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BigDave

Bulletin Board User
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  • OCD Status
    Sufferer

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  1. Hi everyone and thank you for responding. I don’t want to outstay my welcome and I know that it is board policy that if someone is constantly asking for reassurance then it’s better to say nothing than encourage it. To address some of the points raised. 1) yes, I do contact people. In fact, it is always that way around. I’m always the one initiating and it feels very much like if I never made the effort then no one else would. I feel very alone. 2) my therapist spends a lot of time trying to challenge me on my belief patterns but rarely is there homework or practical applications, at least which register. Saying that, I have been seeing him for years now. At this point, I feel like there are very few people who I can talk to who do not think I’m a weirdo or know of what I’m going through. I don’t actually think I have ever felt so alone in the night. And actually I’m at the point now where if I have a concern or feel like I need to seek reassurance, I just bottle it rather than say anything because I feel like it is wrong to even ask. So I am effectively in a constant state of anxiety. That angers and saddens me all at the same time. I do recognise the fact that no one else can help me but me though it is really depressing and upsetting to feel that alone with something so oppressive.
  2. Hi, I need some support and I am not sure where else to go who would understand. I feel like I've hit a bit of a brick wall which I know happens plenty in OCD Recovery but here is the thing. I feel like I am taking liberties now with my therapist. He had allowed me to text him and I thought that was very kind of him but, now, I feel like I am doing it too much and I know it has to stop. I know it is a form of reassurance and it shouldn't be done. The problem is I don't know how to cope without getting reassurance. Before anyone responds with the obvious answer of "you need to carry on without it", I want to assure you that I am aware of that. But the fact is that I can barely function right now. The only thing that I can do OK is my job and the worry is that my OCD is now starting to encroach on that with feelings of paranoia and worries that I've done something wrong, coupled with excessive checking. I'm pretty sure my colleagues must have noticed by now. I know one colleague is very suspicious. I feel so useless however. The issue with many of problems isn't that I don't recognise that OCD being at play because I do recognise that mostly, except when it comes to urine and faeces. As far as they go, it is an absolute car wreck that I've shared with you countless times. I often fall into the loop of going for a whizz and then being certain/knowing that I have a bit of urine on my leg. At which point, I ponder what is best - to wipe or to go on with my day - asking myself, what would a non-OCD person do. If I choose the option to wipe, it often becomes a laborious task where I am changing shorts and shirts and what not while if I don't, I am unable to rest at the thought that I have spread urine onto my prized belongings and whatever. I know that urine isn't dangerous. I also anticipate that urine is probably on most things anyway but that doesn't make the emotional reaction I have to this issue any easier to stomach. In fact, it is quite torturous. The same goes with wiping my behind. I don't know whether I have some real lack of ability to wipe myself but I do reasonably get something on my hands and even if I don't, I am forever fearful in the proximity of the wiping hand to my t-shirt, shorts and whatever else. The ongoing process is so tiresome that it's unbelievable. If the issues were limited to that, then yes, that would be enough but you and I both know that the issues far outweigh just those. Whether it is the concern over my brother contaminating things with his unwashed/unclean hands or whether the cats anus has sufficiently backed into me that I have the possibility of getting pooh on me; well, you get the picture. I can't even use a dustbin without a struggle. I'm sorry to unload all of this (some of it repeating but I cannot stress how out of my wits ends I am). It's also not that I haven't been trying. I've tried it numerous different ways. I've told myself "act like a normal person would" and try to go around doing things without acting the compulsions. I have also tried doing things bit by bit. I have tried mindfulness and meditation practices and I have tried to live with the revulsion, especially after I have gone to the bathroom but I burn out, even if it is after an hour. I literally blockade myself out of my own bedroom because I walked outside in my bare feet or walked into the cats room where there are cat treats on the floor sometimes or cat food or if I walk in the toilets. I hate the toilets in my house - it is my own personal hell. So often there are puddles of urine over the floor, sometimes the seat as well. It is impossible for me to ever feel comfortable in there. Sometimes I just have to ask my Mum to help me to spruce it up a bit. Sometimes I try to spruce it up a bit myself. And all in all, if I really try to think about all of this, I just want to cry because it's been a long time now that I have been trying to tackle this and I haven't seen improvements. I feel like I am going to be cursed with this forever and that eventually....well...eventually, people are just going to stop caring. Half the time, I feel like the loneliest person in the world. Often I just scroll through my address book on my phone, wondering who I can text, hoping that someone will take a bit of interest. But anyway, at least I have my Mum and Dad, even if it is hard for them to understand.
  3. You make really good points Leif! I really want to beat this obviously but I'm struggling. I have been struggling for too long and things have to change. It's driving me literally insane and I'm so unhappy all the time. I went on holiday and was overcome but the OCD. I think that I'm doing things right but then I realise what I'm doing is reassurance seeking behaviour. Wish there was some sort of magic bullet.
  4. Do you have any recommended reading? I have to beat this.
  5. Ok so I am trying the whole ERP game and it is already very uncomfortable. Essentially the first one of the night involved a book I was looking at potentially touching my lap and the first feeling was that urine was on my lap so how urine is on the book. Now, I ignored the feeling to clean and everything and moved on with it. I played on my computer etc. The anxiety is still there obviously and I’m tossing and turning between “the book didn’t have any urine on it so neither does my computer etc” and “perhaps it did but it’s not going to harm me”. I have a feeling the latter is the better choice but obviously the more repugnant of the choices. I’m 90% sure that it didn’t touch anyway which makes things all the more ??? Do you guys have any advice how to at this very moment embrace the anxiety. Should I just distract myself?
  6. That’s what I’m thinking Malina. I don’t like it one but also I don’t have too much choice. It’s going to be hell putting myself through this though. Really really not looking forward to it (not that I would).
  7. Thank you for the message and I do really appreciate it. To be honest, my brother has severe autism with learning difficulties and unfortunately has picked up some unfortunate habits through interactions with other autistic people of a similar elk. These learned behaviours are extremely challenging and frankly I think it would be near impossible for us to ever reach that middle ground because he doesn’t understand and can’t understand these issues. That’s not to say we haven’t tried but through countless years of experience, dare I say that it is more than a rarity for an autistic person of his age to “improve” in these circumstances. The fact is that my parents aren’t bothered by it or have accepted it on account of the fact that they have had no negative consequences from it and see it more appropriate to shower my brother with as much love as possible rather than fight the impossible task of keeping on top of what he does all the time. I can understand that as well to be honest. The problem is - where does that leave me? My OCD isn’t the accepting kind AND it isn’t completely wrong on this one. So it’s awkward. Part of me thinks that what I should do is try the ERP route and suck it up but there is a part of me that says that I shouldn’t have to accept this. It’s a really difficult situation. I have just started seeing a new psychiatrist and I already have a great therapist but my therapist seems to believe that I need to “bite the bullet” on this one. I know EVERY OCD sufferer will say this but it seems like a ridiculous ask of me. I understand with ERP sometimes the solution is to just let everything come at you and not respond and goes along the times of you need to over do the “normal” thing but go beyond that to show your OCD who is boss. Seems daunting but maybe that is best. That would of course be hell though. This is for someone who feels reluctant to touch his television because I used my mobile phone today while I was eating a sandwich and now I’m thinking I’m carrying around a carrier of grease and mayonnaise so the idea of coming face to face with worse things doesn’t sound appealing lol.
  8. I wanted to come back to this in favour of starting a new thread because to be honest I don’t want a million and one threads that state the same thing. Anyway, so I really want to kind of make progress with this OCD thing and I’m feeling extremely nervous about the next step. Essentially, this issue relates to my brother and his cleanliness habits. He doesn’t wash his hands and obviously goes to the bathroom, touches parts of his body, as well as touch things that other people might not touch like the floor or the pavement. He also has been known to put his hand in the food bin to dig something out if he has put something in there he needs to remove. I hate to say it but it repulses me. That being said, I have to live with him and much of my OCD pertains to the fact that it freaks me out. I believe the answer to the problem is to suck it up and basically expose myself to this thing that repulses me but obviously I don’t know if I am putting myself into harms way/unnecessary dirtiness for the sake of it. I want to be better but I don’t want grease or poo or urine or garbage on the things I value most. But I can’t see anyway around it. My folks don’t see it as an issue but then my Dad will eat while at the computer. So you see my problem?
  9. In a way, it would solve problems but also my health issues besides this wouldn’t allow for it. Furthermore, I feel like moving to another place would be like one grand version of avoidance. Plus, I would never be able to have my brother or anyone from my family around because they might contaminate the place. And it’s not like I could tell my family that they can come visit as long as they don’t bring my brother along.
  10. And how would a sensible risk averse man act?
  11. As a side point, I think I have lost sight of what is a normal behaviour/response. For example, touching my lap which is slightly wet after going for a wee is revolting for me. Yes, I know that most men might be a little wet after a pee and most people won’t think twice about their lap but the fact that I had bladder issues makes me think it’s excessive and that I’m spreading urine everywhere. I know what you will all say - urine isn’t going to harm you so it doesn’t matter and to that I completely understand your POV and agree for you. Just as in the same way that when my cats wipe their face on me and get their eye gunk on me, if I wipe it off with a tissue, that’s fine and in any case it won’t harm me. So I shouldn’t panic. It’s hard not to react in any case because I still feel contaminated. And then there are things that are just plain gross. And I’m going to put out a WARNING here. Do not read ahead if you are squeamish. Four things my autistic brother does besides pee everywhere. 1) he does not wash his hands after he does number 2. 2) he sometimes fiddles with himself and does not wash his hands. 3) he will not think twice about putting his arm in the food waste bin to pull out something like a battery. 4) he walks barefoot in the garden and then puts his feet on the sofa. He does other things too but those are some examples. My parents just get on with things but he touches everything around the house and I have to handle that too. It’s revolting to me and not my parents and I can’t understand it. They say he’s disabled and it won’t harm me but I’m still repulsed. Then there is the whole cat thing and both of them seem to love to stick their butts on me whether near my face, arms or legs. I’m almost afraid to stroke them and am constantly watching their bottoms because they do stick it into me. I realise that this over the top (I think) but I don’t want cat poo on me. So yeah, you can see my problem.
  12. I actually think you misunderstood me. It wasn’t that I was washing before cleaning as in I felt it necessary to wash before I could clean. I had to go for a wizz and before I touched the mop, I thought I’d clean my hands after going for a wee. Essentially I thought that was fair.
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