O.T. classes? Is he also able to go home for the occasional weekend to relax? (therapy and particularly intensive therapy (which involves facing your worst fears) can be overwhelmingly stressful at times). I hope things are better now?