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


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1 minute ago, PolarBear said:

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.

Yes so given my ocd themes are of a similar nature how can I defeat them I do try and change how I see these bin germs but it’s a struggle for me I am struggling to digest that it’s not a risk. I get the urge to replace and i get a buzz by doing so it’s a hard habit to break? Especially when I have a perfectionism theme going on. 

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Phil, it is very possible what you say is true. Some contamination sufferers have an underlying fear of getting sick or dying. In your case, you may well have a fear of things not being perfect, not being in pristine shape.

That is actually very wise of you and shows you are getting yo the heart of the matter. I am pleased. You should be too.

Edited by PolarBear
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Read what PolarBear just said Phil. 

Help online? Here we are! Understand OCD is the same old, whatever the theme. 

I didn't need a harm OCD forum in order to get better. 

I just needed an OCD forum - and here it was. 

Edited by taurean
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Phil, we deal with all themes the same way. Now in your case, you seem to have figured out that you have a fear or show disgust at things you deem not perfect or tainted somehow. That goes from something small like a door handle to something as large as a hotel.

So two things can help you get past this. One is slowing down and stopping compulsions, just like we've always said. The other is exposing yourself to those things you deem to be tainted, then abstaining from compulsions. 

So the thing you need to work on is specific to you but the way you go about recovery is the same as anyone else.

With you there is another underlying problem. I don't want to embarass you but you do need to come to terms with it. You have blocked toilets more than the average person. Now you are either unlucky and have used toilets after other people have used too much toilet paper or you use too much toilet paper. If the latter, you need to address what is going on and make changes.

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The blocked toilet issue is related to the ocd I use too much paper to be clean. It has to be worse as I would only buy expensive paper but I now buy cheap paper so my usage isn’t costing as much. But I have that issue with hand soap I use one hand soap per day. 

And yes you say I could use exposure even if I did go back to the same hotel the chances of getting same room are small. That said it’s more a whole area contamination because I won’t buy anything from the shop I work in because the ocd says “I blocked a toilet so the cleaner may use the same mop” and the germs spread. 

But yes I feel i need to stop wasting energy or talk with therapists on the germ issue. It appears I have standard contamination ocd but I don’t have such fear of the germs, harm or risk. I do however have thoughts about it being tainted or the germs spreading and other stuff being tainted. I have took on board what was said that the whole world would be contaminated now so I know it’s not realistic to go on replacing handle after handle. I don’t buy that a new handle is isn’t clean I said before the worry only appears when I “witness” it make up a “a false idea”.

So what I’m saying is the ocd is about me, keeping me clean, keeping perfect, avoiding stuff becoming tainted which can form either as an item or even a relationship. My compulsion is to replace my rumination is to worry. If I ruminate the chances are I will replace. I would ask why do I have this theme and is is common? I know people will say I don’t need to know but I need to somehow figure out what’s keeping me on this rut to some how move forward? Is it a past thing that’s triggered it hard something my therapist can figure out. 

For me I believe the ocd needs treated in two separate ways:

*The washing, cleaning, checking, toilet paper and hand soap needs reduced the therapist mentioned how I could use a little less each time until I cut back?

*The tainted perfectionism issue this is the root of the cause my therapist always says what does it say about me? I Duno the answer it doesn’t say much but all I can say is I hate feeling unclean, I hate the idea of something being tainted. I have learned that stuff happens in everybody’s house leaks, blockages, floods and people have to continue under my rule book the houses become tainted and need to move but I know it’s unrealistic and it’s expensive to move house each time. If I wanted to live that lifestyle I would have to rent not mortgage. 

Edited by Phil19
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2 minutes ago, Phil19 said:

I can point to a few times I have resisted the compulsion like not replacing my washing machine and the letter box so far but that worry came back. I was able to talk my way out of the compulsion to replace. 

The worry doesn't disappear because you halted one compulsion. 

It's a gradual process as you work through the reducing compulsions and resisting the power of the obsession. 

You have to put the work in to, in due course, reap the rewards. 

Too many people give up too soon because there isn't an instant reduction in the OCD. They should stick at it. 

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26 minutes ago, Phil19 said:

I can point to a few times I have resisted the compulsion like not replacing my washing machine and the letter box so far but that worry came back. I was able to talk my way out of the compulsion to replace. 

You have to do more resisting compulsions. And you have to expose yourself to that which you fear.

Asking your partner if she washed her hands after touching the bin would be a compulsion.

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2 hours ago, PolarBear said:

You have to do more resisting compulsions. And you have to expose yourself to that which you fear.

Asking your partner if she washed her hands after touching the bin would be a compulsion.

I am struggling with the door handle one as the thoughts repeat over In my head and I feel anxious about the door handle it feels over whelming at times? The anxiety I am suffering now seems much worse than the first time I replaced the handle. Why is this? How can I reduce the anxiety? Should I use distraction?

Like when I spoke about it earlier I felt more relaxed but when I worry about the handle it becomes more intense and comes back? 

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Phil, you really need to understand something. There is a direct correlation between your compulsions and your anxiety. The more compulsions you do, the more you fixate on your obsessions and the more anxiety and distress you will feel.

You have spent days now incessantly talking about this doorknob. Clearly it's top of mind. You talk about it, you ruminate over it. You are likely avoiding it like the plague. All compulsions and all guaranteed to raise your anxiety level.

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In the end it beat me sadly I replaced the handle. Luckily this time as new holes were drilled it was a do it yourself job and the guy sent out a spare. I mean the spare isn’t perfect as my partner walked close to a litter bin but it does for now. I know this handle and key replacing can’t go on as I have lots of handles and keys I don’t need. I know I have an issue and need help and I feel frustrated that therapy hasn’t stopped me with these urges to replace. It’s like an adrenaline and I worry I can’t cope if I can’t replace. Perhaps as I have a wedding in a few weeks my ocd is worse because I went a year in this house without having any urges to replace a handle. I mean I admit I find these issues embarrassing right now 

Edited by Phil19
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10 hours ago, Phil19 said:

I know I have an issue and need help and I feel frustrated that therapy hasn’t stopped me with these urges to replace. It’s like an adrenaline and I worry I can’t cope if I can’t replace.

Simply going to therapy isn't going to do anything.  Simply listening to the therapist isn't going to do anything.  Therapy is a guide to help you change your behavior, but YOU have to do the work to change your behavior, YOU have to decide that you are NOT going to do the compulsion and then push through the anxiety and the urges to replace.  Its not much different then stopping smoking.  The smoker genuinely believes they MUST have another cigarette, thats the urge they feel.  They have two choices, give in or don't.  If they don't, they take one more step towards recovery, if they do, they take a step away from recovery.  But its about more than just not doing the compulsion, you also have to start challenging the idea that these are things you MUST do.  You keep talking about how you have these urges and OCD is telling you to do things.  Well, you need to start recognizing these things OCD is telling you to do as lies.  You need to recognize that these ARE NOT things you HAVE to do.  You need to work on changing your thinking AND your behavior.  Its not something that will just happen on its own, any more than you'll just magically get in better shape by reading a book or webpage on fitness.  You have to DO THE WORK.  You have to not replace EVEN THOUGH you feel anxiety.
 

10 hours ago, Phil19 said:

Perhaps as I have a wedding in a few weeks my ocd is worse

Perhaps, but life is full of stressful times and stressful events.  its full of potential "triggers". Your life isn't suddenly going to become peaceful and idyllic after you are married, you'll still have choices to make, events to deal with, etc.  Wedding or no wedding you need to have a SERIOUS change in attitude towards combating OCD if you are going to make progress.  You can't keep doing the same old things, including coming here to simply journal out your latest worry and obsession.  You have to work on stopping the excuses you give to yourself and others why THIS time you just had to give in to the compulsion.  You need to commit and stick with it, really accept the truths of OCD and OCD recovery.  The sooner you do the sooner you will start to see recovery.  Its really that simple.  Not easy, but simple.  

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18 hours ago, dksea said:

Simply going to therapy isn't going to do anything.  Simply listening to the therapist isn't going to do anything.  Therapy is a guide to help you change your behavior, but YOU have to do the work to change your behavior, YOU have to decide that you are NOT going to do the compulsion and then push through the anxiety and the urges to replace.  Its not much different then stopping smoking.  The smoker genuinely believes they MUST have another cigarette, thats the urge they feel.  They have two choices, give in or don't.  If they don't, they take one more step towards recovery, if they do, they take a step away from recovery.  But its about more than just not doing the compulsion, you also have to start challenging the idea that these are things you MUST do.  You keep talking about how you have these urges and OCD is telling you to do things.  Well, you need to start recognizing these things OCD is telling you to do as lies.  You need to recognize that these ARE NOT things you HAVE to do.  You need to work on changing your thinking AND your behavior.  Its not something that will just happen on its own, any more than you'll just magically get in better shape by reading a book or webpage on fitness.  You have to DO THE WORK.  You have to not replace EVEN THOUGH you feel anxiety.
 

Perhaps, but life is full of stressful times and stressful events.  its full of potential "triggers". Your life isn't suddenly going to become peaceful and idyllic after you are married, you'll still have choices to make, events to deal with, etc.  Wedding or no wedding you need to have a SERIOUS change in attitude towards combating OCD if you are going to make progress.  You can't keep doing the same old things, including coming here to simply journal out your latest worry and obsession.  You have to work on stopping the excuses you give to yourself and others why THIS time you just had to give in to the compulsion.  You need to commit and stick with it, really accept the truths of OCD and OCD recovery.  The sooner you do the sooner you will start to see recovery.  Its really that simple.  Not easy, but simple.  

Yeah but come on I won’t be moving house twice in a year and getting married every year these are big life events. Course I don’t expect it to be smooth but I do remember when my ocd was more mild when I wasn’t as obsessed over the house my anxiety was lower. My ocd has been 5x as bad today and and my anxiety you can’t say that’s not the wedding at fault? I have had a double whammy of thoughts and hand washing and still feel nothing is clean so I know the ocd is at its worst.

I keep hearing about the work I need to do? I don’t get it really you tell me don’t replace something that’s about all. It will take a miracle to change how I feel about these germs nothing has worked so far and the problem is I’m not sure I want to change that I mean I just want to relax a little and let some of these thoughts pass if that makes sense? I enjoy washing my hands lots I told my therapist that. But I don’t want to be replacing door handles every week and have a large list of items I actually need and I’m spending it on replacing stuff I don’t need? It’s not very practical. I have yet to find an alternative way to get any relief other than replace. The relief has been so short lived these days though. 

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7 minutes ago, Phil19 said:

. I have yet to find an alternative way to get any relief other than replace. The relief has been so short lived these days though. 

The alternative way to get relief is to be stalwart in NOT giving in to the compulsion to replace, knowing the cognitive side of CBT as we have explained it. 

Believe us not the OCD. 

Keep resisting, and your true lasting reward will be the obsessional thinking and urge to replace losing power and gradually fading away. 

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Just now, taurean said:

The alternative way to get relief is to be stalwart in NOT giving in to the compulsion to replace, knowing the cognitive side of CBT as we have explained it. 

Believe us not the OCD. 

Keep resisting, and your true lasting reward will be the obsessional thinking and urge to replace losing power and gradually fading away. 

My therapist has been pushing for a hobby to replace the buying a replacement issue.

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Sure it's commonplace and used to happen to me too, until I got stuck into CBT and mindfulness. 

And my therapist told me I wasn't mad - I just had a mental illness called OCD. 

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Because you haven't stopped believing what the OCD is telling you (the cognitive side of CBT). 

Whilst you keep doing that, your OCD will win the battle for control of your thinking. 

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4 minutes ago, Phil19 said:

My therapist has been pushing for a hobby to replace the buying a replacement issue.

This is fine, it's called distraction and can help refocus away from the OCD. 

 

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21 minutes ago, Phil19 said:

Yeah but come on I won’t be moving house twice in a year and getting married every year these are big life events. Course I don’t expect it to be smooth but I do remember when my ocd was more mild when I wasn’t as obsessed over the house my anxiety was lower. My ocd has been 5x as bad today and and my anxiety you can’t say that’s not the wedding at fault? I have had a double whammy of thoughts and hand washing and still feel nothing is clean so I know the ocd is at its worst.

I keep hearing about the work I need to do? I don’t get it really you tell me don’t replace something that’s about all. It will take a miracle to change how I feel about these germs nothing has worked so far and the problem is I’m not sure I want to change that I mean I just want to relax a little and let some of these thoughts pass if that makes sense? I enjoy washing my hands lots I told my therapist that. But I don’t want to be replacing door handles every week and have a large list of items I actually need and I’m spending it on replacing stuff I don’t need? It’s not very practical. I have yet to find an alternative way to get any relief other than replace. The relief has been so short lived these days though. 

Come on  Phil. We have told you a lot more than just not replace things. Seems what we talk to you about goes in one ear and out the other.

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7 minutes ago, taurean said:

Because you haven't stopped believing what the OCD is telling you (the cognitive side of CBT). 

Whilst you keep doing that, your OCD will win the battle for control of your thinking. 

Yes thats true but I believe the ocd that’s the problem? I am not sure how I can change these patterns.

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