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12 hours ago, Handy said:

Find the cause you'll, find the cure. Forget about treating symptoms, treat the cause. Meds & cbt treat the symptoms, dig deeper, get to the cause. It's there.

'1. Always go towards your fears'  I don't agree with this completely.  If a lion is charging at me & it makes me fearful should I run up to it & give it a hug? No. If there is blood on the ground  & it makes me fearful should I bathe in it? No.  We must, therefore, sort the fear first. 

CBT treats the cause which is ocd. I think looking for why ocd developed is a road to analysis parallysis. 

And i meant run towards ocd fears not real fears. Distinguishing the two takes a leap of faith. And you say treat the anxiety first - but if you keep running away from your fear that is a sure bet for keeping anxiety alive. 

 

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When you are seeking what it is you truly fear, look for the OCD core belief that underpins any theme of OCD. 

(Forget seeking the cause of the OCD, though this may happen to emerge - but it is still what the OCD is saying that we have to confront, not the cause of it). 

It's usually pretty simple to dig down and discover the false, exaggerated or revulsive core belief at the heart of our OCD issues, but if struggling seek help here. 

Examples of OCD core beliefs are:

Fear of being unfaithful 

I fear I am really gay 

I could be a paedophile? 

I am bad (because of x?) and I should be punished. 

Poo may cause harm to me or my family 

 

Edited by taurean

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Orwell, as far of cause I’m not referring to childhood but how the brain works. Of course most cases of OCD are triggered by stress & one can refer to the stress to resolve it. 

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5 minutes ago, Handy said:

Orwell, as far of cause I’m not referring to childhood but how the brain works. Of course most cases of OCD are triggered by stress & one can refer to the stress to resolve it. 

Talking of Orwell, are you the artist formerly known as Orwell1984 that was on here a few years back, Handy, by any chance? :yes: It is just something you said a while back on another post that sounded familiar!

Edited by felix4

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2 hours ago, Handy said:

Orwell, as far of cause I’m not referring to childhood but how the brain works. Of course most cases of OCD are triggered by stress & one can refer to the stress to resolve it. 

I don't know where you get the idea that OCD is triggered by stress. Lots of people deal with stress and never get OCD. Anecdotally, stress makes OCD worse.

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12 hours ago, PolarBear said:

I don't know where you get the idea that OCD is triggered by stress. Lots of people deal with stress and never get OCD. Anecdotally, stress makes OCD worse.

I was certainly under the impression that in many cases underlying stress/anxiety is what triggers OCD to develop, as a coping mechanism. Then once it's taken hold, OCD becomes very much its own thing, fed by compulsions etc so that even if the thing/s causing the original stress are no longer there, the OCD will often remain (if untreated). That was my interpretation.

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It may be, perhaps for some people. Everyone experiences stress and anxiety but 98% never get OCD. Maybe stress and anxiety can have an impact but something else is at play.

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I personally feel that the cause, while interesting, is irrelevant when talking about how to treat it. I think this discussion had derailed the original point of the thread somewhat. 

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To get us back on track, I was clearly told in therapy to leave it to  the professionals to look for causation. I was to accept I was a sufferer and learn how to no longer be one :)

Stressful times would be challenging for me because the stress weakened my resilience to OCD. 

And so another tip here is to learn how to lower our susceptibility to stress and that will then help us deal with the OCD. 

There is loads of material out there to help people lessen, and manage better, the stressors in their lives. 

And if being overburdened at work is affecting our stress levels, then we should take this up with management. Mental wellbeing is likely to fall under health and safety at work considerations, at least within the U. K. 

If need be, and the overburdening is affecting our management of our OCD then, in the U. K. we can seek to invoke the Equalities Act 2010 as in these circumstances the OCD might be accepted as forming a disability requiring reasonable adjustment to our work to enable us to manage the disability better. 

I sought to invoke the Act at my work, the company doctor accepted my OCD to be a disability within the Act and advised the company to agree to make the "reasonable adjustments". 

In my case I proposed a lesser number of clients and visits, with more time devoted to training mentoring and writing professional material and presenting. 

The firm agreed, the lesser workload really helped and I thoroughly enjoyed the other elements in the job. 

Edited by taurean

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It all depends on the company though Roy. A company I previously worked at used my medical disclosures against me. It was a constructive dismissal and I’m still trying very hard to deal with the residual anger and flashbacks.  I guess we need to assess the company we’re potentially disclosing this stuff to. I totally agree with reasonable adjustments, it’s just a pity they’re not a guaranteed impenetrable safeguard against discrimination at work

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On 06/04/2019 at 13:24, gingerbreadgirl said:

1. Always go towards your fears, not away from them. Running away from them, trying to mitigate them, is what keeps ocd going. 

Unless your fear is dragons, cause dragons will totally eat you ;-)

 

My most useful tip:

If you think it MIGHT be OCD it probably is.

I see so many people struggling with simply deciding whether or not to use their OCD tools to deal with a particular thought or worry, they are basically adding another level of anxiety and doubt on top of the existing level.  I've never been lead astray by treating a thought as OCD if I had any doubt it might or might not be.  The thoughts that weren't OCD I knew weren't OCD, there wasn't doubt.  Once there was doubt?  OCD.

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8 hours ago, taurean said:

To get us back on track, I was clearly told in therapy to leave it to  the professionals to look for causation. I was to accept I was a sufferer and learn how to no longer be one :)

Thats a fantastic piece of advice.  Unless you are a neurologist/biologist/doctor, looking for the cause of OCD is likely to be a fruitless endeavor that leads only to more rumination and anxiety.

Sometimes its important to find the cause of a problem:  Why is there water dripping from my ceiling? I should probably look for a leak!
Sometimes the cause of the problem is unimportant, focusing on what you'll do next is:   There was an earthquake and my house was destroy, I should probably find a place to get shelter.  It doesn't particular matter why your house was destroyed, just that you no longer have one.  Knowing that it was because of the earthquake itself, or because a truck drove in to your house because of the earthquake, or whatever doesn't help you find shelter.

So to piggy back on some of whats been said already:  Use what we know works (CBT and possibly medication) rather than spin your wheels pursuing increasingly obscure and questionable "cures".  Trust the evidence not the marketing slogans.

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2 hours ago, dksea said:

So to piggy back on some of whats been said already:  Use what we know works (CBT and possibly medication) rather than spin your wheels pursuing increasingly obscure and questionable "cures".  Trust the evidence not the marketing slogans.

To back this up, I am copying over a post I made on another thread that really shows how CBT works in OCD, from my own treatment. 

"The young clinical psychologist in Lauren Callaghan's practice in London that Ashley was able to recommend to me was faced with this issue with me. In fact several times when I was due to meet her I felt so ill with the consequential anxiety from OCD, but made myself get there. I think this is an element of recovery - making ourselves tackle things we have to do, even when not feeling so good. 

My issue was similarly broad to yours, but from the OCD theme of harm and violence. If such an item came up in book film  TV or radio, or posters on my journeys, a trigger could pop up and the OCD personalise it - you could do this or that i.e. the OCD was teaming up with the cognitive distortion of personalisation.

So how did we get round this? Well she was clear that I was not, however much I wanted to, to duck away from the item just because it was a trigger. Rather I was to think - "ah there is the OCD reacting" then practice not believing or connecting with it - however strong that urge or however believable it felt, before refocusing gently and firmly away.

So, reading a book for example, a  trigger would come, I would recognise it as OCD, read through it without believing it, then move on to the next page etc. so the refocus in such circumstances was to move on (in normal refocus the forum likes, get back to what I was doing -  reading the book.)

If my brain tried to shift me back to the intrusion, I was to just note, then return to the book.

Its all about practice makes perfect. At first the OCD kept winning: but gradually I started to manage to do this, and in due course Roy was winning and the OCD was on the run.

That was the game-changer. I knew the OCD was lying, I knew it was using personalisation to its own ends. I knew from the C bit of CBT that it was attacking my true core character values, and alleging I could act opposite to them.

The first success was when I carried on reading, and ultimately really enjoying, a book that had several triggers in it. That was a eureka moment. 

I then found myself not noticing the posters on journeys, or at least not making any violent and personalised connections with them.

A stanchion at Marylebone station that had had a trigger poster on it and so become something of a phobia, became benign. I could walk right up to it, whatever it had on it, and say boo to it.

CBT does work - it's why I champion it here, why this charity means so much to me."

Edited by taurean

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An easy tip to try - look to help someone else. 

Getting to grips with someone else's story, someone else's problem takes our mind off our own troubles, helps refocusing. 

And it makes us feel good too :)

 

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Hi everyone, 

I think my tip would be to limit the opportunities for OCD to come in to play. 

Based on my recent experiences, I have been very engrossed in various things over the last few days. Today for example, I have been gardening and tidying up the garden in general. I’ve been fully in the moment during these activities and various issues that I have at the moment were not in play at all. It knocks them away from my focus and it does diminish them afterwards.

Mornings are always my danger point, and I know others here have said the same, so my other tip would be to not put yourself in a position for OCD thoughts and then compulsions on existing ‘issues’ to rear. For me, this would involve getting on with my day and not being on my own and left to my own devices. 

I know these are basic, but I have really noticed how much better I am when I’m fully occupied. 

Take care everyone. X

Edited by Emsie

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1 hour ago, Emsie said:

I know these are basic, but I have really noticed how much better I am when I’m fully occupied. 

I agree very much with this - I recently attended a 3-Day intensive course in British Sign Language and was so engrossed in the teaching that I was rarely troubled by OCD, and when I was it was often easier to shake off.

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I was generally better OCD-wise when working, and at risk when I took a holiday. 

It got that we found it was better to take long weekends away rather than a week away - the OCD didn't have time to realise I was on holiday! 

And yes, you've guessed it, I quickly fell prey to OCD when I first retired :(

This is when I undertook some mindfulness-based CBT for OCD and discovered that the mindfulness, used in addition to the CBT, really aided me to keep the OCD at bay. 

My clinical psychologist explained that we do all our obsessing and compulsing in the active "doing" part of the brain. 

We move away from doing that when we shift our thinking to the benign "just being" part of the brain. 

When I got good at easing my mind away and into this other part of the brain, I was able to slow right down my thinking and calm my mental chatter - just being, in the present, in the moment. 

Blood pressure and tension reduced and a sense of relaxed calm prevailed. 

Learning the basics of mindfulness is fairly simple - there are some great little e-books available to download that have simple mindfulness techniques. 

Edited by taurean

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23 hours ago, Sputnik said:

I agree very much with this - I recently attended a 3-Day intensive course in British Sign Language and was so engrossed in the teaching that I was rarely troubled by OCD, and when I was it was often easier to shake off.

We really need to remember this as I've had another fulfilling day with activities and me too, rarely troubled. I feel like the longer I can take this approach, the more weaning off OCD thoughts and behaviours that I can do. A new normal. X

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1 minute ago, Emsie said:

We really need to remember this as I've had another fulfilling day with activities and me too, rarely troubled. I feel like the longer I can take this approach, the more weaning off OCD thoughts and behaviours that I can do. A new normal. X

When this, not all the wasted effort on obsessing and carrying out compulsions, becomes our new default thinking, it's good.

OCD likes a vacuum and will take up residence. So put up a "no vacancies" sign and keep busy, then beneficially resting and recuperating. Feet up, glass of something - tea or cola or whatever- and concentrating on a good TV programme is good rest and recuperation and keeps the mind gently calmly busy. 

History programmes are good for us as we are both fascinated by it.   

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33 minutes ago, taurean said:

When this, not all the wasted effort on obsessing and carrying out compulsions, becomes our new default thinking, it's good.

OCD likes a vacuum and will take up residence. So put up a "no vacancies" sign and keep busy, then beneficially resting and recuperating. Feet up, glass of something - tea or cola or whatever- and concentrating on a good TV programme is good rest and recuperation and keeps the mind gently calmly busy. 

History programmes are good for us as we are both fascinated by it.   

So glad you agree, thank you for all that you said, Roy. And I’ve done the beneficially resting this evening too.

I’m going to build on my momentum.  

Edited by Emsie

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RE a few posts back, why one has OCD is essentially irrelevant when it comes to tackling the disorder, and an inordinate preoccupation with it can only feed the OCD. 

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Here's a favourite tip of mine. 

Look at how others see the beliefs and triggers that generate the fear and threat of your OCD. 

See that they aren't bothered by them, no alert will sound. They react practically if required, but then forget and move on. 

People aren't generally reckless or careless - they just don't recognise the issues as fear or threat-inducing. There is no belief in a false, exaggerated or revulsive take on the issue that OCD states as true. 

So looking at their response, or rather lack of it, "uncloaks" the OCD so we can understand why we are getting those threat messages that others don't get, and that they are attributable to the OCD. 

We thus have a really useful frame of reference to measure the OCD against. 

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Just two brief comments. I agree with felix4 about being careful to whom you disclose things to especially close friends at work and this ties in with Orwell84 point. Organisations can be very leaky. I had a reasonable adjustments at work made. Fortunately my therapist wrote a letter. He was a well known expert in occupational stress and was a senior academic at the Institute of Psychiatry. We carefully discussed what should and not be said. You need professional support and understand the office politics at work.

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That's a good point. In my case too my therapist wrote in to the firm, which gave aid to my cause. 

Edited by taurean

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Yes the therapist’s letter gives ‘aid’ to the cause. I reckon a powerful aid. If we define power as the capacity to influence people to make decisions which are in our favour or interests then such a letter increases our power. The credentials of my therapist enhanced my power. He had great legitimacy that would prove difficult to reject in an employment tribunal. I was lucky.

On the NHS I had a therapist who would write a letter, listen to me and with whom I had rapport. Success in life is in a large part luck. I wish the good people on this forum luck. I have been unlucky a lot. I hope for more luck in the future. The recent British Psychological Society publication on power and threat legitimated me to talk about power. I thank them. It reflects the real world.

Edited by Angst

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