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


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Yes you say toilet germs are not bad but who says this? Where is the proof? Any sickness bug I get could come from the blocked toilet germs. I don’t believe that much though I don’t think they will harm me. But like years ago on Top gear they put a car under the microscope and found poo germs and stuff on the seats I think? So often think about this for my door or a lie detector for the letter box issue. I dislike the idea of not knowing, uncertainty . But yeah my point is how can I be sure they are not harmful? How can I be sure they are not spreading? Often I talk about something being new it feels new, it has plastic on it, it smells new that’s good enough for me yes I have no idea where it’s been but the important issue I have is when I witness something germ related that’s when I really start to worry. Course the letter box issue was one of my false worries made on assumption because I had no proof. I was previously troubled by false thoughts but lately my worry has been witnessing something and I changed the door handle.

So without proof the germs are not spreading and spoiling stuff how can I get better? Also surely peoples houses are cleaner who don’t block toilets or have these germs? I fear my whole house is ruined if that envelope did come from the bin.

Edited by Phil19
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You want certainty, but that's what OCD plays on as it knows certainty is impossible to get. 

How do we get round that? 

We learn to settle on high probability instead. 

People who have recovered from OCD will have done this. 

We often call it a "leap of faith" that what therapists and helpers are telling us is true, rather than what OCD is telling us. 

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2 hours ago, taurean said:

You want certainty, but that's what OCD plays on as it knows certainty is impossible to get. 

How do we get round that? 

We learn to settle on high probability instead. 

People who have recovered from OCD will have done this. 

We often call it a "leap of faith" that what therapists and helpers are telling us is true, rather than what OCD is telling us. 

So what’s the high probability of the situation? 

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The high probability of the situation is that you are worrying, then catastrophising, over nothing. 

To us that is so, to your OCD it isn't so. 

The high probability is that those who understand this condition, and how it works, are right. 

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The ocd says the germs have spread all over the house. The ocd says the envelope defo came from the bin. How can I get rid of these feelings? Perhaps there is no way? I mean it may not have come from the bin but I hate it makes me feel.

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You don't get rid of them by trying to stop them. That only makes them stronger. 

We weaken them by just noting them, but not believing or connecting with them, then refocusing away. 

And when they come back we do that again, and again, not connecting with them, not believing them. 

When they don't get attention, they start to lose their power. And eventually will appear less often and be simply eased away :)

 

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22 hours ago, Phil19 said:

Yes you say toilet germs are not bad but who says this?

Another “yes...but...”

Anyway, no, I never said that, I said they don’t work the way you think they do, and if they did, you’re whole house (let alone the whole world) would be “contaminated” by now and there is nothing you can do about it, so why bother?

 

22 hours ago, Phil19 said:

But like years ago on Top gear they put a car under the microscope and found poo germs and stuff on the seats I think? So often think about this for my door or a lie detector for the letter box issue. I dislike the idea of not knowing, uncertainty . But yeah my point is how can I be sure they are not harmful? How can I be sure they are not spreading?

Yes, germs, bacteria, etc, they are everywhere, it’s impossible to avoid them completely.  Trying to do that is futile. The twin goals you are trying to achieve are unattainable.  You need to accept that OCD is demanding the impossible of you and stop trying to do what you think it wants.  

 

22 hours ago, Phil19 said:

So without proof the germs are not spreading and spoiling stuff how can I get better? Also surely peoples houses are cleaner who don’t block toilets or have these germs?

When comparing peoples houses, yes one persons house might be cleaner relative to another, but none of them will ever be completely clean. No house will EVER be clean and stay clean enough for you to be “certain” the way OCD is pushing you to.  

You get better not by proving anything about these “germs”.  You get better by accepting that you can NEVER prove what OCD is demanding you prove, and that despite what it tells you, despite what you have come to believe, you don’t have to.  Look around you at the rest of the world.  Billions of people going about their lives, not wasting countless hours on the things you are, much more free and with less anxiety than you.  It helps that most of them don’t have OCD, but plenty of them do, and have done what we are telling you to do and gotten better because of it.  Yes, it will be hard at first, but hard doesn’t mean impossible.  It’s a choice you have to make.  You can get help, such as a therapist and possibly medication, but youll still have to do some work.  That’s how you get better, challenging the OCD and training your bran to respond more normally. It’s what we’ve told you before and will keep telling you.  It’s not gonna change.  What needs to change is you.  

Or you can keep doing the same things that are scientifically shown to prolong and strengthen your OCD suffering, the ruminating, the replacing, etc.

Your choice.

 

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20 minutes ago, dksea said:

Or you can keep doing the same things that are scientifically shown to prolong and strengthen your OCD suffering, the ruminating, the replacing, etc.

As the learned PolarBear would say, "how's that working for you?" 

It's a rhetorical question, because of course it isn't. 

22 minutes ago, dksea said:

Billions of people going about their lives, not wasting countless hours on the things you are, much more free and with less anxiety than you.  It helps that most of them don’t have OCD, but plenty of them do, and have done what we are telling you to do and gotten better because of it.  Yes, it will be hard at first, but hard doesn’t mean impossible.  

It is difficult, but possible, as many continue to prove from the feedback they give us. 

All those people out there, including myself, just don't see the very finely focused threat that you see, Phil. 

Look at things when they pass through the door. According to your OCD rule, they then get contaminated. 

But according to dksea's advice, they haven't parachuted in from a "clean room" where they make satellites, they have come from the already dirty, contaminateable, real world. 

And by your rule, the postman is a contaminator par excellence! And he should be a very sick man. 

Looked at like that, the scenario more resembles the worthless nonsense it truly is. 

I did some hoovering up in our loft room yesterday. The cordless hoover has a see through collection chamber so you can see what it picks up. 

We have been sneezing when up there, so not surprising that there was a lot of dust. 

What is dust? It's human waste, discards from our body. Yes it can cause an allergic reaction for some, otherwise it's a normal natural discard that contributes to general non-cleanliness of our environment. 

We clean it up as necessary only and forget about it. Sensible mental health. 

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I picked up the replacement handle today after I said last week I replaced one side but one side was broken as I tried to fix it sadly despite the guy sending two I worried the handle was close to public bins and won’t be clean that’s the nature of my ocd right now. I need a door handle though. 

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13 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

Put the old one back on, return the orhers and get on with your life.

Yes I remember I had to do this with irons. I bought 4/5 and had to return them. Problem is I chucked the old handle in a bucket at the bottom of the garden so can’t put the old one back. But yeah the issue is I have about 3 handles now. I still need someone to fit the the inside handle after I broke the new one. The ocd doesn’t make sense as I touched my phone with the old door handle and touched new handle and I touched the shopping and old handle so can’t win I worry either way.

It just seems my latest fix is door handles 

Edited by Phil19
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Next week it could be something else. 

Think of your OCD as an onion, with each layer of leaf representing a restrictive rule. 

As time goes on, and we don't get a grip through CBT of our OCD, it will add more leaves and grow fatter and fatter, though at any one time a number of the leaves may be dormant. 

As we start to regain control, leaves get pulled away from the stem, and the number of restrictions falls. 

 

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6 hours ago, Phil19 said:

The ocd doesn’t make sense

EXACTLY!  OCD doesn't make sense!  Its garbage!  Make the choice to change things, to stop doing what it tells you.  It CAN be done.  One step would be to stop posting on here about each and every obsessive thought you have and compulsion you take.

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So I am unsure if I will have any more sessions beyond my next one. I am unsure how many sessions off CBT I will need the next one is 10th all be it I’ve had a break from it. I still have the urge to replace things and change the letter box so perhaps I need more Cbt?

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Phil, the best OCD therapist in the world can't help someone if they aren't going to make the thinking and behavioural changes needed in order to recover.

 

Edited by taurean
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So I gad the urge to replace my front door key I tried to resist so I did what happened was my partner put some rubbish in bin and I never seen if she washed her hands and she touched my key so I worry the door handle needs replacing. So yes people here would say no don’t replace the key but what happens is I soon want to replace something else? A no win situation? It’s one of these situations where I don’t have facts so I can’t be sure like the letter box. I keep feeling annoyed I never just replaced the front door key. Problem is I have quite a few now I’ve replaced.

Edited by Phil19
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Phil here you are again providing a narrative of obsessions and compulsive urges. 

What you need to do is accept your fears may be unrealistic and bet refocused away from them. 

People don't go around replacing perfectly useful serviceable things, because there is no need to. 

Only your OCD says there is. 

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4 hours ago, taurean said:

Phil here you are again providing a narrative of obsessions and compulsive urges. 

What you need to do is accept your fears may be unrealistic and bet refocused away from them. 

People don't go around replacing perfectly useful serviceable things, because there is no need to. 

Only your OCD says there is. 

I am really struggling because my ocd says rip the handle off and replace it as I have spares. I found myself in an anxious state at work feeling stressed if I don’t replace the handle I could have the same bin germs. My partner says she washed her hands but I can’t be sure so it’s stressing me out. 

I tried to tell myself under the ocd “rule book” the door handle only needs replacing with direct contact with the bin for example if someone touched the bin and doesn’t wash there’s hands. 

Edited by Phil19
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13 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

Your rule book is flawed. There is nothing wrong with touching the bin and then using the door handle, without washing your hands.

Yes but if it was the green bin that’s where I put toilet plungers so it’s contaminated. However I dont believe she touched that bin but that uncertainty is awful I just have the urge to have that door handle off replace the key, wallet everything that was touched. 

Because I never seen her wash her hands I’m battling the urge to replace the handle 

Edited by Phil19
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1 minute ago, Phil19 said:

Yes but if it was the green bin that’s where I put toilet plungers so it’s contaminated. However I dont believe she touched that bin but

Phil, why don't we think it's contaminated, but you do? 

We aren't risk-takers, we aren't crazy. 

My wife touches the bin regularly without washing her hands. But I haven't scolded her, I haven't replaced anything. 

Nor should I. 

Start a process of facing up to your intrusive thoughts and work a gradual process of resistance. 

I assure you, it's not futile. 

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8 minutes ago, Phil19 said:

Yes but if it was the green bin that’s where I put toilet plungers so it’s contaminated. However I dont believe she touched that bin but that uncertainty is awful I just have the urge to have that door handle off replace the key, wallet everything that was touched. 

Because I never seen her wash her hands I’m battling the urge to replace the handle 

Phil, it doesn't matter which bin she touched. It doesn't matter if a plunger went in the bin. She didn't have to wash her hands. Therefore, you not knowing if she did wash her hands is irrelevant.

Make sure you don't make this about her. No matter what she did or didn't do, this is all about you listening to your OCD.

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6 minutes ago, taurean said:

Phil, why don't we think it's contaminated, but you do? 

We aren't risk-takers, we aren't crazy. 

My wife touches the bin regularly without washing her hands. But I haven't scolded her, I haven't replaced anything. 

Nor should I. 

Start a process of facing up to your intrusive thoughts and work a gradual process of resistance. 

I assure you, it's not futile. 

Yes I get that but the battle is half that but the other half is uncertainty did the letter box touch an envelope from the bin? Did she touch bin then door handle? This uncertainty drives me crazy I think it’s tied Into my perfectionism theme. As I said I don’t fear the germs will harm me. My ocd is craving certainty and perfection and hates stuff being tainted I believe therapist has to try and treat that rather than the contamination risk becuase I don’t believe there is any risk. Is there any help online I can find to deal with perfectionism and uncertainty? I can be rational and admit I find it easier not to replace if it’s not certain. Because in the end I could replace something which was clean and never touched a bin.  

Edited by Phil19
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