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jamie2011

Need some inspiration

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I'm in need of some support, perhaps just even some help to motivate me to stick with things. So at the moment I am waiting for my DBS to come through for my volunteer position. 

On top of that I also had an informal interview for another volunteer position. That went well and I recently had my first induction session, the second being this evening.

These past few days I have had a lot of anxiety. My usual response is to pull out. When I had my first induction training I found out a little more about the role and I am panicking. I am worried that I am going to be too anxious for the role and to be honest I need to be the calm one when mentoring the young person. I need to be able to focus and support them. To help them become more independent. What I know so far I feel that I will constantly be anxious during my role. I am concerned that I am not suitable for this role.

I am really worried. If I pull out of both I know it will cause a lot of tension with family. They are pleased that I am planning to these roles and get upset when I never see anything through. I get told I say the same year after year. I cannot deal with having to face that. It isn't through lack of trying. The anxiety just gets too much and I pull away.

I just don't know what to do. If I pull out I know my mood will go down and I will start to feel hopeless. Which scares me majorly.

Any thoughts or ideas how to stick with this and deal with the anxiety.

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The fact that pulling out of this will make you feel worse is the motivation.

I know it doesn't feel this way, but the anxiety isn't the problem. You can be anxious and do this work and do it well. It's not an either or thing.

By pulling away, you're fighting the anxiety and you're giving it unnecessary weight and meaning. Accepting that the anxiety is there and leaving it at that is the way to go. You don't have to try and get rid of it and you don't have to let it guide you. It can be there for the ride, but you're driving, if you'll forgive the corniness. Once you focus on what's going on, it should become less of a distraction, but if it's not that's okay too. I'd advise getting to grips with some breathing techniques, if you want to have a smoother ride, but besides that, take it as it comes.

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Thanks for your response and giving me some support. I am able to recognise that anxiety will come with doing these roles and that it is normal. I am just so worried I am going to lose it. I am scared that in the situation I won't be able to do what I need to. I also realise I need to face the anxiety and go along with what I need to do, but it just feels too much. I feel so torn, I want to move forward in life, but I am just so scared of certain things.

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I apologise for coming back again. I am really struggling right now. I made it to the induction training and managed to engage with the activities without getting too anxious.

I have been feeling stressed since. I just don't know what to do anymore. I just don't see how I can fulfil the role as needed in both volunteer positions. Just to give an idea of one fear. In one of the roles I will be taking a vulnerable adult via public transport to a location, spend a number of hours supporting them there, then going back via public transport. I cannot leave them unattended due to their vulnerability. So I have struggled for 22 years with always needing to know where the toilet is, always using one right before leaving to travel anywhere. If say I use the toilet and then something holds me up from travelling straight away my anxiety gets bad and I cannot think straight, if around say family I lose my temper and so on.

I am unsure how I can manage this whilst volunteering. When I have to get a bus or train I check times so don't miss it and get held up. I am always in a rush to get to places in the quickest time. I mean it isn't just that, whilst I am at the location I will need to use the toilet, but how can I do that without leaving the person unattended. In the induction I have hear examples of the young people running off or out of a building. Again this is worrying me. I struggle to leave my bag anywhere accept near to me. I keep thinking that when at the location I will have to put it somewhere out of sight. Then when out of sight I may have a situation where I have to leave the situation with the other person should they need some quiet time.

I know this all sounds pathetic. That this shouldn't be anything to worry about. I just get so stressed over it. I also drink a set amount of drinks each day. If I do this volunteer position it will mean I cannot drink anything to near leaving to volunteer (in case of needing toilet), whilst at location and when travelling back. Which could mean 6 + hours without drinking.

I was talking to a friend about the other volunteer role with children and they said that if I cannot hold the children's hand then maybe this role isn't for me.

I am trying so hard to move forward, even starting thinking about things I would like to do (eg future goals). That with volunteer work I can possibly do some part-time work and then maybe visit friends/family. I am due to have support from a charity that supports people in to work, but I just feel it is impossible.

I am fed up of living by so many rules and avoiding so many things. I am bored of doing the same day after day. I tell myself do the opposite of what my mind is telling me to do, but when it comes to it I just can't. I am scared of my mood getting really low and spending my days in bed, purely because I cannot do anything else anymore.

Why can't I just change what I am doing. I understand that the problem is the importance I am putting on the thoughts and avoidance behaviours, but just can't work with it.

Sorry if I am repeating myself, just starting to lose hope after having a few weeks of feeling more hopeful.

 

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What if you just accepted the risk and went? I mean, isn't that what the other 7 billion of us do?

You are making way too big a deal about this. 

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Everything in life involves a risk of some sort. To live life you must take risks. Sometimes things will work out and sometimes they won’t. 

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Hi,

Apologies for not really responding properly to the previous posts that others have made to help support me. I kind of tried to take it on board, yes at first I was feeling a little hurt, but afterwards I spent some time thinking. I had been in therapy, which was coming to an end and will hopefully be referred for CBT. Something kicked in a few weeks ago. I was able to see some patterns in my thinking and then made a choice to not act on them. I also think I realised that is ok to feel anxiety.

So for the past few weeks I had made a decision that I would at least give the volunteer work a go.

Today was my first session working with the children with extra needs. I spent a number of hours with them (I had support from an experienced volunteer), which involved holding their hand a lot of the time. I also shook the hands of some of other children too. I didn't wash my hands once and waited until I got home before eating. My original plan was to wear sports gloves to start with and then once familiar with the situation I would test out not wearing them. In the end I just had to go with it. I felt I had no option, but to just hold their hands without the gloves.

I know part of me wants to feel pleased, I do feel I have achieved something, but for some reason I a bit down. I know some thoughts have creeped in. Like did I hold their hand too tight? What if I hurt them? just generally questioning how I dealt with situations that arose. It is hard not to have physical contact due to the situation. I was trying to assess how other volunteers were interacting with their child. There is also the worry about getting ill from the holding of hands, but I just have to deal with that.

Sorry I know I should just accept the thoughts and just move forward.

Is it normal to not feel good after doing something that is really good?

 

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Yeah, that's not uncommon. I've certainly had times where I've done something that challenged my OCD and not gotten the instant feeling of achievement that I'd been expecting. I'd say I got more out of those situations in hindsight, when I could look back and realise what I'd accomplished, instead of having it hit me immediately.

Really pleased to hear you've decided to do the work and that you managed to do so well right away.

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Thanks for the response and being able to relate. I find it very strange that in the situation I just had this reasoning to just do what I needed to do. I am literally having more anxiety now and since the session than when I was actually there. I wonder if it because I am more aware of how everything works. I seem to be going through different possible challenges. I also seem to struggle with feeling like I need to know what to do in all different situations. I deep down know that we can't always be prepared for different things happening, but I just feel worried that I will make something worse. Since being there I have more ideas of challenges that may arise.

I think I will just need to go through the same process as the past few weeks. To accept the anxiety and to not make decisions when I feel anxious or down. To experience the feelings, but not act on them. It is the only thing I can think of.

Hopefully in time I can see that this is a step in the right direction.

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Thanks PolarBear, I know you are right.

I had a major wobble yesterday. I felt overwhelmed and acted on it. I had contact with the volunteer coordinator saying I would need to pull out of the role. This didn't go well with my wellbeing. My mood completely crashed. I felt like turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms I had used in the past. I felt like I a failure and felt hopeless. I cancelled plans to meet with family and just felt I needed to be alone.

Then today I had an email from one of the employees from the organisation and it kicked me in to gear. I decided to continue with the volunteer position. I have now signed up to more sessions and some more training for the role.

I can see now that this isn't going to be always be a smooth transition. I just know that if I don't stick with it I may slip further and further down. If I want a future I need to make these steps.

I am trying to think more positive, think about my strengths (a difficult one) and try and work with the anxiety. I think this will be a learning experience. Just need to not act in the moments where I am overwhelmed.

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Hi again, just an update really and hopefully some feedback on how to manage with anxiety. I have now attended three volunteer session so far. In all three sessions I have had lots of physical contact eg holding hands with the children. It seems whilst in the moment I can force myself to hold their hands. I kind of even force myself to do it, like I can be in a situation where I could hold back, but I do the opposite. An example is a child wanting me to shake hands with a fellow volunteer. There was no actual need to do it, but I took it as an opportunity to push through the anxieties.

My problem is the anxiety beforehand and afterwards. So all week before the session I keep thinking of the worst case scenario. I think about all the things that can happen. All week I think of pulling out. That eventually something will happen. It stays that way until the day before the session and I just know I have to go. Then the anxiety again rises after the session. I go over all of the physical contact. An example is I do the session and afterwards we have to evaluate what went on and use our phones to do this. I do the session and don't wash my hands. So then I use my phone without washing my hands and have touched all over my bag. I don't wash my hands until I get home, but I know I have touched other things. I am trying to just ignore it and not keep washing my hands. Telling myself just to wash my hands with normal things like after using the toilet and before eating. I have tried telling myself it I get ill I get ill, but it doesn't really cut it.

Will the anxiety ease to an extent where I can just do what I need to do and not spend days in fear? I know three sessions is still early, but I am worried something will trigger me at a session. I really don't want to pull out of this role. 

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From the sounds of things, everything you're doing outwardly and physically is spot on. You've got to watch out for the rumination though.

Now you've got the physical compulsions under control, next step is to try and get at the mental ones. Clearly, you're still worrying over what might happen next time, which means that presumably, you're going over things in your head a little too much. And the tracking of what you touch after is also something you're going over in your head to do. All of that stuff reinforces in your brain the idea that there's an issue. Keep doing what you're doing but try and cut down on or delay the cognitive stuff before and after. Easier said than done, I know, but that's when you'll start to see the progress. Teach your brain that there's not an issue and it'll stop making it one.

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Hey Jamie,

ChrisB's advice is spot on, I have nothing to add there.  Just wanted to congratulate you on how hard you are working at this and making the right choices to keep pushing yourself and challenge the OCD.  You should be really proud of that!  You are moving forward on the path to recovery and thats just great!

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Thank you both for the response. ChrisB, thanks for pointing out the error of thinking too much. That is a big problem I face, I constantly have thoughts that affect me. Not only with the contamination, but lots of other things. I am starting to see that the thinking may actually be more of a struggle than I had first realised. I struggle to realise when I am doing it because it has become so normal to me. I analyse everything, I question myself as a person and what my actions say about me. For example I struggle with thoughts that make me question if I really have any problems or am I making it up. When I ask for support from professionals am I just attention seeking. It makes it hard to really be open. There are certain thoughts that I have that I struggle to verbalise through fear that the above maybe true. I have been referred for an assessment for CBT, but I constantly question whether I am in need of it. Maybe they will find I am fine and don't need treatment. Even when I carry out compulsions I question whether I am doing it to make me look like I need help, when I could just stop it easy. Well that is my thought process. 

I am just in a position now where I can't keep living this way. I struggle with my moods and often struggle to find the motivation to even walk somewhere, I fear getting ill, injured or dying, yet living like this makes me feel like I don't want to be alive and often have suicidal thoughts. Which is weird because that is one of my biggest fears. I have spent a very long time doing the same thing day after day. I want to change that. It is just the anxiety and thinking that gets in the way. Everyday I wonder how much more I can take, that I don't feel I can manage one more day like the previous.

I know I need to start changing more things and getting more occupied during the days. I look back at times and can see how much I have changed and what I have lost. I wish I could have that back. To be more flexible, to not fear so much, to actually feel like I am experiencing life. It is like I need to find myself again. 

Not sure what to do next really, again the physical aspect maybe easier than the mental. 

 

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sorry to post again. I really don't know what to do. I just feel overwhelmed with different feelings mainly anxiety and low mood. I don't know how much more I can take of living like this. I am going crazy and just don't feel like doing anything. I am in a weird position. I know I need to be more occupied in activities. So I have been searching more volunteer roles. However I am also in a frame of mind where I feel like quitting what I am currently doing. 

I just feel triggered by things all the time, not just the volunteer work. I know I need to face the fears and go against my instinct to quit, but I am just struggling. I know it is short lived if I quit. That if I were to my mood will be affected even more.

I just feel fearful all the time. I see danger in everything. I don't know how to help myself in this situation. I even took part in an activity that I normally enjoy and I just couldn't even find the effort to try. Sorry to moan I am just reaching a point where I just can't deal with how I feel.

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23 minutes ago, jamie2011 said:

I am going crazy and just don't feel like doing anything. I am in a weird position. I know I need to be more occupied in activities. So I have been searching more volunteer roles. However I am also in a frame of mind where I feel like quitting what I am currently doing. 

Hey Jamie, I understand that feeling I've been there myself.  When I was struggling I often felt like doing nothing, like avoiding everything and just staying home.  It wasn't perfect, but home at least felt "safe".  The thing is, sitting around just ended up making me feel worse overall.  Even getting up, getting out and doing small things, while sometimes stressful, in the end made me feel better.  Sometimes it was as simple as going for a walk (exercise is good for your mood) and getting some fresh air.  Other times it would be more stressful situations like going grocery shopping or hanging out with friends.  There were definitely times where I had to force myself to go, I went solely because I knew I should even though I really really REALLY didn't want to and knew i would feel anxiety (i sometimes did).  It kind of became a "fake it until you make it" sort of approach.  I didn't WANT to be social but I made myself be social and eventually I did start to enjoy it and slowly got back to being my more "normal" non-OCD self.  Sometimes I would come home after going out and feel better, feel more energized, feel proud.  And sometimes I would come home exhausted and anxious and frustrated at this stupid disease. Unfortunately the path to recovery isn't always moving in the forward direction, it can snake back on itself.  But as long as you are progressing forward over all its the right thing to do.

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I would also say, it doesn't have to be all volunteer activities that you do to get yourself going/challenge the OCD.  Sometimes you just need to get out and enjoy yourself.  Sometimes it can be simple stuff.  Sometimes it can be chores you need to do and can feel accomplishment towards.  Its also good to mix things up.

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Hi dksea, thank you for your reply and giving your experience of when you have felt the same. It was helpful to get some thoughts on how to try and manage this situation.

I guess there are many areas that I am struggling with. I have some plans for this week that involve being around others. I just have to stick with them because I know if I cancel I will have the whole day of nothing. With thinking about more volunteer work I am looking at it because it would help with future employment and it doesn't cost anything to volunteer. At the moment it is finding things to do that don't cost too much. Also I hold a terrible amount of guilt for not being in employment. My therapist was curious as to why I always mentioned that I needed to work. When I see people who are working (daily) and may not be in a job they enjoy yet they get up everyday and go in to provide for themselves or their family I really feel awful. My support worker previously mentioned how far they travel in to work. It just makes me realise that people have to do things that are not always perfect to survive. Then there is myself who cannot not cope with employment. I have worked previously mostly part-time. Whenever I have gone full-time I fall apart. With the volunteer work I feel I am giving something back. I have even thought about employment, but I think it may be a bit too soon.

I can see what you mean about doing small things and other things except from volunteer work. About a month ago I used to have a daily walk around the park with a tea, but soon enough I had enough of it. Sometimes I can be home by 1pm and cannot face going out anymore. However today I did go for a 20 minute run and that has made me feel better. I have also briefly opened up to a relative about struggling to manage. Not in too much detail. Just enough to say I don't know what to do anymore. 

My support worker often talks about finding a balance and doing things that are part of your values. So I have been trying to do this where possible. I am just so scared of how far I will go if I continue to struggle. I have had times where I have been in bed all day and only get up to eat. I cannot go there again. I appreciate we all have up and down moments. I just fear the downs.

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9 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

Also I hold a terrible amount of guilt for not being in employment. My therapist was curious as to why I always mentioned that I needed to work. When I see people who are working (daily) and may not be in a job they enjoy yet they get up everyday and go in to provide for themselves or their family I really feel awful. My support worker previously mentioned how far they travel in to work. It just makes me realise that people have to do things that are not always perfect to survive. Then there is myself who cannot not cope with employment. I have worked previously mostly part-time. Whenever I have gone full-time I fall apart. With the volunteer work I feel I am giving something back. I have even thought about employment, but I think it may be a bit too soon.

While its a pretty standard and natural habit, I bet most people do it, its also not very helpful to judge ourselves by comparison to others too much.  Each one of us handles our struggles and lives differently.  Ok, your support worker travels a lot for work and thats a sacrifice, but your support worker probably doesn't have OCD so thats not as big a challenge for her.  She may face greater challenges in other areas though.  I could compare myself to everyone around me, find the things they are doing that are really positive that i'm not and suddenly I feel like the worst person in the world, but no one can do everything even if they were free from every possible roadblock in life, its just not possible.  Yes, it is important not to use OCD as an excuse, but its also important not to punish ourselves more for something that we didn't ask for in the first place.  There is a balance in between.  It's great to want to contribute to people and society around you, whether that be through employment or volunteer work, but its important that you do so based not on the ideal that someone else without OCD sets, but within the levels that are healthy and reasonable for you.  If I joined a neighborhood football/soccer team I shouldn't judge myself based on the level of Beckham or Ronaldo for example.  

It's good to want to contribute.  It's good to push yourself to do activities as part of your OCD recovery.  Its good to have goals to work towards.
Its not good to punish yourself for not being at the same level as other people whose situations are different from your own.

 

10 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

About a month ago I used to have a daily walk around the park with a tea, but soon enough I had enough of it. Sometimes I can be home by 1pm and cannot face going out anymore. However today I did go for a 20 minute run and that has made me feel better.

Its good to get out, but its also fair that you aren't going to feel up to it every single day.  Sometimes its best to let yourself be, not to over exert yourself.  It can be fine to take a break, some days you feel more worn out, more down than others, just like working out, you can't go 110% every day, especially if say, you have the flu.  But its also important for continued recovery not to let yourself go from "ok, today I need to just take the day off from challenging my OCD so I can rest and recover" to "OK I'm just not going to push myself anymore, its too hard."

 

10 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

My support worker often talks about finding a balance and doing things that are part of your values. So I have been trying to do this where possible. I am just so scared of how far I will go if I continue to struggle. I have had times where I have been in bed all day and only get up to eat. I cannot go there again. I appreciate we all have up and down moments. I just fear the downs.

Totally understandable and relatable. I still struggle with accepting that sometimes I am going to feel unwell.  Sometimes I am going to be sick or not feel 100%.  Somedays I might have more anxiety than usual.  I've gotten better at accepting this reality of life, but i'm far from perfect at it.  Sometimes you just have to take it one hour, one day at a time.  But try not to focus on the downs, when you do you miss out on the ups!

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Thanks for the feedback. I would like to think that I can see that in this moment in time I can only do my best and work on things in my own time. I just have this belief that if I was in employment then I would be functioning and being a part of society. However I do realise that being in employment will not really be the answer to all my problems. I know that they don't just disappear and haven't every existed.

just a quick question if anyone is able to feedback. I am trying to understand how I can manage the anxiety and fear a bit more. At the moment I feel overwhelmed with it, I cannot seem to move away from certain thoughts/triggers.

So I am still trying to stick with the volunteering. I was due for some more training yesterday. Leading up to it I wanted to pull out because of the anxiety. I managed to use some skills I learnt in therapy and just told myself it was a positive to attend and will help in my role. So I decided to attend. On the way I felt a panic coming on, but dealt with it. I was pleased that I attended and am continuing with trying to move forward. Afterwards though I felt anxiety again. Then when I got home I had the TV on and there was something on that showed an injury to someone one. This set off a deep sense of fear about getting ill, injured or dying and my anxiety just increased. I had thoughts that I don't want to go anywhere or do anything to prevent something happening. How does one work on these kinds of fear all the time. It is on my mind all day and everyday, which does affect my mood. I know in life people get ill, injured and die and that people do worry about it too. I just cannot move away from it. If I read a newspaper or watch Tv it triggers me. Someone a relative knows is having treatment for cancer and I was told all the details. Again it brings me down.

I just don't know how to deal with it. I am trying to sit with the anxiety and low mood, but I am just in so much fear. I am also meant to see family this week, but I am worried about the travel (fear of getting stuck somewhere), something bad happening (I have thought that one of them might get ill and needing to go hospital while I am there), fear of needing the toilet when there isn't one. I am just scared to go. I haven't seen them for over a year and feel guilty about it.

I just don't know what to do anymore. I am unsure whether what I am doing is worth it anymore. Is it worth pushing myself to go through the anxiety. Because right now I don't feel any better for it. I am just finding everyday things are triggering anxiety, affecting my mood and generally just wanted to stay away from everything.

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In general fighting OCD is like exercising, the more you do it the better you'll get and the better you get the more you'll be able to do more of it.  Lets say you are someone who sits on the couch all day, is overweight, out of shape, etc. One day you decide, enough is enough, I want to get in to shape, I want to be able to run a marathon!  So now you have a goal.  The next day you do your first run.  You aren't able to go very far before you are exhausted, out of breath and covered in sweat.  "I'm never going to be able to do this" you tell yourself, "Its just too hard, I feel miserable".  But you catch yourself, "Well its my first day, its gonna take some time".  So you keep working out for a week.  By the end of the week you really haven't made a lot of progress, you're end goal still feels unreachable and you are exhausted and miserable.  You could give up now, but you'll never reach your goal.  The reality is that reaching that goal is going to take months of training not days.  If you compare the difference between any two consecutive days it won't seem like much has changed.  But if you start adding that small change up, in a while it does make a difference.  Maybe you make 0.5% improvement each day.  Thats not a lot at all.  But in 200 days thats 100% improvement. It can be hard to notice the improvement and realize that our hard work matters in the moment.  Day to day its often hard to notice the change.  But the longer you keep at it, the more it can add up and after awhile you'll have made a big change.

And sometimes we need a little help.  If you aren't taking any medication to help deal with your issues perhaps its time to consider that.  While medication can't permanently cure OCD it can reduce, sometimes significantly the effect it has on us and make doing the CBT work, as well as generally living life, easier.  I would recommend talking to your doctor and seeing if thats a possibility and if you and he think its the right approach to add (not replace) to your CBT work.  It might take a while to hone in on what medication is best, and what dosage is best, but for many people its an important part of the recovery process.  Even if it only reduces your symptoms by a moderate amount, perhaps that will be enough to allow the CBT to really take hold.  You won't know until you try!

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Thanks for the input. I can see how it can be easy to not see progress. I suppose it is sometimes a matter of wanting things to change quite quickly and that not being how it really works.

I am trying to tell myself that small changes here and there will help. That all these changes will build up and gradually there will be an improvement. I am on medication, but not neither of them are considered useful in OCD. I am not receiving CBT as of yet. I have been referred to the Maudsley, so it is dependent on funding whether I can get assessed and receive CBT there. I have requested to be referred to the psychiatrist, but not sure whether that will happen or if it does how long I will wait.

I am feeling quite desperate, I just feel overwhelmed with the constant fear. I am also struggling with constant analysing of my thoughts and actions. I think I mentioned before that I keep thinking if I have the assessment I will be found out that I don't have any problems. I am questioning if I am genuine. Am I making things out to be worse than they are. Surely I can just stop following all these routines and compulsions. Maybe I am just lazy and don't want to work. Maybe I don't really care about others and just want people to feel sorry for me. Do I do certain actions to get a response. It is endless and it is driving me mad. I feel like I must be an awful person. I remember being in group therapy once and if I spoke it was for attention and if I didn't speak it was for attention eg by being quiet it would draw attention. I just couldn't win.

There is part of me that wants to pull out of the referral so I don't need to keep thinking this. But in all honestly I don't think that will stop it. I will still constantly question myself as person. I also know that my anxiety and fears don't just stop employment it also stops things that I might enjoy. It affects me spending time with people I care about. Because when I am with them I question my words I use, if I don't pay enough attention to them it means I don't care. I like sports and being active, but again it is hard to do these activities.

I just need some relief from this. Am running out of ideas. Most days I don't know how I can get through another doing the exact same. I guess I just have to keep challenging myself and try and deal with the anxiety. I guess medication wise I may have to just try and request a change through my GP if I am unable to see the psychiatrist.

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11 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

I am on medication, but not neither of them are considered useful in OCD. I am not receiving CBT as of yet. I have been referred to the Maudsley, so it is dependent on funding whether I can get assessed and receive CBT there. I have requested to be referred to the psychiatrist, but not sure whether that will happen or if it does how long I will wait.

First, sorry to hear you are struggling, I know how hard that can be.  It sounds like you are taking important steps to get help, but I  appreciate that being patient and having to wait really sucks.  While you are waiting to start receiving CBT from a therapist, perhaps it might help to pick up a book or two and start doing some self-guided CBT.  It might not be as effective but it would be a start and maybe help you start seeing some of those small improvements.

 

11 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

I am feeling quite desperate, I just feel overwhelmed with the constant fear. I am also struggling with constant analysing of my thoughts and actions.

Rumination is definitely a tough habit to break.  Its not so obvious as say washing your hands or counting things.  But like breaking any compulsion, or bad habit, you just have to do your best to become aware of when its happening, and when it is make a conscious effort to stop.  At first this may only last a few minutes before you start catching yourself ruminating again, but in time if you keep at it you'll be able to go longer and longer without ruminating.  A lot of people find doing some activity that requires some concentration or distraction can help, such as crossword puzzles, video games, reading, etc.  Something that occupies your mind.  Again at first you may struggle to stay focused, you may find your mind wandering.  Just work on redirecting yourself back to your other interest when you notice yourself analyzing/ruminating.

 

11 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

I think I mentioned before that I keep thinking if I have the assessment I will be found out that I don't have any problems. I am questioning if I am genuine. Am I making things out to be worse than they are.

This is a very common type of fear for OCD sufferers, we tend to assume the worst and focus on that, even if its highly unlikely.  Also we worry about things that we can't control and that haven't happened yet.  A useful technique when you notice yourself having these doubts is to respond with the opposite thought.  "What if the assessment agrees and I DO have OCD.  What if I AM genuinely having problems.  What if this IS bad and I need help".  The idea is to habituate (i.e. train) your brain to start focusing on the more likely outcomes rather than the least likely.

 

11 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

Surely I can just stop following all these routines and compulsions.

If you were struggling with, say, smoking, would you assume that it would be easy to just quit?  People who try to quit smoking have to try, on average, perhaps a dozen times before it sticks.   If stopping compulsions and routines were easy, sites like this wouldn't exist.  We'd all be cured easily!  Unfortunately society has trained us to think that unlike physical problems, mental problems are just about our own willpower.  You wouldn't tell a person with asthma to just "breathe better" or a person who has diabetes to just "produce more insulin".  We recognize that these conditions are outside the control of the person directly.  Yes they can make some changes to help with their symptoms, but its not about being lazy or anything.  Likewise OCD is not happening because we are lazy.  It can certainly be harder to recover from and manage if you don't put in the work, but you can still be a lazy person AND legitimately have OCD.  I can say that with confidence because *I* am a really lazy person by nature, but I also definitely have OCD.  I have to fight my laziness in a lot of aspects of my life, but I also know that being lazy or not doesn't change that I have OCD.  There are many people who are not at all lazy in life, who are otherwise quite hard working and efficient, yet they too struggle with OCD, because its not related to how strong your mind is or how hard working you are otherwise.  Its a physical abnormality in your brain, a very real condition that you have to treat in the correct fashion.  And yes that doesn't involve learning how not to give in to compulsions and routines, but that process is hard work.  Not "just stopping"

 

11 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

There is part of me that wants to pull out of the referral so I don't need to keep thinking this. But in all honestly I don't think that will stop it. I will still constantly question myself as person. I also know that my anxiety and fears don't just stop employment it also stops things that I might enjoy.

Wanting to back out is also a typical response many with OCD have, but you are correct in saying that it won't stop, that the questioning will continue.  You CAN stop it IF you take the right steps, and those are the ones you have started already.  

 

11 hours ago, jamie2011 said:

I just need some relief from this. Am running out of ideas. Most days I don't know how I can get through another doing the exact same. I guess I just have to keep challenging myself and try and deal with the anxiety. I guess medication wise I may have to just try and request a change through my GP if I am unable to see the psychiatrist.

I can appreciate the frustration and desperation you are feeling.  Having to struggle with it day after day is exhausting.  Try to take it one day at a time and focus on the here and now.  Its hard, I know, you want to feel better sooner rather than later and you have every right to feel that way.  Do your best to fill your days with meaningful activities, things you enjoy, things that get you up and about.  While its good to be able to just sit and relax, I find that too much of that isn't good for my OCD.  Even something as simple as a short walk outside can break up the anxiety and help me feel refreshed.  Aside from fresh air and exercise being good for you in general it helps to challenge the limitations OCD tries to place on you.  You don't have to go extreme like running a marathon or going out to parties/pubs/etc every night, but it can actually help to put yourself in social situations where you do feel some anxiety because it also reminds you of whats possible.

As to medication it can definitely make a difference for some people, and if you are really struggling and could benefit from it I hope you are able to receive some soon, but also its important to understand that its not a magic cure.  It might take time to find a medication and dose that works best for you, for example.  It probably won't eliminate all your symptoms completely, but reduce them so that the CBT is easier to do.  It can also take time for the medication to even feel effective, sometimes weeks.  Medication is merely one tool thats part of the larger set that is helpful for tackling OCD.  I definitely recommend talking to your GP about it but make sure your expectations are fair and realistic.

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