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dksea

OCD-UK Member
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About dksea

  • Birthday 11/08/1980

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  • OCD Status
    Sufferer

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    Male
  • Location
    Tokyo, Japan

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  1. I'm glad I can help I don't think there would be anything wrong with seeing a psychiatrist, medication can be a helpful tool for many of us in living with/recovering from OCD. Its worth keeping in mind that a decision to try medication is not a permanent commitment, if you want to try later to go at it with out medication you can always do that. Its also important to know that its not going to be a miracle cure. How well it works will vary from person to person and medication to medication, don't expect immediate relief. It may take time to find the right type and dosage level that suits you best. Unfortunately like a lot of OCD recovery, patience is necessary. As to the therapy, you don't have to understand it all at once, its like learning anything, it takes time to take it all in. Thats why most therapy isn't simply a one time experience, you have follow up sessions to improve your understanding, discussion your situation and how its changing, reevaluate the steps, etc. You don't have to get it perfectly right the first time (or ever really). As PB says, no one does the right thing every time. Thats definitely true when it comes to recovery from OCD in my experience! The goal isn't to be perfect, the goal is to improve. If you can go from spending 10 hours a day on compulsions to 9 hours a day, thats an improvement! If you can go from washing your hands 6 times after every toilet visit to 5 times, thats an improvement! If you can go from ruminating right away, to putting off ruminating for 5 minutes, thats an improvement. As for reassurance, this is an area a lot of people misunderstand. Reassurance isn't inherently bad. In fact, it can do a lot of good. If you are having a bad day, it can help for someone to say something positive. It can help to ask someone if you are doing something correctly (and be told yes). Recovery from OCD does not require never ever getting reassurance ever again any more than it requires never washing your hands again. Reassurance becomes a problem when it becomes COMPULSIVE reassurance. When you seek it out over and over. When you get an answer but go back because you don't feel "sure", etc. Its important to reduce reassurance seeking as a compulsion from OCD, but you don't have to go straight to zero assurance for the rest of your life, I think that would be a bad thing. Again its about making progress. Right now you should focus on reducing the amount you seek reassurance and the time spent on reassurance. The more you can do it the better, of course, but even if you go from asking for reassurance every time you have an intrusive thought to every other time you have an intrusive thought, thats an improvement. The big caveat is that you have to keep trying to reduce the amount of times. You can't just get to 50% and call it good. And you can't simply give up and not even try once you've resisted once or twice. You have to TRY at least a little to resist as often as possible. Failing isn't great, but its not the end of the world either. You just try to do better the next time. None of us are Superman, we can't leap tall buildings in a single bound. But it doesn't mean you can't get over something tall (like a mountain) by slowly climbing up it. So climb that mountain, slowly at first if necessary, but keep trying to push forward. Before you know it all those small achievements add up into bigger ones.
  2. Welcome to the forums @intothewild, congrats on your first post! It can be scary opening up about your OCD, so that alone is a good step forward. Existential and solipsist intrusive thoughts are not at all rare when it comes to OCD, it comes up quite a bit actually. So rest assured you are not the first to deal with this problem and you can overcome it. Have you had any formal diagnosis of OCD? Have you done, or are you doing, any current treatment for OCD? We are happy to help but I don't want to repeat what you already know
  3. I'm sorry to hear that, it really sucks that you aren't getting more support. Unfortunately we can't force people to change, we can only encourage them to. In the meantime, as hard as it is, you still have to deal with OCD. Its understandable to be frustrated/angry/dissapointed with your family and it would be better if they were more supportive, but since you can't change that you have to move forward with your recovery as best you can with what little support they give. Like PB I wish it was different, but since its not, you've got to do what you've got to do. Try to focus on recovery, on the goals you set with your therapist, on making the small changes and achieving the small victories that will lead to bigger ones. You can do this! Your family may not understand or support you, but we do.
  4. Sounds like a therapist who knows what he is talking about when it comes to OCD! This is one of the things we've been trying to help you understand, the specific content of your fears doesn't ACTUALLY matter. Yes it seems important to you, but thats an illusion, a lie. The reason you have this particular fear is due to an accident of timing. Yes, it seems important to you, and absolutely it scares you, but part of recovery is choosing to treat the specific contents of the fear as unimportant. And taking it one step at a time is the right approach. I know (from your later posts) you have some doubts, but I think this therapist is definitely on the right track and think you should trust him more.
  5. While the ultimate goal is to avoid doing compulsions, its important to remember you aren't going to break the cycle easily or quickly in most cases. While its important to strive to avoid compulsions, also remember that when you do slip up, when you do give in, its not going back to square one. Its bound to happen, none of us are perfect, and recovery doesn't require you to be perfect. Your primary goal right now should be to work on reducing your compulsions with the ultimate end goal of stopping them, eventually. I apologize profusely if I hadn't made that clear in my previous advice. There are a variety of techniques and approaches you can try to reduce symptoms rather than outright stop them completely. For example, many people find that delaying compulsions is an achievable goal. One technique is to try and put off doing a compulsion for 5 minutes. Then after 5 minutes see if you can put if off another 5 minutes. Maybe 5 is all you can manage today, or maybe you'll get to 15 and the anxiety will be just to much for you to handle, but at least you got 5/15 etc. better than doing it immediately. Then the goal becomes to try and delay a little bit longer each time. Sometimes maybe you won't, you had a bad day, whatever. But the overall trend should be longer and longer delays. Often people will find that once they are able to postpone compulsions for awhile the desire goes down and they don't have to do them at all, which is great. But in the interim, at least you can delay it. Another technique some people use is to set aside a specific, fixed amount of time each day for compulsions. When you get the urge to do it during the day you remind yourself, no, not now, I'll worry later. Then, at the appointed time (and for a set duration) you allow yourself to ruminate, or check, or whatever. Again the goal should be to reduce how much time you are allowed to do this so eventually its little to no time at all. Maybe at first you give yourself 30 minutes of rumination time. After a little while you cut it down to 25 minutes, then 20, etc. You still get some relief from anxiety by doing the compulsions but you are containing it and reducing it, its like slowly coming off a drug or slowly smoking less. Gradual change is often easier to manage than immediate change. A third technique, and one I've found helpful, is journaling. I have used this in conjunction with the setting a time to do compulsion technique above. During the time you set aside each day you write out your thoughts and worries in a journal. I found that writing things out helped me process them differently than just going over and over them in my head. And confessing to a journal is less troublesome than confessing to your partner, but still provides some of the relief. I also like to note how I'm doing anxiety wise each day in the journal, just briefly and roughly, 1 out of 10 scale sort o thing. It helps me look back and see how things are slowly improving when I am really struggling. Or to remind myself that things were bad before and I eventually got better, I can do that again if necessary. Some people may keep journaling long term, I usually only do it when I was in particularly rough patches, most of the time I don't bother now. But its up to you, so long as its limited in time (i.e. only 30 minutes a day max, etc.). Other people use a similar technique but keep brief notes throughout the day. A quick "its 11:39 am now. I had an intrusive thought about X. I'm feeling anxiety of about 7 out of 10. I'm going to try some relaxation breathing." thats it, just something to center them and help stay on track. The goal of all these techniques (and others) is to help limit and gradually reduce your compulsions, but you don't have to try and stop 100% right away. OCD recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. As much as we'd like to get better faster, going too fast will wear you out and you'll end up worse off than if you are patient and methodical. Anyway, I hope some of that helps. I know how frustrated/angry/scared you are right now, do your best to be kind to yourself and patient. There is hope.
  6. Nope. ONE study suggests that UP to 56% of people with OCD MAY have it. That is not the same at all as saying 56% of people with OCD DO have it. But setting that key detail aside, did you even look at the symptoms? They do not match Pranjali's symptoms AT ALL. APD sufferers AVOID being around other people, they TRY to be alone. Pranjali's problem is the EXACT OPPOSITE, she is avoiding BEING ALONE. Sending an OCD sufferer down a research rabbit hole into a condition that doesn't match the symptoms is not helpful.
  7. OCD sets up all or nothing scenarios for us that really cause a lot of distress, so its important to remind yourself that life is seldom all or nothing! You can go to Universal Studios and have a great time even if you don't go on ANY rides. Its going to be more about embracing the experience and having fun with what you can do, not with what you can't. If you can't go on a ride because of your height or your weight or you are pregnant, or whatever reason I promise its not the end of the world. Rides can be fun, and I hope you can go on some of the ones you really want to of course, but there are other ways to enjoy your visit. When OCD tries to get you to worry, remind yourself that its not all or nothing, and its certainly not the end of the world if your vacation doesn't go perfectly. In my almost 40 years of life I have yet to go on a single vacation that went 100% according to plan, and I still enjoyed them! I'm sure you have too! OCD demands absolute certainty and perfection, life and happiness do not!
  8. Great place to visit, but being from the Pacific Northwest, it was a little too sunny for me! I missed the rain, lol.
  9. When dealing with intrusive thoughts, if you think it MIGHT be OCD, it probably is.
  10. Many sufferers struggle with this aspect of treatment, but CBT is more about what you do everyday than how often you go to treatment. Its not the kind of thing where the majority of the benefit you get comes from the sessions. The majority of the benefit comes from putting in the work each day. CBT is like seeing a personal trainer at the gym. The trainer can help encourage you, the trainer can teach you exercises, but the trainer can't do the exercises for you. Its YOU doing the exercises every day that helps you get in shape. The trainer is just a guide. Similarly a therapist is there to show you the way, but you need to do the exercises yourself, you need to apply the techniques over and over and over until they become automatic. It really helps to take that approach to the therapy. Many of us expect (incorrectly) that merely going to each appointment will be all that is needed. That would be great, like a mental antibiotic of sorts, but unfortunately its not the way. I hope you can get a chance to work with a therapist again soon, it can help you get on track, but in the meantime you can help yourself by reviewing what you have learned and trying as much as you can to put it back in practice. Maybe a self guided CBT book (you can find some good ones on the OCD-UK store) will be a good place to start, to help refresh you with some of the techniques you can be doing.
  11. I know you feel this way, but the thing is you already do, you have lived with not knowing what happens, we all do it. People do not have perfect memory recall, we are not computers. We forget stuff ALL the time. We think we remember stuff perfectly clearly, but in reality its often different than what REALLY happened. You see this all the time, people will describe the same event differently, and neither of them are lying, they are telling their "truth". Memory is messy, it always has been, it always will be. And humanity has survived for thousands of years that way. You have lived your ENTIRE life with a messy, imperfect memory. You don't NEED to know, OCD just makes you think you do. Its a lie. You choose to not hate yourself. You choose to accept that not remembering doesn't make you a monster. You choose to accept that the reason you feel awful about this is because of a disease called OCD. You accept that you will feel anxiety and distress, but that feeling bad doesn't mean you ARE bad. You start separating the emotions you are feeling with the value you as an individual have. It makes no more sense for you to believe you are a monster because of this than it makes sense for me to believe I am a monster because I sometimes have trouble breathing due to my asthma. There is no connection to your self worth and decency as a person because of these intrusive thoughts and distress. None. You have to choose to start living your life as if that's true (because it is) until you believe it. Fake it til you make it.
  12. You are going to feel bad. You are going to have intrusive thoughts. You are going to want to ruminate. You are going to be scared. If you wait until that stops before you try to get better you will never get better. You have to choose to do the work and do the work even though you are scared. Even though you keep having intrusive thoughts. Even though you still sometimes ruminate. Even though it feels “different” today. None of that changes what you have to do to get better. None of it changes that you have OCD. Everyone who recovers from OCD is scared when they start. Every one of them continues to have the intrusive thoughts at first. Every one of them makes mistakes and ruminates again at one point or another. Every one of them struggles and has to fight. No one is suggesting you do something impossible. No one is suggesting you do something that we haven’t already done or are doing now. Those who recover aren’t more talented or more gifted, they simply made the choice and stuck with it. The key to recovery is stubbornness and anyone can be stubborn.
  13. Hi @Gary Blue, welcome to the forums. Sorry to hear about your struggles. I was about the same age when I first developed OCD, so I can relate. Yes, OCD definitely can throw a wrench in the things we enjoy, and relationships is a common one. Unfortunately there is no trick or quick fix to it, the way out is just patience and stubbornness. Avoiding compulsions, treating the thoughts as unimportant, acting like the OCD thoughts aren't true even when you worry that they are. I would describe this as a kind of meta-worry, aka worry about worry, and its a super common phenomenon amongst us sufferers. Not only do we worry about the thing, we worry about how our worrying will affect us. Ugh, so annoying. Here's the thing, the more you focus on this, the more difficult it will be. The way to beat OCD at its own game is to refuse to play the game in the first place. Is it possible that worrying will ruin your relationship so you won't enjoy it? Yes, that is possible, even without OCD its possible for a relationship to end that way, or hundreds of others. If you spend your time and energy worrying about what bad things MIGHT happen down the line though, you won't be able to enjoy anything anyway. Thats the ironic part of OCD. We are often driven out of fear of not enjoying/not getting what we want, but that fear causes us to miss out on it anyway. Like a person who is afraid of getting sick and dying so they become housebound and scared all the time. They may still technically be alive, but they sure aren't living. Their fear already came true they just don't realize it. Likewise if you allow yourself to dwell on the possibility of not enjoying the relationship, you won't be able to enjoy it anyway. A self fulfilling prophecy. The best thing you can do is to move forward as much as possible in the way you would if you weren't having these intrusive thoughts. In my experience you'll find that the more you do that, the less the thoughts bother you in the end. Sort of fake it til you make it. Its not always easy, you have to make yourself do things sometimes despite your reluctance, but it more often than not pays off in the end. Meanwhile, one thing to keep in mind is a rule of thumb I picked up along the way of my OCD journey. If you think it MIGHT be OCD, it probably is. Not sure if your doubt is OCD driven or because you genuinely feel that way about your significant other? Well the fact that you aren't sure which it is means its probably OCD, so treat it as OCD. Best of luck.
  14. I want to read more of your post, but I'm short on time at the moment. But real quick I wanted to reply to this idea (maybe its been talked about in the replies below). God does not expect us to be perfect. He does not ask us to compare ourselves to others. To be a "good" Christian if you will is to do YOUR best to live a Christ-like life. Thats it. YOUR best. Each of us has a different path to walk, each of us faces different obstacles and receives different gifts. He will love you no matter what.
  15. Heck, you don't even have to be good at something to enjoy it as a hobby! You can be terrible at things like drawing, singing, etc. but if you are just doing it for your own enjoyment that doesn't really matter. Its nice to find things you enjoy AND do well at , but its not necessary.
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