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whitebeam

OCD-UK Member
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About whitebeam

  • Birthday 18/03/1957

Previous Fields

  • OCD Status
    Ex-Sufferer
  • Type of OCD
    mainly contamination with other bits thrown in!

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Devon

Recent Profile Visitors

2,127 profile views
  1. Hi inviisiblekid I was put on Clomipramine in 2003 after struggling with severe OCD for three years and having tried a variety of other meds without any success. I was put on a high dose of Clomipramine along with Clonazepam so it is difficult to know exactly what help the Clomipramine gave. I can't now remember the dose I was on - I want to say 500mg (maybe it was 200 mg) ........ I think if I look back far enough on these forums I'll find it. Very early on I felt a difference - my fears were almost immediately less severe and, although it was some years before I completely recovered, things became easier for me very quickly. This could have been due to the lowered anxiety because of the Clonazepam - difficult to say. After a relatively short time, I came off the Clonazepam and continued to do well until I would say I was virtually unaffected by OCD. Last year I decided with support from my GP to come off the Clomipramine as it had never been reviewed and I had been on the high dose for fifteen years. I had a lot of other personal problems last year so, again, it is hard to know what caused the relapse but I started experiencing OCD-like symptoms for the first time in several years so I went back on to a dose of 50 mg and the symptoms subsided. I would say that the Clomipramine was responsible for my recovery. I really hope it works for you too
  2. Thank you orange, Andrea and GBG - thank you for taking the time to comment. I hope all is well with you xx
  3. Thank you, Madchoc. I'm so sorry that you have suffered for so long - it is such an insidious condition. Hopefully, if it got better once, it can get better again. Are you on any meds? It was really them that made the difference with me. I sincerely hope that you will soon start to feel better - I know how low it can make you - and get your confidence back
  4. Thank you, Caramoole. Nice to see you after so long too I am well, thank you, after a terrible year last year - all sorts of problems ...... but back to good health now. Hope all is well with you
  5. Hi leif. Sorry to hear you have the same fears as I used to have but, hopefully, you will find some way through. I hope that something here is helpful to you. I started therapy in 2000 with a clinical psychologist. She was lovely and kind though I'm not sure she knew much about OCD.I think she knew it well from a clinician point of view but had had little experience with actual sufferers. As I said - she was incredibly kind and I saw her every week for three years - at times I saw her on a daily basis - I know that sort of support is just not available these days. In terms of my OCD, I don't think she really helped but she helped with my self esteem and other aspects of my life at the time. It certainly wasn't CBT. She was an NLP practitioner - one of the tenets being that every behaviour has a positive intention and she was convinced that the OCD was providing a positive role ie protecting me from something I was not equipped to deal with. At the time, I was equally convinced that the OCD could not be less harmful than whatever it was 'covering'. More recent mental health issues (thankfully, now resolved) have caused me to question this. Running alongside this talking therapy, I was under a psychiatrist and was put on a variety of medication - none of which made any difference to the OCD and, in fact, it became gradually more severe and more entrenched. Following a serious attempt on my own life followed by a stay in hospital and then a secure psychiatric unit, my psychiatrist seemed to pull out all the stops - I don't know, but it seemed to me at the time that he only then realised how desperate things were. Whatever, and I can't now remember - it was 2003 - he either spoke to an OCD specialist or read an article and came across a combination of a high dose of Clomipramine, I believe 200mg (anti-obsessional) along with Clonazepam (anti-anxiety) I can't remember the dose. This made all the difference. Almost immediately, I felt a difference to the intensity of the fears which then allowed me to engage with ERP (exposure response prevention) and so on which I had previously been unable to do. I was not 'recovered' enough to get back to work for a further 5 years during which time I stopped taking the Clonazepam but it really was the beginning of the end of my OCD. I really believe I was lucky. I had an amazing GP who had an interest in mental health and, I believe, truly stopped me attempting to take my life on more than one occasion, a lovely psychologist who, though not necessarily instrumental in treating the OCD certainly supported me and, I suspect again, helped me just to get through life and a psychiatrist who went the extra mile ....... I really hope that something here might help you. Take good care and do believe that things really can get better.
  6. Hi BelAnna. My main fear was that I would cause harm to others by not taking enough care - so I was more frightened of passing on germs than of getting them myself .... however, the two got caught up because I had to take care not to 'catch' germs in the first place and so avoidance and so on was very much part of the issue. The other part was ensuring I was clean and, therefore, not going to pass these germs on to others - so I washed and cleaned endlessly to make sure I was 'clean enough'. Obviously, I never felt I was 'clean enough' ....... I was never really worried that I would get ill or die but that, if I didn't take enough care, I would cause others to get ill or die. Although contamination was my greatest fear, my fears of causing harm to others went into other areas: - checking - at work and at home - worried that I may have left the iron/cooker/elecrical equipment etc on particularly when I lived, and also worked, in tower blocks (I lived in Singapore for a while) - driving - if I felt/heard a bump or noise, I was terrified I had hit someone and would drive up and down the same stretch of road for ages - checking and re-checking - obviously each check provided more likelihood that I had injured someone To be honest, the fear of causing harm entered every aspect of my life ... at one point I became housebound because it was so much easier not to leave home and, within the home, for a while, I was virtually bed-bound as if I stayed in bed I couldn't cause any germs to spread or otherwise cause danger to others. I feel I am so lucky that I have recovered from these desperate fears which overtook my life completely and that is why I wanted to post - to let others, who may be struggling, know that recovery really is a possibility.
  7. Thanks, guys, for your replies. I'm so pleased that I've maybe been able to help a little bit
  8. My OCD was largely concerned with germs and contamination issues and exploded into my life in 2000. I was housebound for a time, spent hours every day washing my hands and cleaning and was out of work for 8 years ..... even then I wasn't 100% better but well enough to work if I made a few concessions to my fears. I have worked for nearly nine years, in an office environment, and over those years my OCD fears have continued to wane - though never going completely. Having left work, I now volunteer in a hostel for homeless men and women - it is probably somewhere which couldn't be further from anywhere I ever imagined I would ever be able to work. I work in the reception and have some direct contact with the residents themselves as well as contact with pens, mugs, chairs, equipment, door handles etc etc - all the things I, for years, avoided or cleaned - either the equipment or myself following even the smallest contact. The only concession I make is to have some baby wipes in my car and after my shift, I clean my hands when I get in the car. I am then able to go on to the supermarket or wherever I need to go. i don't have to go home to wash. I don't have to clean my car keys, bag, steering well, pedals (oh yes - they were often cleaned) and so on. I have some handwash in my bag when I am there but I have never yet used it. In the first eight or so years of my illness - particularly the first three - I never thought I would be well enough to live a 'normal' life and now I do just that! Don't give up - it may be a long road but you really can recover. Take all and any help offered - I had years of talking therapy and am still on medication. I don't believe the medication is doing anything now but it does not appear to have any adverse effects and so I stick with it.
  9. I must admit that I have felt the recent mental health awareness days - and other 'stuff' on social media etc which brings awareness to mental health - a bit of a joke. Unfortunately, over the past few months I have gone through some very difficult times. I have taken some 'small' overdoses (enough to help me sleep but, hopefully, not to end my life) and one, intentionally, large overdose. As a result I have visited A & E a few times - once in an ambulance and being fully admitted. After two of these visits, I was seen by the emergency psych team. Even after the one which I had admitted had been an attempt to end my life, I was deemed not in need of any follow-up treatment. What do you have to do to get any treatment?? I don't, in any way, blame the people I saw or mental health professionals - there just are not the resources to support the need. A friend of mine spent a month in a secure unit - support 24/7 for a month. When he was released, there was no follow-up support - he was told to contact his GP if he had any further problems. (He has had - I know he has made further attempts on his life - he is about 25 - a lovely, bright young man who deserves better.) It is a total travesty - the NHS is brilliant but it is being slowly robbed of resources and of its powers to support the people it was established to help. I don't blame PM May (though she has never really been my cup of tea) this gradual reduction in resources has been going on for years and is going to need a huge volte-face to put the resources back where they are needed.
  10. I would be happy to meet the, let's face it, pretty gorgeous William - or even better his brother, Harry - to explain a few things ...... To be fair, I think he would be horrified to think that he had, unwittingly, undermined OCD. He probably would be open to hearing about the condition that is OCD. He and Harry are so interested and open about mental health issues, I'm sure he would want to know how it really can affect people and that it is more than turning off the odd light switch .... As I say, I'm up for royal duties should they be required
  11. Hi there. I'm pretty much a blast from the past although a few members do still remember me. I went to the recent conference - which was really good - I'm so glad that I made the effort after missing it for a few years - well done to Ash and all his colleagues. One of the speakers - who I thought was rally interesting - was a Professor Graham Davey. I have sent him the following email which I am really hoping he will find the time to read and send me some feedback .... that would be amazing. I wondered if anyone has any views on either of the queries I have mentioned - those being 1. the role of heredity and 2. the role of OCD, as a behaviour, to provide a positive function - in this case to cover other unwanted thoughts/feelings. "Dear Graham I hope you don’t mind me sending you an email. I have a couple of queries about OCD and would be interested in your thoughts about them. As a background. I was a founder member of OCD-UK and a Committee Member in its first year. I was a little involved in the setting up of the charity inasmuch as I was in contact with Ashley when he was planning the new charity – I had some small input into things like ideas regarding the logo, the name and so on. At various times I have since been a moderator on the forum and also supported others on the helpline. My OCD began in earnest in 2000 when it literally – almost in the space of a second - burst on to the scene involving contamination issues which then consumed virtually every waking moment for some years to come. Looking back, I had had some issues previously, mostly involving checking – locks, taps, electrics – but these did not overly affect my life. I was at the conference in Brighton this year and very interested in your talk. I could definitely relate to the inflated sense of responsibility as a cause of OCD. I wondered if I might ask you a couple of questions and I would, if you have the time which I know must be very limited, be very interested in your thoughts. I don’t know if there is a better channel for me to put these to you and, if there are, would be happy to use these. I have two main queries: 1. I wondered what your views are on the place of heredity in the development of OCD? I rarely met my nan. We lived in Northamptonshire and she, in Portsmouth. I was born in 1957 so the distance was a far greater one than today and we only visited once a year. We used to stay with my other grandparents when we did visit and so, in all probability, only met her for a few hours each year. I do know that she stayed with us for a few weeks when I was a young child – maybe 7 – and so would have had more interaction with her, however, I have very few memories of that time. She died in my early teens and, apart from that one stay, I don’t think I ever had any more than a few hours in any visit. With hindsight, it appears she may have had issues with contamination ... apparently she used to wash any tins of food. My mum wasn’t allowed to handle money, it was always wrapped in cloth so they didn’t have to handle coins and so on and she was never allowed to mix with children who had scabs – I imagine from falls and so on not more ‘sinister’. These are some of things I know about but I suspect there were other similar behaviours which she may have undertaken. She also seems to have been a hypochondriac – something that I suffered from prior to my battle with OCD but, thankfully, not subsequently. My mum doesn’t seem to have carried on any of these behaviours although she did have a fear of animals which she always felt were unclean and that is something I can definitely say I have ‘inherited’ though my brother and sister have not. 2. My second query concerns views of my psychologist during the treatment of my OCD (sadly not CBT) and also those of counsellors I am currently seeing. My wonderful psychologist was an NLP practitioner. She said that one of the tenets of NLP was that ‘every behaviour had a positive intent(ion)’ (I am remembering this from what she said in the early 2000s so I may not be too accurate in details – ie intent/intention). I seem to remember her wondering if the OCD was acting to ‘cover’ other issues. At the time, I could not agree with her as I could not imagine anything being so awful that OCD could be protecting me. My OCD began in a severe form in 2000. I lost my job and, for a number of months over the next few years, I was virtually housebound at various times. I eventually was well enough to do some voluntary work in 2008 and in 2010 was lucky enough to find employment again. I would say that, even then, I was not completely recovered but I would say that I probably am now. Recently, I began seeing counsellor. When my OCD was bad, the only respite from the appalling anxiety, was alcohol. I began to drink regularly and from 2003 until 2018 was drinking virtually every night – although I was managing to maintain a ‘normal’ life and was managing well at work. On deciding to tackle the drinking issue, I self referred to a local drug and alcohol service and engaged a therapist to support me through this. Without going into all the details of what has transpired, my therapist and a counsellor at a rehab unit I spent time in, both said that they felt that the OCD (and subsequent drinking) were acting to suppress feelings which were uncomfortable for me. This week, my husband and I went to see a counsellor about our relationship and he, without knowledge of the others’ opinions, said that he felt that the OCD (and, again, the drinking) had been covering for unhappiness. I just wondered if you had any views on these issues and, if so, if you would be kind enough to share them with me? I am totally aware of how busy you must be and, also, how many demands you must receive on your time. I have been out of a studying environment for years but now – I am facing retirement in the not very distant future – I am thinking that I may look into study of some type. Perhaps this would be a field that would be of interest to me and, more importantly, be of use to others. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my email. With very kind regards etc.... " As I said to Prof Graham Davey, Thank you so much for taking the time to read this..... I would be so interested in anyone's thoughts or comments ....
  12. I used to worry about people slipping on things in supermarkets......i think the first time it was when i was using hand gel and dropped some on the floor - so it was all my fault/responsibility. I can't remember what I did on that occasion but it would have involved a lot of checking (to see if it was still there) and probably informing the staff or cleaning up the spillage myself. Even when i saw anything on a shop floor that had not been anything to do with me, it became my responsibility to prevent others' slipping.... My OCD is very much better these days and I probably wouldn't notice these things......even if I did i would be able to act in a more rational manner. I think I will probably be cropping up on the board in all manner of places as, although my OCD is so much better, my mental health is currently pretty poor. Take care whitebeam x
  13. What a load of rubbish..........it's the same as having tidy drawers or all your DVDs in order......... If it doesn't cause significant distress and/or take up an hour each day being anxious about or be correcting grammar - it's not OCD
  14. :happybday: xx 

    1. Snowdog

      Snowdog

      Happy birthday hope you have a great day x 

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