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About Caramoole

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  1. Yep, you were sticking your finger in foam. I pop bubble wrap, that doesn't mean I want to attack teenagers and forcibly squeeze their spots. I haven't made a connection in my brain about bubble wrap, so don't have recurrent intrusive thoughts about it. You set up that connection from a brief observation/sensation. The initial thought probably wasn't even an intrusive thought as such, merely a normal thought/observation that our brains make all of the time. Our brains are observing, thinking, weighing-up situations every single second. Thoughts flit through so quickly we're largely unaware of them, particularly the amount of them that we have every day. Our brains analyse information and dangers etc. You stand on a train platform near the edge, brain looks at the situation and thinks " You're too close, what if you tripped, what if you jumped, what if you pushed someone else onto the tracks?" Our brain is simply observing, weighing up all the possible dangers and usually filtering them through seamlessly. As you walk about you may think "She looks smart, I love that coat, hate his hair, that child's a brat, he's fat", again simply noticing and assessing things around us. The same is true with things and sensations, "That potato looks like a pair of boobs, this bath gel feels like custard, this grassy bank feels like a soft duvet, this concrete is hard, you might stick your finger in a hole drilled in a brick wall", "That's hot, that's freezing, that smells, that's soft" All normal things that happen hundreds of times a day. Stand in a shopping centre and every person around you is thinking variations of these things according to what they're doing and what's going on around them. To a non-sufferer they come they go. To a sufferer they may think: "Why did I think that, what if I pushed someone in front of the train? I must be dangerous and insane" "What if I blurted out "you're fat and ugly"? I can't be around other people in case I lose control" "Why am I thinking about breasts, what if I'm a sex fiend and groped women in the office?" You could have had a piece of foam with an indentation 2" across and thought, "That would make a good egg cup" didn't, you had foam with small indentations and as described, your brain is assessing and evaluating what you see and feel. You think tiny, soft and because of your previous worries "Wham", your brain pulls out the connection it did, nothing more. On another day or to another person the brain could have said "You could balance Cadbury's Mini Eggs in those holes" Because your brain homed in on and noticed a thought about a child you went into Thought/Action/Fusion mode, where you had the thought at the same time as (naturally) sticking your finger in the foam. You fused the two together and came up with the fear that you must be a depraved paedophile. WRONG!! You had a thought that repulsed you, that frightened you, that (because of the attention you gave it) won't go away and now plagues you. Had you had the Mini Eggs thought it would have long gone. Your anguish is because of the attention you put upon it. Because of the things you probably do to make the thought go away. Things we call compulsions. These might include thinking about and going over it all the time (rumination). Asking others for reassurance that you're not mad. Avoiding anything to do with children, not being near them alone, avoiding schools or parks, not looking at kids on TV or in magazines. Firstly you have to try and identify a list of all the things you do to try and stop this thought and behaviours associated with or because of it. Once you have worked out what controlling behaviours (compulsions) you do to prevent or bring down anxiety, then you have to work at reducing these behaviours. Does that make sense?
  2. That is probably the most important piece of information in this thread. You may feel that your questions are relevant but really they are a classic example of that "need for certainty" that sufferers crave, feeling that if they could just be sure on this point things would be okay. Wrong.
  3. I can BUT you should be prepared for those triggers, recognise that first flash of anxiety BUT then instead of rolling off down that well-trodden track, realise what has triggered the anxiety and then change how you handle it. If you get into the compulsions, the thinking about it, the going over it, you will feel awful. If you recognise that this is just a response to a trigger (that you train yourself to recognise) and "refuse" to get into any further debate with it but move on, that flash of anxiety can be gone in 10 minutes or so. It's only the examination of things that maintains the anxiety. As I've said before, imagine someone visiting the zoo, there's a huge sign on a cage which says "DON'T FEED THE LIONS, They will bite" So the woman breaks off a piece of her burger, puts her hand through the bars and the lion snaps up the food and bites her in the process. She breaks off another piece and again puts her hand through the bars, the lion bites her again, more savagely this time. The moral of the story is the same, if you keep doing the same things despite the dangers, the warnings others give you about the dangers of a course of WILL get bitten, and it will bite EVERY time. The same is true of OCD and trying to control it by using compulsions.
  4. See how you feel. If you're really struggling it's fine to take a couple of weeks between reductions. Finding your feet and stabilising is important too, the rule is that you never go backwards and up the dose, ever. When you get down to these later stages (under 10mg) it is better to reduce fortnightly anyway. It's not a race and not really your GP's decision, they prescribed them for you all these years, they owe you the support to get through the withdrawal as easily as possible. And although it's not something we want to hear but is important to know, even when you cut out that last pill the battle isn't quite over, it will take time beyond that. Truthfully, it probably took 2 years for me to be back to normal (including the withdrawal period). That doesn't mean you'll feel awful the whole time, things will start to feel better, symptoms will disappear and those good effects become cumulative. And when you get there, instead of craving a pill you will get to the point where you will never want to take one again. You're doing really well, I'm proud of you
  5. The other one looks to be written for 6-17 year olds. I presume it's written in a way that's more understandable for youngsters, the principles will be the same. I would stick with the adult version for now and see how you do with it yourself and then you can either use what you learn and help your Son in a way that's applicable for him. You could always buy it at a later date.
  7. How many doses are you taking a day and what quantity mg at each dose?
  8. Hi there and to the forum. Unfortunately, you can't get rid of the thoughts, well not in a way you probably hope for. However, you can get to a place where the thoughts don't trouble you and largely disappear. The path towards this is by stopping the compulsions and working through that anxiety. The anxiety can be immense and feel like your brain will explode but it won't, if you don't capitulate and seek relief from compulsions, it will die down again. It's about getting through that challenging bit. As long as you use compulsions like rumination, reassurance seeking (in all its forms, which may also include looking up information) the intrusive thoughts will retain power over you. Try firstly to identify all the compulsions you do. Look out for all the things you do after an intrusive thought strikes you and then you can start to form a plan of action as to how to begin to reduce them
  9. Whilst I agree with what's being said, I don't think people think that theirs is special or different as such. I feel that many take the term as meaning "horrid thoughts" type OCD, with no obvious physical behaviours. This often happens before they know anything about the condition or at least, very little. That's why we need to raise awareness so that people (including health professionals) start to understand.
  10. On the face of what you've described it doesn't particularly look like OCD as such but is possibly a combination of anxiety, low self-esteem and maybe some obsessive tentencies. Do you have any other particular problems that make you feel you may have OCD?
  11. Try and put your logical head on for a moment. How exactly are miniscule particles of dried faeces, stuck down a groove in the floor going to contaminate anything? Quite simply it isn't. You used the term "I believe" and that is what's happening, your OCD makes you believe, makes you worry which is very different to having good cause to worry. What to do? Walk around the house without slippers and sit with the anxiety. Just like you did yesterday, do the things you want to do, walk into the fear, into the thing you're running from.....then do it again.
  12. It sounds to me that you still have quite a way to go with the contamination worries. Your cats (indeed any pets) don't need a level of cleaning up after that leaves you feeling exhausted, if it does, you're doing way, way too much in "normal terms". Similarly, if you're only finding time to eat once a day, things have a long way to go. It can be helpful for family not to molly coddle and to help nudge you forward when needed but it seems the pressures exherted by your family are perhaps too much. You should be working on your recovery for you, not to a time scales or conditions laid down by them. I am particularly concerned about your ex's demands and would seriously urge you to consider if there's a long-term future with someone who is not prepared to support and help you with your problems. No-one can really advise about whether you should keep your cats or not, all I would say (as above) is that unless you had a pet like a horse say (which would demand several hours a day & perhaps travelling) then care of a domestic animal (even Ragdolls) shouldn't impinge on your life to such an extent.
  13. Personally (and I can only speak personally) as a pet owner and OCD suffererI I feel it is prefectly possible to both have pets, give them enough attention and have enough time for your own recovery. I have Border Collies who really do need a lot of time and attention both mentally and in physical terms of exercise etc, you couldn't really get a pet breed who needs more input and dedication to their well-being. Until his death, I also had an indoor cat as well. Life is about balance and that includes working on our OCD issues, but that shouldn't become obsessive in itself and worked upon in such a way that it detracts from normal living/life-balance. If you're coping with the general contamination issues which isn't affecting your ability to cope with their welfare, what is it that's causing the issues?
  14. All of the above is rumination, an urge to check and reassurance seeking = All OCD Work on cutting the rumination straight away, don't get pulled back in. It's by learning to recognise these OCD thoughts as they occur and straight away refuse to get drawn back into the cycle. The more you do this, the more adept you become at doing it. Give it a try
  15. .......and that's your ticket out of this. That is exactly what you very Well Done, you should be very proud of yourself And the more you do things like this the progress will accumulate and it will get easier. I'm really pleased and proud of you