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  1. Thanks for all the support and advice you've offered. I've really appreciated it And good for you for being able to take a step back and put your energy into other places that you are wanting to! Sounds like you know how to enjoy life
  2. Well that's encouraging that maybe my attempts at building up to other toilets may be helping. This thread, and esp your posts here about how you did what i am aiming to specifically do has given me a breath of inspiration, and I've been trying to challenge more of my compulsions these last few days. I won't continue posting on this thread about this as i don't want to take over another's thread, but just wanted to say thank you for this--this is the kind of thing i need to hear about to keep climbing the OCD mountain. I want to be really and truly free of this! I will just say too Ashley, that i really appreciate your work here--to have stuck around all these years and to keep offering encouragement and help--it's really great of you. Thank you!
  3. Thanks so much for sharing that @Ashley. That is so amazing and inspiring. For so long I've found it tolerable to just put up with the toilet one as it doesn't cause me too much grief, but lately I really feel like I'd like to make that final leap across. I feel if I could do that so much in my life would open up, and I almost feel like that would be it for the OCD altogether. Reading your story, sounds like in the end it really was just a leap, that the attempt to build up to it to bring the anxiety levels down around toilets by touching lids etc didn't really do much to help...it encourages me to take a bit of a leap myself, as I've been trying to build up to it without too much success. Of course i'm sure it was so helpful to have a really good support team around you, and to have made that declaration that you would be doing it! Hard to back down after that! It's fascinating to me that something so seemingly simple, and something that I used to do without any thought about it whatsoever, could present as such a challenge. And just the thought that I could just walk out and use other toilets today, could release me from a prison I've put myself into, is such an amazing idea! Thank you @BelAnna for starting this thread--i find it inspiring to read a few people's story of recovery!
  4. I wonder if you could share a bit about what cognitive approaches you took, and what sort of time line it took. It's very inspiring to read that level of recovery. I feel like I can only get so far and then I stay stuck. Very happy with the progress I've made but would just love to see more progress. My big challenge is trying to use toilets that aren't my own. I feel such a big fear/challenge around that and just can't seem to go there...
  5. Yes i would agree with your therapist.I would work on it little by little. You mention already a couple of things that would help you on this route. So you can see that your brother probably can't change and that your parents aren't having any negative consequences in not avoiding him. While most people accept that it's good hygiene to wash one's hands after using the bathroom, lots of people don't. One can then become afraid of shaking people's hands in case they didn't wash. Or buying groceries in case there are germs on it and on, and on, and on...So we need to yes, bite the bullet in these cases, and face our fears that someone might not have washed their hands and there might be some germs around. I would definitely work with your therapist on this and go ahead with exposures.
  6. Thanks for searching that out and reposting Taurean. The theory A and B part seems to have gotten mixed in together but i get the idea. I've used approaches like that to work with specific triggers just like in the example, and I find it very useful. I don't see how one would apply it to a core belief though. Specific triggers seem easier to work with, whereas the core belief, the deeper set beliefs I hold, seem harder for me to shake, even when i can see logically they're not true, or when i prove it to be an exaggerated focus on the negative. For instance if I am working with the core belief that the world is a dangerous place, I can come up with several examples to both support and not support this belief. Bad/scary things happen all the time, but so do the opposite. I can also see evidence that while we can do some things to protect ourselves, things are pretty random. So logically I can see that I am overemphasizing the negative, or the threat. However I'm not sure how to re-balance that thought, except for trigger by trigger using ERP. So recognizing that yes, there is a threat in being exposed to other people's blood, for instance, I can see I overemphasize the threat, and then need to re-balance the approach I take to encounters with it. And maybe over time that will shift my core belief? But I just find I seem to have held these core beliefs for practically my whole life and they don't seem to shift, even if I can move on from a particular trigger. So while I might be able to move on from a particular trigger, the core belief just creates another focus for me. So then it might be that I might start a fire and end up checking the apartment for an hour before I can leave. So then I deal with that trigger...is that the only approach we can take? Trigger by trigger, or is there another way to work with our core beliefs that create the triggers? I think a lot of this just has to do with the very real uncertainty of life, and my lack of ability to know how to live with that.
  7. Great thank you for posting this! So I feel I can identify my core beliefs beneath the OCD in that mainly I am afraid of causing harm to others with the underlying core belief that I am incompetent and also that the world is a dangerous place. I've had these core beliefs defined a few times while working with CBT. However i just can't seem to work with it to the extent that the core belief is ever let go of. Logically i can see that they are not true, but it remains all the same. I can also see that i do threat exaggeration. However, I am struggling with how to work with these core beliefs outside of just doing erp around specific things that trigger me...Are there specific cognitive exercises one uses to work with this? Or is the key just to be aware of the the beliefs that seems to be underlying our issues?
  8. Yes I totally get wanting to care for the environment and your health, but when OCD comes into play on these concerns, the OCD can be far worse for us than the thing we are concerned about. No matter where you go there will always be something that OCD can make into something big--whether it's the person spitting on the road ahead of us, or ticks in the forest, or chemicals in our environment. OCD tells us that if only we can avoid these particular triggers, then we would be safe. But we know avoidance, moving away etc, doesn't work--OCD will always find something. So we need to find a balance. Like i wouldn't say to go roll around on the grass after your dad sprayed the roundup, but i would say that i wouldn't bother with the air purifier etc. Maybe at this point you're not ready to do without the air purifier and that's ok--we need to know what steps we are able to take. I know Taureen's made mention in other posts (not necessarily yours--just in general) about working with our core beliefs--i wonder if there's something you could do there since there seems to be a theme around your health. I'm wondering the same for myself around contamination fears--still trying to figure out how to work with core beliefs instead of just individual triggers. Hope your anxiety slows down for you!
  9. I feel for you--I hate herbicides/pesticides. I don't know why yard owners use them on just their lawns etc. I've gardened for years and never use that kind of stuff. However i don't imagine you are at much risk around the exposure you'd be getting to it. I would think it would be more the person applying it should be concerned--or if you had pets or kids playing on the areas afterward. Or if you were growing food i would be concerned if it was applied in too heavy a quantity. For instance, if i knew a neighbour was spraying i would shut my windows while they were doing it but after that i wouldn't be concerned about breathing it in. We are exposed to so many chemicals nowadays so i can't imagine the extra in the air from someone spraying would be a concern. Imagine what farm workers using that stuff would be breathing in with those vast pieces of agricultural land, spraying it for years! I think its reasonable for you to ask your dad to follow the instructions on the bottle, but there's not much you can do beyond that. Lol! Yes funny how what we are so concerned about one day, slips once a new obsession takes its place!
  10. Sorry to hear about this--that sounds so hard--to be questioning the cleanliness of your beloved pet. I really hope you are able to let this go and continue enjoying your cat. Try to keep in mind all the years your cat's been hanging out with you in your room/on your bed and nothing bad has happened. In fact i bet a lot of good has happened as pets are wonderful for our mental health! Just keep cuddling your cat, allow the anxious thoughts to be (don't do any compulsions/avoidance around the thoughts--no extra cleaning/washing, no keeping your cat out of your room, no asking people about cats and their cleanliness), and eventually the thoughts/anxious feeling will go away. Now go cuddle your cat ( i suffer contamination OCD too and have been through similar scenarios--it's really tough when it starts attacking those things we love best--don't let it win this round!)
  11. Great post Malina! I love when you see the results of exposures freeing up your life! In one of my books they suggest having little rewards after you do exposures, but i think the best reward of all is gaining back freedoms that were lost to OCD. Thanks for posting
  12. Sorry you're having such a hard time . Good that your mum is able to come and help out some. Can you schedule in some other help so to be sure you are getting plenty of sleep, eating well etc? OCD can get so much worse when our bodies are stressed, so good if we can at least manage to get some of the basics taken care of.
  13. Sorry to hear you are having a rough time. I know it's especially hard when there is something that could be a concern. I think it's wise to go to the doctor as Malina suggested, see what they say, follow their advice. I'd never heard of TBE. I'm not in Europe but spent a lot of time there a while back, and came back with ticks almost every walk i went on! I never knew about any of the dangers of ticks back then so was never concerned. The bliss of ignorance! I hope you can get some sleep, and distract yourself with daily living. Like you say, the likelihood of getting this is probably small, so try to move along as best you can! Wishing you well--you're always such a good support on this forum so it's nice when you can get some support back Also stop googling--just go to the doctor and leave it at that. Googling will just add to your stress!
  14. @Kev Yes it seems like OCPD is less known about and then the similarities between them can cause some confusion too! In my self-help book for OCD, they mention OCPD and say that if you have that rather than OCD, that particular workbook/treatment wouldn't be useful. So I imagine it might be the same for the one you ordered. I did see on one site about OCPD that one would have CBT therapy along with possibly medication and also relaxation techniques. So that sounds similar to what is done for OCD, but the CBT might look different. I know i've done a few different courses in CBT and it can look different for generalized anxiety and depression and OCD while there are some overlaps with all of them. I'm not sure about self-help books for OCPD--i did a search for them and there seems to be some around but have no idea what quality they would be. You might have to do some research. So maybe go for your diagnosis and see what they think it is before doing too much running around. Are you able to get into see someone soon? I know what you mean about wanting to get going on this sooner than later. I hope you are able to at least have some continued support on here until you figure this out a little more!
  15. HI Hal, Just wondering if you found that GP icebreaker sheet? I tried doing a search for it too but can't find it and just mentioned it to another person on the forum newly trying to see a GP. (see the thread 'Struggling to Cope'--maybe you could post it there as well if you do find it)
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