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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. Snowbear, don't give my secrets away, I can't fib and pretend it's for official work business now. lol
  2. Me too... im not handling it well and was in denial but the team got me a 50 balloon for the office to remind me Joking aside, I will set the first group up, I am away in April but will see if I can squeeze in, if not perhaps for early May. Any preference for what evening of the week people prefer. I usually do a Tue or Wed.
  3. This is interesting, and what I will say is that exposure behavioural work takes as long as it takes and there is no set time period to be doing it. For example my exposure work would be to contaminate myself and then I would sit with it a few moments, and get on with my day. The actual 'doing', was the important part and that would take just 30 seconds to do. I would generally say, it's until the anxiety is less bothersome that you can carry on with your day. Be that 15 minutes or a hour. There is also nothing wrong with doing 15 minutes in a morning and repeating later in the evening. If you are doing an exposure, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. But... this is the key part. You could spent 6 hours on an exposure, it's pointless if we are neutralising, or the therapy/therapists have not helped us with the underlying fear/worry/interpretation of thoughts. I would also say if the therapist tells you to do something like make a script, and you don't know where to start that's not your fault, that is 100% on the therapist for not ensuring you understand the purpose of the exercise and how to implement it. I would recommend asking the therapist for clarity on the exercise and helping you with examples of such scripts, so you can then create your own. Good luck with it. Ashley
  4. Hello and welcome to the forums Spicypepper. Sadly when it comes to OCD a lot of generic mental health lines give the reassurance, but that in itself is not helpful for those of us with OCD and the problem remains, the doubts and uncertainty increases as does the need for more reassurance. It's great that you have recognised your need for help with the OCD, and don't worry I think many of us have been guilty at one time or another of being afraid to do the therapy, but hopefully this time you will feel able to go ahead. The good news is that with good support and advice from a therapist that fully understands OCD that people can and do get better. However, you mention the CBT online programme, did they clarify what that is? If it's just an automated online CBT course that is most likely not going to offer much, so I do recommend accessing face-to-face therapy (one-on-one) with a therapist, or at the very least that could be done online if face-to-face is too hard at this time. Is your therapy through the local NHS IAPT/Talking Therapies service? With best wishes, Ashley.
  5. I agree, and I have voiced similar concerns in the past to services, that the onus needs to be on patients to opt out of waiting list, not automatically opt out if they don't reply. In part, the OCD can stop people even opening mail for weeks at a time. With regards the telephone therapy, is that for the assessment or therapy? if for the therapy this is low intensity and you are within your rights to request video r face-to-face. I am more than happy to write to the service from the charity as a generic letter following up from a couple of previous service user comments (without referencing you at all) and highlighting good practice and asking them to review their practices. If you wish us to do that can you let me know the name of the service in question (email me for privacy). Ashley
  6. Hello, To anybody that tried to register in the last week, I noticed that the forums automatic emails were not sending. I have now fixed that and resent all outstanding account registrations. Any problems please email us and I will do my best to help. I also banned a lot of spam registrations, nearly all gmail accounts.
  7. Big red flags here (I need to get a red flag icon). I have seen enough on social media of concerned people I trust to suggest this place/person may be one to be cautious about. We would not recommend as a substitute to real therapy from a real therapist.
  8. Is that in writing from them at all Phili? If so I would love to see it. With technology as it is now they should be offering you a choice of either online video therapy (if available to you) or some kind of home based work, on top of helping with OCD also with a view to helping you take steps to eventually get to see them in person.
  9. Hello there, I think if you are getting anxious and ruminating over the mistake then for sure it can be OCD. It could just be general worry from embarrassment, and I have done that twice recently, most recently looking at someones Instagram who I follow I somehow accidentally clicked video call and let it ring for a few second before I realised so cancelled it. I colleague often talks about her childhood friend who she socialises with and a few weeks ago my colleague tagged her into an Instagram post, so being nosy I looked at her profile and accidentally clicked like on a post, and even worse a holiday sunbathing pic. I was mortified and embarrassed, but it's not become an OCD thing for me, just an embarrassment thing for me. Everybody's done things like that, I have added lots of sad or smiling faces at wrong times... but most people don't worry about it for more than a moment or two. So I think the first thing is to try and understand if this is OCD or not, think of the key principles of OCD.... 1. Are you triggered each time you think about it? 2. Are you ruminating over it, worrying, replaying it for more than a moment or two? 3. Does it cause anxiety, fear, worries? I guess what I want to say is that everybody's done the wrong at some point, or liked on something we shouldnt, but most people don't worry about it for more than a moment or too. If that's the case we just chalk it up as a 'oops' moment and move on. If we do ruminate over it for a long time, then it could be OCD and linked to some aspect of how we feel about making mistakes or how people perceive us perhaps? I dont know, just a thought. What do others think?
  10. What C word Phili? Cancer? I do feel your opening post is seeking reassurance, but I do understand why you would. I will do my best to asnwer from an OCD perspective, without giving you reassurance if I can, but hopefully help you at the same time. I don't know if is as bad as smoking or not, but even with smoking I have known people smoke non-stop for years and not get cancer, and someone whose only smoked a little or second degree smoke gets cancer. So sadly we can't always control what happens, we just have to live our life the best we can, and do what feels right and safe for us, in this case changing to a different shampoo and deodorant. I don't know a lot on the subject, but using it does not automatically mean you have or will get cancer. However, if you are concerned you should stop using the product and find a suitable replacement. It's also important not to let your OCD take you down a path of compulsions looking for symptoms of cancer and seeking tests, unless there is a genuine symptom of course, then seek medical advice. Are you getting any therapy at the moment? Worth discussing this fear with the therapist and also to work more on why you can't use normal shampoo to see if there is a way they can help you build up to be able to use it. Please look after yourself. Ashley
  11. This is always the hard one and why OCD will always push us, to protect the things and people we care about. It's the same with all OCD symptoms, and why I often say a persons OCD is not different, in that the OCD process is exactly the same, it's pushing us to do compulsions to protect what is important to us, i.e. family, loved ones, pets and in your case the relationship. Of course this is where some form of behavioural/exposure work is needed to face the uncertainty and doubts head on and resist any temptations. Think about all things you know about OCD, asking to see evidence is reassurance and OCD will not accept it and demand to see more proof. That your thoughts today will breed and grow if you give them oxygen today. Of course I understand the 'feeling' will often override what we know logically about OCD, but when doing exposure work it can helpful to remind ourselves of how OCD works to reinforce what we must do. Ultimately there is no evidence your partner was unfaithful, an app on the phone does not prove that. The problem is the more you look to prove he was faithful by looking at history, the more things your OCD will find to convince you otherwise. The same when I look for evidence i am not contaminated, I find evidence I my OCD convinces me I am contaminated. I just have to try and work hard to accept doubts and not look for evidence of being contaminated or not, and tell myself I might be a little, so what, I will worry about this when it's a problem and not before. In your case, try and remember the only fact that I think you need to focus on, it's an app on a phone, doesn't mean he's used the app. Malina is not wrong, sometimes (depending on fear and context) the torture of OCD is far greater than the worst case we can imagine. It's hard I know when the feelings are so strong, I hope you find that peace with this and move on (without compulsions of course). Ashley
  12. Hi RainbowMoon (cool name btw) I agree with DRS1 that you don't necessarily need medication to recover. That's not to say you can't take medication, it can help some, and should always be an individual choice. You mentioned being pregnant. The reason I ask is that there is a specialist anxiety clinic in London for people with anxiety problems and OCD that will prioritise seeing pregnant women or new mums. Getting a referral is a long shot, but it could be worth talking to your GP and asking him/her to make whats called a 'right to choose' referral to the service, in the hope they will see you sooner rather than later. Your GP may not know too much about the clinic or 'right to choose' but ask them to write to Dr Blake Stobie at the CADAT clinic and request a 'right to choose' referral, and be clear to ask if can be seen by the PAX team due to pregnancy. Pass this link to the GP if you need to - https://slam.nhs.uk/referrals-cadet The service is called PAX at the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma (CADAT) clinic at the Maudsley Hospital in London. Pax stands for Parents with AnXiety. Don't worry if you can't get to London, I am sure they can do some remote video therapy work for now. I hope this information may help. I will also move your thread to the main OCD forum so you may get more replies. With best wishes, Ashley
  13. Hi Tom, I am just going to move your thread to the main OCD forum so you can get more replies. Can I ask, when you say SOCD do you mean Sexual Orientation OCD? I am not trying to be pernickety I just wanted to be clear what aspect of OCD we are talking about. It's also why I try and avoid using those acronyms or different OCD symptoms because I have seen the same acronym used for different symptoms. I would actually encourage you not to just think of doing ERP to treat OCD but seek out a good CBT therapist. A good therapist will involve both CBT and ERP, and in fact I am not convinced ERP on its own is the answer to treating OCD where the sticking point is rumination over intrusive thoughts more than physical compulsions. The rumination of course is a compulsion. Hal is right of course, if you can't yet work with a therapist, then step one (without or without a therapist actually) is create a hierarchy of fears and worries, and then gently start by working to challenge those first. If you can't bring yourself to articulate and provocatively encourage triggering thoughts, it does suggest you need to work on something lower and build up to the point you are trying to reach. It could also mean understanding our thoughts more may be needed (i.e. C part of CBT). Good luck thought Tom, I hope you manage to get to the point you are aiming for soon Ashley
  14. Really like this advice from Snowbear, with ERP being the second stage of therapy. She's also right that dragging someone else into therapy defeats the purpose of it somewhat as OCD is fuelled by our doubts and uncertainties and it's that which therapy tries to help us understand and work with. Also, the risk of actually talking to people involved in our OCD fears (past or present) is there's a good chance that's likely to be a form of reassurance seeking (at a guess). Just to say I have moved your post to the main OCD forum in order you may get more replies.
  15. Hi Trev, Sorry we did not reply to this sooner, I will move your thread into the main OCD forum so you will hopefully get a few more replies in the days ahead. OCD really can play into everything that we do, and a fear of making a mistake is probably more common in most people with OCD that we realise. It's only when we explore our worries (cognitive part of CBT) do we fully understand this. And then of course what therapy will do is help us explore what does that really mean, are we worried about the mistakes or worried about consequences on our life. The behavioural part of therapy will of course then help us explore how we challenge these misinterpretations our OCD is causing us. In terms of moving forward, are you getting any CBT at the moment? Sadly what we do know is that through local Talking Therapies the quality of CBT is mixed from excellent through to what I call 'CBT lite', or 'Not Very Good CBT', so please dont give up on the treatment, you may just need to refer back in and seek access to a different and hopefully more skilled therapist. Happy to help advise if you need us to on those treatment options (you may need to email us at support with your postcode so we can review your options). With best wishes, Ashley
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