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Phil19

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

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12 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

Phil do you understand this is all ruminating? 

Yes I find it difficult to stop the rumination it’s what takes up hours of worrying for me. 

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Phil I once, as a teenager, had the ridiculous fear that I had burned down a hotel, after I left, because I had spilled just one drop of lighter fluid on a sheet!

I had the urge to ring the hotel (no Internet then) to check it was still standing. I resisted. 

That nonsensical OCD worthless nonsense is what its game is. 

Until you stop listening to the OCD and start resisting, as I did, these intrusions will continue to come calling. 

We stop them, gradually, by working our CBT in the way I pointed out earlier. 

Edited by taurean

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14 hours ago, Phil19 said:

what happens is another worry takes it’s place?

You keep resisting compulsions there too.  
You are in a deep hole right now, partly because of just having the OCD and partly because of doing the compulsions for so long.  It will take time and energy to climb out of that hole.  Its understandable to be frustrated at that, you want to be better now, of course.  But as I said, you don't really have any other choice.  If you don't climb out of the hole you'll remain stuck in the hole.  Worse, every compulsion, every rumination, helps dig the hole deeper and deeper. 

You can do the work and eventually climb out.
You can not do the work and remain stuck.

There is no third option, no matter how much you (or any of us) wish there was.  

Medication might help make the climb somewhat easier, thats an option you could consider, but you'll still have to do a fair bit of work.
Therapy can help make the climb easier, but you'll still have to do the work.

If your goal is to never have an intrusive thought again, you'll fail, thats impossible.  All people get intrusive thoughts, OCD or not.
If your goal is to be able to ignore intrusive thoughts most of the time, that's achievable.  Many many OCD sufferers have reached that point.
If your goal is to never feel anxiety again, you'll fail, thats also impossible.  Anxiety is a normal human emotion, it happens.
If your goal is to feel less anxiety, and to not respond to intrusive thoughts with anxiety, thats achievable.  Again many many OCD sufferers have reached that point.

But you have to make some decisions, you have to make some choices, and you have to stick with those decisions and choices.

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13 hours ago, Phil19 said:

and it may become contaminated

You need to start challenging this idea of contamination.  You need to start treating contamination like it doesn't exist (mostly because it doesn't) and do things inspire of what the "contamination" says.  You really really really need to do some ERP.  You need to intentionally touch "contaminated" things.  You need to do the opposite of what the OCD tells you when it comes to "contamination".  Thats how you get over this.

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At the hotel the maid gave some extra toilet paper and put them on the toilet brush this freaks me out big time perhaps this is common practice but I’ve never had it happen before I guess people on here would say it’s fine to use that toilet paper but I fear it I would have toilet germs on my hands. 

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2 hours ago, Phil19 said:

perhaps this is common practice

Yup, very common.

 

 

2 hours ago, Phil19 said:

guess people on here would say it’s fine to use that toilet paper but I fear it I would have toilet germs on my hands.

Yup, thats exactly what you should do.

So what if you get "toilet germs" on your hands from using toilet paper?  You're going to wash your hands after using the toilet anyway.  Its not big deal.  Thats the way you need to choose to treat it, even if you feel anxiety, exactly when you feel anxiety.

You are training your brain, like you might train a dog or a child.  If it does something the wrong way, you correct that by making it do it again the right way.  You repeat this over time until it learns to do things the right way.

You have the thought "what if this toilet paper is contaminated".
You CHOOSE to tell yourself "no, thats just OCD thinking" and you CHOOSE to react as if using the toilet paper wasn't a problem.  You will still feel anxiety, at first, but if you keep doing what you CHOOSE to do instead of what OCD makes you think you need to do, your brain will learn that touching toilet paper isn't a reason to feel anxiety.  

You have to make the choice to act inspire of the anxiety you feel. The anxiety is a false alarm, you can push through it, in fact you have to if you want to get better.

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That is true I am still battling with the ring ocd I became scared to touch her hand and freaked that she’s touched my bag. I mean she had an engagement ring on before and it never worried me only this time she has a new ring on top plus the wheelie bin has not been emptied and still has a plunger so these two situations make me worry more than just an engagement ring. Now there’s been a few times I’ve put a toilet seat or plunger in bin and never worried. I know it’s not practical to change rings I mean she touches so much so I worry the ring contains germs despite being washed.

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How would you like us to respond, Phil?

You come here, tell us your latest obsessions and then... what? You do this repeatedly, often several times a day.

You've got obsessions. We get that. Your obsessions are about contamination. We get that too. We continually offer you advice, and you come back telling us the latest obsession version. I feel like we're going round in circles.

So maybe you could tell us what you hope to achieve with these repetitive posts. What are you hoping for from us?

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28 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

How would you like us to respond, Phil?

You come here, tell us your latest obsessions and then... what? You do this repeatedly, often several times a day.

You've got obsessions. We get that. Your obsessions are about contamination. We get that too. We continually offer you advice, and you come back telling us the latest obsession version. I feel like we're going round in circles.

So maybe you could tell us what you hope to achieve with these repetitive posts. What are you hoping for from us?

I hope to not have ocd that’s the point really. I would rather not have these thoughts and I would rather not respond wanting to replace stuff or avoid using stuff. However I am finding it difficult to change the response 

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I understand those goals, which are for you. But what are your goals for us? What is it you wish us to do in response to your repetitive and prolific posts detailing your latest obsessions?

Because we keep going round and round. You post. We offer advice. You post the same thing again. We offer the same advice. This has been going on for a long time now. Surely you can see that.

Do you want reassurance? Are you wanting from us acknowledgement that you should not be doing compulsions each time? Is that what you are looking for when you post here, time after time?

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52 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

I understand those goals, which are for you. But what are your goals for us? What is it you wish us to do in response to your repetitive and prolific posts detailing your latest obsessions?

Because we keep going round and round. You post. We offer advice. You post the same thing again. We offer the same advice. This has been going on for a long time now. Surely you can see that.

Do you want reassurance? Are you wanting from us acknowledgement that you should not be doing compulsions each time? Is that what you are looking for when you post here, time after time?

Yes I feel I need to be told when I am acting irrationally because often it takes a post on here to avoid buying new. My partner doesn’t seem to reassure me all the time. 

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Thank you for being honest.

What you are doing is seeking reassurance, which is a compulsion. You are seeking reassurance from your partner and from us. Both parties need to dlow down and stop that reassurance. It is bad for others to participate in your compulsions.

You need to learn to make decisions on your own. You need to learn to say no to OCD, without anyone's help.

Clue: have any of us, at any time, told you to throw something out or replace something? The answer is no. It doesn't matter what the obsession or circumstance, we have never advised you to do a compulsion. 

That should tell you something. OCD lies, 100% of the time.

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57 minutes ago, Phil19 said:

Yes I feel I need to be told when I am acting irrationally because often it takes a post on here to avoid buying new. My partner doesn’t seem to reassure me all the time. 

So your therapist has little effect and partner has little effect. I admire the commitment of the men who put you in the right frame of mind. Under other variants of your name you have incredibly long threads. But are you getting the right message? You say say your ‘partner doesn’t seem to reassure me’. Are the men reassuring you? Will this help?

Edited by Angst

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I am more chilled after my wedding however I still have the urge to replace belts and stuff that touched my suitcase. If I go to the bottom of the garden what happens is I end up wanting a new belt as I worry it touched the bin with plunger. 

I must have had about 20 major ocd issues since the wedding but each one I’ve had to bash off and tell myself it’s fine nothing needs replaced or avoided. I have used the stuff.

So what can I say I am getting the anxiety and I am getting the ocd however I quickly calm myself down. I don’t feel as much perfection for the wedding now. I still feel the urge to replace stuff the issue is I have little free cash for months I am buying stuff I don’t need instead of stuff I do this is obviously an issue?

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Once again, what would you like us to say? You know what you need to do. Sounds like you are trying to do it. Okay.

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I am feeling a little frustrated as at the wedding I felt better I had less ocd and I had no anxiety feelings. A week or so later the anxiety and ocd has come back. So I know it can go, I know the ocd can get better.

Its like I’ve doubled back down in wedding mode. I am still replacing stuff I still have these urges to buy new. I said many times before it’s at a cost of stuff I actually need I am finding for example I own 20 belts. I’ve never had this issue until recently.

I give into the urge because I dont know how long I will have the anxiety for. 90% of the ocd jargon I forget. 10% sticks around so I do these replacements to avoid the anxiety. The anxiety is pretty bad that’s the problem. 

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2 hours ago, Phil19 said:

I am feeling a little frustrated as at the wedding I felt better I had less ocd and I had no anxiety feelings. A week or so later the anxiety and ocd has come back. So I know it can go, I know the ocd can get better.

Yes, its not uncommon for OCD to wax and wane.  People often talk about how when they are busy or focused on something else for some reason that their OCD bothers them less.  With your mind focused on your wedding it would not be at all surprising if the OCD  was less troublesome.  Also, our bodies are not constant either, any number of biological factors could be at play that increase or decrease our susceptibility to getting stuck on OCD thoughts.  
 

2 hours ago, Phil19 said:

I give into the urge because I dont know how long I will have the anxiety for. 90% of the ocd jargon I forget. 10% sticks around so I do these replacements to avoid the anxiety. The anxiety is pretty bad that’s the problem. 

You are trading short term limited relief, for long term sustained relief.  The more you give in to compulsions now, the more work you'll have to do in the future to undo this damage, the longer it will take you to recover.  Yes the anxiety gets bad, we all understand that, if not for the anxiety OCD wouldn't be a problem for any of us.  You can survive the anxiety, and when you do, it is one step forward, one step closer to getting free from OCD.  When you give in to a compulsion its one step backwards.  If you want to get better, you have to commit.  You have to practice so the OCD "jargon" doesn't get forgotten when you are struggling.  You have to practice CBT and really learn it deep down.  The harder it is for you to remember when you are struggling, the more time you need to dedicate to learning it. 

Nothing we say here is going to cure you.  Nothing we say here is going to make you suddenly feel better forever.  Nothing we say here is going to do the work for you.  If you want to get better you have to make choices that will lead to that result.  YOU have to do the work.

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So anybody any thoughts on how long I should continue CBT? I’ve had around 8 sessions with her until February and I restated it and had another 2 sessions 3rd one on Monday. 

Things have calmed anxiety wise but I still feel a lot of ocd urges to replace. I still want to avoid?

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There is one thing I don't understand. Would you like to tell how much insight into OCD you have got under those therapysessions? Also, would you say you have done exposures?

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6 hours ago, Phil19 said:

So anybody any thoughts on how long I should continue CBT? I’ve had around 8 sessions with her until February and I restated it and had another 2 sessions 3rd one on Monday. 

Things have calmed anxiety wise but I still feel a lot of ocd urges to replace. I still want to avoid?

It would be very difficult for us to advise you on how long to continue therapy, it depends largely on the work you are doing, and whether you are willing to continue that work.  Going to a therapist for OCD isn't something you do for 8 weeks, or 12, or 24 and then you are "cured".  You can't just go, get your CBT diploma and never think about it again.  Therapy is there to help you learn the techniques, begin to apply them, and focus on changing how you approach OCD and your life in general.  If you are willing to do the work, and if you have taken in what you have been taught, then you may not need to do any therapy beyond this.  If you are struggling to do the work, but you are making progress, you might need some more to help you become more confident in handling it on your own.  If you aren't willing to do the work, aren't willing to challenge the OCD outside the therapy (or inside) then its a waste of time and money to go at all.  Ideally when you finish your current therapy course you should have a concrete plan of action with goals moving forward that you can put in to place to continue your recovery on your own.  You should be ready to continue the steps you are learning outside of therapy, as part of your everyday life as much as necessary to continue your recovery.  Therapy is just a starting point, not the end.

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Yes today for example I am still fearing the bin germs. The wheelie bin was outside which contaminated a toilet plunger so I feared the car door hit the bin or came close now I want to avoid my parents car door. 

It might sound dramatic what can I say some of the stuff I feared using I either returned or eventually used it so that’s the good news. 

I hoped after the wedding there would be some dramatic shift I would suddenly want to fly again on a plane, I would have less ocd, I would learn to drive again but I still have a mental block about doing these. Nothing has changed other than the wedding passing.

The only good news is I am ignoring some of the ocd a little more than I was before. 

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38 minutes ago, Phil19 said:

I hoped after the wedding there would be some dramatic shift

Its understandable to want to be over this kind of thing, to wish you were better, we all have those kind of feelings, who wouldn't want it all to just go away?
But wishing and hoping isn't going to make it happen, doing will make change happen.

You can keep wishing and hoping that things will change, and if that happens occasionally, ok, thats normal.
But rather than wishing and hoping, why not start DOING things that will lead to change?  The sooner you start, the sooner you can make progress.
One way you could start is to stop posting your specific anxieties here on a daily basis, we've mentioned this to you before, its a compulsion and its not helping you get to that point where you want to be.  See if you can go for one week without doing that.  Make it your goal to go as many days as possible, but at least one week.  Start making these small goals and build from there.

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My parents car door was close to the wheelie bin with the toilet plunger germs My fear is touching that door handle. I sometimes have to go in that car but I may suffer a lot of anxiety or ocd if I touch the door handle?

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You need to rephrase in your mind. You don't know there are germs from a plunger in the bin. Your mind is telling you that, but you cannot confirm it to be true.

Secondly, so what if their car door was close to the bin? Like, so what? 

These are the kind of conversations you need to have with yourself.

Edited by PolarBear

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12 hours ago, Phil19 said:

My parents car door was close to the wheelie bin with the toilet plunger germs My fear is touching that door handle. I sometimes have to go in that car but I may suffer a lot of anxiety or ocd if I touch the door handle?

If you really want to change things you should go touch the door.  You should do exactly the opposite of what OCD is telling you.  Touch the door, your life will go on.  You may suffer anxiety (probably) but you'll have taken a step towards beating OCD.
Or you can keep living by these irrational rules, still feel the anxiety AND have your life way more limited because of it.

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