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    Health, Responsibility and Contamination

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  1. You sound like me when I first started having OCD symptoms at age 10. This is how mine started as well and I had to self diagnose over the internet because I was so ashamed and embarrassed to tell anyone. Luckily it wasn't hard, my OCD was textbook, as it sounds like yours is as well. I've never told anyone about my OCD except for the bare minimum when I was in such a bad place and had no choice, only my mom and husband know I have OCD, everyone else just thinks I'm a worrier or I have anxiety. Just don't be like me and wait 20 years, it doesn't get better trust me. Self help is something I've tried for the longest time but without support and at the level of anxiety my current obsessions are causing it's just not something I think could possibly help me. I have an appointment to talk about medication in a couple days, I'm very anxious about talking to someone about my thoughts though. This is why most people with OCD suffer for so long. Good luck, try the self help route but if it's not helping please get help from a therapist or consider medication to help even a little. Nobody should suffer like this.
  2. Thanks for the information, it's nice to be a little prepared. I've tried to do CBT and I always do fine for a few days and then a major trigger comes and I can't control it any longer. It would be great if meds can somewhat control the anxiety that's become so disabling and I can finally breathe enough and be able to do the actual work to get better. As it is, trying to treat my decades long, progressively worsening OCD by myself with no relief is about as impossible as it sounds. I guess that's why I feel this is my last resort...
  3. I'm going to be seeing a psychiatrist for the first time in a couple weeks. I've had OCD for twenty years and it's finally gotten so bad that I don't see any other options, I've put off medication thinking I could handle things, but I just can't. Here in the states CBT is covered by very few insurance policies and most often is out of pocket. I simply can't afford it at this point. Self help is not working. This is my last option. I've put it off because I'm scared of the side effects and I'm scared (perhaps because I find it hard to get info about the effects of medicine on OCD) that it will cause me to be...not me...if that makes sense. I find a twisted sort of comfort in the way I'm more "aware" of things because of my OCD, but I can't take the pain anymore. I'm just worried if medicine could affect me to the point where I'm "numb" to things even a normal person should pay attention to. I know you can't give me any specifics because medicine affects everyone different, but I'm wondering if there are certain things I should know before my appt? Questions to ask? What to expect once I start any medicine? Any help is appreciated, this is new territory for me.
  4. Keep resisting. Remember this pain is short term, OCD pain is forever.
  5. I took the original question as more regarding day to day compulsions that have become somewhat habitual as he mentioned they didn't bother him much. These are the type, the ones you come across spontaneously in everyday life that you should stop altogether imo. If you are doing more of a formal hierarchy than of course only work on what you can handle.
  6. Don't you see what you are doing? You somehow got your therapist to reassure you that you can't "do things" in your sleep, but the reassurance didn't last so now you are looking for it here. If this isn't a compulsion than nothing is. You have to learn to recognize what you are doing or you are never going to get the upper hand. You can't "be sure", and you have to accept that. You can be reasonably sure, but never 100%. And you CAN be okay with that, you just need to work for it. Are you okay with uncertainty in other parts of your life? I bet you are. Do you want to continue life like this? My obsessions involve my children as well, and I got to the point where I was angry. I lost so many things to OCD that I will never get back. My pregnancies were miserable, the first years of my children lives were filled with constant fear and I did so many things because OCD told me I had to that I now have to live with regret over. Is that what you want? Stop this now before she gets older and you lose more moments you can't get back to OCD. Get angry. This isn't you, take back your life.
  7. You should try and stop all compulsions. It's counterproductive to continue doing some but not others, it will only serve to strengthen those obsessions at the same time you are eliminating others. You will just be spinning your wheels.
  8. Either way it's a statement of certainty and you want to stay away from those. You want to accept uncertainty, that is the only way to recover. I would still go with one of the other options. Stick with "maybe I did, I'm not sure and that's okay", or simply disregard the question entirely and bring your mind back to your current situation or activity. That's not to say quickly distract yourself and ignore the thought in order to get relief, just push it to the back of your mind where you can still feel the doubt and the questions, but you aren't giving them any focus.
  9. Thats true, going on 20 years. I think deep down I know what I need to do, but once I've slipped up I feel like I've already ritualized and I've magnified the obsession and I can't go back now. But you are right I know it takes time, I'm sure I will have many failures before I kick this thing ? Thanks!
  10. Im looking for tips on how to go about correcting mistakes made when trying not to ritualize. I'm finding that im able to expose myself to minor obsessions throughout my day while avoiding any compulsions. My problem arises when a big trigger hits me unexpectedly. I find it difficult to stop my rituals because at that level of anxiety it's almost second nature and I've already been mentally analyzing for a while before I'm able to notice what's happening. By then I feel like I've failed and I can't go back. I try to still continue with whatever I was doing after I've noticed the rituals but I find it exceedingly difficult to turn the mental chatter off. Have any of you found something that works when you've noticed you've ritualized and feel like you've lost the opportunity to make the right choice in your recovery? I know I can't expect perfection but this is turning into a serious roadblock for me, I can go days feeling like I've made good progress and then one trigger sets me all the way back.
  11. Hi there! Welcome to the forum, I've read through what you posted a couple times to get as much of an understanding as I can about what you are experiencing. OCD is somewhat specific diagnosis requiring that the sufferer experience anxiety and also perform rituals to relieve that anxiety. This has to take up a lot of time and cause a disruption in the persons life in order to qualify as a disorder. Sometimes it's hard for people to recognize that they are performing compulsions or rituals in order to relieve their anxiety, they can be subtle and insidious and often all in the mind. There is a form of OCD where the person is "hyper-aware" of minor bodily functions such as breathing, blinking, etc. I'm not as familiar with this type but if you do have OCD it would seem to most closely relate to this form. I found an article about this form that may help you figure out if it applies to you, and if it feels like you may have OCD or not. http://www.psychologyandbehavior.com/treatment-body-focused-obsessions-ocd/ If this doesn't feel like what you are experiencing, it could be possible something else is going on, anything from minor depression or even nervous anxiety related to your surgery or your physical symptoms. I hope that helps, feel free to ask any more questions if it was confusing or unhelpful.
  12. Recovery from OCD means you simply have to accept that you don't have the answer to everything. You have to accept uncertainty, about your obsession and everything else as well. Saying "no it didn't happen" therefore is unhelpful, you aren't going to convince your OCD and you shouldn't try. Saying "maybe it did and maybe it didn't" is a good response and many therapists recommend that approach, so long as you don't take it further and start performing compulsions to "figure it out". Personally I do the third option. If a thought comes up, and I get a lot of "what ifs", I do my best to acknowledge I had the thought (so I'm not just ignoring it which isn't helpful), and then while I'm anxious because I want to analyze and figure it out, I bring my attention back to what I was doing and continue, all the while my anxiety has to be put on the back burner and it goes away after a while because it doesn't have my full attention. I do it this way because I want to treat my OCD like any other thought that pops into my head unwanted. I don't give these thoughts any attention, so why should I do any different to OCD thoughts? Either of those two choices will work, it just depends on which one works best for you.
  13. I first started getting OCD symptoms when I was 9. I didn't go through anything traumatic, but I did have some life changes, my mother was getting remarried and we were moving out of state. My opinion for my own OCD has been that I was genetically predisposed (mental illness including OCD runs in my family) but stressful events trigger a worsening of symptoms. After I moved out of my house I got worse, and after I had my children I've gotten significantly worse.
  14. Anything you do repeatedly to relieve your anxiety is a compulsion. These are unique to every OCD sufferer, but can involve mentally analyzing or reviewing, seeking reassurance, avoiding, or any number of physical compulsions like touching or washing. The list is endless.
  15. Not in this case, because your compulsion is to check them, deleting them is kind of the workaround you've seemed to develop to avoid the anxiety. This is where OCD can get sneaky, you have to recognize what has become a compulsion for you. This is anything that you are doing to ease your anxiety. On the surface, deleting the texts so you couldn't read them might seem smart, if they aren't there then you can't continue your compulsion - but in essence you've taken away your participation in the exposure, if the text isn't there then you don't have to worry about it, you are avoiding. So as PolarBear said, keep the texts where they are, in your reach, where your OCD desperately wants you to check them, and ignore them. Whenever you get the desire to check them, it's so easy right, I mean they are right there, put it off for 5 mins. Then after 5 mins put it off for 10, then 20, and so on. Don't try to ease your anxiety in the meantime, let it be there and push through it while going about your business. It will be uncomfortable, but eventually the anxiety will ease. And the desire to perform checking compulsions will become less intense every time they arise if you do this.
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