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taurean

Individual Awareness Work We Can Do

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We should feel no stigma from having OCD - there is no blame for it, we can't choose the themes with which it plagues us ; and however ghastly or catastrophic the thoughts it wants us to believe, OCD thoughts are simply expressions from a mental disorder - just that and nothing more - just thoughts. 

CBT teaches us how the disorder works, and to treat OCD intrusions as mental chaff, not our thoughts. 

I don't have the same outreach now as I did when I was working - when a large number of people knew I was a mental health sufferer who had found help, was unashamed of being an OCD sufferer, and only too willing to seek to help others. 

So instead of work colleagues, it's local community individuals with whom I find myself discussing the disorder - and often I am told of a relative friend or colleague who possibly has OCD, and asked how can they get help. 

I steer those who clearly have OCD to our wonderful charity - knowing help will be at hand. 

I do not have shame for being a sufferer - I have learned to take it on the chin, and be open about it. 

In that way I come across more of the 1  in 112 people who are sufferers, and can spread the word of what to do about it. 

No-one should need to suffer in silence - awareness to the population at large is as important as getting help to the sufferer. 

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I told my neighbour about my OCD, whilst we were chatting over the fence - she had the stereotype impression it is all about contamination. 

She was really interested in learning more - I told her about how mine and my sister's works, the help from the doctor, therapy, OCD-UK, how I seek to help others. 

So another person with much greater awareness of the realities of OCD :)

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Guest alex-online
On ‎22‎/‎08‎/‎2016 at 21:36, taurean said:

I told my neighbour about my OCD, whilst we were chatting over the fence - she had the stereotype impression it is all about contamination. 

She was really interested in learning more - I told her about how mine and my sister's works, the help from the doctor, therapy, OCD-UK, how I seek to help others. 

So another person with much greater awareness of the realities of OCD :)

Well done Roy, that sounds awesome- good that she wanted to find out more. :) 

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On 9/27/2016 at 14:36, alex-online said:

Well done Roy, that sounds awesome- good that she wanted to find out more. :) 

Quite a lot of people know about my OCD.

I worked for a large global firm, and put a piece about OCD awareness and my OCD onto their UK intranet. The firm itself officially knew about my OCD, and  I had been assessed by the firm's occupational health doctor, and my working practices were adjusted reasonably to help me with it under the auspices of the UK Equalities Act 2010 - well done the firm!

My family and friends know, many of my local friends know,.colleagues some underwriters and clients knew, the doctors in the practice of course, a psychiatrtst and therapists, the pharmacist and assistants - who put up our poster and some leaflets last awareness week, and my friend who runs a cafe. Also my dentist surgery, homeopath chiropodist and osteopath.

Occasionally i am approached by someone who thinks they or a family member or friend has OCD. Sometimes I think they have, sometimes I think it's something else - but they are encouraged not to suffer in silence but to go and seek help, as i did 16 years ago when my issues got worse. 

It did take me a while to get open about my OCD, and our charity was a good steerer in that direction. I won't be writing any books about it, but the little pieces i enjoy writing that may help others please me. 

Edited by taurean
clarity

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Guest alex-online
5 minutes ago, taurean said:

Quite a lot of people know about my OCD.

I worked for a large global firm, and put a piece about OCD awareness and my OCD onto their UK intranet. The firm itself officially knew about my OCD, and  I had been assessed by the firm's occupational health doctor, and my working practices were adjusted reasonably to help me with it under the auspices of the UK Equalities Act 2010 - well done the firm!

My family and friends know, many of my local friends know,.colleagues some underwriters and clients knew, the doctors in the practice of course, a psychiatrtst and therapists, the pharmacist and assistants - who put up our poster and some leaflets last awareness week, and my friend who runs a cafe. Also my dentist surgery, homeopath chiropodist and osteopath.

Occasionally i am approached by someone who thinks they or a family member or friend has OCD. Sometimes I think they have, sometimes I think it's something else - but they are encouraged not to suffer in silence but to go and seek help, as i did 16 years ago when my issues got worse. 

It did take me a while to get open about my OCD, and our charity was a good steerer in that direction. I won't be writing any books about it, but the little pieces i enjoy writing that may help others please me. 

Awesome- well done to your employer too! :) 

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I think the more awareness we can get into firms about how they should deal with OCD issues amongst their staff, the better.

The statistics of how many people are affected by OCD mean that many  of us  will actually be coming across people with OCD - but probably ashamed to admit it. 

At my last firm over the near 20 years i worked there, I came across 3 others with OCD - contamination, health and worry about harm occurring to husband. The latter person wasn't aware this was OCD until I told her it looked like it and to go get diagnosed. She thought she was mad. 

Stigma should not be attached to, or felt by, people with OCD - it is not their fault ; we are not mad, we are sufferers from a very debilitating mental disorder. 

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As an opportunity arose with friends yesterday (with whom I was having lunch) to discuss more about OCD - they care about me a lot - I took it. 

My friends were particularly interested in  when it manifests itself - and was it a problem when I retired?

I explained that OCD likes a vacuum - and when we aren't busy, then we can be more prone to it - as also when we feel stressed or strained, or worries are bugging us. Also sitting down and moping gives opportunities for OCD compulsing, especially ruminating. Changes in cirumstances, such as a new job, relationship or family problems, can also be problematic initiators of OCD relapse.

So in my case, yes i did struggle at first when I retired, until I could settle anyway into a structure to the week that would keep me busy - that was helpful.

I think if we ask sufferers what is the most helpful thing in dealing with their OCD, many would mention distractions , whether as part of CBT or not.

 

 

Edited by taurean
typo

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I explained that my first recollections of OCD, as a child, were:

Being afraid to step on the joins between paving stones *.

Checking - worrying about leaving doors unlocked/taps or kettles on

A pointless counting ritual i felt I needed to do

* there wasn't any real fear connected to that - and in fact my sister's OCD developed into a different version of this magical thinking which still affects her now

Strange self-harm issues - first time was when I went out for the evening having sprayed my hair, and kept getting the false message that I had sprayed my hair with red paint. After that, I might look at rose bushes, and imagine being entangled in the thorns - or that my clothes were made of fibreglass. 

 

Edited by taurean
correction

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An opportunity arose again today to discuss OCD with one of the managers of my complimentary health centre.

We were sitting at the same table in a cafe, and I was on the forums and showed them to her. I agreed to print off and drop in a poster to the centre. :thumbup:

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Ok I located the distressed face poster, printed it off and took it along and she was really pleased.

The centre has a lot of customers, and - assuming she does put it up, which it looks like she will, someone or more is going to be pleased to see that poster and seek help. :) 

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