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  1. Hi Justine, I have had a huge problem with contamination OCD too so I know how horrible it feels. It's great that your CBT has helped in the past. Dog and fox faeces actually pose very little risk to health provided that if you ever actually get any visible poo on your hands you wash them carefully. Smaller amounts of bacteria from invisible quantities of dog faeces rarely cause ill-health in otherwise healthy people. If you think that people who kiss their dogs and cats (myself included these days!) regularly come into contact with their pet's faecal bacteria (for example where the dog licks their bottom and then licks their fur and the pet owner kisses the fur!) and very very rarely become unwell. The vast majority (90%) of stomach bugs are caused by Noroviruses (there are multiple strains) and the best way to prevent catching viruses is just simple handwashing for 20-30 seconds with warm soapy water and possible anti-viral hand foam or hand wipes use in high risk situations (i.e. GP/hospital appointments). Of course if someone in the house is unwell with a virus then diluted bleach can be used on surfaces to denature the virus (you cannot kill viruses, you denature them) but using bleach on your skin can cause broken and bleeding skin and chronic exposure to bleach can have more serious health consequences. I hope you're ok today!
  2. Hello, My OCD seems to be getting less and less realistic (i.e. a minute ago I prepared some microwave rice for my dog- it was brown rice and when I cooled the cooked rice down in some water, the water went murky. I am now worried that I might have dropped a fairy dishwasher tablet in the water!) and I have had lots of CBT including 12 weeks as an in-patient and several other series of treatment (one of which lasted 5 years) but my OCD just changes 'theme' all of the time so I cannot tackle it. It seems to me that most OCDers try one anti-depressant then either suffer side-effects and stop taking it (which is what I did) or stay on it for a while, find it ineffective and then stop. I am just wondering whether anyone has stayed on a single anti-D for a longer period of time and found it effective for treating their OCD? Thanks!
  3. Hi Rob, If your GP claims you have exhausted all local help then ask for a referral to either the Anxiety Disorders Residential Unit in Beckenham or the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma at the Maudsley.
  4. Today's worry (so far): I just took my dog for a walk- she walked through some crushed glass and I'm worried that I saw a shard of glass and that she might have eaten it. I am tracking my OCD worries on this thread so that I can see quite how frequently and dramatically I freak out and how she is ok 90% of the time afterwards xx
  5. Thanks DizzyD and PolarBear, DizzyD, it can be a nightmare can't it? Sorry to hear you've had so much stress from your little miniature Jack Russell. My Golden Retriever is a year old and already she's been seriously ill with lungworm, which made her collapse (this was despite Milbermax worming preventative tablets and she had to have full heart and lung investigations/tests at a specialist vet hospital); swallowed a hairbrush needle and had to have x-rays; had an ovarian cyst and bled for 2 months continuously before her Op; eaten a mushroom and been made to throw-up and had two other serious infections. I think that I have OCD about her eating something pretty much every day. Tonight I'm worried because she seemed to eat something that was long and thin on the floor and I'm worried in case it was a needle or a hair pin. I have these catastrophes playing out in my head- for example that it was a needle and her intestines will be pierced by, then she will get peritonitis. I know that my worries don't sound very rational but that's OCD I guess! Thanks PolarBear, I know that lots of dog owners are not as (overly) careful or as consumed with OCD/anxiety about their pets- there is a chance that my dog would not have survived this year without me being careful but equally these worries are affecting my life and she is "just a dog". I will try to take your sound advice on board! Thanks!
  6. Hi All, I have really awful OCD at the moment. One of the many foci/uses of my OCD is about harm coming to my dog. Today I got a form to fill out for ESA and picked up some papers from a drawer where I store ibuprofen (& some of the little blister packs of tablets are not in their boxes) and batteries. I brought the papers (from the drawer) downstairs without thinking much about the ibuprofen but throughout the day I have been worrying that a small foil blister pack of ibuprofen may have been stuck in between the sheets of paper and that my dog might have swallowed them (she's a big year-old golden retriever so it's possible). Also there is a smaller chance that there were some loose ibuprofen tablets in the draw that got stuck to the papers and that again I brought the ibuprofen down on the paper and my dog swallowed it. I cannot get this worry out of my head (classic OCD I guess) and the 'what-if' is really bothering me! At the moment I struggle with one or more of these worries each day (e.g. has she swallowed a mushroom/some glass/some chewing gum (v toxic to dogs)/a pin or needle/a sharp bit of stick/a pen lid/ a raisin (again they are v toxic to dogs) and I'm not sure of the best way to deal with it all. I have also spent money asking for Vet advice on a vet website at times when I didn't think a Vet visit was probably necessary. I have had a really awful day even aside from the OCD so I wonder: 1. Does this worry sound quite illogical? 2. What is the best way of dealing with these daily worries especially when some of them seem to make sense to some extent? (e.g. if she really did swallow a mushroom or some raisins or glass then she would be at risk of serious illness) 3. Do you think that the fact that I have this type of OCD means that if I have children in the future I may well face the same sort of worries? Thanks!
  7. Hello, I'm having what I assume is an OCD thought that my lovely dog is going to die this week. The problem is that I had the same thought about my cat the week that she died in December- my cat was 14 and had been vomiting on and off but wasn't obviously dying- I told family members about the thought and kept asking for a lift to the Vets (I cannot drive) but I thought that the thought was OCD. My Dad had a big angry outburst (no physical aggression though) a minute ago so perhaps my anxiety levels are just raised but I wanted to write this down so that I can hopefully come back next week and update.
  8. Hi Everyone, Thank you for the replies. I was just wondering whether it was effective because I know it is supposed to affect glutamate levels in the brain and that there is some research suggesting that OCD sufferers have different levels of glutamate in their CNS. I've only read one double-blind study of NAC for OCD and it indicated that it was not effective as a treatment for OCD but there's not much research into its use. I'm wondering whether there will be any better medicines, which affect the Glutamatergic system rather than the serotonergic system in the future. I do think it's possible to waste time and money on (researching and purchasing respectively) supplements and alternative remedies HOWEVER sometimes they can be useful. St John's Wort for example can be really useful as a treatment for mild depression and is thought to work in a similar way to SSRIs- the fact that there has not be quite as much research into some remedies does not mean that they do not have the potential to improve psychiatric symptoms. Homeopathy is useless as it only involves very very dilute quantities of substances but other alternative/herbal remedies and vitamin supplements do have the potential to help.
  9. Hi All, I was just wondering whether anyone has tried 'N-Acetyl Cysteine' (which can be brought at Health Food Shops) for their OCD? Thanks!
  10. Hi All, Every Sunday I obsess about my family members crashing on the way to work on Monday. It's horrible to always imagine my loved ones dying. I always say 'Please drive carefully' to my loved ones, which is obviously a compulsion. I don't know what to do about this worry (apart from obviously stop the compulsion!). Do anyone else relate and what can I do about it?
  11. Yes, probably a good idea- I think you have to have an incredible level of interest in a subject to study for a PhD in it! I struggled proof reading and checking with essays so I imagine it was 10x worse with your MSc! My brother is quite a relaxed person but was incredibly stressed when he took his PhD. Both my parents and both my brothers have MScs so I'm definitely the odd one out, with just a Diploma of Higher Education! I did get A grades so really shouldn't have withdrawn from my course but at the moment I'm struggling to string sentences together. Sorry this is not really OCD related, except that the loss of my degree (I left uni last January) had a major impact on my OCD and Depression and now having a lack of purpose with no career and nothing to focus on is definitely having an effect on my OCD too! Good luck with your job search! Maybe keep reminding yourself of how well you've done and try not to be too discouraged that you are over-qualified- we just live in a very silly society!
  12. Thanks PolarBear, I do naturally take a pessimistic stance on life and I also feel very stuck at the moment- I cannot work nor find funding to study and my social skills are such a problem that I cannot do normal things (e.g. buy an item in a shop or go for a hair cut). You're right that I have survived devastating mental disorders but it's difficult when other people do not understand and just see you as a failure, for example my uncle suggested that it was important that I "got a move on" with life- if only it was that simple! I'm sorry to hear you have similar feeling Rucker. I think that you sound very successful and should be really proud of your degree and Masters degree. I know that being jobless can have a massive effect on your self-esteem though- my brother found the same after his PhD. You are right that it's important to focus on things other than careers/jobs when measuring success in life. Thanks for your help xx
  13. Hi All, Thanks so much for your support recently! I have seen a lot of my extended family and family friends recently with the funeral etc. and I cannot help but feel like such a failure when people ask me what I'm doing now- I actually just resorted to saying 'I'm not one of life's success stories' to one family friend because I'd rather be honest about how things are than pretend I'm successful. So here I am: just turned 29 a couple of weeks ago; no job (I have never had one due to very severe OCD so no CV either); no friends (I used to have good friends at uni); no social skills (I used to be sociable but was agoraphobic for a couple of years and gradually lost social skills); recent weight gain (I was size ten 18 months ago); no funding to complete my degree (went to a very prestigious uni, got A grades, dropped out with a Diploma; no boyfriend and I just feel as though I have failed at life due to my OCD, Social Anxiety Disorder and Depression! Does anyone else feel like this? How do I start feeling more hopeful and work out what the next step is? I don't want to be in the same position in 10 years or even 2 years time! Thanks xx
  14. having a really really hard time

  15. Hi PureOfied, Thanks for your message. The problem is that I get into similar 'My dog ate...' panics most (well really 'every') day and I didn't see her eating a button battery- I am just concerned that she could have. I definitely would like to get her checked and think that if I was living alone I would probably take a taxi to get her checked out BUT we have already been for other things like a swallowed mushroom, a sock and a swallowed hairbrush needle (this is despite her never being left alone). I am hoping to report back in a week that all is well but absolutely terrified about her getting ill at the same time. Today has been a horrible day and this is another worry!