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About bleachqueen

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  • OCD Status
  • Type of OCD
    Contamination mostly

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  • Interests
    Tai Chi
    Having friends round for meals

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  1. Hi Has anyone ever tried this therapy for phobias or OCD? I have just had one session and therapist says I have to do it every day. I can see some logic in it as it works on the meridians of the body, but must admit I felt pretty silly doing it in the therapy session! I won't knock it till I've given it a good try though but just wondered if anyone had any experience of it - even if not for OCD but for anything else? Thanks BQ
  2. Thank you all for your tips. It is a huge learnng curve and it pushes a lot of my buttons and instead of it being relaxing it is really quite challenging and I feel exhausted. Went away this weekend. Bought a pair of jelly shoes as recommened ( ) That helped. Had a small spray in my shower bag of an antibacterial which I sprayed the shower head and floor with then had the shower. I was pretty tense having the shower watching wher I put my bottles, shower sponge etc but I felt great afterwards that I had handled it and I had not ruminating afterwards. Next day I felt pretty positive and partner went off to start his fishing and I planned to have a shower and follow him over. Then my "monthly" started. :blushing: Sorry guys! I spent over an hour in the campervan trying to deal with the practicalities and the thoughts of using the shower in such a way so that I wouldn't leave "my germs" there to contaminate anyone. The more I got into the negative thinking, the more stuck and hot and bothered and upset I became. I sat sobbing like a baby in the campervan. I was sooooooooo angry and frustrated that I had slipped this far backwards. I sat in the very hot camper which had the silver screens on the windows for privacy which made the van dark. I could see through the cracks the people outside just walking around in the sunshine relaxed and care free enjoying the day. I think that is one of the most lonely places I have felt with OCD for a long time. It reminded me even more strongly of the post I put on here about feeling in the maze and listening to the world outside (Ashley's post asking for input about how OCD feels). I felt in the dark, alone and separate and cursed with this b****y brainlock which got worse . I wasted a whole hour crying which made me feel even worse. I kept saying to myself just go to the shower . it will be fine. it will only take 10 minutes and once you have tackled it you can enjoy the rest of the day. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get there and text my partner at the lakeside to come back as I had to go home I felt so bad. I felt so guilty I had let myself down and ruined his day. I am seeing my counsellor tomorrow and so will talk through with him ways to tackle this OCD c***p. I really want to go alone and as \I sat in the van waiting for my partner to "rescue" me that dream of doing this alone seemed impossible. I will not let it beat me though and no matter how bad I felt, I am going to have another go soon. I think I try so hard to be perfect and eradicate the OCD completely. I think I know non-OCD sufferers who also have reservations and funny rituals about using public toilets and showers. If I adopt coping mechanisms that will be enough for me. I don't have to be all combat about it!! Tackling enough to be able to manage it, no matter what tricks I have to use, will be OK enough for me. What I don't want to do is ruminate over the process. If I can stop the ruminating so I can enjoy the rest of the weekend after I have showered, that will be a big enough achievement for now. I will book the next weekend soon......................................................
  3. Its like being in a maze set in the middle of a beautiful garden. You can smell the flowers that are the other side of the hedge, hear people enjoying a picnic on the lawn and laughing together. That is the place you know you want to be. If only you could find the door to get out of the dark maze with the high prickly hedges that keep you feeling so small and so lost as you run to be met only with lots of dead ends. You run faster and faster thinking that will help but all it does it make your feel more confused as surely you have been up this pathway before? They all start to look the same and you can't think straight any more. You can just hear the life you want to join in with and you just can't get there. You need to hurry or the picnic party will be over. To make it worse, there is an irritating fidgety spiteful creature who follows you and takes delight in your frustration and panic. It jumps up and down with glee and stays close on your heels as you run this way and that, constantly nattering in your ear about horrible things that will happen to you if you don't get out of the maze. You get angry with it but that just gives him more motivation to keep up his torment - he thrives on seeing you suffer. Eventually you feel as if you can hardly smell the flowers, the laughter is a distant buzz and you begin to wonder if there is a picnic going on outside of the maze at all or if you just imagined it to have some escape from the irritating poisonous monster clinging tightly to your ankles making your journey even more difficult.
  4. Hi all There are several people I work with who own caravans and go away most weekends just to chill out and de-stress after a week at work!! I thought this sounded great and have given it a go a couple of weekends. I have contamination phobia and I thought it would be a way of some exposure therapy and make me at least try to do some leisure activities. I have found it quite stressful in some aspects and have come home looking like I need a good wash and a week's sleep rather than refreshed lol!! We didn't buy a portapottee, partly because of expense but mostly because I didn't want to "give in" and wanted to use the facilities like anyone else does. However, this weekend we had to buy one as I had ended up in tears, with my legs crossed, because I couldn't face using the toilets having done my "inspection" and they didn't pass the "Yes I can use those" test! After heating up jugs and jugs of water to enable me to wash in a bowl, squash in the tent, lose my clothes, drop my towel, etc etc what should be a simple task ended up like some sort of carry on film and I felt exhausted and not at all relaxed afterwards! I see my partner nip into the gents showers, 5 minutes later all clean and relaxed and I look like I have been dragged through a hedge backwards and still not dressed!! Seriously, I have spent most of the weekend in tears trying to come to terms with my phobias. This could be such a lovely way to spend weekends if only I could chill out and be "normal". Has anyone got any tips how they manage if you go camping? I know the logic about not being able to catch anything from showers but at this point the logic doesn't help and my OCD kicks in. I know the only way to change my thinking is exposure, but it is spoiling the weekends for me and my partner until I have tackled it. My biggest concerns are the showers I think. I saw a tampax in the toilet and that finished the loos for me. I then was thinking that the blood would be in the shower if that person had showered and then I would be standing on it what if I had a cut on my foot and the germs went into me etc etc. Any tips before we sell the campervan (which would be a real shame as my partner really loves it, as he did as a child. I have never been camping before, either in a tent or a caravan and it is something I have never experienced and would really like to get better at it.) It is ME not the camping so any help would be appreciated. I know long term, I cannot have reassurance or avoidance, I just want some tips to get through this one step at a time until I loose the OCD thinking around it all. Thanks Hi de Hi! BQ
  5. Hello everyone, I thought I would flag this up in case it offered any help in your area, as I think it may vary between PCTs. Where I am based in the West Midlands, there seems to be a recent drive to raise patient and GP awareness of this programme. Negatively, there is a cost cutting element as part of the goal. Positively, if delivered correctly, it has the potential for people with long term illness who have learned to manage well, to receive free training to become an "Expert Patient" and in turn run courses to help other people with the same condition. Your personal experience of the illness coupled with the training you are given could put you in an ideal position to help others. The other aspect of this programme is that if you are a patient looking for support, you can attend one of the groups to help you. I do not have any in depth knowledge about this programme, only that which I have read on the following links: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Expert-patients-programme-/Pages/Introduction.aspx http://www.expertpatients.co.uk/ I wanted to flag it up on OCDUK for a few reasons: * I can see that there are a good number of "Expert Patients" on this forum who may be well suited to give this a try and their knowledge could help others. * Some people are in a position where being in full-time employment isn't right for them at the moment, but I have read that some people gain confidence from doing voluntary work and have suggested that to other sufferers. I wondered if this would fit the bill? * There are some sufferers who are on long waiting lists to get CBT on the NHS and I wondered if a suitable Expert Patient group was available, this could be a stepping stone of support in the interim period. I would be interested to see what you all think of this as I am weighing up the pros and cons of becoming involved myself. Interestingly, there seems to be very little reference (I think I saw the word "depression" once!) to mental health issues and the focus seems to be on physical illnesses. The video clip, however, does refer to using CBT principles which is familiar and encouraging. Best wishes BQ
  6. It is in OCD IN THE MEDIA "MOVED" Greater role for GPs and reduced role for PCTs in England I click on it and I get an error message telling me you cannot locate where this post has been moved to so I cannot read it. Maybe it is my computer if no-one else is having trouble. Anyway I should be in bed by now so perhaps that is telling me something! I read your article Ashley the figures are very interesting. I am interested to see if the GPs hold the budgets if they will fund services in their practices which will be additional to and/or instead of services that already exist. for example if relaxation, meditation, etc are seen to help and some sufferers of OCD do not want to take medication, or some are so affected that they cannot attend the hospital, then alternative services could begin the relaxation and understanding anxiety process to enable sufferers to progress to actually attending CBT in the first place. If proven successful, the meditation/relaxation/mindfulness could continue to be funded as ongoing support/therapy? Just a thought............................
  7. Good Morning Ashley! It was on this forum but had the "moved" orange flag next to it. Usually if I click on the topic heading it just connects me to the new place. This time I just had an error message saying it could not be located. I think someone called Stephen had posted it. don't worry too much - I am just interested in people's thoughts because of where I work. Thanks for looking though and well done on the marathon! BQ
  8. Hi I was interested in this post which was moved but when I clicked on it I had a message saying couldn't find where it had been moved to! Have tried searching but no joy. Can anyone help please? Thanks BQ
  9. It was suggested to me to drink camomile tea to calm me. I drank nothing but that for several weeks and began to crave a "proper" cup of tea! I noticed a difference as I got out of the habit of drinking camomile so have started to drink it again. It must make a difference but was gradual and subtle so didn't notice until I stopped drinking it. I suppose it is similar to the Rescue remedy drops. Very subtle and gentle but notice if not there. BQ
  10. Do these situations seek us out lol I had a fear of treading on a condom in the street. I would find them all over the place. A friend commented on it because she said she had NEVER found a condom on the street!! What did I do that was so different so that I kept finding them???!!!
  11. Hi Cam I suffer from same thoughts. I have difficulty differentiating between what is seeking reassurance and what is making an informed decision !! I used to talk through with my counsellor about my OCD thinking patterns. What I would notice would be that my thinking would be in a certain pattern (ie OCD anxiety fearful fuelled repetition, what if I can catch it this way or that way.........) Non-OCD sufferers would be aware of risks and conduct their lives in a way that reduced the risk and did not ruminate over situations, but dismissed them as harmless. We called it TYPE A thinking and TYPE B thinking. As an example, I have a dread of being nicked by scissors when I go to the hairdressers for a haircut. I have a fear that if they have already nicked someone with HIV then I can catch the illness. It got so bad I let my hair get into a real mess because I was afraid to go to the hairdressers because I thought the risk was high. However, my mum is 77 and has gone to the hairdressers every week for as long as I can remember!! Either for a cut or wash and blow wave and she has never seen it as a high risk as she does not suffer from OCD. It may be seen as reassurance? I don't know. All I know is that if I recognise that my thinking is based in FEAR and "What ifs" then it is probably my OCD kicking in. If I get some sort of level thinking and can fight the OCD from a position of strength because I have gained some FACTS and assess how anxiety based my thinking is, the I feel that is acceptable to me and it works for me. I don't see it as seeking reassurance. I see it as making an informed decision and having the strength to recognise and ignore the OCD anxiety fuelled thinking. Maybe it is a way of reassurance in a non-direct way? I don't know. All I know is I try to recognise the OCD anxiety thoughts, and focus on the way non-OCD suffering people would evaluate situations, and then try to build up my confidence in trusting my judgement based on facts, not react to anxiety fuelled thoughts based on OCD. Don't know if this makes any sense but perhaps you can grab a bit of something to help from my ramblings!! Maybe being at work is increasing your anxiety and so you have an increase in anxiety fuelled thoughts whilst you are using the fish knives to cut the boxes? It is a combination of feeling anxious, being in a stressful situation, and having the physical triggers in place which go in the melting pot to give the OCD thinking a boost of just the sort of food it needs! The thoughts will pass. You know the truth. You can hold onto the facts and dismiss the OCD thoughts for what they really are. Best wishes BQ
  12. Hi Has anyone seen the recent advert for the soap dispenser that you don't even have to touch to dispense the soap? "No more touching the germy soap bottle!" No wonder the world is a "scary" place. How much hype does the germy environment we live in need??!! I have severe contamination phobia and do not take this sort of thing lightly, especially if it has triggered off yet another area for concern for others. However, come on! Whatever next will come out to scare us even more! Even if I were to touch the top of the soap bottle, the next thing I am doing is washing my hands! If this seems a ridiculous over caution to someone like me with contamination issues, then I am going to be really interested to see how much of this product sells. Am I on my own with this or does anyone else find this a bit OTT?? BQ
  13. Hello Anxiety and depression are very tiring. The memory loss is probably linked to both because they cause a tired mind. A tired mind has difficulty functioning. It will come back as you feel less stressed. Best wishes BQ
  14. Hello Gerard, I hope you are feeling better since your first post. Personally, I can understand some way the fear you have of a big flare up again. My last was after my divorce 20+ years ago, and more recently since the death of my son in a car crash. In between I have OCD tendencies, but never as crippling as they have been this time. On a more positive note, as Legend says, Knowledge is Power! Even though the OCD may flare up with all the ferocity it can muster, the years have taught me better and stronger coping mechanisms coupled with a higher awareness of OCD and support and treatments, I feel in a better position to manage it as time goes on. I would take a wild guess that you have also more skills, support knowledge etc than you had this time last year? That being the case, you will never go back to how you were, even though it feels like it at times, there will be a more knowledgable experience "YOU" fighting back! Your wife you say is THE most important person in your life. That is wonderful to hear, and also can put an even bigger fear into your mind on the "what if i lost her " score. It makes it harder to bear, so fear is bigger, so anything connected with the thoughts of losing her will also grow proportionately, I would think. (Been there a bit myself). You say you recognise the spring lambs and general atmosphere as a fear factor because you remember this as the time you were ill last year. You have remembered those experiences as a negative trigger and they are pushing your buttons again. Is there any way you can see this spring as a separate experience and turn all the lovely things about it into positive not fear thoughts. "Stinking thinking " again. We are brilliant at it aren't we!! As for facing the fear with the lady at work, that started off as a very brave thing to do, and it worked, for a while. I think what Hal said in his reply makes sense to me, although I haved heard of this before I don't fully understand it but will have a go and think I have done similar things myself. When I have a fear of something and make myself face it and then feel stronger it makes me feel good that I have tackled something. I think if I kept repeating it then the action changes from being an exposure to change my thinking, and actually becomes a reassurance in itself? Not 100% on that I a afraid, but think Hal has a better understanding of that! I remember going on a workshop one day where the trainer referred to a "slot rattle" She said that when we have a behavior pattern that doesn't work for us, instead of finding the centre of the slot to be balanced, we tend to over-correct our behaviour and go to the opposite end of the slot rattle! Even though our behaviour has changed, it is still unhealthy and we have to then use either end as our "markers" and aim for something in the middle!! I can see myself in that too and wonder if your lady at work has dropped into your "slot rattle" extremes. You will probably find the balance very soon now you have an awareness of what you are doing. The cancelled flights have done you a favour because you have been able to recognise this and so it is an opportunity to change it. I am sure you will. You have before and you are more experienced in dealing with this now. One last thing, (Oh I do go on) when I have a long drive, I tend to listen to an audio book because it absorbs my thoughts rather than music which can just become background. Just an idea. Best wishes BQ
  15. Hi I don't have experience of this but I have heard other people talk about it. Hang in there and I am sure someone will answer who can help more. BQ
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