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  1. Thanks a lot for the advice @leif and @dksea. I really agree with your point about making specific goals, I'm going to work on that. I've been facing a few other issues that I'm not sure how to deal with. Firstly, I'm not getting intrusive thoughts about self harm as much and when I do, they feel less intense. But the OCD has jumped, I'm now going through a big phase of guilt. I understand that this is common, the guilt was hard to deal with at first but I'm trying to apply the same strategies to it and treat it as part of the same problem. It's just that some days it really gets to me. But that is okay, this is a work in progress and, while I haven't figured out how to overcome it just yet, I will. The other issue is that my feelings of anxiety seem to have been replaced by apathy and I really hate that. When I was really anxious, all of my feelings felt amplified and feeling the positive emotions really helped me overcome the bad ones. I felt strong a connection with my partner and my family and I felt engaged. I am so grateful that I'm less anxious, but a lot of the time I feel distant from others, I find myself feeling like things are pointless. One thing I hate is that I'm not even enjoying listening to music as much. I do see how this is another aspect of anxiety, my mind disengaging so that it doesn't feel all the anxiety again, but I'd really love to have all the happy feelings without having to deal with the really bad ones all the time.
  2. Hi guys, I have been seeing a therapist for about a while now, he is really good and things have gotten so much better. The issue is that the therapy is becoming unaffordable for me, so we've decided to spread out my sessions to make it more feasible. So, we initially had appointments once a week, then spread it out to every two weeks and have now agreed to meet once a month. I realised after the discussion that the biggest thing I felt was relief, not just for financial reasons but because I've been finding the therapy and exposures very challenging and this gives me breathing room so that I don't have to do this stuff so often. I'm now thinking that this is probably wrong and not how I should be thinking. So I've made a decision to try and stay as engaged as I can in what I've been learning and to try and challenge myself on my own between sessions. Isn't that ultimately the goal anyway? I just wondered if anyone had any suggestions for how to do this? I'm worried that I'm just going to become complacent and comfortable and fall back into old patterns. So my fear is self harm, mainly with knives. I am doing the best I can not to avoid them. Tonight I had intrusive thoughts about this and forced myself to chop up some broccoli with the sharpest knife I own. I also struggle with being at home alone so I've been trying to stay at home more when my partner is out. He is going to be away for one week in February and my goal is to spend 1-2 nights on my own, which is much more than I have been able to do in the last year. So these are some ideas, I realise that they aren't really extreme and I'd like to leave some things for therapy as there as some exposures I can't handle on my own just yet.
  3. I think that you also need to give yourself time. Stopping yourself from doing compulsions is great but you have to continue working on this consistently over time to actually start feeling better.
  4. The most powerful thing I have heard was a woman with OCD write about how she's had many fears during her life and tried so hard to prevent all of them from happening, but in the end the worst thing that ever happened to her was the experience of living with OCD. So while there may indeed be some risk of something bad happening to you, the biggest risk is not overcoming OCD.
  5. Hi Bewildered, I’m sorry you’re going through such an awful time. I know how you feel, I and many of us have been where you are now. I know it probably feels like you’re drowning but this will get better! You have to hang in there. You say you’ve been off work. Do you have anything to keep you busy? When I was at my worst, I found routine and staying active really helped. I totally get how hard this is when you can’t sleep, but it may help. When I was at my worst, I would force myself to get up at a normal time each day (even though the temptation was to stay in bed all day), eat regular and proper meals, and do something constructive each day. It’s also important to remember that, while the anxiety feels very real, it is simply a trick of the mind to make you think something bad is happening. In fact all these sensations are just tricks of the mind, they won’t hurt you no matter how bad they feel. I hope this was a little helpful and that you feel better soon!!
  6. I think you have a good new goal here to try and use a different stall even when the one you normally use is in good and clean condition. That seems like a workable goal!
  7. No worries. I really do know how you’re feeling. The problem with this is that you never actually get a conclusive or satisfactory answer. Any evidence you get from these sources is open to interpretation and then you end up needing more and more information, but you will never get it. It’s just awful and the only way to get out of this madness is to just accept that there is information about you out there but it’s all fractured and muddled and that it will never provide a clear answer, so you need to stop seeking that answer and get on with your life.
  8. That is exactly it, you're looking at random bits of information that will never ever tell you anything conclusive to say whether or not you cheated on your husband, how is a company even supposed to have information about something like that? Even if you did get conclusive evidence that you did not cheat on your husband, the OCD would make you dismiss it because another "what if" would come into play. The only way to stop being miserable is to stop calling. You just stop, don't do it. When you have the urge to call, just take a deep breath and try to engage in something else. I have been where you are and I can tell you that this is just a spiral that will make things worse. You have to step back and try to stop this.
  9. It doesn’t matter. The fact remains the same. You know you have OCD and that OCD is driving your fear. If you continue to search for evidence, you are running a big risk of not recovering. On the other hand, the chances of you finding conclusive evidence either way are extremely minimal. So what is the logical thing to do here?
  10. Hi CD, I think you need to do a risk assessment here. I'm not sure exactly what it is that you're afraid of with these companies but ask yourself this - what is the bigger risk here, that something bad will happen because of their data or that you will continue to suffer because of OCD? I'd say that the OCD is far worse than any data breach or whatever your concern is. So, maybe you need to accept that there is a small risk regarding your data and try to let it go because the far bigger risk here is that pursuing this is damaging your mental health. You can stop, you just have to be strict with yourself.
  11. Hey @Terriblethoughts I think that families are there to support each other, through good and bad times. Even though you may be an adult, part of being responsible for your own mental health is reaching out for help and support when you need it, not trying to deal with everything on your own. I was diagnosed with OCD when I was your age and my family helped me through that really tough period. It took them a while to understand and to learn how to support me, at first they found it hard to understand why I was struggling so much and thought that I could just snap out of it. This caused a lot of conflict but we talked through it a lot and we are in a good place now, I'm in my 30s and they are still a big source of support for me. I think you should be open but be prepared that it may possibly take them a while to understand, if that happens, don't get frustrated with them and try to understand that is is a process for them as much as it is for you. I hope this helps.
  12. Hi Cora, I know it is hard to believe but the feelings you have are just OCD and nothing more. OCD is very convincing, it makes you believe that what you're feeling is real. If it didn't, none of us would be suffering as much as we do. The first step for you is to really try to accept that your problems are really just OCD, you have to work on this. Stay strong, you will get better!
  13. Hey Leif, it sounds like you're really making a big effort here and I'm certain that it will reap big rewards! I'm with you on this one, I think we have been on the same page in our OCD recovery for a while. I too am feeling better, but don't want to settle for just being "better"! Well, one of my big struggles is being alone, but I just managed to travel abroad by myself for 3 days!! It was for work so I didn't have much choice, but it wasn't awful at all. Now my big challenge is to be comfortable at home alone, somehow that is more difficult (not sure why). So today I'm working from home, it's challenging but I have about 4-5 more hours by myself here so it'll be good practice.
  14. Hi @John_Lennon, I'm in a relationship now but I had similar ruminations a few years ago before I met my partner. Just after I had turned 26, I read some horrible forum post where these men were saying that women over 25 are practically worthless and nobody would want to date them. Of course that is nonsense, but with my insecurities, it just resonated with me and I was convinced that I was an old hag and would never meet anyone, it was depressing to say the least. Then a few months later, I met my partner.. I think that you're just dealing with a lot and it's natural to be worried about things like this when everyone places so much value on finding dating, marriage and so on. Just take your time, there is no set path for when these things should happen. When you're ready, you can always try to put yourself out there to meet someone. You never know what life will bring or who will come into it.
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