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leif

fed up, tired, struggling

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Well feeling pretty fed up.

The ocd just keeps coming and going in intensity. Sometimes I feel I'm so much better and then I'm just hit with a major episode of anxiety and intrusive thoughts that I just can't seem to cope with. Today when I was hit with intrusive thoughts (around contamination) I tried to limit amount of compulsions (though didn't do a good job with that), and tried to just move on with my day with the anxiety in the background, but it all just feels very overwhelming.

 I've increased the meds, been trying to resist compulsions, trying to continue to do things that challenge my ocd...but so far I just keep getting stuck :( 

My main ongoing theme seems to be the inability to cope with uncertainty.

I just want to be feeling better than I am.

I admit I'm not following a hierarchy of exposures. so I guess I should do that. I just feel that I have enough life exposures on a daily basis, but maybe a set schedule of exposures is better? I don't know.

I don't really have any questions, I feel like I know what the route to recovery, and am trying to walk that route, but it just seems I can't get to where I want to be.

Just felt the need to vent. I might try posting on a more regular basis to say what I'm doing day to day to challenge myself, to try and keep myself more on track.

 

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When we start to challenge the OCD it will up its game. 

Expect that, it's normal. Try and be more determined despite the additional intrusions and anxiety. Remember the words of Jon Kabat-Zin:

"We can't stop the waves, but we can learn to surf :surfing:

I would be wary of trying to work a structured hierarchy of exposure and response prevention until you are feeling a bit better. 

But meanwhile try not to listen to, not believe, what the intrusions are saying and refocus away, trying not to give in to that compulsive urge, but not beating yourself up if you do. 

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Hey Leif, you are on the right track, you just have to keep going! I know exactly what you’re going through, I’m also feeling the same. There are some days that everything feels great and then others where the anxiety kicks in and I don’t know if I’m going to make it through. But I try to think of it in a positive way, that these challenges and bumps and here to strengthen us. 

I try to tell myself that thoughts pass and feelings pass. They may feel awful but if you don’t panic,  they will go away.

It just takes time and your feelings are a normal part of the process.

You can do this Leif, just keep your head up and keep up the good work you’ve been doing!

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9 hours ago, leif said:

Well feeling pretty fed up.

The ocd just keeps coming and going in intensity. Sometimes I feel I'm so much better and then I'm just hit with a major episode of anxiety and intrusive thoughts that I just can't seem to cope with. Today when I was hit with intrusive thoughts (around contamination) I tried to limit amount of compulsions (though didn't do a good job with that), and tried to just move on with my day with the anxiety in the background, but it all just feels very overwhelming.

 I've increased the meds, been trying to resist compulsions, trying to continue to do things that challenge my ocd...but so far I just keep getting stuck :( 

 My main ongoing theme seems to be the inability to cope with uncertainty.

 I just want to be feeling better than I am.

I admit I'm not following a hierarchy of exposures. so I guess I should do that. I just feel that I have enough life exposures on a daily basis, but maybe a set schedule of exposures is better? I don't know.

I don't really have any questions, I feel like I know what the route to recovery, and am trying to walk that route, but it just seems I can't get to where I want to be.

Just felt the need to vent. I might try posting on a more regular basis to say what I'm doing day to day to challenge myself, to try and keep myself more on track.

 

It is no small problem having a hard time with uncertainty, that is the core. Then OCD throws in thoughts into the mix so we get an object to worry about, it can be about anything.You have come so far that you see this and that there seems to be an underlying fear (having a hard time accepting uncertainty), maybe you see that the thoughts come and goes and that the current thought always seems to require a great deal of attention. Well, that is how this tricky condition works. 

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

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@taurean@malina@OCDhavenobrain

 

Thanks to you all for your replies. It means a lot to get support on here! Sometimes I wonder why post if I don't have a specific question or I can see what I should be doing, but it's so nice to connect with others who have been or are going through similar struggles and understand the disorder. I also am trying to stay away from talking to my family about the specifics so its nice to have someone to talk to.

7 hours ago, taurean said:

I would be wary of trying to work a structured hierarchy of exposure and response prevention until you are feeling a bit better.

I'm glad you said that! I don't really want to do a structured hierarchy at the moment so that feels a bit of a relief to hear. Though I do wonder how I get myself to the point where I want to be. When I first came down really severe with the disorder I did a structured hierarchy and made a lot of progress. Then when I got myself feeling OK with where my life was I stopped the structured hierarchy and moved to just daily life type exposures, trying to resist compulsions and continuing to face things that triggered me as they came up.

However lately I saw that I was slipping into compulsions more often and also was realizing that while I have gotten to a certain point of feeling better, my life has been very restricted ever since that big relapse a few years ago. Certain things feel absolutely insurmountable. I'm talking small things like using toilets/washrooms that aren't my own! Which then obviously puts some pretty severe limits in what I can do on a day to day basis! When I increased the meds I was hoping that maybe I would be able to begin approaching some of those things.

It's only been about 2 weeks since the med increase so maybe it will take some time for that effect to take place.

7 hours ago, malina said:

But I try to think of it in a positive way, that these challenges and bumps and here to strengthen us. 

That's a great way to look at it malina! You're right that these moments can be very strengthening if we can move through it without resorting to compulsions to cope.

I know when I've gotten through some of my panic intrusive thought moments without doing the compulsions it has given me confidence that I can keep progressing toward wellness.

It's these moments where I fail to stand up to the ocd that are so demoralizing.

Thank you for your continued support on this site--I feel we are in a similar place on our journey so it's always nice connecting with you.

2 hours ago, OCDhavenobrain said:

You have come so far that you see this and that there seems to be an underlying fear (having a hard time accepting uncertainty), maybe you see that the thoughts come and goes and that the current thought always seems to require a great deal of attention.

Yes, exactly. I think the fact of my inability to cope with uncertainty in life creates a lot of my condition. It is a difficult existential situation we are in because it is the truth of our reality. Sometimes I wonder if OCD is just trying to focus the bigger issue of life being uncertain into a very small manageable problem in order to give me a sense of control. So for me its presently contamination--it gives me some sort of sense of control if I can narrow my problem onto one small thing, and try to grasp at making the situation into a certain one by doing a bunch of compulsions to ensure everything is clean, not contaminated, not going to make people sick etc....even though I know intellectually that neither works to solve the bigger or the smaller issue!

8 hours ago, taurean said:

"We can't stop the waves, but we can learn to surf :surfing:

Yes I think it all comes down to this! Learning to surf in life--riding waves of uncertainty, anxiety etc...that will be my goal for this day!

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Don’t be so hard on yourself Leif. We are dealing with an illness here. There will be moments where you have a lapse and fall back into compulsions. These setbacks don’t matter if you focus on the big picture. Nobody is perfect so be gentle with yourself and keep in mind how hard this is and how much you’re doing to get better. Even seemingly small victories are important ones.

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44 minutes ago, leif said:

Yes I think it all comes down to this! Learning to surf in life--riding waves of uncertainty, anxiety etc...that will be my goal for this day!

Indeed. It's been a tough week for us health-wise (two trips to hospital, one for each of us) shopping, two boiler breakdowns so two engineer visits in one day, and the landscape gardeners tearing up our old garden (though the new one will be brilliant).

But hey, I was concerned but not worried. So no anxiety. And am now up in my office in the loft room chilling out :cool2: Where's that surfboard, I know it's up here somewhere :surfing:

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22 hours ago, taurean said:

Indeed. It's been a tough week for us health-wise (two trips to hospital, one for each of us) shopping, two boiler breakdowns so two engineer visits in one day, and the landscape gardeners tearing up our old garden (though the new one will be brilliant).

Sorry you had a bit of a tough week taurean--sounds like you have handled it really well!

 

23 hours ago, malina said:

Don’t be so hard on yourself Leif. We are dealing with an illness here. There will be moments where you have a lapse and fall back into compulsions. These setbacks don’t matter if you focus on the big picture. Nobody is perfect so be gentle with yourself and keep in mind how hard this is and how much you’re doing to get better. Even seemingly small victories are important ones.

Thank malina...yes will try to go easier on myself. I do get super frustrated with the illness and seeing myself resorting to compulsions, and I know the frustration doesn't help me at all!

I did manage to shift focus yesterday and enjoyed doing things I like...I even managed to resist a few moments of wanting to do compulsions...

I really think I need to start recording more of those successes so that i can build some confidence and not get so frustrated with myself. This past week i managed to:

  • mix 'contaminated' laundry with non-contaminated laundry when washing without pre-washing or using bleach
  • didn't go back to check if i put the garden tools away so that people wouldn't step on them and cause themselves an injury
  • reused garden gloves i thought might be contaminated
  • did grocery shopping without washing hands first

as i say i did fail a bunch of times at other things but i need to get focussed on things i did well!

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Yes, yes very good indeed. Keep up the good work. 

You know if you let yourself get frustrated at yourself you are getting even more stressed. It is actually totally normal to be angry if a bully constantly are telling you made up stories about you.

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

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Meds take 12 weeks to adjust & in that time your anxiety rises like crazy. You said you changed your dose, so that causes this too.  Wait a few months.  Meds won't cure OCD either just numb you up.

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On 14/04/2019 at 00:29, Handy said:

Meds take 12 weeks to adjust & in that time your anxiety rises like crazy. You said you changed your dose, so that causes this too.  Wait a few months.  Meds won't cure OCD either just numb you up.

There are so many things wrong in this post.

First, the time it takes for medication to work for a person can vary significantly.  There is no magic "12 week" number.

Second, medication CAN cause temporary increased anxiety for some sufferers, but again this is not universal.  Side effects can and do vary from person to person (this is true not just for OCD medication).

Third, again, people react differently to different medications and different dosages.  While it can take a few months to really feel the full effects, and waiting CAN be the right approach it is not ALWAYS the right approach, based on symptom progression and side effects the correct medical decision can be to change dosages or even change medications much sooner than that.  The correct action is to work with ones doctor and determine the best treatment options with them.  Simply waiting can make the situation worse without reason.

Fourth, medications for OCD don't just "numb you up".  Thats not a remotely medically accurate description of their mechanism of action for one thing, and while some people experience emotional numbness as a side effect, its far from universal.  Again, ones reaction to, both positive and negative, to such medication is something that should be monitored and managed in coordination with ones doctor.  The experience is highly individualized and such broad sweeping statements are simply not helpful.

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On 13/04/2019 at 08:29, Handy said:

Meds take 12 weeks to adjust & in that time your anxiety rises like crazy. You said you changed your dose, so that causes this too.  Wait a few months.  Meds won't cure OCD either just numb you up.

Your lack of knowledge about topics pertaining to OCD is troubling.

It does not take 12 weeks for the effect of a typical SSRI to be known. That would be like the maximum amount of time needed but typically a sufferer should see an improvement in 4 to 6 weeks. Often less.

While waiting for the SSRI to work, anxiety can rise in the short term but it typically does not 'rise like crazy' and certainly not over a 12 week period.

Typically, SSRIs do not 'numb you up'. Benzos can do that for a lot of people.

I get that you are against meds. That's your choice. But please stop posting mistruths on this forum.

Edited by PolarBear

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