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  1. I don't think the article is telling us anything new. It confirms that it's not the thoughts themselves that are the problem, almost everyone has intrusive thoughts, but it's how we react to them - our interpretation and subsequent feelings about them.
  2. Hi MarieJo, I am so sorry you are struggling with this. Only 18 months or so ago I could have written a similar post. Some cognitive work I did in therapy was (I think) cost benefit analysis. This helped me realise that worrying over my son's safety did not help to keep him safe, and was infact detrimental to my health and his wellbeing, causing him to feel guilt (and probably frustration) over my feelings. There was no benefit at all to my endless sleepless nights and distress. I have learned to let go of the things I can't control. It sounds such an obvious and simple thing but I know it isn't easy to do. It is so difficult 'letting go' and relinquishing our children's safety to themselves, but all we can do is trust them. My son likes to party, and is a bit of an adrenaline junkie with a love of extreme sports. Of course I still worry, but I now have more control, I dont' give the 'what if's a chance and I stop the ruminating in its tracks. He is living his best life, and I would rather that, than he not do any of these things. That's what I choose to think about, him having a good time, enjoying life. Having been there, please believe me, you can get past this, perhaps it would be worth giving therapy another try?
  3. Hi MarieJo, This is something I struggled with with my son, particularly when he was away at uni. I agree with discuccsant, that you should just try and sleep, but I know it's hard to give up those compulsions completely. When my son was home and he was going clubbing I used to ask what time the club closed (I knew he'd be there until the end) then add an hour on to that to allow for getting food (likely) and the taxi home. He knew how much I worried and agreed to text me either when he was in the taxi home, or if for any reason he wouldn't be home at the expected time. I still laid awake until he came home but would try and relax and tell myself that he was out having a good time. After a few weeks of this I found I could nod off (always seemed to wake every couple of hours until he was home) and then eventually i asked him to only text to let me know if he was likely to be later than the expected time. For example once he couldn't get a taxi and ended up staying with a friend. Even then I wasn't awake when the text arrived, but at least when I woke (usually early hours) I knew why he wasn't in his bed and didn't go into a blind panic. It sounds like your son is very understanding, maybe if you can't hold out until 4, agree you'll text at say 2, just perhaps with an 'are you having a good time?' , and he can just reply a quick 'yes. X' and you're not interrupting his evening or embarrassing him in front of his friends? Not sure if that helps, but it's my suggestion for a half way house to trying to give up the compulsions completely, which is possibly too difficult at the moment.
  4. Hi Agrippina It sounds like you've been doing really well. I sometimes find when I have had a really good day I can get a spike of anxiety for no 'apparent' reason. With me I think what actually happens is I have the thoughts that 'wow, I've really enjoyed today, life is good', and then my sneaky mind says but 'what if....' I know it's hard, but try and put last night behind you, and carry on just as you have been doing. Best of luck.
  5. Hi, I second that andThe Midnight Library......great book!
  6. Hello Brad, So sorry to hear your struggling. Have you looked at any self help resources whilst you wait for CBT? There are some good book recommendations on the main site that really helped both me and my son, whilst we waited for therapy.
  7. Totally agree with GBG. Thank you Ashley for pursuing this. I have had two experiences of IAPT, one terrible and one reasonably good. I say reasonably because the quality of the CBT I had was very good, however I would have liked a few more sessions. I was told I couldn't have anymore but could re-refer at any time. Personally I think that if you are 'almost there', even having 2 or 3 extra sessions may enable someone to make sufficient progress to manage their condition independently and therefore no longer need NHS resources, the alternative being falling back down the rabbit hole and having to start all over again, which must ultimately place more strain on the service. I was not brave enough to challenge their decision, but thankfully was successful with self help eventually. As well as the points questionnaires, the set number of sessions is just too restrictive...one size does not fit all. Thank you for being such a great ambassador and fighting our corner.
  8. Hi Gabi, I am so sorry to hear you are struggling but you really are taking the first step to getting help. I won't deny I have heard some stories where the NHS have got it wrong, however I have heard far more positive stories. Please don't let fear stop you from taking the next step. My son had similar themes to yours and therapy has made such a difference to his life. You won't need to go straight in with the things you most fear, and your therapist should recognise you have OCD from all the other anxiety issues you mention...(if he/she doesn't, ask for one who specialises in OCD). Once you feel more comfortable and confident with the therapist, you will hopefully find it easier to open up fully. The therapist will have heard similar fears to yours before. There is a some information on the main website about approaching therapy, which you may find helpful, along with lots of other useful information. Best of luck.
  9. Hi Lisa, I am so sorry to hear your daughter is struggling. Do you know what type of therapy she had? Was it CBT? This is the recommended treatment for OCD. CBT usually involves 'homework', does she have any work sheets she can re-visit? Although CBT can be covered in 14 weeks, in my and my sons experience it takes so much longer to implement the techniques, and requires continuous effort. Also the quality of CBT can vary greatly. DId she receive treatment through the NHS -you don't say where you're based? Did she see a therapist who specialises in OCD? She may need further therapy? Alternatively there are a number of self help books recommended by OCD UK, that we have found very useful. I don't know how old your daughter is, but maybe you could do this together if she is open to that. In any event it would be useful for you to have a look yourself to learn more about OCD (if you haven't already) to see how you can support your daughter in the best way. As a parent, it is so easy to provide reassurance which I was (and occasionally still am) guilty of, because more than anything else you want to make your child feel better. Unfortunately this is ultimately detrimental to their recovery. I know it is awful to feel so helpless when a loved one is suffering. Although I haven't posted too frequently, the forum has provided a lot of support in how I can help both myself and my son, I hope it can for you too. No doubt someone with much more experience than I will be along to reply soon.
  10. Hi Lonelygirl, Sorry to hear you are struggling. The testing is a compulsion, and as you've discovered it only brings more anxiety. Another compulsion, reassurance, which although made you feel better initially, didn't work. You're also ruminating, trying to 'solve' the issue one way or another, again another compulsion. It's all of these that keep the anxiety going. I know it's hard but you need to just let the thoughts be and avoid these compulsions, even try a 'so what' approach. Are you having any CBT currently?
  11. Hi, It was similar fears to yours that resulted in my son being diagnosed with OCD. We believe he has suffered with this (in different guises) for a number of years, but we all knew little about the condition, and just thought he was 'a bit of a worrier'. Have you accessed any therapy? As others more knowledgeable than I will tell you, the thoughts themselves are not the problem, it's the interpretation you put on them, and you are currently doing numerous compulsions that don't ease your anxiety, they only keep the obsessions going. That's where CBT can help. I can also recommend the Break Free From OCD book. Therapy and learning more about OCD has really helped my son. It is not easy but you CAN change the way you react to these thoughts and let them go. Please seek help, you don't have to suffer like this.
  12. Hi MarieJo, I could almost have written your post myself as I can identify with so much of it. I too struggled with the fear of losing my parents, and as my two children grew up I had the self same issues. I think anyone who genuinely loves their family would feel exactly the same if they let themselves think about it I.e ruminate. My parents are now both in their late 80's so I am fortunate to have had them in my life for such a long time, yet in my head I have buried them over and over again for 30 years, torturing myself with the thoughts of their passing. Similarly when my son reached drinking age and started going out, I would lie awake thinking on the 'what ifs' until I heard him come home - usually in the early hours and even then I still wouldn't sleep for fear of him having had too much to drink and being ill in his sleep. Then when he went away to university I was even worse! Around that time I was diagnosed with GAD and referred for cbt, and this has really helped. It has not been easy, and I can still fall down the rabbit hole occasionally but mostly I refuse to engage with the thoughts. My biggest regret is letting these thoughts have such a hold over me for so many years. Please don't give up on CBT. Unfortunately as others have said quality of therapy can vary. I have seen various counsellors and therapists over the years, however it was 9 sessions on the NHS through IAPT which helped to set me on the right road. My son was diagnosed with OCD around 18 months ago, we sought private therapy for him as there was such a long wait through the NHS. Again CBT has really helped him, and we have both benefited from reading some of the books recommended by OCDUK. I still worry about the wellbeing and safety of my loved ones, but it no longer controls my life. Wishing you the best on your own journey...you can get there! X
  13. Sorry, just read the Health Anxiety section on the main site, I now see that although they overlap Health Anxiety can be a separate issue as well as being a theme OCD sufferers can also struggle with.
  14. Hi, the BBC news site has an article about health anxiety, is this not a form of OCD? There is no mention of OCD in the article but it talks of obsessing and compulsions. Seems like a missed opportunity to raise awareness of OCD and that it has many 'forms'? ??‍♀️
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