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


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I am not holding out a lot of hope if the therapist is just grasping onto wedding anxieties. 

Phil, you need to open up to her so she understands how these themes of OCD affect you. 

Then get her onto developing her CBT approach for them. 

As I said, I can't see her coming up with something worthwhile that is different to what you've already been told. But if she's going to, she has to know all that the OCD is doing. 

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9 hours ago, Phil19 said:

 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.

You don't need to explain how it makes you feel, we all understand EXACTLY how those feelings make us feel, we've all faced them too.  You are not unique in this suffering Phil, youre specific combination of circumstances may be unique because its your life, but the feelings it causes, that tug to do something (replace), the feeling that occurs when you don't do it, we all know that feeling.  We've all experienced it ourselves.  We've all struggled with it too.  We all had to make the same choices you do, we had to confront our anxieties, we had to confront them and do things we didn't want to do to get better.  We aren't asking you to do something we haven't all had to do ourselves in one way or another.

 

9 hours ago, Phil19 said:

because there’s is areas like my coffee table and radiator I won’t touch due to past “forever contamination”.

If you want to get better then you should touch them.  You should touch them right now.  You should "contaminate" every thing in your house, everything at work, every inch of the world around you.  You should contaminate until there is no place left on earth you can possible go that is not 'contaminated'.  Maybe then you will finally realize it doesn't matter, that you are listening to a lie and its running your life. 

You refuse to touch these things because you don't like the anxiety you feel about "contaminated" things.  Well, NOT touching them doesn't seem to be making things better does it?  Slowly but surely you are becoming more and more restricted, you are replacing more and more things, creating more and more off limits "contaminated" areas, etc.  Until when?  When everything in your house is contaminated?  What then?  Move again?  Didn't seem to fix things before, the contamination just happened again.  Which begs the question, why does moving help, if you've been in the contaminated house, if you've touched the contaminated things doesn't that mean YOU are already contaminated?  Do you really think you've gone all this time without even once accidentally touching one of those things?  And if you are contaminated that means everything you've ever touched is too, and all the people around you, etc.  Logically its long past the point where there is ANYTHING uncontaminated.  You aren't just fighting a losing battle, you've already lost the battle.  Except, of course, the battle was never real in the first place.  You can stop it, but you have to start doing the things you are avoiding, touching the "contaminated" places, stopping the replacing, and pushing through the anxiety until you teach your brain its not important to begin with.

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Remember Phil, the contamination you see is through the eyes of a contamination OCD sufferer. 

Do I see what you see? No. Does that make my life a whole lot better? Yes. 

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When I see the therapist I some how to explain these patterns to her:

*”The forever contaminated” theme where I have to throw away to get relief.

*”The select theme” I put hair wax in the wheelie bin and worried if i use the same brand of air wax it will have bin germs and I need another new door handle. Sounds crazy huh? I had a similar theme about watches but the pattern broke when I bought the same rucksack but the issue seems to be.

*”The conspiracy theory” that everything in my life is a dream, made up, planned out, no free will bit of an existential crisis. 

*”General ocd” checking, cleaning hand washing, avoidance and rumination. 

Perhaps I could use different names for these themes? Are they common with ocd? 

People are correct my ocd is very restrictive, it makes up themes for example I wanted to not use that brand of hair wax I thought about not using the razor and hair gel that also went in the bin I said if I buy new are these dirty? No only hair wax I have no idea why I can’t figure it it makes little sense but I know if I buy that hair wax I fear another door handle is on the way. 

Looking at it from the outside I can see I have the common hand washing rumination themes but the existential thoughts and select themes are less common. The belief something is forever contaminated isn’t documented in text book so most people bleach stuff and get relief I get none. People say but I’ve heard it all before really? People really throw away brand new rucksacks? People really believe they are controlled like a machine? I believe I am suffering ocd plus some sort of deep rooted select ocd themes which one does the therapist treat first? I am struggling to understand my select ocd themes and why I have these?

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2 hours ago, Phil19 said:

People say but I’ve heard it all before really? People really throw away brand new rucksacks? People really believe they are controlled like a machine?

Yes, really.  People really throw new stuff away.  People really feel like they are under the control of some external force.  Plus numerous other themes.  The themes aren't particularly important.  OCD can latch on to ANY thought, it doesn't matter what that thought is.  All thats required for OCD are the O, the C and the D.

O = Obsession = intrusive thoughts that cause distress
C = Compulsion = repeated behaviors that you engage in to try and find relief from the distress caused by the obsessions
D = Disorder = something that disrupts your life in a noticeable way

OCD doesn't require you to have specific types of obsessions.  It doesn't require you to have specific types of compulsions. Just that you have Obsessions, perform Compulsions, and it causes Disorder in your life.

2 hours ago, Phil19 said:

I am struggling to understand my select ocd themes and why I have these?

Understanding why isn't necessary and it may not even be possible. Some people can point to an incident in their life that ties in to a specific fear or a set of circumstances, but often there is no discoverable connection between the fear and ones life.  Recovery from OCD isn't dependent on understanding why a particular fear or set of fears bothers you, only that you have to change how you respond if you want to be free of it.  

You are fighting the wrong fights and NOT fighting the right ones.  You can continue to do this and you will continue to suffer, or you can listen to us and recover.  

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So I went to therapy today.

She thinks I need a hobby to distract my mind. She believes there is a perfectionism thing going on and I am getting a buzz from buying “new” and she thinks I need to replace that with something else like a hobby. 

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Anyway the update from me is the handle is still troubling me I worry if I use the old hair wax it’s been in the bin I worry my new hair gel has been in bin. The relief gave me a buzz as she said I stopped worrying I touched the handle but for how long? I won’t allow my mum to touch the new handle now. It seems trivial over a door handle but I worry I am on the brink of worrying again that relief is always short lived how long before I worry again? 

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Well I can't see that the therapist is taking on board all the OCD. Nothing wrong with distraction per se so long as the patient is tackling the various themes of OCD  with a programme of CBT including the necessary homework. 

What we want to see is how you are going about applying what you have been told to do to work on your compulsions. 

 

Edited by taurean
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Hi Phil.  Good that the therapist saw you on the Bank Holiday.  But is still a holiday. I hope you spent most of the day enjoying yourself.

Getting enjoyment from getting new things is a feature of hoarding. As your therapist said a ‘buzz’ . The psychological pleasure from getting a new acquisition.

But as you discard this is obviously not creating storage problems. So it’s not hoarding.

But do you think you would go through the elaborate ritual of getting rid of items is prompted by a desire to buy? Could be? Any homework?

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8 hours ago, Phil19 said:

So I went to therapy today.

She thinks I need a hobby to distract my mind. She believes there is a perfectionism thing going on and I am getting a buzz from buying “new” and she thinks I need to replace that with something else like a hobby. 

Did you tell the therapist about your OCD? Is she specifically a CBT trained therapist or a psychotherapist (talk therapist)?

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Sadly my replacing urge has returned I ordered a new hair gel tonight as my partner mentioned if the packaging was for the bin and I still had stuff in them so my ocd decided I needed new hair gel. This is where I am with the ocd right now I’m just unable to avoid replacing 

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9 minutes ago, dksea said:

Did you tell the therapist about your OCD? Is she specifically a CBT trained therapist or a psychotherapist (talk therapist)?

Yes. She seems to think I defo have ocd despite my sister being in denial that I have it. 

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5 hours ago, Angst said:

Hi Phil.  Good that the therapist saw you on the Bank Holiday.  But is still a holiday. I hope you spent most of the day enjoying yourself.

Getting enjoyment from getting new things is a feature of hoarding. As your therapist said a ‘buzz’ . The psychological pleasure from getting a new acquisition.

But as you discard this is obviously not creating storage problems. So it’s not hoarding.

But do you think you would go through the elaborate ritual of getting rid of items is prompted by a desire to buy? Could be? Any homework?

No home work this time. I use to get rid before I would buy new but I don’t now. I feel I need to replace stuff that’s the problem and it creates this buzz. It’s a relief I get and I say the door handle is safe for another day. My ocd is trying to find excuses why this new door handle may end up dirty.

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The immediate "buzz" and the "relief for the day" show how utterly pointless giving in to the urge to carry out replacement compulsion is. 

Money spent is quickly lost. You might just as well go to a storm drain and throw the money down it. 

5 hours ago, Phil19 said:

My ocd is trying to find excuses why this new door handle may end up dirty.

So take on board that you have to keep up the willpower to stop listening to it. 

So long as you keep doing so, and keep carrying out compulsions, then this horrible cycle will continue. 

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On 25/05/2019 at 20:28, Phil19 said:

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.

If you could not go into your local Argos because of contamination fears but travel to a more distant place then it would seem to indicate a more general problem about contamination.

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2 hours ago, Angst said:

If you could not go into your local Argos because of contamination fears but travel to a more distant place then it would seem to indicate a more general problem about contamination.

Yes I mean I still buy from my local Argos but I only buy certain things. My therapist can’t quite figure out what’s keeping me in the cycle. I get the buzz but as said above it’s money down a drain. I have little money as I don’t get paid lots in my job. I replace lower value stuff the front door would have been too much money to replace so I said before if it’s more expensive I can resist the urge more. Cheaper just encourages me to splurge and replace ? 

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37 minutes ago, Phil19 said:

Yes I mean I still buy from my local Argos but I only buy certain things. My therapist can’t quite figure out what’s keeping me in the cycle. I get the buzz but as said above it’s money down a drain. I have little money as I don’t get paid lots in my job. I replace lower value stuff the front door would have been too much money to replace so I said before if it’s more expensive I can resist the urge more. Cheaper just encourages me to splurge and replace ? 

Well that helps, because it shows what you need to work on. 

You are stating what OCD requires you to do. 

But none of us have to do what OCD requires

"My therapist can’t quite figure out what’s keeping me in the cycle."

The belief in/connection with the OCD, and obeying the urge to compulse. That's what's keeping you in the cycle. 

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Basically due to my ocd I own 6 pairs of wedding trousers. I can’t wear them all but today I had to take a top off as the zip had broken so I added it to the dirty pile so I worried I was carrying dirty laundry germs. So the result was I worried about the trousers and my urge was to buy another pair. The problem is I own six pairs in total now. Do I need them all?

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9 hours ago, taurean said:

Well that helps, because it shows what you need to work on. 

You are stating what OCD requires you to do. 

But none of us have to do what OCD requires

"My therapist can’t quite figure out what’s keeping me in the cycle."

The belief in/connection with the OCD, and obeying the urge to compulse. That's what's keeping you in the cycle. 

Yes my therapist described it as like an ocd force which is true. It’s hard to tell myself not to do it I mean being honest I picked something out the bin at work the other day my urge was to replace the watch as I had that on for a day I worried but I soon forgot about it. The issue with the trousers for the wedding I had the same issue for my stag night I bought 3 pairs of shoes and still worried so in the end I worried about the shoes but in the end i forgot about it. So what can I say sometimes I do forget about my ocd and resist the urge to replace. However for all the times I win there is as many times I fail? Not good?

My issue obviously at the moment is I am buying 2/3 of things more than I need which is crazy as some people have very little. But my bank balance is very poor. 

Edited by Phil19
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8 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

Phil, buying 2, 3 or 6 of something is a compulsion. It needs to stop. I never hear how you are resisting compulsions. That's what you need to do.

I resisted replacing the watch when my hand landed in the bin but that was one of the few times. But you are correct it has to stop because there is stuff I genuinely need for the house or clothing wise instead of buying this I will buy 2/3/4..6 of something :/

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You have so much motivation Phil. 

You have to turn that motivation into results, get the proportion of resistance to compulsions up. 

Get those compulsions down and recovery will be on track. 

Think of :

Your fiancée and how pleased this would make her 

The need for money to be spent wisely and well 

How much of happiness lost to OCD you will regain 

How marvellous it would be to not have these battles going on in your mind. 

You have great support, but we can't do more than tell you what to do. The real work is yours to carry out. Steer your persona round to beating this thing.

 

Edited by taurean
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The issue is I replaced the door handle I got the relief but it has triggered the letter box issue again which was quite some time ago. I worry that the envelope came from the bin and by now everybody to come via the letter box is contaminated my house the dvds to letters. I get a usb for the wedding soon and I worry my tv will become dirty. Course the fact is I can’t confirm it defo came from the wheelie bin it was one of those worries my head made up. But if it did it’s just as bad as the door handle spreading these dirty laundry germs all around. 

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Phil, you need to accept that non-sufferers don’t give all this stuff a second thought. 

So, why do you think that is, and why do you yourself, the real you, essentially think they are wrong, and what your brain is telling you must be right? 

How much time do you think I spend agonising over such things, and why might I be wrong not to? 

Edited by taurean
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