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BigDave

That moment you realise that things have got to change

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Hey guys and girls,

This is a bit of an awkward one. Well, it’s not so much awkward but I feel it’s going somewhere between a rant and a series of questions. What I would like is for anyone who wants to add their two cents because I’m genuinely interested in what everyone has to say. 

So for starters, allow me to mention the trigger that led to this post. I had just had a shower and I slide across the floor. Because of my inability to no longer trust my judgement, I cannot say say with absolute certainty that through the sliding process that my leg did not touch the toilet base covered no doubt in my brother’s urine. The idea of my leg touching horrified me and my initial reaction was to go for another shower, then instead I looked for reassurance and then I stopped and said “Ok so this is how it is. My anxiety is raised. I’m panicked. I’m looking for something to remove the anxiety, whether it’s cleaning or reassurance. Fact is that I may have not touched it. I can’t say I recall feeling as if I touched it and I’m of the opinion that if there is doubt as to whether something touched, it’s more appropriate to assume it didn’t than it did. Anyway, in the end I just went to bed and I’m living with the anxiety and the whole my duvet may now be covered with my brother’s urine etc etc. Just have to live with it. 

I’m wondering if this is my breaking point. I’m SICK of going through this OCD stuff. I want it to change. More worryingly, my psychiatrist said I’m not ever going to get over this. And for me, that’s not good enough. I refuse to accept this is my life forever. Of course, it worries me greatly that I have urine of my brother on my bed and there is no way for certainty. But also I feel like giving in is as good as saying that I’m giving in to this forever having a hold on me. Does that make sense?

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9 minutes ago, BigDave said:

More worryingly, my psychiatrist said I’m not ever going to get over this.

They are clearly very misinformed about OCD!

 

That's fantastic, well done for resisting compulsions :57439eb60db27_thumbup: I have hygiene fears too so I do know how it feels when your brain is telling you there are germs everywhere. You're doing great :)

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Hi Dave, a huge well done! It’s brilliant what you’ve done. Keep going as PB says. X

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34 minutes ago, BigDave said:

More worryingly, my psychiatrist said I’m not ever going to get over this. And for me, that’s not good enough. I refuse to accept this is my life forever.

Good for you Dave!

Psychiatrists sometimes come out with comments like this in the hopes you will take on the challenge & prove him or her wrong. You'll probably find that they are actually very good at their job, and this kind of kicks people into gear. (Think of it as reverse psychology)

Edited by felix4

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Yes well done. I know how hard it is to resist compulsions when the anxiety is high. I hope this success will help you to resist compulsions in the future too.

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Well done Dave, it’s really hard I know, but keep going, you can do it. X

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This is also a moment for which you would realise the reigns of control can be brought back to your hands. You can remain in control in spite of the anxiety.

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That's great progress.

I believe what your psychiatrist was saying, but you can ask them for the info, is that anxiety is necessary for survival so we are always going to have it we just need to control it as you are doing. OCD doesn't respond to talk therapy much because anxiety has no word component.  Cognitive therapy is useful for some other  conditions. 

Btw, another thing i do is to see if the toilet is wet as my leg was wet, so if I touched it, it too would be wet. 

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Just now, Handy said:

 

Btw, another thing i do is to see if the toilet is wet as my leg was wet, so if I touched it, it too would be wet. 

You know this is a compulsion right? 

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8 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

You know this is a compulsion right? 

No it’s not a compulsion to examine if I touched something or not.  I call it ghost OCD.  I can’t be sure there are germies or not.  So it’s like ghosting. It’s a form of low level cbt.  

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4 hours ago, Handy said:

No it’s not a compulsion to examine if I touched something or not.  I call it ghost OCD.  I can’t be sure there are germies or not.  So it’s like ghosting. It’s a form of low level cbt.  

No you're wrong sorry. CBT would be to accept the doubt of not knowing whether you've touched it or not. You are just doing a type of checking, "just make sure". 

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Good for u for not showering! I live at home with my partner and two sons, sometimes when I go to pee in the middle of the night I literally sit on a lot of urine left over by one of the 3 lol, I am not going to shower at 3am or whatever time it is, I wipe myself down and dry the toilet seat and go back to bed, I never think about it and nothing has happened to me! Keep going because OCD is exaggerating the risk of contact with urine, even if u do make contact, nothing will happen to you! U can do t! X

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10 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

No you're wrong sorry. CBT would be to accept the doubt of not knowing whether you've touched it or not. You are just doing a type of checking, "just make sure". 

Every day we touch thousands & thousands of things, our shoes touch floors, food in our mouth, chairs, we are aware of each of these contacts. One more is not going to be a compulsion because its common sense from the thousands of times we do it every day.

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You know I’m coming back to this post a couple of weeks after posting it and it’s amazing how hard things are. My therapist told me this story about this patient of his that just decided one day that doing all of his compulsions was just too hard and he just stopped. God I wish it was that easy!

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28 minutes ago, BigDave said:

My therapist told me this story about this patient of his that just decided one day that doing all of his compulsions was just too hard and he just stopped. God I wish it was that easy!

I wonder if this patient was real? :lol:

 

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I had to wonder that myself. He’s mentioned him like three times so I can’t see why he would lie to me but also I can imagine he’s in the minority if he does exist. 

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3 minutes ago, BigDave said:

I had to wonder that myself. He’s mentioned him like three times so I can’t see why he would lie to me but also I can imagine he’s in the minority if he does exist. 

Hi Dave,

I am guess it must be a severity thing, and that less troublesome OCD can be switched off in such a way.

It still does sound strange though, because this patients compulsions sound more like a chore only?

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, BigDave said:

I had to wonder that myself. He’s mentioned him like three times so I can’t see why he would lie to me but also I can imagine he’s in the minority if he does exist. 

Some people have an easier time changing behavior, others have a harder time.  Some people can take a drink and be fine, others can't stop.

My grandfather grew up in the era were everyone smoked.  Doctors smoked, women smoked, smoking was actually prescribed for dieting and for anxiety.  When he was in WW2, his rations included a cigarette!  Well after the war he went to work at a naval shipyard.  Obvious there were lots of potentially flammable or explosive materials for that line of work, as such smoking as restricted to certain areas.  On his first day of work he walked in to a room where smoking was allowed for his smoke break and was absolutely disgusted by the smoke filled air in the contained space.  That day he decided to quit smoking and never smoked again.  He just had a personality and a genetic makeup that made such a thing possible.  Most people aren't so lucky, on average it takes 8 or more attempts for a smoker to quit. 

So while it can be helpful to hear about success cases to give us hope and motivation for change, its important to keep in mind that results and effects will vary from person to person. Its great that this other patient was able to respond so quickly to treatment, but its best to not judge yourself by their success.  After all, if you pick up a sport you don't assume you will be able to perform at the same level as the star athletes in the game, at least not at first!

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11 hours ago, BigDave said:

I had to wonder that myself. He’s mentioned him like three times so I can’t see why he would lie to me but also I can imagine he’s in the minority if he does exist. 

I wouldn't doubt your therapist's words because it had happened to me when I was about 5 years old. Instead of being too tired to do a complusion, I was shocked out of it. I was beginning to show signs of OCD with a contamination theme as I started to incessantly wash my hands. I had intrusive thoughts that my hands will get really dirty each time I touched something and I had wash repatedly to ensure they remain clean all the time. Thankfully, my mom warned me that the skin on my hands will fall off if I continued and that totally shocked me out of my wits. The images of skeletal hands scared the hell out of me and I stopped completedly. 

I supposed it is a greater fear that overwhelmed the minor fear? Perhaps it could be the better neural plasticity of a child's brain that makes the child easier to de-conditioned from OCD compulsions? I don't know. But I can relate to the patient of this therapist. I however would state it doesn't mean this particular individual has recovered from OCD. He may have just overcame the theme of OCD that has been affecting him. Without understanding the cognitive aspects of OCD and de-conditioning the response to intrusive thoughts, the sufferer's OCD will remain latent, waiting to latch on to something else to obsess over, later on.

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