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About snowbear

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  • OCD Status
    Living with OCD

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    North Wales
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    Creative writing, psychology, mental resilience and leadership

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  1. Hi mmpp, Totally agree. So, let's see if we can help you get a better understanding of what's going on, and where you might be going wrong. I understand these are the themes which trigger your anxiety, but here's tip number one - it's all just OCD! The theme doesn't matter. That's important to understand because it helps you recognise your problem isn't about responsibility, harm etc. The problem is how you react to intrusive thoughts. Any thought on any topic could be a trigger, now or in the future, so if you learn how to overcome your OCD rather than focus on the topic you'll always have the tools available to stop it in its tracks should a new theme emerge. You've got confused about what doing exposures means. Exposures aren't 'whenever you watch to watch something that triggers you'. They are part of a behavioural experiment, done in a controlled way and - very, very importantly - you also resist the compulsions. This is a compulsion. You're trying to get reassurance the trigger isn't real by preparing yourself before watching a video. Far from weakening the trigger what that does is teach your brain the trigger is something you should genuinely be anxious about and be on high alert for next time. This internal discussion is another compulsion. It's called rumination. Ruminating is where you think about the problem and try to figure something out - but there's no certainty to the solution so you go over and over it arguing with yourself. Yup, you got this one. Another compulsion! Another compulsion. And another So just from this piece you've written it's clear you're doing lots of compulsions, and even what you consider 'exposures' is actually more compulsions and the opposite of what you would be taught to do in CBT. CBT starts with the cognitive side. You need to learn that the meaning you give these triggers (intusive thoughts) is wrong. A therapist will talk you through how your thoughts (obsessions and meanings) , feelings (anxiety) and behaviours (compulsions) interact and guide you through changing them to break the OCD cycle. Then you do proper exposures as a behavioural experiment where you watch your video and don't do any compulsions at all when you get triggered. The idea is to sit with the anxiety until it falls and teach your brain the 'trigger' wasn't something to fear like you thought after all. Have you been referred for CBT? Or you could start with a self-help book which explains the CBT process.
  2. In case anybody gets misled by this, just a reminder that OCD is an illogical disorder and having a fully developed Neocortex doesn't protect you from getting it! Also OCD doesn't 'come from' the amygdala. OCD comes from how we interpret our thoughts. It's the interpretation of thoughts which triggers anxiety and activates the amygdala.
  3. Let me answer that with another question. Is someone a murderer if they fantasize about killing another person?
  4. I get where you're coming from with this statement, but here's the thing... CBT is about looking at the way you think and how your thinking shapes your feelings and behaviours. So the obvious question to ask next is, 'What are you thinking that makes your rituals so deeply entrenched and difficult to overcome?' Or to put it another way, What meaning are you giving to doing what your OCD demands? (What do you tell yourself would happen if you didn't do the rituals?) When rituals are deeply entrenched all that means is you've placed a very high value on the meaning you give them. How we think about things affects the value we place on them. By reviewing how you look at the world, whether that's realistic or not, what alternative views are available to you and how adopting one of those views would change the value (meaning) you place on the rituals you can make it easier to stop doing them. That's the cognitive part of CBT. In my opinion/ experience, if you get the cognitive part right the behavioural part is a relative breeze! You're ready, willing and able to give up the rituals because they no longer hold the same meaning/ value for you. Attempting ERP (behavioural change) without changing the value you put on your OCD is akin to putting the cart before the horse and is the main reason why people claim 'I tried it, but CBT didn't work for me.' Taking a different approach and experimenting with different outcomes is the very definition of CBT! My suggestion is to try another round of CBT and focus on the cognitive part to start. Remember, age is no barrier. Indeed the wisdom that comes with age and experience can make the CBT easier.
  5. Turning to something else and focus on that instead is a good distraction. Avoidance would be trying to push it aside while still ruminating on it. My OCD is on a different topic so I can't answer that one directly. I suspect it depends on the individual - how well they refocus and ignore the sensations, or whether they continue to give them meaning. It's not just about committing to not thinking about them, it's also accepting they don't mean anything, so that when you do become aware of them you don't react or get drawn into ruminating. Just let them be and get on with other things.
  6. Really? I'd say it was normal to have a stream of thoughts all the time while awake, and for the brain to be busy with 'dream-thoughts' when asleep. I've never heard of anybody who has significant periods of no thoughts going on. Even when meditating the mind isn't blank, it's just more focused and concentrates on one thing to the exclusion of all distractions. Actually no brain in the world can focus on more than one thing at a time. If it feels like you're focused on several things at once the reality is you're switching focus continually between them. Which is, of course common to everybody who's ever 'multitasked' and very common indeed in ADHD. What I'm saying is learning to focus (refocus away from ruminations) isn't easy for anybody, but it can be done. All it takes is practise and patience. Having ADHD shouldn't be a barrier to overcoming OCD. You actually just have more to gain because learning how to focus/ refocus will help both conditions.
  7. Hi Cerrys, It's great you don't want to let OCD dictate your life. The risk of passing OCD on genetically is complex and in my opinion is not significant in the bigger scheme of things. Particularly compared to the effect of having a parent who is controlled by their OCD. If you're planning a family, my advice is to not let your OCD stop you, BUT do get some good CBT for your emetophobia and other OCD issues as a priority. Babies vomit, children vomit - a lot! You need to be clear how you'll cope with it both practically and emotionally. Your partner may be willing to 'mop up', but the reality is he won't be available 24/7. And then there's nappy changes, runny noses... the only 'coping mechanism' that really works is to overcome the OCD. But what an incentive to fight for recovery, right? Keep your goal of having a family in mind when the going gets tough and best of luck!
  8. If you're going private in the Hertfordshire/ London area you could seek out Professor David Veale who is one of the top specialists in the country. Very expensive though!
  9. Hi oldhedgey, Excellent life advice, whether a person has OCD or not. Also good news that you're holding down a job and keeping your relationship going in spite of your OCD. But you seem resigned to living with your rituals rather than trying to overcome them. Any reason(s) for that? It's a very sad place to be to have - in effect- given up. Could the good people of the forum be the friends you need to reignite your desire for freedom over slavery and help you find a way forward? What do you think is keeping you stuck? What makes some battles feel you can't win them? What do you thin k needs to change to get you to the next level of recovery?
  10. That's an unacceptably lomng wait. The average wait is at most a few months. It may be you've fallen through the cracks in the system somewhere, but definitely needs to be chased up. If you have difficulty please email the charity office here and we'll help you put pressure on them to get things underway.
  11. BABCP means they are trained in CBT. (Without the extra B means trained in counselling and psychotherapy, not CBT.) Apologies again olb for mistyping it the first time.
  12. ig She's right! My bad, I typed it wrong earlier. Sorry.
  13. Hi Emmachloee, OCD will take over completely if you let it. It has no respect for the lives of it's sufferers, their partners, or their children. So if his OCD is starting to limit your son going to school it's time to stand up to the bully (OCD is the bully, not your husband!) and demand change. Medication can't treat OCD, it only reduces anxiety and helps slow a racing mind. He needs CBT to tackle the OCD. Has he been referred yet? Seems to me it woyuld be more use to refer him for CBT than refer to a psychiatrist, as that's just an extra step before being refered on anyway.
  14. Hi Theeggshellwalker, It sounds like your partner struggles with being able to tolerate uncertainty and his desire for tidyness and a clutter-free envirnonment is probably about maintaining a feeling of control. His accusation that you're the one with the problem also sounds like self-defence. Unless he's willing to accept he has a problem and engage in therapy there's not much you can do to change how he is. Which leaves you reclaiming your life by other means - setting boundaries and sticking to them, getting on with life your way. I suggest you allow him to do his compulsions for now if he wants, but refuse to join in his compulsions. Try to get him to see what's 'reasonable' and what's his OCD by standing your ground. It might highlight for him just how far he's allowed OCD to dictate your lives and your home environment. Then do your best to persuade him the time for change is now.
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