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Phil19

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

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7 minutes ago, Angst said:

I have experienced breakdowns. Haven’t you?

 

Yes I have suffered one or two but it’s always a worry to have another. 

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Yes it is a worry. That is why I do implement a strategy of avoidance. Avoidance as defined in OCD context but not necessarily in terms of another diagnosis where it would be called management. That is why those of us with dual or multiple diagnoses need careful and professional treatment and care. Do you agree?

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4 minutes ago, Angst said:

Yes it is a worry. That is why I do implement a strategy of avoidance. Avoidance as defined in OCD context but not necessarily in terms of another diagnosis where it would be called management. That is why those of us with dual or multiple diagnoses need careful and professional treatment and care. Do you agree?

How would I avoid it? 

I have opted to do some relaxation which is like distraction. I had this anxiety a few months back and I went on beta blockers which helped but some of the anxiety is creeping through again. I find the intense anxiety lasts for 30 mins at a time before it settles down again. The thoughts can be repetitive and I worry I can’t cope. But I sit and worry all night I guess that’s not the answer? 

I have a wedding in 4 weeks this could be heightening my anxiety?

Edited by Phil19

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Stop believing the OCD and believe us instead. 

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At the start of your original thread you mentioned being discharged from hospital  with a diagnosis of bipolar. That is why I think you need to select a therapist carefully. My last breakdown was 27 years ago. My GP is convinced I know the warning signs. Knowledge is the key. I am being denied expert guidance at the moment due to ageism.

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9 hours ago, Phil19 said:

I don’t get it really you tell me don’t replace something that’s about all

We have told you way more than simply not replacing things, such as:

Not using the forums (or anywhere else really) to journal each and every intrusive thought you have
Not ruminating on each worry
Challenging your intrusive thoughts through ERP
Challenging your thinking by not using "yeah but what if..." responses.

Thats just a brief list.  Yes you are doing some of the things, but only when you feel like it.  Thats a start, but you need to do more.
 

9 hours ago, Phil19 said:

I have yet to find an alternative way to get any relief other than replace.

You are looking for easy answers and quick fixes.  Understandable yes, we all wish for that, but we are telling you that those don't work.  If you want relief, actually long lasting relief, you have to commit to significant changes AND accept that in the beginning you'll almost certainly feel less relief.

There is a path to recovery from OCD.  If you take it you will almost certainly be glad you did in the end, but yes, along the way there are going to be times where it really sucks.  You have to decide if you are willing to accept that temporary short term suffering for long term gain.  You can keep looking for a way to jump straight to the end, but the odds are against you finding it, people have been doing the same thing for hundreds of years. Or you can finally accept what you have to change and start doing it.  Those are your choices.  Its what we have todl you all along, its what we will keep telling you.  Not liking it won't change it.  I don't like having OCD, but i still have it and so i have to deal with it.  You don't like having it either, I don't blame you, but its not going to just go away.  The choice remains the same as always, do the work and get better, don't do the work and remain stuck. 

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9 hours ago, Phil19 said:

I am not sure how I can change these patterns.

Change your response.  Choose to act differently.  Do the opposite of what OCD demands.  Touch a bin.  Wear a shirt you think is contaminated.  Ride out the anxiety (it will subside).  Then do it again.  Keep doing it until touching a bin is meaningless.  Using contaminated items is meaningless.  Habituate yourself to the point these intrusive thoughts are meaningless, until your mind learns to respond to them correctly.  OCD says replace the door handle?  Touch it.  Use it.  Hell, lick it if you want to be REALLY bold.  The more agressive you can be the faster your recovery, but its also ok to take a less agressive approach as long as it involves moving forward.  You can create a structured plan, one that involves sessions of exposure, limited amounts, limited times, but always increasing, always moving forward. Find what you think is your limit then try pushing past it a little, you'd be surprised at what you can do if you put your mind to it.  

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Phil why not copy and save dksea's post so you can create a plan and work away at it? 

We all have to go through this process in order to recover - OCD works the same way irrespective of the theme or manifestation. 

Edited by taurean

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Problem is I keep getting spikes as soon as I replaced the door handle I was worrying over something else. This time belts I was replacing belts and never getting relief I worried I touched the bin so disposed of that one, I worry my partner never washed my hands disposed of that one and now the 3rd it’s brand new but my spike is I worry I purchased it when I had the old door handle so worry it’s dirty. Now I only used elbows anyway so Duno why I worry. But I’ve had this issue everything that came in the house when the old handle was on. That’s why I say I need to do the compulsion can you not see already  by delaying replacing that handle I have put everything into contamination and quarantine. My urge is to buy more belts now. Now I purchased two belts together and one I was using with the 2nd door handle and never worried now all of a sudden I am worried. I mean I may have changed the door handle when I collected the belts but I just can’t confirm. It’s ocd spike after ocd spike I have found recently any relief never lasts longer than 1 day. As seen when I got a brand new door handle and ripped it off after a day. 

The ocd says if I don’t do things a certain way stuff becomes contaminated. So last week it was door handles then keys today it’s belts.

I am struggling to change my response.

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8 hours ago, Phil19 said:

Problem is I keep getting spikes as soon as I replaced the door handle I was worrying over something else.

Yes, because you have OCD and aren’t treating it properly. Not replacing something one time is only one step. You have to take MANY steps to get from where you are to where you want to go. The intrusive thoughts will not go away overnight. 

If your goal is to never have an intrusive thought again, you will fail. 

If your goal is to never feel anxiety again, you will fail. 

If your goal is to reach the point where it’s no big deal if you have an intrusive though, THEN you can succeed. 

Right now your goals are impossible. If you want relief you have to change your goals. 

8 hours ago, Phil19 said:

That’s why I say I need to do the compulsion can you not see already  by delaying replacing that handle I have put everything into contamination and quarantine.

No, you don’t have to do any of that. No one else does, why do you have to?  Because the OCD tells you to? So what, the OCD is LYING. 

8 hours ago, Phil19 said:

It’s ocd spike after ocd spike I have found recently any relief never lasts longer than 1 day. 

Sooo, you do what OCD says, maybe get temporary relief, but then it all comes back, and keeps getting worse. Exactly like we’ve been telling you. 

Meanwhile, you tell us you want to stop, but you refuse to listen to what we tell you, refuse to take the steps that are proven to lead to OCD relief. You come up with excuse after excuse not to do it. You keep holding out for quick fixes, easy answers.  You are struggling to change your response because you won’t done what’s necessary. 

Look, Phil, I know this is coming across as very harsh, but I’m not doing it because I want you to suffer, quite the opposite in fact. I could walk away from this forum and just go about living my life. Whether or not you ever take the advice you are being offered, it’s not going to affect my OCD recovery. You aren’t hurting me by not changing. The sad truth is you are mostly hurting yourself, and those around you who love you. Having OCD is not your fault, and yes, it’s hard to deal with. But you DO have it which means either you deal with it or you remain it’s victim. I’m sorry there isn’t a quick fix, I truly am, trust me I’d LOVE for there to be an easy answer. But wishing won’t change anything. Doing will. So you have to decide if you are going to keep wishing things were different or do what needs to be done to make it different, even though it’s hard. 

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11 hours ago, Phil19 said:

Problem is I keep getting spikes as soon as I replaced the door handle I was worrying over something else. This time belts I was replacing belts and never getting relief I worried I touched the bin so disposed of that one, I worry my partner never washed my hands disposed of that one and now the 3rd it’s brand new but my spike is I worry I purchased it when I had the old door handle so worry it’s dirty. Now I only used elbows anyway so Duno why I worry. But I’ve had this issue everything that came in the house when the old handle was on. That’s why I say I need to do the compulsion can you not see already  by delaying replacing that handle I have put everything into contamination and quarantine. My urge is to buy more belts now. Now I purchased two belts together and one I was using with the 2nd door handle and never worried now all of a sudden I am worried. I mean I may have changed the door handle when I collected the belts but I just can’t confirm. It’s ocd spike after ocd spike I have found recently any relief never lasts longer than 1 day. As seen when I got a brand new door handle and ripped it off after a day. 

The ocd says if I don’t do things a certain way stuff becomes contaminated. So last week it was door handles then keys today it’s belts.

I am struggling to change my response.

Can you not see that COMPULSIONS DON'T WORK??!!! You've replaced. You've thrown out. You've ruminated. All compulsions. Yet the thoughts and anxiety keep coming.

What you are doing is NOT working. Can you not see that?

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I used to have the compulsive urge to pull the alarm chord on trains. 

This could clearly be seen to be pointless, as there was no threat to anyone: and a large number of people would be inconvenienced, and I would be prosecuted.

This clearly shows how our OCD obsessions are worthless nonsense. 

How did I cope with this (as a child)? 

I realised it was ridiculous, and a false desire as there would be no benefit, and lots of grief. 

So I shifted the focus of my attention away from that, got busy on other things. 

What's to stop you learning and applying such a distraction technique, Phil? 

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20 hours ago, Phil19 said:

 

The ocd says if I don’t do things a certain way stuff becomes contaminated. So last week it was door handles then keys today it’s belts.

 

And in a way OCD's fickleness is to be celebrated. Why? Because it reveals the disorder to be the cry-wolf fraud that it is. Use that knowledge. 

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23 hours ago, dksea said:

Change your response.  Choose to act differently.  Do the opposite of what OCD demands.  Touch a bin.  Wear a shirt you think is contaminated.  Ride out the anxiety (it will subside).  Then do it again.  Keep doing it until touching a bin is meaningless.  Using contaminated items is meaningless.  Habituate yourself to the point these intrusive thoughts are meaningless, until your mind learns to respond to them correctly.  OCD says replace the door handle?  Touch it.  Use it.  Hell, lick it if you want to be REALLY bold.  The more agressive you can be the faster your recovery, but its also ok to take a less agressive approach as long as it involves moving forward.  You can create a structured plan, one that involves sessions of exposure, limited amounts, limited times, but always increasing, always moving forward. Find what you think is your limit then try pushing past it a little, you'd be surprised at what you can do if you put your mind to it.  

Giving this an extra bump. Great post. 

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I feel I am on a loop with the handle. I touched the letter box and then my key so I fear i need a new door handle again. Problem is how many door handles am I going to get through? All I can describe it is the same feelings come about the door handle and key. Is this another situation like the irons where I eventually have to stop replacing? I still believe that original iron is dirty I feel anxious when I use it it feels dirty all emotions make it feel like a hazard. My ocd is a bit like a smoker with the urge to have another cigarette but with me the urge is to replace the door handle and key. 

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IThen get busy focusing on other things, Phil. 

Replacing things is pointless, you know that. So leave the urge be, don't pay attention to it. 

You have to realises that nothing will be gained by replacing it, and nothing will happen if you don't. 

The loop of thinking you describe is normal in OCD and will only start to fade if you do what we have told you, consistently and for a little while. 

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42 minutes ago, taurean said:

IThen get busy focusing on other things, Phil. 

Replacing things is pointless, you know that. So leave the urge be, don't pay attention to it. 

You have to realises that nothing will be gained by replacing it, and nothing will happen if you don't. 

The loop of thinking you describe is normal in OCD and will only start to fade if you do what we have told you, consistently and for a little while. 

That is true do think if I treat the anxiety I may be able to tolerate these ocd thoughts a bit more? I have been thinking how anxious the thoughts make me feel so I’m thinking I need to eliminate that anxiety by doing some relaxation or something and maybe I can make a clearer choice 

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35 minutes ago, Phil19 said:

That is true do think if I treat the anxiety I may be able to tolerate these ocd thoughts a bit more? I have been thinking how anxious the thoughts make me feel so I’m thinking I need to eliminate that anxiety by doing some relaxation or something and maybe I can make a clearer choice 

If you learn and apply some relaxation techniques and/or take some aerobic exercise then this will help reduce the anxiety. 

And the anxiety will also diminish as you work through the CBT processes we have advised. As you begin to accept that the OCD fabricates and exaggerates, and there is actually no risk, your anxiety will gradually ease away. 

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Another example of my avoidance ocd. I worried some toilet paper hit my hand I usually shower if it did but I couldn’t confirm. When I did eventually shower I had soap but only small shower gels so I worried I wasn’t clean and I still fear touching any surfaces. If I touch them I will feel anxiety but if I don’t touch them I feel anxious aswell? It’s a no win situation what can I do about this? I am sure people would say to me touch the item but my fear is this anxiety will remain either way again is it a case or reducing the anxiety?

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I also can’t get over the urge to change the letter box and front door. I have become worried everything coming through the letterbox is contaminated? I stopped worrying about this for a bit after I accepted the envelope maybe never came from the bin however my ocd has decided maybe it did come from the bin and everything has toilet germs? I know I have discussed this a lot but I feel I need this letter box changed. 

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Why? Because OCD says so. 

But to get better you have to stop listening to OCD. 

So come on now Phil, no replacing is your target, giving in to OCD compulsive urges is not. 

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9 minutes ago, taurean said:

Why? Because OCD says so. 

But to get better you have to stop listening to OCD. 

So come on now Phil, no replacing is your target, giving in to OCD compulsive urges is not. 

I replaced the door handle and that triggered my letter box worries again. I was using stuff from letter box without worry but the worry came back. I believe the worry will only go away once I change the door or letter box that’s the only way to be free of these worries.

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1 hour ago, Phil19 said:

I replaced the door handle and that triggered my letter box worries again. I was using stuff from letter box without worry but the worry came back. I believe the worry will only go away once I change the door or letter box that’s the only way to be free of these worries.

Absolutely not so Phil. 

To change it would be a compulsion. You feel that will resolve your issue. 

 

It will not. 

There may be a short period of so thinking. But carrying out a compulsion only strengthens not weakens OCD, which will soon be back again with a vengeance. 

 

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