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About Gemma@OCDUK

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  1. Hi CarerHusband, It's great to hear that your wife has started CBT and that she is persevering with it. Hopefully in time she will feel the therapy relates to her everyday life but if she feels it isn't after a few more weeks, try not to lose hope. It may be that a different therapist with a different approach will be better suited to your wife's problems. In other words it's unlikely to be the fault of the therapist, your wife or CBT. For some people they might see two or three therapists before they find one that suits them best. We are currently hosting support groups that your wife might find helpful on a Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings, which she can register for here https://www.ocduk.org/support-groups/zoom/ Feedback from the groups has shown them to be a great place to get support and encouragement to fight OCD no matter how small the achievement. There is no obligation to talk, so your wife can just attend to listen. I'm really glad you're finding Loving Someone with OCD helpful, because it can be really hard to know what's best to do with such a complicated and emotional issue. If your wife hasn't yet begun reading Break free from OCD that's fine. It might be that she's anxious for some reason about reading it or doesn't want to be overwhelmed. If you get a chance it's still a book that you can read to get a good understanding of OCD and CBT and hopefully in time your wife will feel able to take a look herself. Gemma
  2. Hi there Amber 🙂 It sounds like things are really tough at the moment for you all and I'm really glad to see you've had such good advice and support from Symps. I really hope that your partner manages to get to see a therapist soon and that you are also doing your best to look after yourself, because OCD can be overwhelming and draining on everyone involved. I do recommend a book called 'How Can I Help?' by Lauren Callaghan which is aimed at friends and family, to help them help their loved one with anxiety or obsessional problems. We are also currently running support groups which you and your partner might find helpful. There is one tonight at 7pm for Parents with OCD which your partner might want to attend, although I know it is short notice, or there is one on Wednesday 30th September at 7pm for Family and Friends, which you might find helpful. For more information on all the support groups and the one-off ones I mentioned you can check out the link here https://www.ocduk.org/support-groups/zoom/ If you do decide to attend the support groups there is no pressure to talk you can just sit and listen, but it can help to hear from other people in similar situations. Gemma
  3. Hi Maque I understand. I know that some people with OCD worry they'll be less creative if they stop thinking so much, does that sound similar to how you're feeling? Have you thought about any of the benefits of thinking less? For example, you might have more time to relax or to do things you enjoy. Try to remember that how much you think doesn't make you clever or not, and overcoming OCD isn't about getting rid of thoughts, rather it's about no longer having to do the compulsions that prevent us from living our lives how we choose. Gemma
  4. Hi Eunicorn80, Just to add to Hal's great advice, we also have a video from our Northampton Conference last year https://www.ocduk.org/parents/parents-conference-presentations/ocd-and-autism-northampton/ on how to recognise and adapt CBT for those with OCD and Autism. I hope you find it helpful and it gives you hope that although things are difficult right now there are ways to help cope and overcome your son's OCD. Gemma
  5. Hi CarerHusband, I'm really sorry to hear that your wife is struggling at the moment. It does sound like she has contamination based OCD thoughts and compulsions. It sounds like your wife feels incredibly unsure of what to do herself, probably because she knows that giving the clothes away is an overreaction but she can't currently bear living with them. This is normal for someone with OCD but as you know it is incredibly draining to cope with as a loved one. Has your wife looked into accessing any treatment for her OCD? The current recommended treatment for OCD is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and you can access this either from a referral by your GP or if you're in England you can self-refer to your local mental health services. The good news is OCD is a very treatable condition and although things are difficult now, it doesn't mean it will always be this way. I'd also really recommend the self-help book Break Free from OCD which is available through our online shop here https://www.ocduk.org/shop/break-free-from-ocd/ which takes you through what OCD is, how it is maintained and how to start tackling it. Gemma
  6. Hi Caprifullsun It's really common for someone with OCD to look for people with similar obsessions to theirs and find nothing so don't worry. OCD obsessions are really specific to the person who has them and they all tend to follow a similar pattern. What is it about other supermarket food that bothers you? Are you worried about something in particular? It might just be that you feel comfortable with what you know and where there is doubt over where something has come from, your OCD makes you feel like you need to avoid it. Avoidance because you feel unsure is a common compulsion. Have you tried accessing any therapy for your OCD? Gemma
  7. Hi Maque, I know it feels really complicated but I definitely think these are feelings that not only will your therapist understand but will also have heard before. Why do you think feeling slightly better makes you feel dumb?
  8. Hi Laura and welcome to the forum I'm sorry to hear you've been struggling so long with OCD. I have a similar story of having had it a long time and it changing from theme to theme and it's so tough to go through. Have you accessed any therapy for your OCD? Because it's through CBT that I've managed to improve so much in the last few years. My colleague Kirstie is the Online Groups Manager and hosts the support groups. She is really kind and supportive as are all the OCD-UK team. I think people find them a great place to get support from people who understand and also encouragement to face their OCD. So I really hope that you too find them helpful too Gemma
  9. Hi there parkysam It sounds like you're really having a hard time at the moment but it's good to see you've had some lovely replies so far. I know what you mean that OCD makes you feel ridiculous, it does, but that doesn't mean that we are ridiculous. It's always important to remember that this is a terrible condition that causes so much suffering and if it was so easy to ignore, we just would! It might be worth looking into accessing treatment for your OCD again because it sounds like you have struggled for a long time even if at times it hasn't affected your life as much. You can access CBT either via a referral from your GP or if you're in England you can self-refer to your local IAPT. If you need help finding your local IAPT then I can help you with that. It must be really hard having your husband make comments that are hurtful. Could you perhaps explain to him why such comments are hurtful and tell him that if he could be a little more patient, then you might find it a little easier to cope and fight back against your OCD? All the best Gemma
  10. Hi there Chels I'm sorry to hear that lockdown has made your OCD worse, it has been a stressful time for everyone never mind if you're an OCD sufferer. Have you had any therapy for your OCD? The current recommended treatment for OCD is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and you can access it via a referral from your GP in Scotland. What I'd definitely recommend is taking a look at our April edition of OCD-UK's magazine which we made freely available here https://www.ocduk.org/april-compulsive-reading/ It has some great tips on how to cope during lockdown from OCD specialists. Most importantly though is seeking help from a therapist yourself. So if that isn't something you've looked into I'd definitely start there. Gemma
  11. Hi there Savy, It sounds like you have struggled for a long time with OCD and now perhaps depression too. Have you had any therapy for your OCD? I really think this is something you should consider because OCD is a very treatable condition with good therapy. It may be that you are depressed separate from your OCD but it may be directly related. So treating the OCD may in fact reduce or get rid of the depression entirely. I really recommend a self-help book called OCD, Anxiety and Related Depression which is co-written by a sufferer called Adam Shaw and his therapist Lauren Callaghan. Not only does it take you through how to tackle OCD but it also features Adam's story of suffering from harm based OCD. He was in a terrible place not unlike where you are and Lauren helped him towards recovery. You can find it here at the OCD-UK shop https://www.ocduk.org/shop/ocd-anxiety-related-depression/ Gemma
  12. Hi Maque, The main question I would ask is why don't you feel able to admit your main obsessions to your therapist or even yourself? What is it that's holding you back? It's really hard opening up to someone especially about things that cause us great distress but the alternative is to continue with OCD which is so much worse. Do you think you could maybe write down some of your obsessions to hand to your therapist or say something is bothering you that you find difficult to talk about. This will give the therapist the ability to ask you questions which might help you start a conversation about it.
  13. Hi Oetegenn1976, Firstly I just want to congratulate you on your new job, well done! I'm sure you will help lots of people and be a great support to them all. I think this is incredibly common with OCD that when something good happens that we really want, our brains decide to say everything that could possibly worry us or go wrong about it. I think a lot of the time it's because we are excited, but all too often mistake it as nerves, which makes us think and then worry. The best advice I can give is to keep moving forward, keep your long term goals in mind and see what's happening now as a normal consequence of being out of your comfort zone. Also if you have any therapy notes or self-help material to refer back to then give them a read. I wish you all the best in your career, Gemma
  14. Hi Benedictsoup, Dealing with triggers is really a question of applying what we've learnt in CBT. Have you had any therapy up till this point? In terms of how best to deal with your mum's worry, I would recommend that alongside you she learns what she can about OCD and how to challenge it. It will also help her to understand what triggers are and how best to deal with them 🙂 Gemma
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