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Phil19

Going back to CBT this Monday - Intense anxiety (Merged Thread)

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I want to fix this but it’s a bit of a Pandora box for me because when people say I can change it sets me off into the existential ocd and I use the excuse that I have no free will and everything is preplanned or I’m in some way a robot controlled. This makes me lazy about making changes as I worry I don’t have the choice to. Once the contamination reduces I switch to existence? 

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You have to hold firm when the theme switches Phil. This is a normal issue with people who have more than one theme. 

Remember, OCD works the same way whatever the theme or manifestation. Don't let it fool you, don't let it switch to try and catch you out. 

Remember, it lies fabricates exaggerates, anything to achieve its goal of controlling and ruling the sufferer. 

 

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16 hours ago, Phil19 said:

This makes me lazy about making changes as I worry I don’t have the choice to.

If you want to overcome OCD you have to change your behavior.  Is it easy? Probably not.  Is it necessary.  Definitely.
You can always come up with excuses not to change, whether its existentialist worries, or contamination worries, or what not.  
When you listen to those worries/excuses you are making a choice anyway.  You are constantly making choices.  You can make one now.  
Or you can keep suffering from the OCD.  Its that simple.

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4 hours ago, dksea said:

If you want to overcome OCD you have to change your behavior.  Is it easy? Probably not.  Is it necessary.  Definitely.
You can always come up with excuses not to change, whether its existentialist worries, or contamination worries, or what not.  
When you listen to those worries/excuses you are making a choice anyway.  You are constantly making choices.  You can make one now.  
Or you can keep suffering from the OCD.  Its that simple.

Yes that’s true I have a choice like last night I had some intrusive thoughts and I resisted another shower but those thoughts soon got replaced by another. I said before for every thought I get another comes it’s a vicious cycle? Seems there is no one fix solution. I am surprised I am able to resist some of my urges but give in to so many others. With been constant ocd thought all day long with the wedding this week. I actually spend an entire day having ocd worries one after another. The majority of the ocd is contamination and existence worries. Whatever the theme is it’s just a different scenario.

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Whatever the theme, it's STILL just bad old OCD, trying to keep you in its grasp - and at the moment winning. 

In your case, it switches theme/creates a new scenario. 

In my case, once I had overcome one trigger, it brought up - on the same theme in my case - an "old" trigger previously overcome, and ran it out again "fresh" :(

How did I overcome this? 🤔 

* By refusing to believe the OCD.

* By learning to spot an intrusion then refocus away, until that became the new default thinking. 

* By not avoiding, not googling or carrying out any other compulsions. 

* By working through short, structured, sessions of exposure and response prevention, bringing the OCD thinking to my awareness and challenging it with my knowledge (the C of CBT) of OCD and how it works. 

* Keeping busy. 

* Learning and applying relaxation techniques. 

* Refusing to worry about anything. 

* Learning how to easily enter the mindful state, where our thinking focuses solely in the present in the moment. 

I believe this combined package of CBT, worry rules, relaxation, distraction and mindfulness is a real potent combination to overcoming OCD. 

And this might help too Phil and everyone. A link to my simple guide to worry. 

https://www.ocdforums.org/index.php?/topic/79635-taurean-simple-guide-worry/

 

Edited by taurean

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3 hours ago, Phil19 said:

I said before for every thought I get another comes it’s a vicious cycle? Seems there is no one fix solution.

There is a solution, its called CBT.  But its not an instant fix.  While its understandable to want an instant fix for this problem (or any problem) you have to accept that there isn't one and apply the solution that DOES exist if you want to get better.

We all understand that you have a great many anxieties and they often follow each other.  You are very very deep in the OCD hole right now, unfortunately thats the nature of your problem.  If you want to get better you have to chip away at them, one step at a time.  You don't run a marathon in the first few steps.  You don't build a pyramid with a couple of bricks.  You don't become wealthy making your first paycheck.  Change takes time, change takes effort.  You can keep talking about how hard it is, but thats not going to change anything.  You can keep talking about how you have this anxiety now or that anxiety now, but thats not going to change anything, you can ruminate on your anxieties all you want, but thats not going to change anything (well it'll probably make things worse, so its a bad change).  I am truly sorry that there isn't an easier option, I wish there were magic words we could say that would make your problem vanish overnight.  If you want to recover from OCD you've got two major tools available to you, CBT and medication.  Medication can help, but you'll still need to apply CBT principles.  Thats just the reality of the situation, and every minute of every day that you spend not getting better is time wasted down the road.  The sooner you start making these choices, the sooner you'll recover and the more time you'll have to enjoy your life instead of suffering through it.  You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking on OCD.

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Wedding is over and I am a little more calm however I have noticed some more ocd routines kicking in. 

If my partner touches the green bin I worry my clothes, belts, suitcases are contaminated because the green bin has a plunger or it’s had toilet clothes, old toilet seats in it or blocked toilet germs in it. She also has a wedding ring now and doesn’t take it off when she touches the bin so my fear was holding her hand and the germs spreading? 

I know it’s not practical as I need these bins. I wouldn’t want to replace these bins as there may be toilet germs placed in any new one. Another new routine is if I touch the wheelie bin i need a shower. It all relates to the toilet germs and bin germs.

So why am I posting well these issues never bothered me a few months ago she could touch the green bin and I wouldn’t worry? But it bothers me now and all I say is I am more sensitive to the ocd now? 

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Congratulations Phil. 

You know what to do with those contamination fears. There is a new path ahead for you to take to quash those. 

With the wedding done and dusted, you can focus towards choosing that path, not the path of rules restrictions and enslavery to it that OCD wants you to take. 

All sufferers face this key choice, so choose wisely and listen to WE not the OCD :)

 

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18 minutes ago, taurean said:

Congratulations Phil. 

You know what to do with those contamination fears. There is a new path ahead for you to take to quash those. 

With the wedding done and dusted, you can focus towards choosing that path, not the path of rules restrictions and enslavery to it that OCD wants you to take. 

All sufferers face this key choice, so choose wisely and listen to WE not the OCD :)

 

That’s true all I can say is there is a few ocd triggers that would have troubled me like I did buy what 6 shirts I returned them all and wore one the entire day I guess this will be a positive result for people on here? I did make a few choices and choose not to worry about previous triggers. 

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Congrats on your wedding @Phil19, I wish you and your partner many many years of happiness together.
I also want to congratulate you on taking some really good steps forward.  It sounds like you have started to do some of the right things to recover from OCD in terms of compulsions.  The next phase is to keep that going, to continue to take steps forward and continue to undo the damage the compulsions have done.  Its ok if you don't win every single battle, but its important you win more and more of them to make progress.

 

5 hours ago, Phil19 said:

well these issues never bothered me a few months ago she could touch the green bin and I wouldn’t worry? But it bothers me now and all I say is I am more sensitive to the ocd now? 

OCD is tricky that way unfortunately, in your case the underlying anxiety about contamination still remains and its going to take some effort to root that out.  It may be that after a long time of moving in the wrong direction you are more sensitive to the OCD, but its not a lost cause to turn things around and start going in the opposite direction.  Every day your going to be presented with choices on how to respond to these thoughts, the more often you choose to ignore the OCD the faster you'll recover and the less the thoughts will bother you.  You are going to have to say to yourself "I know this makes me feel anxious, but I'm going to do it anyway".  Like you said, you did it with the shirt, you wore just the one all day, you faced down an anxiety and thats a victory.  Keep making choices like that and the victories will begin to add up.  It may seem like only a few now but you'd be surprised how quickly that can grow and as it does so will your improvement.  You know you can do it, so keep at it!

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Yes some progress but sometimes I get random thoughts pop into my head and I ruminate over then today I worried I touched the plunger before I came on honeymoon I got rid of the plunger a few weeks before and it’s at the bottom of the bin yet the thought still gives me anxiety? Last night I changed clothes three times as I couldn’t handle the anxiety. What can I do to change the way I respond to the thoughts and how can I avoid the anxiety? 

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2 hours ago, Phil19 said:

What can I do to change the way I respond to the thoughts and how can I avoid the anxiety

You work through CBT, a gradual process of stopping giving belief to the intrusions, then in due course they lose power and frequency. 

At the same time you work on triggers with exposure and response prevention, and the anxiety will gradually reduce, and this also weakens the power of the intrusions, and the underlying OCD core belief that there is a threat to which you should react, though this is a lie or exaggeration. 

It's the same old advice we keep giving you, so it's now time to take it up. 

Edited by taurean

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13 hours ago, Phil19 said:

Yes some progress but sometimes I get random thoughts pop into my head and I ruminate over then

A few things.  First you REALLY need to stop with the "yes but" responses.  You focus on your responses so much I fear you are missing the message to begin with.
Second, yes random thoughts will always pop in to your head, thats just the way humans work.  You ruminate over them because you have OCD.  That is not going to change because you resisted the compulsions once or twice.  Yes resisting those compulsions, taking the right steps is necessary, but you are not going to recover from OCD overnight, it just doesn't work that way.
 

13 hours ago, Phil19 said:

What can I do to change the way I respond to the thoughts and how can I avoid the anxiety? 

You change how you respond by choosing to respond differently and then acting on that choice.  It is hard sometimes, yes but ultimately its about what you choose to do.  CBT offers you guidance in making the most effective choices, choices aimed at recovery, but it doesn't make those choices for you, it doesn't control your actions, YOU do.

As for avoiding anxiety, that happens after you apply the results long term, after repeating the steps over and over in a systematic fashion to reshape how your brain responds to these thoughts.  You have to go through the process, you have to do the work.  There is no shortcut.  Its understandable you want things to be better right now, we all want that, but its not realistic.  You can wish for it all you want but that won't change what happens.  Making the choice to do the recovery work and get better down the road is realistic.  

Sometimes (often) what we want in life takes effort and patience, and OCD recovery is one of those things.

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When I was at the hotel today I was at the toilet some toilet paper crumbs had hit the floor my fear is what the cleaner will do with the crumbs? My ocd goes into over drive and I don’t want it fear coming to the hotel.

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3 hours ago, dksea said:

A few things.  First you REALLY need to stop with the "yes but" responses.  You focus on your responses so much I fear you are missing the message to begin with.
Second, yes random thoughts will always pop in to your head, thats just the way humans work.  You ruminate over them because you have OCD.  That is not going to change because you resisted the compulsions once or twice.  Yes resisting those compulsions, taking the right steps is necessary, but you are not going to recover from OCD overnight, it just doesn't work that way.
 

You change how you respond by choosing to respond differently and then acting on that choice.  It is hard sometimes, yes but ultimately its about what you choose to do.  CBT offers you guidance in making the most effective choices, choices aimed at recovery, but it doesn't make those choices for you, it doesn't control your actions, YOU do.

As for avoiding anxiety, that happens after you apply the results long term, after repeating the steps over and over in a systematic fashion to reshape how your brain responds to these thoughts.  You have to go through the process, you have to do the work.  There is no shortcut.  Its understandable you want things to be better right now, we all want that, but its not realistic.  You can wish for it all you want but that won't change what happens.  Making the choice to do the recovery work and get better down the road is realistic.  

Sometimes (often) what we want in life takes effort and patience, and OCD recovery is one of those things.

You are correct like this holiday I have wore clothes twice for breakfast and I wanted a shower a I did resist then what happens is another worry takes it’s place?

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1 minute ago, Phil19 said:

When I was at the hotel today I was at the toilet some toilet paper crumbs had hit the floor my fear is what the cleaner will do with the crumbs? My ocd goes into over drive and I don’t want it fear coming to the hotel.

So tell us, how ought you to deal with this? 

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1 minute ago, Phil19 said:

You are correct like this holiday I have wore clothes twice for breakfast and I wanted a shower a I did resist then what happens is another worry takes it’s place?

And you resist that one too. And if you keep going, even with occasional blips, this will begin to happen less frequently. 

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18 minutes ago, taurean said:

So tell us, how ought you to deal with this? 

Well I think I may need to not avoid staying at the hotel? I mean it maybe has happened before but new worries crop up. 

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My ocd says the maid will spread the toilet paper all over the hotel and my stuff and it may become contaminated. I mean they may mop up or not touch the floor but this is my latest worry I am struggling to see it rationally 

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Phil, as always, the way forward is to not listen to what your OCD says. 

Edited by taurean

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4 hours ago, taurean said:

Phil, as always, the way forward is to not listen to what your OCD says. 

I went on the journey as my theripst would day. I worried the towels would be dirty after she cleaned the toilet paper off floor so I had to get new towels from reception. Also I mentioned I became worried about touching my partners hands after touching the bin despite her washing them the rings worry me. I feel awful because I have done well to combat many of my ocd worries yet there is more worries get added to my list. It feels like a never ending nightmare my ocd I feel spells of wellness then today I go on the worry train again. 

I do feel less relaxed now the wedding is over however I still get these odd worries and I ruminate and worry and still get the anxiety. It’s hard to find the energy to respond well all the time sometimes it beats me and I feel the ocd is winning? 

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There was pieces of white on the corridor floors I think it’s maybe threads of the towel linen but I worried about putting my bags down and I worry there is toilet germs. I mean some people take bags to public toilets and there may be tissue on those floors but the tissue I wiped my backside with could contaminate the whole hotel? 

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