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taurean

Spreading Awareness Personally

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I am not intending to write a book, or any such thing at my time of life. 

But one of the best things I have learned to do is talk to people - and I take every opportunity to talk to people about OCD and how it works. 

I have been at it again with my dentist, who runs a busy practice with various associates and, as it is next to a school, a high proportion of youngster patients. 

I explained to her how challenging dental treatment can be to someone whose mind is agonising with an anxiety spiral caused by OCD. 

And how my own OCD can leave me with repulsive constantly-repeating upsetting intrusions. 

She has always been very sympathetic and supportive of my OCD, but that is the first time I had, and took, the opportunity to explain the disorder to her in more detail. 

Hopefully she will tell her associates, and the two students seeing practice with her, what I said - and it will help them to treat other OCD sufferers. 

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i only get into the topic with other people if they missuse the term. (is term right?) and by that i mean that they for example say: oh, "im so ocd.", if they talk about their love for cleaning or having things in order.  i usually explain in a calm matter, even dough it makes me pretty upset. they often say sorry afterwords, and thats my aim. (that they understand what ocd really is.)

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10 minutes ago, ocdishell said:

i only get into the topic with other people if they missuse the term. (is term right?) and by that i mean that they for example say: oh, "im so ocd.", if they talk about their love for cleaning or having things in order.  i usually explain in a calm matter, even dough it makes me pretty upset. they often say sorry afterwords, and thats my aim. (that they understand what ocd really is.)

That's excellent work, it's so important that we change misconceptions :clap:

 

 

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I am still very focused on this aspect of voluntary work that I do. 

As a result people feel confident enough to approach me and tell me of their mental health problems. 

Some appear to have OCD so I tell them to go and get officially diagnosed and get help from the OCD-UK website, and about the forums. 

Some are affected by other types of Cognitive distortion - and need CBT to get them working in the right direction.

Others are just worriers and I steer them to self-help material to deal with that. 

Each time I am able to direct another person on I feel really proud to know I have helped them, I was there for them.:)

 

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That's a very commendable thing to do Taurean, as well as educating people about OCD as it is often mis- understood. The only person who knows about my OCD apart from my wife and doctor are my parents in law. 

My wife told them about me having it - which I was not happy about as I didn't feel it was her place to tell them it still annoys me now to be honest. To add to the frustration she told them in an effort to explain my behaviour at a time when we were in business with them and we were not getting on well to say the least.  The fact was I was struggling with life after some pretty heavy and tragic personal circumstances although my OCD did flare up as a result I don't feel that explained my 'withdrawn' moods which is what they commented on to my wife.

The way I see it is I actually was not enjoying their company due to various reason and there was a lot of tension around at the time, rather than my OCD making me become withdrawn and inward looking.

 When I learned my wife had told them about my OCD I felt the need to explain slightly to them but focussed on the health theme I have around OCD, saying I was worrying about dying soon after the birth of my son.  Which is partly true but felt unable to speak about some of my others themes as I was concerned how they would react due to them being quite taboo. Her mother at the time said she sympathised as she had similar worries when her kids were born in the immediate weeks after their birth.

This was about 5 years ago however and they have never once asked me anything about OCD, never enquired as to how I was coping with things. They may well have tried to educate themselves about OCD but if they have they have never mentioned anything. I suspect programmes like the awful OCD cleaners is the type of thing they may watch. 

I accept I could have done more myself to educate them however the relationship I have with them while better these days still feels a little strained so when we talk it's often surface chat and never anything too deep if you like. 

 

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When  and how much we wish to tell others is very personal. All my family and friends know, but not the detail  in every case.

 

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Yes that's why I was frustrated about them being told without my blessing, I think it should have been my decision.

I think maybe it feels a bit hurtful that they have never enquired about how I am doing since finding out.

I don't wish to make them sound like bad people they are not I think it's just around this topic I feel let down. 

Do your friends and family enquire after how your doing? 

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Not really, because they assume I will tell them if things aren't going well OCD-wise. 

I actually think:

They don't want to hear bad news.

They know enough about it to know that they can't actually help me with it - I can't just go to bed and sleep it off, or go out for a fun day - when I am bad it does consume me. 

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Yes it can be all consuming, my wife who knows me best can tell when I am having a bad episode, she notices me become distant

This is why forums like this are so good. People who can relate to what we are going through.

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I was telling a guy in the pub today about my OCD, and he has a good friend who is really struggling with checking OCD. 

I got my phone out, showed him the forums, and he is going to give details to his friend so his friend can join in if he so desires. 

This situation is very common when I open up about OCD - the listener usually knows someone they think may have it, and I can refer them to our charity and forums. It makes me feel so proud to spread awareness this way, and be the means of another sufferer finding help. 

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Back on the awareness trail in the pub this afternoon. 

Chatting to a guy whose father has bi-polar disorder. 

I mentioned my OCD and he was extremely interested, so I told him how mine works, how some other themes work, and what can be done in therapy. 

Another person made aware! 

Edited by taurean

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I had a full private healthscreen today, and when discussing my medications the doctor asked why I was taking Citalopram. 

When I said OCD, she was interested to ask how it manifests and how I am getting on with applying treatment. 

I felt that, whilst this was helping to complete the snapshot of my current health and wellbeing, it was expanding her own knowledge of the illness - which will help her in her work. 

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Whilst I was at the bar in our pub yesterday I was logged onto the forum, picking up notifications. 

I was asked was I on twitter, and said no - I am seeking to help fellow OCD sufferers. 

That caught people's attention - and I explained how the forums work, what the treatment for OCD is, and how we look to help each other. 

The perception the guy next to me had of OCD was constantly checking - I found that interesting. 

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Passed the forum details on today to someone who wants to get help for a friend with OCD. She will pass website details on :)

 

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I think it's great that you're always raising awareness of OCD and supporting fellow sufferers. 

I wish I could do the same but it's so hard to get over the intense embarrassment and shame I feel about having OCD. 

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I don’t feel embarrassment or shame. 

Because I know I have neither responsibility for having OCD,  nor the nature of the manifestations of OCD which I have. 

This I think is key to then being able to openly discuss it. 

The other thing is the way I go about it, explaining it in such a way that people empathise and appreciate my providing them with a real understanding of the problem, rather than media or TV presentations - which are often unrepresentative and unhelpful. 

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Two people I have met in the last two days came out with wondering if they have OCD. 

They do. 

One was fearful of being stigmatised if she admitted to having it. I referred her to the main OCD-UK website for help and guidance, and assured her she should feel no stigma - it's a mental illness suffered by around 1% of the population and we bear no fault for having it. 

I am really happy spreading awareness and help in this personal way, as well as I am happy helping others through the forums :)

 

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A friend told me that his partner has checking OCD and it is becoming really difficult for him to cope with. 

So I have provided him with some details about OCD and how to use the knowledge and resources of our charity OCD-UK. 

Hopefully they can read it through together and be inspired to set out on the road to her recovery. 

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