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  1. Oh I'm so sorry to hear your Dad passed away Lost. Sending hugs! I think that you should do what you think you can cope with at the moment- so if that means wearing black shoes with white soles then that's fine- they must be mostly black anyway? Alternatively you could either face this as a ERP challenge and just buy and wear new black shoes; or and I'm not sure this is a good idea because you have been so good with ERP that I don't want this to start a new compulsion for you but I wear disposable gloves to open packages and to handle shoes; if you really want to wear all-black shoes but would struggle with the contamination aspect then perhaps that's one way around it? Thinking of you!
  2. Hi Vivi, Just_beat_it is right that your University has a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments, which are widely accepted to include essay extensions. Perhaps contact your tutor saying that your disability (mental health related) is affecting your ability to study and you need an extension as a reasonable adjustment to the deadline. I wouldn't necessarily make reference to OCD, just 'Disability (MH)'. I'm sorry you're feeling so awful- please do speak to your family or friends about this.
  3. Thank you Leif! I really hope I'm just catastrophising but I've been trying to think about alternative diagnoses that she might be given but none of them seem to fit but I need to remind myself that I'm not a doctor! Thanks again!
  4. Hi guys, Just to update- my Mum seems to be even more breathless and has made an appointment to see the GP tomorrow- she'll hopefully see a specialist within two weeks but I am so scared! I'm really hoping that I'm just jumping to conclusions and that it's not secondary lung cancer or something else horrible.
  5. Hi Leif, Don't worry about that at all- it's useful for both of us to discuss the loo issue anyway! I can see what you mean about normal people disliking public toilets too and also about the toilet seat issue. In my family most people 'hover'/squat rather than sit on the seat but they don't feel anxious about using public loos. Obviously it sometimes helps to take things to extremes so maybe sitting would be helpful for you to recover from this fear but I don't think it's essential for everyday public loo use. Personally I wouldn't like to just wipe something off the seat and use it unless it was an antimicrobial wipe that I used to wipe it off but that's probably partly because I see everything through an OCD lense! This is helpful! I think probably this varies person to person? I know lots of people choose to squat rather than sit OR to use a different loo if they see anything visible on the loo seat.
  6. That's amazing that you've managed to reduce showering from 7 hours to 15 minutes without a therapist!That's great that getting used to small amounts of anxiety is having a big effect on the more major unexpected exposures some of the time. I have spoken to my Psychologist but he does seem more interested in doing EMDR, which I actually don't think is doing anything! I'm concerned that most of the "evidence" for EMDR is actually based on Pseudoscience; for example the reason why EMDR therapists think that mimicking REM sleep is useful for processing trauma is based on the traditional notion that REM sleep is the part of sleep in which dreams occur; but Neuropsychologists now know that dreams occur in every phase of sleep, not just REM so as far I'm aware there's no particular reason why inducing rapid eye movements should help with trauma processing! I don't really know what to do though as my Psychologist seemed annoyed when I tried to stop EMDR sessions earlier in the year! I guess I need to do more self-directed CBT. Which books did you find particularly helpful? Hope you're ok!
  7. Haha thanks Closed for repairs! I know my friends used to pop to a burger van after nights out in our teens/early 20s (having had contamination OCD since I was 7 ruled that out for me!) so I guess McDonalds is better than that!
  8. Thanks Closedforrepairs! I think we probably do have to work out how to remove them and remove the mycelium that they stem from but the thought is just so overwhelming. I did google mushroom removal earlier but felt such overwhelming fear about it. Someone who wasn't so scared would probably wear some disposable gloves, pick them up, bag them and dispose of them. They'd then attempt to remove the vegetation (bits of old plant matter/twigs and stuff) and somehow dry out the soil to produce less favourable environment for the growth of mushrooms. My problem is that I'm worried that we might drop small sections of mushroom on the lawn when removing them or when removing the old twigs and leaves that are there. Also there are a lot of mushroom caps of immature mushrooms and I wouldn't want to walk on them and spread sections around the area. The mushrooms might die out in December if it gets very cold (they thrive from August to November but do sometimes live for longer) so I don't know whether to just wait it out and check the (hopefully!) safer side of the garden each day. I'm going to ask my Mum to make an appointment tomorrow. Last Sunday I convinced myself that she definitely has secondary cancer and felt so distressed about it and a bit like I was living in a nightmare state. I think this could just be OCD-related catastrophizing but it would still be sensible for her to see the GP. It's the combination of a crackling sound in her breathing when she leans back, the cough and her raised lymph nodes that are making me feel so anxious. I really hope I'm putting 2 + 2 together and making 5! Thanks so much for your replies and support
  9. Thank you Transformer! It's really difficult with these concerns/worries as I think that they are real worries but my family think that it is mostly OCD. The mushrooms are definitely Amanitas and they definitely looks like the death cap variety. I am too scared to get rid of them and they seem to be isolated to the flower beds so I've partitioned the garden so that my dog can be taken out on the lead and kept away from them. I do keep checking every morning but I don't really think it's OCD. However it looks like she may have eaten something on the grass just now and I'm now really anxious about it, especially as her mouth seemed to water but that might be because she was kept on a short lead and pulled up when she tried to sniff the grass. My Mum's cough is a constant worry and I do keep asking her to visit the GP. I don't generally ask family members to visit the GP at all so I think that this is reasonable but it is making me very anxious. I am very scared of losing my Mum and/or my dog definitely. I don't have much else in my life (no boyfriend/husband, or close friends etc.) so they are probably the most important things in my life at the moment and everything in my life/future feels very uncertain just now. I do need to accept that I have limited control over what happens and just let things be but it's difficult! I will take a look at that video- thank you! Thank you for your help and support!
  10. That's so good that you don't struggle with Emetophobia any longer. It sounds like it was pretty awful in the past. Also thanks for putting things into perspective- you are completely right that I miss out on life with this. There are other complicating factors including Social Anxiety, ADHD and other OCD, which make it even harder to live a normal life but I'm sure if someone could zap away the Emetophobia and contamination OCD my life would be much easier. I do need to face situations- my family want to go for drive through fast food (very unusual for us but there's a particular menu on at the moment) on Sunday so that will be an exposure task as I'm scared of eating fast food as it involves eating food prepared by teenagers (who might not have good hand hygiene or might have recently been sick) and eating with my hands.
  11. Thanks Gingerbreadgirl, that does help! I just need to change my thinking about this. It's so deeply ingrained as I've had Emetophobia since I was 7 that I need to change how I see the world so that I see objects (at the moment if someone else has handled an object then it's 'unsafe'); food (which I usually class as 'safe' (bread) and 'unsafe' (meat, seafood, eggs, fruit),and people (at the moment I fear other people's germs, particularly if they don't wash their hands) in a new way!
  12. Hi Gingerbreadgirl, I actually think it's the nausea, intense stomach cramps and feeling of being completely overwhelmed by and controlled by the motion of being sick. I'm more frightened of viral vomiting/food poisoning than of travel sickness because the way that you feel with viral vomiting is so different/so much worse. I almost cannot understand why other people aren't phobic! xx
  13. That's great to hear that it's not something you spend time worrying about now!! It sounds like you only take Pepto Bismol when you really need it now. Did you used to spend a lot of the time worrying in the past? Also did you have contamination issues related to other obsesssions? It's funny I'm scared of people being motion sick in the car or on public transport but nowhere near as worried as I am about viral gastroenteritis (e.g. Noro) but the issue is that you cannot always tell why someone is sick so someone throwing up on a train/boat would throw me into panic mode. If someone throws up with known motion sickness then I can get out of the way quickly, put my fingers in my ears and close my eyes and once it's over with, it's over with. If I am close to someone with Norovirus who vomits then not only will I have to cope with that immediate phobic situation but also with the fear (and likelihood) of contracting the infection, which I find absolutely terrifying. I had some horrendous stomach bugs when I was younger and I think that those alongside traumatic memories (life or death situations with family members) and IBS from Histamine intolerance (apparently I threw-up from this every Friday night as an infant- we probably ate something high in histamine each Friday) has just really messed things up for me! I do have an O+ blood type, which apparently makes you much more susceptible to Norovirus (according to research, not pseudoscience) so I wonder whether if I had caught fewer bugs, I'd not have to struggle with this! I avoid all the normal Emetophobic related situation (situations where people might experience motion sickness, public toilets, rollercoasters etc.) and then any situation where I could catch a stomach bug- which basically covers most situations in the outside world (shopping, opening letters, using cashpoints, medical appointments (e.g. GP appointments), going to the cinema/theatre, eating sandwiches, handling shoes and coats, visiting friends/family etc.). It's a bit of a double whammy. You are right that I need to challenge the way that I think of vomiting and of stomach bugs from disastrous and catastrophic to just part of everyday life- I'm just not really sure how?
  14. That's brilliant! Well done! Although my contamination OCD focuses on different things (primarily Norovirus) I can really identify with your response to the contamination fears that you had the other day but I'm also really inspired by how you're facing it head-on. Gemma's idea sounds like a good one and might help to lessen the anxiety re. the car floor, really quickly over the next week or so.
  15. Welcome to the forum Lozra! I'm sorry you're struggling with anxiety- it's horrible! I think I agree with the posters above that your original post suggests you might be suffering from G.A.D. as OCD worries tend to be less realistic and involve either compulsions or mental attempts at neutralizing the thoughts. However it might just be that you've just not gone into much detail about your thoughts and that they actually are unrealistic obsessive thoughts. An example of G.A.D. re. work, would be a sense of impending doom and a feeling that something terrible will happen at work but without any compulsive response (other than worrying). An example of OCD re. work, would be an intrusive thought that you are going to blurt out an offensive phrase to your boss at work (i.e. it is quite specific and unrealistic/not a normal 'worry') and then completing compulsions such as avoiding the boss or mentally repeating 'I will not say anything offensive' inside your head (compulsion). This might also extend to avoiding wearing particular clothes because you think that you are more likely to blurt out something offensive if you are wearing those clothes. OCD is unrealistic and a bit ridiculous at times! An example of G.A.D re. parenting, would be worrying that your kids are going to fail at school or might fall ill or might not make friends. An example of OCD re. parenting, would be obsessing that one of your kids is going to develop cancer; looking for signs that they do have cancer and completing mental compulsions such as repeating the phrase 'my child won't die' or constantly googling/researching childhood cancers. For a diagnosis of OCD the symptoms need to involve: obsessions and/or compulsions; obsessions are intrusive thoughts that are not just exaggerated real-life worries; that occur as intrusive thoughts and that cause marked distress. Compulsions are actions that you take to undo/counteract obsessive thoughts or to relieve anxiety. G.A.D and OCD can be debilitating in their own ways so it's a really good idea to seek help from your GP.
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