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About snowbear

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    OCD-UK Member and

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  • OCD Status
    Living with OCD

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    North Wales
  • Interests
    Creative writing, psychology, mental resilience and leadership

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  1. I get that they are trying to show OCD triggered by Covid-19 and credit to the writers for considering it as a storyline. But to me it seems painfully clichéd and the acting is way too obvious. Anybody else any thoughts on it?
  2. No Cora, I apologise that I didn't manage to explain it well enough so you could understand. I'm not referring to anything related to pedo stuff. I'm talking about when you call yourself names. Saying things like 'I'm a monster' is harmful because it keeps you believing that having bad thoughts about a topic (any topic) reflects the real you. Every time you say bad things about yourself you reinforce the belief that you're doing bad stuff. This stops you moving forward. So in short - stop calling yourself names!
  3. Hi Cora, Calling yourself names is very common in OCD. On the surface it sounds like you hate yourself and are beating yourself up. But this kind of talk is more complicated that it first appears. It is actually a self-defense mechanism, an attempt to justify to yourself how you're behaving. By that I mean behaviours like giving in to compulsions and delay in challenging the OCD thoughts. (Not an attempt to justify the 'bad'/pedo behaviours.) Claiming you're a monster is a way of distancing yourself from all that's going on in your head. You know you're not a monster. You know you're not a bad person. You're struggling to separate out what defines you as 'you' (the core values you hold dear and try to live by) from every fleeting thought and feeling that passes through your head (which can be disgusting, nasty, and totally at odds with who you are and want to be. ) Next time you catch yourself thinking 'I'm a terrible human being for thinking/doing these pedo things' remember what you're really saying is 'I feel bad because I'm finding it hard to stop these compulsions.' Then you've got a grip on what the root of the problem really is and you can try tackling the compulsions instead of going through the self-defensive act of calling yourself names which achieves nothing.
  4. Let's pack out the Zoom Rooms people! Book your place now! In case anybody is holding back because they're worried about using Zoom let me reassure you. I had never used it before but then chance would have it I had to make two Zoom meetings last week. Turned out it was easy as eating pie. You register for the meeting(s) you want to attend. You get an email with a clickable link. On the day you click the link and you get prompted to download/run Zoom, or to join through your browser (if you don't want the app on your appliance.) (Allow a few mins extra before the meeting starts if it's the first time you've used Zoom as it can take 1-2 mins to download and set itself up.) Once in you can easily turn your video on or off depending if you want to be seen or not. You can mute your microphone (may already be muted by the presenter to avoid sound feedback and interruptions.) You can choose 'gallery view' if you want to see the whole audience (those with cameras turned on), or you can choose presenter only view so you just see the speaker. There's a chat box if you want to ask a question, or you can click the 'raise your hand' button and unmute your microphone when prompted. I know I had some reservations about using Zoom before I tried it for the first time, but it really is easy, not an invasion of privacy at all and a very good way to be somewhere without having to leave the comfort of your sofa. I hope I've reassured anyone who's unsure about attending because it's a 'Virtual Conference'. See you there!
  5. Hey Cub, I noticed you had no replies so I'm just reaching out to see how you're feeling now. You sound rather depressed at the moment, perhaps a bit introspective? It's very easy to fall into that 'closed to the world and hopeless' state of mind when you're not fully occupied. What hobbies or activities do you usually enjoy? Even when you don't feel like doing much it's worth the effort of pushing yourself to do an activity you enjoy as once you get past the initial hurdle of getting motivated to start it will lift your spirits. Another thing to try is to switch off from your worries by getting involved in something outside your normal world. For example, take a free online course and learn something new, or join a charity campaign that's setting out to change the world. Anything which changes your focus from internal 'me' to external/other people. As for jumping off a motorway bridge, if you have the courage to comtemplate that ghastly end as a reality then you have more than enough courage to make the necessary changes to your daily life to lift yourself out of this 'depressive' phase and to tackle your OCD to boot.
  6. Yes, it's quite simple. Leave it in the hands of the people you reported it to to decide if it needs further investigation or not and forget about it. Whether you overreacted or not is now irrelevant - the job is done. So let it go and move on.
  7. I like combination words such as wherewithall. 'I'm having trouble finding the wherewithall to get out of bed.' So much more descriptive than motivation/ oomph/ energy/ desire all combined.
  8. Hi Rarity, Looking for a reson why you like things 'perfect' definitely won't get you anywhere, as others have already said. However there's a little-understood truth about perfection which might help. In short your definition of 'perfect' is wrong! I'll try to explain. In the modern world we're raised from day 1 on the idea that perfect = 100% correct perfect = no mistakes perfect = a state of being where nothing is wrong perfect = a permanent way of being / there's nothing beyond perfect perfect = achieavable if only you put enough effort in. All of the above are wrong, except the last one. But even there it requires you to reinterpret what you mean by 'enough effort'. You're currently putting all your effort into pushing down a brick wall instead of putting your effort into opening and walking through the door in that wall. Trick is to recognise the fact the door is there and that it's easy to open once you know how. No living thing has evolved to be flawless or faultless. All life has actually evolved to make mistakes! Because it's through our mistakes that we learn and progress. Note that I said progress, not 'get more perfect'. Nature wouldn't recognise the human definition of perfect. In nature, perfect = maximum benefit for minimum effort. In other words the natural definition of 'perfect' is the sweetspot between an acceptable result and expending the least amount of energy possible to get there. (Saving your energy for other things and reducing the amount of energy you need overall in order to live.) Another faulty concept people commonly have is the idea that perfection is something permanent to be achieved rather than simply a temporary transition from one state of being to another. Think of a flower in bloom You might consider the beauty of the flower to be a form of perfection based on the belief that beauty = the ideal, the moment we enjoy most. However the flower is only the middle part of a journey the plant makes, a temporary state in the process of achieving fertilization, seeding and reproduction and eventually many more flowers. Likewise, when we aim for perfect we do well to remember that perfect isn't a single destination to be reached, but multiple transitory states of being we pass through on our way to somewhere else. Instead of being condemned to repeatedly failing and stressing about trying to achieve no mistakes you're constantly achieving perfection only while you're still 'making errors' because that means you're still moving forward to whatever comes next. If you can get your head around these slightly altered definitions of what perfect means you'll be well on your way to escaping the trap of always trying to achieve 100% with no errors. Also, remember that 'errors' are how we learn, so they're not actually faults at all. Making mistakes is about feeling your way along the brick wall until you find the door. Viewed in this way an exam paper which is 100% correct is of less value than one which contains some errors. A few errors shows the student is progressing and therefore worthy of congratulation.
  9. You're probably not reading it wrongly - people who have something to sell are very good at convincing you that you need whatever it is they are selling. However, when it comes to recovery from OCD this is a red flag that the pertson is more interested in making money than in your recovery. I'd run a mile from anybody peddling OCD recovery. All the advice you need is available for free in self-help books, on the forum, or from NHS therapists. Some people choose to pay for private therapy to expedite access to CBT, but it really isn't necessary to pay a penny to achieve full recovery.
  10. Hi Iris. Welcome to the forum! I'm glad you feel less alone for being here. Given your CBT background and extra reading you'll have a good idea of what needs to be done. You also know that CBT can't be done 'to' a person and requires their co-operation and willingness. If we knew of a well-kept secret to getting people to engage with therapy we'd be shouting it from the rooftops! However it is always individual to a person what finally motivates them to want to change. Speaking as a very stubborn individual myself... I can say that anything which gets forced on me creates even more stubbornness and a determination not to comply. So it's about finding ways to get your partner to see for himself that change is necessary, and then to get him to want to change because HE wants to change, not because you or anybody else wants or needs him to change. For example, an ultimatum approach will typically backfire as there is no line that stubbornness won't cross regardless of cost, even if you could reason with the OCD. Is there anything he enjoys or values which he's had to give up because of his OCD behaviour? Without linking it to 'therapy' perhaps you could try to re-ignite his interest in those things, giving him a reason to try which originates with his wishes and not 'what is best for him'. The only other suggestion I have is to chip away at his cognitive thinking through normal conversation where possible, so it's part of your regular communication about the world and how we interpret it rather than 'CBT'. That's harder with men than women bec ause they don't tend to go in for self-ananlysis as much, but worth a go anyway. Good luck!
  11. Hi Husband 1908 and welcome to the forum. First, it's good news that CBT helped reduce the symptoms by 50%. Not such good news that progress has now halted. There are 3 issues here: 1. The effect on you 2. The effect on your toddler 3. The misery your wife must be experiencing. If her way of doing things had no impact of the other 2 family members then she'd be fine to defend her position and decide for herself where 'normal' starts and ends. However, you are all suffering as things are. You can approach your GP regarding counselling; a place/person to offload to and someone to help you see how you can manage your feelings about the situation. Or there may be a family member you could talk to? Having someone else in the family circle aware of the situation can add weight to your suggestion to restart therapy. There are several examples of twisted thinking mentioned above which you should feel free to challenge. It's not you 'giving in to the OCD', it's your wife giving in to the OCD by insisting the piles are dirty. You could try challenging her on that and help her see how her OCD fears have twisted the logic. Another twisted thinking example that can be challenged. It's her OCD that's controlling all your lives. Your attempts to change things back to a more balanced/normal life are about taking back control from the OCD, not from her. You can counter allegations of being controlling by asking which whether she'd rather be controlled by her OCD fears or take back control of her own life by getting more therapy. The late nights and poor sleep will also affect all of you. The best you can do there is probably leave her to her rituals and get some sleep yourself. Don't fall into the trap of staying up to help her finish the tasks she's set herself or enable her OCD in any way if you can avoid it. (Hard, I know.) The biggest leverage you have is the effect this is having on your child. This isn't a healthy encvironment for your toddler who will be picking up the general anxiety vibes and the idea that mum has 'special' rules that dad is afraid of breaking. That does have a knock on effect on the child's behaviour and psychology, however much mum's with OCD deny it to themselves. If you can get her to see that the chances are high she'll be motivated to get more therapy and improve things. Good luck!
  12. Hi Anon 123 and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry things are so tough for you both just now. The fear with OCD can be so intense that perfectly lovely people turn temporarily into manipulative monsters! But you aren't helping her by enabling her compulsions. It helps to have a quiet chat to explain calmly why you're going to stop doing what she wants before you start challenging her behaviour. It's distressing to be challenged 'mid-ritual' but less so if you know it's coming. Similarly, you can choose a quiet moment to try to explain how her behaviour is affecting you (making you anxious, feeling stuck) and before she goes off into one on nobody loving her etc you explain it's because you do love her and want to go on living with her that somethin g needs to change. Encourage her to go back to therapy. If she says she doesn't see the point, ask bluntly why not. Chances are she'll say 'it didn't work' so challenge that with something like, 'CBT isn't something that's done to you, but something you work at yourself under the therapist's guidance. So if it didn't work maybe that shows you weren't ready to put the work in back then. When do you think you will be ready? What has to happen for us to get to that place? Let me help you get there.' I'd try not to let her dwell on the autism spectrum issue if possible. It can be a great excuse for not tackling the more difficult (emotional) aspects of CBT, but truth is we're all on 'the spectrum' to various degrees and this stuff isn't easy for anybody. Hanging onto labels like autism doesn't mean you can't achieve success, it just means you might have to work even harder to achieve your goals and at the start of therapy the goals seem hard enough without adding more obstacles for yourself! While waiting for therapy to re-start, consider investing in a self-help book and suggest you read it together. Information is power, so even if she refuses to read it you'll likely learn a lot just reading it yourself. There are lots of good books available so browse a bit to see which clicks with you, but I usually recommend 'Break Free from OCD' as readable and explaining the do-it-yourself CBT well. You can find more titles and advice here.
  13. Hi Claudia, I'm sending your son a big virtual hug. It's terrifying when you get 'stuck' as you feel there's no way out of the moment you're in. There's no easy answer, but my advice (from personal experience) would be: 1. Try to help him become calmer - his mind will be racing at a million miles an hour, so simply doing some slow breathing with him can help. It also gives him a temporary different focus and that can be all that's needed to get out of the cycle of 'stuck' thoughts. 2. Try to break down whatever it is he's stuck on into stages and encourage him to move forward one stage at a time. 3. Don't be afraid to ask why when he says he can't do something. If he reveals something of his thought processes in the answer it can sometimes help you to come up with alternative stategies that might be more acceptable. 4. When time is short (have to get to school on time etc) sometimes you could offer him 2 alternatives and let him choose the lesser of 2 evils. Feeling that he's in control (making choices and doing it his way as much as possible) can be make getting to the end goal seem possible again. (When 'stuck' the task feels permanently impossible so just taking away the permanancy of impossible and making it feel do-able is a step forward and can calm his mind enough for him to work out his own way through.) 5. At bedtime allow some things to be left to the next day. Depending what he's stuck on it may be you letting him away with some tasks (eg. not brush his teeth this one time) or it may mean you encouraging him to let go of his belief that everything he's trying to get done needs done before bed. If he feels unsafe leaving out part of his routine consider offering to help him sort whatever it is tomorrow..but bed now. Hope those ideas help.
  14. Hi Miss Sparrow, It's not what the thought is about which makes it OCD, but whether the person then does compulsions in response to the thought. Compulsions are typically intended to reassure the person the thought isn't true or an attempt to neutralise the thought in some way. If he is doing mental checks or ruminating or any kind of ritual or avoidance behaviour as a result of having the thought about waking in a parallel universe, that would qualify as OCD.
  15. Hi again, Cub and Sean. I'm not trying to stop you from forming a supportive friendship here (the more support and frinds the better!) But I want to step in again with a word of caution. I speak from personal experience and from 15 years of being around the forum. Please just hear me out and then what you do is your choice. It can feel very lonely having OCD, as if nobody else could possibly understand the complexity and depth of distress caused by the particular thoughts you have. So when you find another person suffering similar thoughts (the same OCD theme) it's natural to want to compare notes. That's fine. But there's a danger of together trying to solve the questions created by the theme instead of focusing on treating the OCD. When you understand OCD properly you realise the theme truly is irrelevant. Whether it's religion, cleaning, responsibilty or some other topic the thoughts are about, the underlying thought process - and therefore the treatment - is exactly the same. As long as you stay focused on the theme (religious questions) you're not seeing the real problem. It's not what the thoughts are about that creates anxiety, but the meaning you give them. To recover from OCD you need to step AWAY from the content and look at how you interpret your thoughts in the first place. I think that's harder to do if you're still looking for similarities between your experience and someone else's rather than looking for the common denominator in ALL ocd. You want to swap tips? My biggest tip is to read the threads on the forum where you think the topic is the most different from what you experience. Look for the similarities in thinking process; how the meaning the person gives to their theme feeds on their personal fears and how the interpretation of their particular thoughts leads to compulsive behaviours. When you can see how the mechanics of OCD works in others it becomes easier to step back from the highly charged emotions of your own OCD and see the same thinking process happening in yourself. As long as you're looking at the theme and not the thought process you'll likely feel your OCD is very complicated and difficult, but actually the principles of therapy are applied to specific OCD themes in a very simple way. If you can see the common denominator across all themes you're well on the way to sorting yourself out.
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