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About Hal

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    OCD-UK Member and

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    S.E England
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    Reading, Running........The Simpsons

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  1. Hal

    OCD Answers..

    I really think you're doing the right thing. Fingers crossed, once you begin to feel all the benefits from the medication, you might also notice an improvement in your sleeping patterns and energy levels, and that will also have a knock-on effect on your motivation...it should be a win win. See how you go, but don't panic if you don't feel an immediate improvement, take it a day at a time, but hold firm. You might also find the atmosphere where you're drinking is enough in itself to lift your spirits, it's important you keep your regular social life going. It can be difficult with friends and family can't it, they don't always understand how difficult coping with OCD can be and how low it can make us feel. I guess some of it probably comes from being a bit apprehensive around knowing what to say or worrying they might say the wrong thing, it's not easy though. I think you're being very wise to want to find new social outlets and not expecting the medication to change everything, you've got a great proactive attitude. From memory the charity does occasionally organise events, but I have also found a peer support service through MIND, I wonder if that may be something worth looking at? Here's a link to more info: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/peer-support-directory/about-peer-support/#.W8peWoHTXqC I just wonder though, if it would also be an idea to see what sort of clubs and social events are available locally to you. Not necessarily tied-in with mental health, just regular activities like adult education, or maybe joining a local sports club. Something like that could also help with how you feel about yourself and raising your self esteem. Some of those thoughts you're having around nothing you do being good enough are more than likely down to the depression and what you've been through in the past, but gradually when the fog lifts, I really hope you'll be able to see the truth about yourself. I'm doing okay, thanks for asking one day at a time eh, but we'll all get there won't we.
  2. Hal

    OCD Answers..

    Hi Ben, Try not to worry too much about what went on with your family and the kitten. I know it's a tricky situation when family are involved, you must feel very let down by them, but maybe look at it that you did your best. So long as the kitten is being looked after well, maybe chalk this one up to experience and try to move on from it...focus now on what's also important here, how you are in yourself. Talking of which, please please please be a bit careful mixing alcohol while you're taking the antidepressants. I get that a drink helps with feeling more chilled out and less anxious, but it's more than likely undoing all the benefits you should be feeling from taking the medication. It's difficult to say for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if the foggy feeling you're experiencing and the forgetfulness are down to the combInation of the two...and 'feeding' the doubt more. How do you feel about maybe stopping the alcohol for a month or so and seeing how you feel? It might initially be tough going, but my hunch is you'll feel a lot better in the long run.
  3. There definitely is, you're entitled to receive CBT through the NHS under NICE guidelines, it might take some time but it should be available to you, even if it's not locally. Private therapy's obviously an option open to you (always go through the BABCP), the downside's the cost, it's pretty expensive...and you're only paying to see someone quickly, the quality of the treatment won't necessarily be that much different than it is through the NHS. A lot really comes down to how well you feel you're doing, if you're in an okaish place at the moment I would personally think about following through with the NHS. It's possible now to self refer through the IAPT process. Or your GP could get the ball rolling. if you were to hit problems, it will come down to badgering them (the charity could take the pressure off with some advocacy on your behalf). As I say, which option you go for, depends on whether you feel you need to talk things through sooner rather than later. If you feel you can wait, don't be fobbed off by your GP with warnings about long waiting times or medication, hold your ground and maybe print off the NICE guidelines (they're available on the charity's main pages along with more info covering treatment options) to remind them you're entitled to CBT for OCD through the NHS. I hope that may help a little.
  4. Go with feeling uneasy. It might be very difficult facing this to begin with Phil, I appreciate that...but to beat this, allowing yourself to feel anxious w/o engaging in any compulsions is ultimately what you need to do. You don't have to listen to that 'must,' I honestly know all too well it doesn't feel like it, but you do have a choice in this. Something I had to ask myself was, how do I want to feel in a couple of years from now? Constantly feeling anxious? No thanks, I'd had about as much as I could take having my life dictated by OCD and feeling like that, or waking up each morning feeling free to live it how I want. Try with the camera, headphones etc to make a firm stand over the next few days and refuse to replace them, keep using and enjoying them as everyone else does.
  5. Hi Phil, Lost is spot on here. You've sussed the compulsions don't work anyway. Throwing things away because you experienced the intrusive thought they were contaminated doesn't stop the thought or doubt from popping back, it's just gonna guarantee the opposite whenever we perform any compulsion. I share the same theme around contamination as you, something it took me a long time to realise was just how often I was taking a seemingly new worry around something being dirty at face value. One moment it would be a possibly dirty door handle, the next did I remember to wash my hands after picking something off the floor...and of course just when I'd resolved that doubt another would just as quickly ping into my mind about something else. Basically, I was fire fighting each new thought and doubt as if each were valid. None were, they were all part and parcel of the same overarching theme around contamination that bothered me because I suffered from OCD. It's obviously nowhere near easy to do, but try not to be bamboozled by each specific thought. Those around pooping, peeing, the shampoo in the fridge, letters through the post, grubby bins, clothes from the train journey...all are basically the same underlying contamination thought/fear and can all be treated in exactly the same way by ignoring them. The key's to try to resist the urge to perform any compulsion for as long as you can. Depending on the day, it might only be half an hour, the next a couple of hours, the next only 10 mins...some days we do well, others are a real struggle, that's okay....this is a dufficult thing to overcome, but slowly progress can be made. Maybe this evening you might be able to cut down on how long you wipe to 5 mins, see how you go, but that's the way forward.
  6. What a great idea, this may just be the spur I need to join the 21st century and sign-up with twitter and get tweeting. Hopefully enough people will get on board and make it work, and perhaps in the years to come as it becomes more established it can be rolled out via other media. New ventures like this are so important I think, and keep the charity at the forefront of spreading all important awareness.
  7. That's a really important realisation there, but keep your eye on the long term and how you want to feel in the future. If you can make changes now, however small they might seem, you stand every chance of hitting your goal. You can't avoid seeing attractive women, but maybe once you've recognised the thought/urge, you could work at refocusing throughout the day? But are you really happy, sometimes you sound driven to desperation by this. No one's saying you need never go on the Internet again, but why not try an experiment for the next month or so? I know it's scary, but how about taking a leap? Why not explore doing something new to do in your free time. It could be socialising down the local, taking up a new sport, an adult education class at the local college, anything that's going to give you a chance to step outside your regular routine and gain a fresh perspective on your life. This really is doable Time, take that leap
  8. Give us a chance I don't know if you'll agree with this, but to me your main priority in the short term has to be addressing your sleeping pattern. You're shattered and still managing to hold down a job, you're not going to have much left over in the tank to tackle what you're going through with the addiction and OCD. If it's too much at the moment to steer away from the porn and chat completely, maybe you could limit how much time you spend each evening to an hour, two at most? It's not ideal, but at least you'd get some more rest. Once you're feeling on more of an even keel, how would you feel about then finding an online support group for people with porn addictions? I really think it would help to speak to someone whose been where you are now, knows how difficult it is, and will be able to bolster and motivate you when you the going gets tough and you want to give in accessing the porn/chat. Hand in hand with that, how about having a word with your GP for treatment for the OCD, possibly the addiction issues too. I know you're not keen on that idea, but this is having such a impact on you, that I think you do need to seriously consider it. Bear in mind though, the treatment probably won't be any different to what you've already received. This touches on my main worry Time, you've said a couple of times your therapists have suggested what we've also recommended, but are you actually putting into practice what they've advised for longer than a couple of weeks? To stand a chance of beating this, you need to be looking at trying to extend that. Look at it like a diet, if someone gives in and eats a doughnut one day it doesn't follow they have to do the same again the next, all isn't lost by that one setback. If you fall back into old ways with the net one evening, make a firm stand you won't do the same again the next and gradually you'll make more progress. As we've also spoken about before, mixing things up in terms of your free time is ultimately what's going to make the most difference. You need to fill the time you'd otherwise be on the net with other activities to stand any chance of breaking the cycle/habit you're in. Why not give it a go, put the worries around whether life will be boring to one side and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
  9. Hey there, I can't believe it's a couple of months since we last chatted, where did that time go. You're absolutely right, you can't keep going on like this with only a couple of hours of sleep, at some point something's going to give. You've said by the end of the day you know you're going to do it again and it will happen again tonight as though it's a foregone conclusion, it really isn't....it may not feel like you have a choice, but you honestly do. I'm not underestimating how blimmin' difficult it is, but you can take full ownership of what you're doing and refuse to go on to the net this evening looking at porn and chatting with other guys, and do the same tomorrow evening and for the rest of the month, and so on, until you've recovered. Like depression, an addiction can hoodwink people into believing they're powerless, when they're anything but....you're strong enough to do this Time. I don't want to sound like the prophet of doom, but this isn't going to spontaneously sort itself out for you, only you can tap into your strength and find the willpower this evening to say you to yourself I'm not doing this again, my life is worth and has more value than this..... I want, and deserve to enjoy it fully tomorrow by feeling refreshed from having a good night's rest. This is going to take long term commitment to begin to really feel the benefits, and you don't need me to tell you it's probably not going to be easy, but you can do it Don't look too far ahead questioning how you'll do it.....take it day by day and at some point you'll notice the urge to look at the porn will have faded and you'll be rid of this hefty monkey off your back. Hal
  10. Please Lily, you really can't continue to use the forum as a platform to repeatedly perform compulsions like this. As has been said time and time again, you have to actually put into practice all the advice and support you've been given here, only you can do that and you can do it Lily Sit with the anxiety, allow it to fade away naturally and try to focus on something else. Yes it's difficult in the short term, very difficult...but you need to keep sight of the long term benefits. You don't have to always feel this terrible, do the graft now, today...don't waste time...because I can guarantee if you don't change the way you're dealing with this, it's very likely you'll look back and regret not making those changes now. You've got your whole life ahead of you, a great life that can be OCD free...fight for it.
  11. Hi Lily, If a friend asked you what OCD is, how would you explain it to them?
  12. You don't have to and you shouldn't hide how you're feeling Bruce, but would it be worth giving some thought to finding someone.....maybe a professional therapist you would be able to talk to absolutely honestly and freely about how you're feeling without having to worry about the effect it may have on your loved ones?
  13. Hal

    Anxiety clinic

    Hiya, For private therapy that isn't too high a price, but I'd like to know much more about what the treatment provided actually is (they refer to something called their 'technology' on their site), that may or may not be CBT....but it's important to know what it is we're actually paying for up front, and it would also be helpful to know what credentials their 'specialists' have. I appreciate it has to be your decision, but the best route to minimise any risk is always to go through the BABCP to find a therapist accredited in CBT......quite a few are listed in Staffordshire, I'd personally get in touch with a couple to gauge fees, experience in treating OCD etc and follow through there. This goes into a bit more detail https://www.ocduk.org/overcoming-ocd/accessing-ocd-treatment/accessing-ocd-treatment-privately/finding-a-private-therapist/
  14. Hal


    As everyone's had an opportunity to put their points across and it's getting late, I think it might be a good idea to call a temporary halt to proceedings. When more of the team are around later today we'll go from there with re-opening the thread.