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


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10 hours ago, Phil19 said:

There is a guilt from me about replacing the door handle as it’s original and been in the house a while. That said it’s going green and a bit rusty and the replacement is similar but it’s new and clean so perhaps if I do replace it then its only going to improve the house but I feel the guilt of replacing something that’s been there for years. I admit there is some other handles in my street been replaced though.

Try a door handle cover or a plastic bag, they are a lot cheaper & as you progress with cbt, you'll learn to take it off as exposure. 

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But that is surely playing into the hands of the OCD, supporting a compulsion which suggests there is something to fear. 

The point is that there isn't. Sufferers have to learn to accept this and expose themselves to what frightens or revulses them. The urge to confess, replace, surrender to the police for crimes OCD says we have committed or whatever the OCD theme must be faced up to. 

No-one is going to recover without weaning off the carrying out of compulsions. 

Kicking the can further down the road won't help. 

 

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6 minutes ago, taurean said:

But that is surely playing into the hands of the OCD, supporting a compulsion which suggests there is something to fear. 

The point is that there isn't. Sufferers have to learn to accept this and expose themselves to what frightens or revulses them. The urge to confess, replace, surrender to the police for crimes OCD says we have committed or whatever the OCD theme must be faced up to. 

No-one is going to recover without weaning off the carrying out of compulsions. 

Kicking the can further down the road won't help. 

 

Agreed. 

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Agreed. I am not a fan of replacing one compulsion with another, except in one instance: where a sufferer's compulsion is causing them physical harm and a lesser compulsion would solve the problem. Example: a sufferer who uses bleach and a scrub brush to wash has hands that are cracked and bleeding. A switch to mild soap as a first step could be in order. 

Other than that, delay, reduce, stop the compulsion.

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Yes I mean I what people said about replacing the door handle I could delay doing the work. I get the new handle by post next week. The new door handle holes may not match up that’s my concern. 

Using a plastic bag? Possible. At the moment I am using my elbows to open and close the door not very practical?

People day about not replacing a compulsion in my case I believe if I could bleach it and clean it as I did and that saved me replacing that would be progress however I have done this and got little relief so can people see if I can’t cope with that how can I get to a stage where I touch that door handle and not wash my hands?

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It's not a "cold turkey" process Phil. You can't just do it. 

That may be the goal, but you gradually work towards that. 

So must we all. So have I and things that would totally floor me before just don't bother me now. 

So, whilst it just now might seem impossible, that will gradually move along the scale to improbable, then possible and so on. 

It's softly softly catchee monkey. 

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Why don't you stop using your elbows, which I'm sure you can see is impractical and kind of nuts, use your hand and DELAY washing your hand for 30 minutes. Then go ahead and wash if you must. Do that a couple of times, then increase the delsy to 45 minutes. And so on. What you should find is that you'll reach a point where, by the time you've waited through the delay, you just don't care much anymore, your anxiety is down and you can go without washing at all.

One concern I have with you is that I feel you likely have dozens of compulsions you do and it's going to take a lot of hard work to get rid of them. But, Rome wasn't built in a day.

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20 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

Why don't you stop using your elbows, which I'm sure you can see is impractical and kind of nuts, use your hand and DELAY washing your hand for 30 minutes. Then go ahead and wash if you must. Do that a couple of times, then increase the delsy to 45 minutes. And so on. What you should find is that you'll reach a point where, by the time you've waited through the delay, you just don't care much anymore, your anxiety is down and you can go without washing at all.

One concern I have with you is that I feel you likely have dozens of compulsions you do and it's going to take a lot of hard work to get rid of them. But, Rome wasn't built in a day.

Yes that’s a good point compulsions wise yes replacing was one of them but it stopped working but it never stopped me avoiding touching stuff, washing hands, reshowering, changing towels, rewashing clothes. I am honest and said before that when my old was mild I was happy to tolerate a bit of hand washing. The issue started when I started replacing expensive items and worrying and washing my hands and more extreme behaviour. It got much worse after i got new windows and then moved house. 

Sometimes I have the will power to stop these behaviours that’s what I should explain I have good days where I resist washing my hands but it can be followed by a day where I wash my hands over and over. There is no consistency with my ocd and every now and again an issue like the door handle crops up and I worry for a long time. 

My partner has suggested what do I do once my mum touches the bin again and my door? The risk is she will because I know she’s not that clean these days anyway her standards are quite poor so she probably touches all sorts and doesn’t care as some do but some people are very clean. I actually aspire to be more clean because people don’t always believe I have ocd as I don’t use lots of cleaning products. I would like to keep my house even cleaner but sadly I am too lazy too. 

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I think we should, with acknowledgement to Gilbert and Sullivan and their light operetta "H. M. S. Pinafore," give "three cheers and one cheer more " to those wonderful other halves and close friends who DO guide and support us on our journey towards recovery.

Many others sadly don't and a lot of awareness raising is still needed. 

But nevertheless the real work has to be done by the sufferer. And we have to go into the "war zone" in structured "war games" in order to, slowly but surely, unwind the layers of rules and restrictions that have built up on our own OCD onion. 

We can all do this Phil, we need to gain the belief that we can, then roll out the hard work. 

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What a day I have had

I collected my new handle it had to be a store 15 miles away as I worried about my local branch of Argos being dirty.

anyway the ocd wasn’t the issue I tried to fit it myself and a washer fell out. I decided to get someone round to fit the handle but I had found out the handle was too damaged so he fitted the outside one and I have to order or wait for a replacement part for inside.

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Guest OCDhavenobrain

This thread is more and more looking like the old one. We had a Phil here, was all about replacing, replaced everything. Never got any final relief, but kept on replacing. :)

Edited by OCDhavenobrain
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1 minute ago, OCDhavenobrain said:

This thread is more and more looking like the old one. We had a Phil here, was all about replacing, replaced everything. Never got any final relief, but kept on replacing. :)

Tell me about it I replace stuff and the relief never happened. End of the day it beat me this time I removed the old handle . But obviously I need to some now deal with this better than before.

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But that wasn't the real reason you replaced it. 

And as for not feeling better for having replaced it, this is a sharp lesson in the fact that the carrying out of compulsions offers only possible short term, if any at all, relief. 

Correctly going through and sticking to a CBT programme may bring regular and continual relief leading to the triggers and obsessions no longer bothering us, no longer coming calling. 

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Blocked toilet germs has troubled me for years but I’ve been thinking about that letter box again. When I stayed at my parents I flooded the bathroom with toilet water it’s since had two different Lino floors put down since I moved out but today I was like what if my shoes carry blocked toilet germs? That’s the problem I have been in her bathroom quite a few times but never worried about the floor. Again my therapist told me she knew someone who was in a house and the toilet flooded and they wanted to move but in the end cleaned up and stayed. So yes realistically the floor isn’t clean I mean perhaps in public toilets we stand on toilet water and don’t care? That makes me ask how clean the floor is? It could be full of toilet germs? My own floor I had a little water splash the floor one time to. But I feel it was worse as it was flooded and required a mop. I moved out almost 4 years ago why did it trouble me today? I believe it’s because I responded to the door handle because I worried about the wheelie bin. 

I blocked a toilet at my partners parents house almost a year ago maybe more since then I have never used there toilet in fear of blocked toilet germs. In hotels if I block the toilet and leave it I will never stay there again. 

So yes I start therapy again tomorrow how can she change my thinking on this? 

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48 minutes ago, Phil19 said:

So yes I start therapy again tomorrow how can she change my thinking on this? 

She can’t. Only you can change your thinking by making choices and doing things differently. 

There isn’t going to be some “ah ha!” moment where everything clicks in place, and you start thinking differently and are cured and THEN stop the compulsions. You stop the compulsions first and that helps change your thinking. 

You have to accept that your behavior isn’t healthy.

You have to accept that doing compulsions isn’t helping.

You have to choose to start doing things differently.

Therapy can only support you and guide you, YOU have to make the change.

 

 

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Yes that’s true but I am seeing more and more toilet germs my gran uses a commode so toilet germs after not washing hands could be on stuff I mean I get a wedding gift so the germs could be on that it’s never ending. Some how a therapist can change my view on this? 

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Just now, Phil19 said:

Yes that’s true but I am seeing more and more toilet germs my gran uses a commode so toilet germs after not washing hands could be on stuff I mean I get a wedding gift so the germs could be on that it’s never ending. Some how a therapist can change my view on this? 

As DKSea says, a therapist can't change your view - YOU have to change your behaviour and ONLY then will your view change.  it doesn't go the other way round.  You have to change your behaviour long before your feelings will change. 

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If you imagine you had a deep fear of spiders, and went to a therapist.

The therapist can't just say "spiders in this country aren't dangerous, you don't have to fear them" and bam, suddenly you're no longer scared of spiders.

You would have to confront your fear of spiders.  You would look at a picture of a spider, then a video of a spider, then a real spider, and eventually you would hold a spider.

Only then would your feelings around spiders change.

This is no different - you have to face your fears before your feelings will change. 

Nobody can change your feelings for you. 

Edited by gingerbreadgirl
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What everyone has said is spot on. 

To overcome my fears of making personal connections with the subject matter of adverts, posters, news headlines I had to 

Accept that OCD was making up the negative connections. 

Continue to get out there, experience these feared things, note the distorted connections OCD was trying to make, and learn to not give belief to them. 

No quick fix. It took time, there were setbacks sometimes big ones, but I got there. 

They don't bother me now. 

Avoidance, carrying out compulsions - minus points for recovery. 

Acceptance, learning the CBT way and Implimenting it - big plus points on the road to recovery. 

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Yes I mean at the moment I have some relief I am touching the new door handle but let’s ignore that because there’s is areas like my coffee table and radiator I won’t touch due to past “forever contamination”. I know I can’t replace everything but that doesn’t stop me having thoughts about how I will replace stuff. I mean I honestly can’t explain how it makes me feel. It’s like something powering tugging me down telling me I need to replace to feel relief. Not replacing makes me annoyed.

I am battling contamination vs my existential crisis worrying if my life is real, controlled, planned out, worrying if I should set new goals have a family or simply content myself?

I really hope the therapist can root this out and figure out why I feel this way. At the moment she is blaming it all wedding stress as is much GP. They believe that’s why I feel this way or have issues like sore stomach ect 

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Well if she had all the listening time we have had then she wouldn't be focusing just on the wedding:and it isn't just a normal wedding anxiety it's obsessive, and compulsive - another expression of OCD with the other two you have told us about. 

She will have no magic wand. 

We have a wand in that we HAVE sussed out what is going on and what you need to do. 

And we have conveyed that to you. 

It's you, as others have said, that must do the work. Personally I doubt a therapist is likely to say much different to what we have been saying. 

What you need to be doing is moving yourself gradually away from filling your responses here with talking about the - unhelpful - compulsions, and more towards how you are working on those methods you have been given. 

The solution needs to be the focus, not the problem. 

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What can I do about these spikes? I binned some hair wax and hair gel tonight and I worry if I buy new ones they will be the old ones? And the handle could be dirty again? I mean I have this issue with watches I had an ocd about a watch I got rid of it and I wouldn’t buy same one in fear of it being dirty. My ocd doesn’t always obide by these rules because I replaced a rucksack which was the same one but never worried.  

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You have to continue the process of not doing what the OCD tells you to do, in a gradual upward curve. Defer things instead of just acquiescencing. Delay carrying out compulsions. Sit out resultant anxieties. 

As your brain gradually accepts that nothing bad will happen/you CAN ignore revulsion from acts of others, the anxiety and the compulsive urge will start to reduce. 

So you have three, maybe more, OCD themes? For some that happens. 

Just keep on track with the same method per theme. 

It's doable Phil. Many, including me, have come through this dark tunnel and emerged into the joyous sunshine the other side. 

You can if you believe you can. 

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Phil, you're back to going on and on about your obsessions and listing the compulsions you do. It's not helping you. You've been told dozens of times that you need to stop doing that.

Maybe, just maybe, a really good therapist can convince you that germs are not the problem. It's you. And the only way to solve the problem is changing your thinking and behavior. Goodness knows we've tried our best. Maybe this therapist will get through to you.

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