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About dksea

  • Birthday 11/08/1980

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  • OCD Status

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    Seattle, USA

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  1. Hi @beckyboo, to echo what Caramoole said, I'm so sorry you had to go through all that, it sounds awful. I wish more people understood about OCD but it sounds like your current therapist is fantastic, not just in helping you with your OCD now, but helping you deal with the unfortunate way you were treated in the past. I hope recovery continues to go really well for you!!
  2. Hi @Saz, how are you doing? How was work? I know that what you are going through right now is awful and words won't change that, but hoping you feel all the love and support coming from this forum!
  3. Running a marathon is simple. You just start at point A and run until you reach point B. Its basically the simplest you can make an athletic event. Running a marathon is far from easy. It takes months if not years of effort to get in to good physical shape and then you have to consider a number of factors in order to run the race in the best fashion possible for your goal (whether its to finish, beat someone else, beat your personal record, etc.). So no, just because something is simple doesn't mean it should be easy.
  4. dksea

    The best approach?

    Basically you just have to do your best. Do your best to notice intrusive thoughts and relabel/refocus as soon as possible. The more you do it, the better you'll get and it will become more and more automatic, and require less conscious effort.
  5. dksea

    The best approach?

    I think its important to recognize the difference between repeated behavior and compulsion. Repeated behaviors are not necessarily a problem, but they can become problematic in which case they are compulsions. Consider hand washing for example. Hand washing is one of the best tools in modern hygiene. You SHOULD wash your hands before/after certain situations, such as using the restroom or before eating. But, of course, hand washing can be done compulsively, in which case it can go from being helpful to harmful. The distinction is how much harm vs how much benefit. The C in CBT stands for Cognitive, and its there because its important that we not only change our behavior related to OCD, but also how we think. Noticing and labeling your intrusive thoughts is part of that process, its a necessary part of CBT because it makes you aware of what you are doing and helps you break the cycle of anxiety and compulsions. Yes its a repeated behavior, but that doesn't make it a compulsion. Rather than doing you harm its helping you change. Now if all you do was repeat the phrase after every intrusive thought and don't do the rest of the CBT work then its possible it could become problematic, but that doesn't mean you should never do it. Just like hand washing can become trouble if over done, the answer is not to stop, but to just remain aware of why you are doing it and what the goal is.
  6. dksea

    N-Acetyl Cysteine

    I agree 100% with what Taurean says (as is often the case). Good physical health through diet, exercise, and proper nutrition can greatly benefit your mental health. Proper supplements taken for the proper reasons with a good understanding of their use and safety can help. But it is important to remember, as much as we wish it were different, that there is no magic bullet for OCD among such things. Even medication for OCD isn't a cure. I highly highly HIGHLY recommend talking with your doctor before taking any kind of supplement as part of any OCD treatment regimen ESPECIALLY if you are on medication for OCD (or anything else really). Its understandable to reach out for any possible help when you are suffering, but that doesn't mean any thing you find is worth the risk.
  7. dksea

    N-Acetyl Cysteine

    St. Johns Wort has shown some effect on mild depression but its also potentially very dangerous, and is not recommended under NICE (for the UK) or NIH (US) guidelines. https://www.nice.org.uk/donotdo/although-there-is-evidence-that-st-john-s-wort-may-be-of-benefit-in-mild-or-moderate-depression-practitioners-should-not-prescribe-or-advise-its-use-by-people-with-depression-because-of-uncertainty While its always possible that new discoveries will be made and research into treatments involving substances such as St. Johns wort continue, you should be VERY careful about the supplements you take as they usually are much less regulated and the effects are much less understood.
  8. Thats great to hear! Keep up the good work, and be proud of your achievements along the way. Exercise and reducing sources of stress can certainly help in overcoming OCD, thats true. However that alone will not eliminate OCD. Does your therapist treat you using CBT? Is he/she familiar with that?
  9. This is where I think you continue to be the most stuck. There IS no proof. You have, because of the OCD, become convinced that this "contamination" is a real thing and that the only way to solve it is to replace things. But thats a false belief. OCD is lying to you. Part of your recovery needs to include challenging this false belief. Not by trying to reason with it, but by deciding not to buy in to it anymore. Of course that will take time, but you can start by remembering when you talk about your problem that the "contamination" is not real. That you don't NEED to replace things, you just have a compulsion that makes you feel like you need to do that. Heh, well then you wouldn't have OCD, so it would definitely be easier But you can get to the point where you are able to dismiss these thoughts or at the very least they won't cause you to feel such anxiety. In order to get there though you have to challenge them by recognizing them for what they are, intrusive thoughts that stick around because of OCD. You don't have to argue with them "such, no thats not contaminated, because ..." instead the approach is more along the lines of noticing the thought, labeling it and moving on "oh, thats just my OCD acting up, it doesn't mean anything" etc.
  10. There's your intrusive thought. Its true you often see them framed as complete sentences when people talk about their intrusive thoughts "What if ...." but the reality is our thoughts are not like a novel. An intrusive thought can be an image or a scene or simply a feeling about something. When I was young and first had my OCD it centered around being sick to my stomach, especially in public. But my intrusive thoughts didn't manifest as the actual sentence "What if I throw up" in my head, it was images of the event happening, or a vague sense of dread that it might happen. Anyway I hope that helps a bit. Meanwhile I'm sorry to hear about your situation and I'm glad to hear you are reaching out to get help. Don't feel bad about getting help, its what groups like OCD-UK and Samaritans are for!
  11. dksea

    Effects of OCD

    I think its fairly common for people with OCD to wonder "what if", but then I think thats true of EVERYONE. We all consider what choices we might have made had circumstances been different, especially those who have had to deal with some life changing incident or another. It can be a one time event or an ongoing condition, but in the end the reality is we can't change the past, only learn from it. Its natural to get wistful about the past and how you wish it might be different now, but it is what it is. You can however change the future. Speaking of the future, so you are interested in a guy but think he might not like you back because he hasn't asked you out. Isn't it possible he might feel the same but is too shy to ask YOU out because he thinks YOU don't like HIM that way? Maybe you can ask him sometime! Trust me, plenty of us guys feel just as doubtful/nervous about girls we might be interested in. Sure it can be scary to ask someone out, you might not get the answer you want. On the other hand you might get a yes and have a great time. Or you get a no and can move on. Either way, if you want to change your future its more likely to happen if you do something rather than wait for something to happen!
  12. One could, if they so choose, live their life that way, but I don't think its a very fair or practical philosophy. If you were to follow this philosophy shouldn't everyone, everywhere constantly be punishing themselves? Certainly no one is free from having done something wrong in their life. At the point a person does their first wrong, if forgiveness is not a choice, then they must, by that logic, spend the rest of their days in self punishment right? In which case life is not for living, enjoying or contributing to the world, but merely for punishing oneself endlessly. If your friend or family member hurt you in some way, but expressed genuine remorse and tried to make amends, would you forgive them? Or would you punish them for the rest of your and their lives for what they had done? Forgiveness is ALWAYS a choice, it is a choice you make towards others and it is a choice you make towards yourself. You can choose never to forgive yourself, but that doesn't make anything better does it? It doesn't make your life better, it doesn't make anyone elses life around you better either. Its all well and good to confess your actions and make amends, but that has to be a finite set otherwise nothing ever gets done.
  13. What you are describing here is a known occurrence some OCD sufferers experience around false memories. They analyze past events trying to determine if something did or didn't happen and because of the doubt of not being 100% certain something DIDNT happen, they assume that that means it DID happen. This false memory type of anxiety alone is pretty convincing evidence you are dealing with OCD. But lets set that aside for a minute, lets assume for the sake of argument that you actually did cheat on your fiancé. Certainly that would be a decision many people would feel guilty and regret over, which you do, but you responded to that guilt by confessing your situation to your fiancé. He has accepted and and forgiven you (or doesn't believe it actually occurred I suppose). Continuing to punish yourself and doubt yourself and wanting to continue confessing is ANOTHER common OCD behavior. OCD is not just about imaginary events or potential threats or anxieties. OCD can be very much about real things that really happened. The most obvious intrusive thought here is the one that you believe something happened even though you have plenty of reasons to believe it didn't. Secondary though, if we again, as above, assume that the cheating event DID happen for real, the intrusive thought would be your continued belief that you are an unforgivable person, which leads to your confession compulsion. Though my OCD didn't stem from a cheating incident, it did stem from something that occurred in real life. When I was 13 i was sick to my stomach during class one day. It was embarrassing sure, but it happens and people forget about that sort of thing before long at that age. Unfortunately my brain wouldn't let go of the incident. I developed the intrusive fear that it would happen again. For the next 10-15 years I primarily dealt with anxiety about this fear, based on a very real, very specific incident. The problem wasn't that i'd really been sick, it was that I continued to have intrusive thoughts related to that incident and fears of what had happened and what might happen again. Again, yes, different circumstances and different fears because of the circumstances, but the underlying issue remains the same: A thing happened -> a continued, anxiety causing, compulsion generating thought got stuck in my head after.
  14. No the issue is you continue to believe that these things need to be replaced. They do not. It doesn't matter what was dirty or what it touched, the reality is that NONE of it needs to be replaced. You need to start separating the intrusive thoughts "what if this is dirty/contaminated' and compulsive beliefs "I have to replace contaminated things", from the reality, none of it is contaminated or needs to be replaced. Note, I did not say you need to stop having the thought "this is contaminated" or "this needs to be replaced". You can, and probably will for some time continue to have these thoughts. But you don't need to ACT on those thoughts. You are in control of what you do. You can make a choice not to give in to the thoughts. Yes, for a time it will be uncomfortable. Yes, it will be hard, but YOU can choose not to replace these things. But you MUST stop buying in to the idea that replacing is something you NEED to do. Its not. It never has been, it never will be. You need to eat. You need to sleep. You don't need to replace anything. Start challenging that lie.
  15. Practice. Its as "simple" as that. Now I put quotes around simple because any OCD sufferer can tell you that part is incredibly hard, but just like learning any difficult skill or achieving any difficult task, the reality is that repeated, targeted work is pretty much the way to go. You go from being unable to read a note to being able to play a piano concerto by practicing over and over and over again. You go from being a total couch potato to being able to run a marathon by practicing (exercise) over and over and over again. You train your brain to stop responding to uncertainty and doubt with panic and anxiety by practicing not responding over and over and over again. You have to unlearn the behaviors that you fell in to when your OCD hit in the first place. The bad news is its not a quick fix, the good news is it works and has lasting positive effects on your life. Things like medication can help, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, but you still have to work at retraining your brain and how you respond.