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About Ashley

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  • OCD Status
    In Recovery
  • Type of OCD
    Tried them all once, but mainly contamination fears that stuck

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  1. It's what OCD does I am afraid. We actually don't use the HOCD term because it can be unhelpful into thinking it's a different type of OCD or is treated differently. At the crux of it, the same process is taking place that does with other aspects of OCD. Because you're placing greater emphasis on these thoughts and perhaps the interpretation of the thought is different because of this, the OCD takes you to a different place and the moment you see or hear or think about the thing you worry about (if you're attracted) the OCD starts the 'what if?' game of repeating questions and ruminations. This frequently leads to body sensations too as you become aware of the thoughts and anxiety. For you it is groinal, for me with contamination worries, if I saw something resembling dog mess my hand would be pounding with pins and needles (because I worried it was contaminated). So what you're experiencing is to some degree, a typical OCD response/process. Hopefully this goes someway to explaining why that is happening for you. This is why we promote CBT to treat OCD, to help address the thought interpretation in the cognitive part of treatment for example, that will help when you then start to challenge your OCD. Are you having any kind of help and treatment for the OCD at the moment?
  2. Hey Just A, I am so sorry about your Gran, that is tough for anybody, any time, let alone those of us with OCD during a pandemic. Are your family there supported each other and you the best they can at the moment? The OCD you describe is not pleasant, especially when that goes against everything we know as caring individuals. I don't know if this will give you any consolation (even momentarily), what you describe is something we here so often on the forums and across the rest of our charity, so you're not alone. The good news is, and I won't pretend for one minute this will be easy, but there is hope, people can and do get better. They learn to manage their OCD better and in time learn to overcome it completely in many cases. There is hope I promise you. Have you ever had or are on a waiting list for treatment? Do you feel able to reach out to the NHS for help and support? We're here to listen if you need to talk things through. Ashley
  3. This is a good question, and the one most people with OCD will perhaps ask at the start of the problem. It's also the natural question to ask, because it makes sense doesn't it, I have a problem (in this case horrible thoughts) and I want the problem to go away. It's a logical question to ask. What we have learned with OCD is two things. One of which is what we know with OCD is that the thoughts themselves are rarely the problem, but in fact how we deal with the thoughts. For example, people without OCD have the odd graphic thought that is upsetting and weird, but they usually dismiss. The other thing we know is the more we try and make the thoughts go away, the more intense they become. So for example, those of us who remember radio/stereo systems with dial volume knobs, it's like the knob was installed the wrong way around, so when we think we're turning the volume down, we end up turning it up louder. So in therapy, and it's not easy to do, what a good CBT therapist will endeavor to help you do is not fight the thought, but the exact opposite, encourage the thoughts. As we address what the thoughts mean and how we interpret them in therapy, we are then able to face the thoughts. And overcoming any aspect of OCD at some stage involves facing the thing we fear, in this case the thoughts. In time we can have the thoughts and because they no longer scare us or bother us, there is no anxiety and we dismiss them without even realising we are doing it, and when we do that the frequency of them dissipates too. I hope some of that can make sense and help
  4. This is right and is most likely the gold standard approach, but I believe the guidelines do also make the point the patient should be offered a choice between combining therapy with meds or more intensive therapeutic intervention. I will have to dig it out for the exact wording, but the point about 'choice' is important Just to clarify, here in the UK we advocate CBT (the cognitive and the behavioral - including ERP), rather than ERP on its own. The cognitive aspect of OCD is felt to be helpful in addressing the meaning attached to the thought which can often keep OCD fears going, even after exposure work and lead to relapses.
  5. I don't disagree with any of that, but if you were to tell me to stop doing my compulsion that would not help me at all, nor stop me doing them. But, and you have done this to help me and many others over the years, you would help me look at what I am doing and why and help me explore alternative ways of handling that situation.. that's the point I was getting at. It does require input from me, but 'stop doing compulsions' which we see a lot on here, and we hear stories of therapists saying that is never overly helpful in my experience.
  6. This is great, you are recognising the problem and working at not engaging in the compulsive behaviour. How did you get on? The problem for many that use our forums, they are struggling and may not have had therapy to equip them with the skills and tools to understand their OCD and engage in alternative ways to challenge the OCD, so simply stop doing compulsions is not always that easy. It's important we don't equate not engaging in compulsions as being strong too. We have so much strength already living with OCD, we get up each day knowing what lays ahead and we still get up anyway, so the strength is there already.
  7. For the most part I have overcome 90% of my OCD. It's taken time, and I still have a bit of work to do. I was not particularly depressed because of the OCD so I chose never to take medication. Could I have overcome quicker with meds, who knows, but I chose to tackle with CBT alone. I would never rule meds out, they can be helfpul, but it's ok to try therapy first. The NICE Guidelines do support this too.
  8. Hi, So if you used to talk daily, was that online rather than face-to-face, if so then does anything much need to change? You haven't lost a friend, if the friendship is strong then it will survive, perhaps in another form and that will make those moments in each others company more special. Are you concerned your OCD is fixating on this? Ashley
  9. Absolutely Liam, and for some of us, we have to take today as just another day, one day at a time. Hopefully for you and anybody else struggling today, your next Christmas will be much easier and happier.
  10. That cottage in Surrey, I want, want, want.... sadly not sure my house buying budget will fund
  11. I'm like that with cycling. My team want me to join cycling club and do more social things, but I like going at my own pace, own route and enjoying views. The pandemic got them nagging off my back for now
  12. I went full on soppy Christmas romance last night with The Holiday... this afternoon Turkey with Minder on the Orient Express (yes I know im old lol) and tonight Love Actually. My Christmas movie list every two or three years lol. oh and Merry Christmas OB1
  13. I don't think it's not a case of not being strong enough, the fact is you have done two days and that is brilliant, shows lots of strength there. Have you done any cognitive work alongside ERP? I guess a couple of thoughts I have are that next time, see if you can resist the compulsion to 3.5 days and then time after try and go to 4 days. But, if you do keep relapsing that suggests somethings not quite going right. You could be doing the behavioural work but at the same time subconsciously neutralising (compulsion) which means the exposure benefit is short lived, hence the relapse on day 3. Are you with a therapist? if so, after Christmas it may be worth talking it through with them to try and work out what's going wrong. But, what I would say is that the fact you are managing to do the exposure exercise is amazing, that's the bravest and hardest part, hopefully some minor tweaks and adjustments (cognitive work) and hopefully three days will become three weeks then three months very soon! Keep going Ashley.
  14. I am, but how I like it in some respects. Christmas Day to do nothing but watch rubbish cheesy films when I want, and what I want Whatever today brings OB1 I hope you find a way to enjoy it.
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