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About BelAnna

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  1. Thank you for the great support and advice Cub (thank you for your lovely post!), Lost, Polarbear, Daja, Closed and Dksea! I honestly cannot tell whether it's OCD or not. I do think that my past religious beliefs make these type of situations difficult to work through. I did just search back through the forums though and find a post from last year where I was scared that something bad would happen if I went on holiday and that maybe God was warning me not to go!! Nothing happened so I really should have learnt from that! There might be elements of real indecision here- for example I would need to move a couple of hundred miles and might be socially isolated as a (really quite!) mature student in the city where I would be studying; I am not sure whether to study this particular course (Linguistics) and I don't know whether another University closer to family would be better. I think though that if it was just a case of normal indecision then I could work through this but it's the absolute fear/dread that I'm not sure how to cope with! I hope you're all ok and thanks so much for your advice/support
  2. Hi All, I have a place at a good Uni for this September. I'd be a mature student, having previously left the third year of another course at uni because of incapacitating OCD (I had actually achieved A grades for most of my work and nothing lower than a B grade but OCD just destroys everything!). Basically I'm not sure I will be well enough to take up the place but I'd really like to. However since getting the place I have had a thought that something terrible will happen if I take up the place. This 'bad thing' is non-specific and so far I have speculated that it could mean my family members being involved in a fatal car accident (e.g. on the way to visit me there) or me being socially isolated and failing the course. I am agnostic but used to be Christian and was encouraged by the church and my family to 'listen to God' and to pray about my daily activities. Some guidance I had was that if I felt 'peaceful' about something then God might be telling me to do something whereas if I felt a sense of dread then God might be warning me not to do something. (The idea wouldn't be that God would harm me if I did something he didn't want but rather that he was warning me that something bad might naturally happen if I did). I cannot shake the worry that this 'bad feeling' is actually either God or my future self or intuition warning me not to go! So I'm wondering- is this OCD?
  3. Hi Rebekah, Most people with OCD don't have Autism. However most people with Autism have some Compulsive behaviours and it is possible to have both OCD and Autism. The best course of action is probably to book an appointment with your GP to ask for help with Social Anxiety and OCD- this could be CBT or a referral to the CMHT. I'm a similar age, definitely don't have Autism but my severe Social Anxiety (which I acquired from the social isolation that has resulted from my OCD) means that my behaviour in social situations could appear autistic to anyone who doesn't know me. In some respects the issue at hand isn't whether or not you have Autism; instead it's that you have severe anxiety when socialising and need some help with that!
  4. Hi Neverending, I'm sorry things are so tough just now. I definitely relate to how you're feeling and what you're going through. Well done for staying in the same clothes all day- that's great! Have a look online at the Anxiety Disorders Residential Unit at Bethlem Hospital; they might be able to help if your CMHT will agree to a referral. Although as a contamination OCD sufferer I totally understand that you feel that the contamination is completely real; Polarbear is right that it is all in our heads. Obviously everything in our environment is covered in bacteria but it does not harm us and we don't need to spend time thinking about it. OCD makes everything seem so much more scary than it is- just as an example salmonella die after 6 hours on surfaces and clothes so even if you did get salmonella on your clothes that one time (very unlikely) then the salmonella would have died after less than a day. Even aside from that- the likelihood that any transferred from the 'chef' to you is very low; the likelihood that it was enough to make you sick even if you had licked your clothing immediately afterwards is even more low; the likelihood of you getting sick by wearing that jumper now is 0%. I experience very similar worries to you so have to keep telling myself this! I'm also socially isolated and not currently working (I say 'currently' but it's been years) and know that that definitely makes things worse. I did have a life and live hundreds of miles away from home for several years but I'm now back with my parents and feeling fairly useless! I don't know how to start doing normal things again but hopefully others will have more helpful suggestions!
  5. Hi All, I've been doing quite well with facing my ERP tasks each day. I'm panicking at the moment because I have a huge fear of Cyanobacteria because they are deadly to dogs (I have Golden Retriever and aspects of my responsibility OCD revolve around keeping her safe) and my Dad has filled a vase, which looked like it might have blue-green algae in it with bleach; close to the sink that we fill my dog's water bowl from. I am now worried about filling my dog's water bowl in case it gets contaminated with Cyanobacteria. I feel very anxious and just wondered if anyone could help put things into perspective and help me beat the OCD! Thanks
  6. That's brilliant BigDave! Hopefully this will pay off hugely in a few weeks/months and each day will feel a bit easier. I am feeling a bit more positive now that I've started some more CBT too. My tasks seem fairly small at the moment (e.g. washing my hair once [rather than 3x] a day) but seem to be making a difference to the way I feel about my contamination triggers! What do you have planned for tomorrow?
  7. Hi vivi, I hope you're feeling better now!! I've just had a virus that lasted a few weeks (sore throat, chokey cough and fatigue) and it has made me a bit more anxious about contamination too. Did you go to see the GP in the end? I think that for every OCD thought such as 'I'm ill, therefore I wasn't careful enough so I need to make sure I wash my hands more/am more careful in the future'; you need to think something like 'I'm deliberately dropping my safety behaviours (e.g. excessive showering/use of disinfectant) in order to overcome my OCD' and/or 'I might be ill for two or three weeks this year but I will probably be well for the other 49 weeks and if I don't let my OCD ruin them then I can really enjoy 2020. Yeah that's true Dksea. Apparently some strains of swine flu do cause vomiting but it is less common. It might be a sickness bug with a fever and the migraine from that or some people do just vomit whenever they have a fever.
  8. Hi Lost, That's great to hear that you have a new place and that you're getting support there. What are the other residents like? The bowling trips and walks sound good. It's so difficult moving in the first place that it's nice that you've got support there. I guess you can have a think about having the lump removed later if you feel more able to have the surgery. Have you been booked in for another ultrasound in six months or a year just to check that it's still shrinking? (maybe it's worth asking your GP for a referral for that?). I'm so sorry about your Dad. How are you coping? Is your Mum okay? It might be a good idea to live separately from your Mum if things are working out better for both of you like that. You might also have better self-esteem for living independently in your 20s. I'm a few years older and do think that living back at home (I did live in Scotland for several years in my 20s) negatively impacts on my self-esteem and OCD. How do you feel about the Asperger's assessment?
  9. Hi Jumbo, Amazing work today! That's great that you got to the doctors and that you are attempting to challenge your thoughts and to carry on despite them. I definitely empathise with the feeling of terror and of being surrounded by danger- OCD is a d**k! Do you have any other appointments or things booked for the near future? Do you drive at all? I haven't taken driving lessons but if I could drive and was stuck as you are I would potentially drive to the countryside initially so that I could face being outside and then work my way up to walking in the town/city after that.
  10. Is it maybe because the one you normally use is starting to feel safe? Maybe that's a positive thing because eventually all public loos will feel safe! For CBT yesterday I had to walk slowly up and down the corridor at the CMHT with my Psychologist; it sounds daft but there's a loo in the corridor so it involved walking close-ish to it. There's also an element of social anxiety for me so I tend to rush out of the building as quickly as possible and actually found walking slowly anxiety-provoking. I hate going to the CMHT anyway because it's next to the Medical Practice and I'm always scared as there's sometimes (well very very occasionally) puke or blood close to the entrance door!
  11. I'm inspired by you Leif- that's brilliant that you coped with using public loos again. I would like to get to a place where I can use service station loos again and not just have 'hold it' on long journeys so that's my goal by the end of 2020!
  12. Hi OCDorAnxiety, Yes it does sound like OCD. The official line is that we cannot diagnose on this forum but if you have obsessions and compulsions, which last at least an hour a day and affect one or more areas of your life THEN you have OCD!
  13. Thank you, I'm hoping to have more success with CBT this time. I think that the reason that my Psychologist (NHS through the Community Mental Health Team) chose EMDR is that I have Emetophobia and there's some evidence for using EMDR to treat phobias where there were traumatic triggers to its development. With the CBT, I am setting the tasks myself but a little unsure of what to work on first. In lots of ways the different aspects of the OCD are completely different- so for example the tasks for dealing with my Norovirus contamination fears (moving from being able to open doors/ do laundry without gloves on through to being able to get out of the house and then to use public toilets/go to GP appointments) are completely separate from dealing with the responsibility and checking aspects. I don't want to wait to complete ERP for one type before moving on to the next though- how should I go about that?
  14. Thanks Caramoole. Yes I definitely am struggling. I am 31 so not ancient but yes I have lost 24 of those years to OCD and obviously should be living in my own place, in a relationship, work, family etc. and I have missed out. I am still seeing my Psychologist weekly but I have asked to switch from EMDR to CBT at the moment. This week I've set tasks from an ERP hierarchy but I've found that I've had to write multiple hierarchies for ERP for each symptom-type/type of OCD so not sure if it will take a while!
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