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OCD-UK Member
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About taurean

  • Birthday 27/04/1950

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  • OCD Status
  • Type of OCD

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  • Location
    Northampton, England
  • Interests
    Olympics (especially London 2012),Athletics,Swimming,Photography, Astronomy, Archaeology, Antiques Programmes on TV,Art. Choral and Classical Music, Jazz, Fishing, Aerobic Exercise, Gardening, National Trust, Wildlife

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  1. At 72 years old and having sufferered periodic episodes of OCD since adulthood my treatment journey has been along one. And it's included meds as well as CBT, relaxation, exercise and mindfulness. I have to say the meds were, in my case of no value. I tend to go along with the adage that , for some, they help the patient to "float" whilst they work on therapy. Learning how OCD operates was of massive value - changing my beliefs and behavioural responses, and teaching my brain new ways of thinking without obsessional bias, has been enormous for me. But especially important has been shifting focus away from obsessions to mindful beneficial distraction. The four biggest of these, for me, have been. Watercolour painting Photography, and membership of a camera club. Regular exercise at the gym Adult education classes in archaeology history and art. For me, the more our brain fills it's time with these sort of distractions, the less time it has for being led astray by OCD.
  2. It's not what we think or feel in our mental health condition that causes the disorder - it's how we respond to it. And the best way is not to. To accept that what we are experiencing is the thinking distortions of OCD, not connect with them or give them meaning, and refocus into a mindful distraction, or back onto a neutral path as you were thinking before the intrusion came calling. We CAN change our thinking patterns like this. And when the OCD doesn't get belief or attention it loses power. If really will. So many times I read a tale of woe here and I feel like I want to shout at the screen to ignore it, it's all the meaningless ballooney that is OCD . But its strength is that it is believable; it appears rational even though it isn't. This is where the "leap of faith" that we talk about has to be leaped. And until people make that leap and change their thinking patterns, stuck they will be. For me there is no magic potion that takes away the condition. There can be help from medication, in particular to provide "water wings" to help us "float" , but I don't see it can be the answer. Those thinking and behavioural changes are the game changers.
  3. For those looking for that magic pill..... I tried 3 SSRIs, desperate for them to free me of constant repetitive looping thoughts my OCD caused in horrendous episodes. Did this work? No. Eventually I found the answer and no medication was involved. A combination of leaving the thoughts be from CBT putting together with my therapist a powerful structured programme of involved beneficial activity, creative visualisation and mindfulness did the trick - broke the cycle of distress. And this is why I consider each one of us, however similar our OCD may be, may need their own especial combination of psychological tools to overcome their particular manifestations. And, of course, the sufferer may also have additional psychological (co-morbid) issues that must also be addressed properly such as attention deficit disorder (like a young friend of mine) and autism. These must also be addressed as they will likely affect ability to challenge the OCD. I know that drugs can have a beneficial affect for some, but I personally think the medication option is indiscriminately given to those who could do better without. There are additional considerations such as depression and I tend to follow the view of those who see medication such as SSRIs as " water wings " that might help a patient to keep their head above water, whilst they engage with therapy.
  4. If you have an obsession about lazers, and harm from them, what might you do? You treat it the same as any other OCD obsession. You learn CBT, and how to see the OCD creating those connections and shouting threat in your ear. Then you learn not to believe it, not to connect with it, nor to carry out compulsions as a result of it. And, as with any other obsession and resultant fear/ threat, you learn to overcome it.
  5. What I have , to my mind, learned on my own OCD journey is that we may each need a special blend of tools to overcome the OCD and win back our lives. And different tools will suit different people. And that the bedrock of this is going to be CBT because we have to accept that we are suffering from OCD, learn that what the OCD is telling us is wrong, we have to stop believing and connecting with the intrusions and triggers, cut out compulsions and we have to go through exposure and response prevention to stop restrictions. All part of CBT. But beyond that, we may need - as I did - such doctrines as relaxation, exercise, structured beneficial activities, mindfulness, meditation techniques. And for some of us, medication may be a necessary part of the process. But,also building a strong mental muscle and gaining resilience is surely a big advantage- it has certainly proved so in my case.
  6. No, no meds at all. I found that, whilst they (the various SSRI ones I tried) provided a lift in the form of anti-depressant whilst I was not in an OCD episode, they also had an ongoing side effect of very loose stools 🙃. And when I was in an OCD episode, they didn't help me at all, even anti-depressant, especially with reilience. For me they just didn't help re the OCD. I take some vitamins and minerals daily, including some vitamin E that was suggested as a possible helper against covid-19.
  7. Hi folks, I am resurrecting this thread because, as I have always suspected, being well for over a year now has proved significantly down to having really improved my resilience, alongside applying CBT and boosting my beneficial activities. So I wanted to share this with you. Before, I just simply didn't have the mental strength to tight the OCD before it would quickly exert a vice-like grip on me if a trigger came along and I struggled to refocus away. Now, as happened the other day, if something that might previously have triggered me cones along, I don't follow it down the OCD rabbit hole - I just note it, then refocus away and it doesn't stick in my mind, it eases away.
  8. Those of you who have been here for a while and know of my own OCD journey, know that I see as part of my role within my community a purpose to spread awareness, and aid people with mental health and anxiety disorders to find understanding and help. Recently I was discussing OCD with our local rector, and she commissioned me to write a piece on OCD for the parish newsletter. It will be coming out in the Autumn, and she and I are quite excited as we feel there are people out there in the church community who are likely sufferers, scared and unaware how to seek help. I do of course pass knowledge back into the forum community, but it is really nice to be open within my own community and spreading the word about this condition. Meanwhile, I am pleased to report that I am, myself, still doing very well, ignoring all the issues of the world at large about which I can personally do nothing, and planning some local trips with my wife once the heatwave is over. Top of that list is a visit to the Althorp Estate, seat of the Spencer family for 500 years, and which lies only 4 miles away from us. It only opens in the summer months so we will try and do that soon.
  9. This is really good to read. We can all improve if we learn what we need to do, then go about the ways and means to make it happen. It's very difficult, there are peaks and troughs - and it's because it isn't easy that there is a need for this charity, and these forums. But it can be done, and it's so satisfying to read about people's achievements.
  10. Hi Summer I never had OCD all the time, but it came in episodes. Those episodes could launch out of the smallest little thing, which was annoying. My journey through therapy helped me to break this unhelpful habit. I found that keeping busy helped, so I made sure that my work life during the day, and my social and home life, were busy. Work for me was a blessing as it really suited me, I wanted to get up and go there, enjoyed everything about it, and I wasn't overburdened. My work? providing insurance cover to those needing it. Many of my clients became friends as well, which added to the enjoyment. The work aided my dealing with OCD didn't worsen it. For me, an important element in tackling and managing OCD is beneficial distraction and keeping busy, and work can help tick this box.
  11. Sorry response should be responses This should be OCD intrusions.
  12. It has its uses though, when there is a need to change our thinking and behavioural response to things. We can try all sorts of other things as well, and as I well know myself these can be helpful in refocusing and calming down - but unless and until we change those thinking and behavioural response, we are just making the intrusions stronger and reinforcing the problem. PCD intrusions need engagement and encouragement to flourish - they underpin and strengthen the problem. When we stop that encouragement, and ease away compulsions, the intrusions tend to diminish, and we start to improve. This to me is the essential that every sufferer needs to take on board. If they don't stuck they remain.
  13. To my sister and I, both pretty clever individuals and now in our 70s, the evidence is sufficient. And whilst our expressions of OCD aren't the same the root elements behind the manifestations are similar.
  14. I am pretty clear that the OCD of myself and my sister is genetic. My father and his sister displayed signs of it, and in my sister and my case it started in our childhood, which is pretty common. CBT is all about changing our thinking and behavioural response. It is used for a range of anxiety disorders including OCD. If we change our response to intrusions by learning from CBT that they aren't true, learn to ignore, then ease away from them - and also cut down on the compulsions, OCD loses power and we start to regain control. For me, if the sufferer is not able to work on this then it's the reasons why, and putting those right, not CBT that is the cause. In addition to the CBT I have found mindfulness extremely helpful, because it redirects our thinking into the present, and just the here and now. But it won't stop the OCD in itself, it helps refocus. My own view is that people seeking some magic alternative cure are looking for fool's gold, and might be better served finding help to establish why they aren't accepting that the OCD is false and stopping believing and connecting with it. And why they aren't able to tackle and stop carrying out compulsions.
  15. Which leads us nicely back to my headline - recovery really is a possibility. For many of us, and I include myself in that, a pattern of doing better, then relapsing, eventuate- and we lose faith. So I wanted to get over the point that, if this does happen, then we shouldn't despair. We need to look at how we are maintaining the problem, and how we can eliminate that. Try other things on top of the CBT - in my own case there was no failing in the CBT knowledge, but I needed additional tools beyond it in order to fully apply it.
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