Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi Polar Bear

Ive read a few of your posts now and see that you have OCD and in recovery and also see that you provide strong advice around the forums on what not to do I. E don't give into compulsions. 

Would be good to hear your story on OCD (obviously not any personal bits that you don't feel comfortable discussing) and if you really are able to ignore the intrusive thoughts and don't give into compulsions? 

I'm finding things difficult because all of my worries are internal/mental worries and compulsions, internally reviewing situations and events that have already happened 'before today' in an effort to prove/reassure that my worries aren't real.  But there are some things that I have no idea if they are real things that happened or not....and I really can't handle not knowing......

Just purely as an example. Say for example I have a night out on the beers and the next day I have blank spots about the night..... Those types of things that I have no recollection of will really drive my anxiety to the point of no return..... 

Share this post


Link to post

Generally speaking, you are wondering if we forum experts walk the walk. Fair enough. Short answer is, yes. We don't ask other sufferers to do anything we haven't done already.

I suffered from age 11 to about 48. Almost 40 years. My two biggest themes were pedophile and harm, though I had some other ones thrown in for good measure. Never had contamination OCD.

Toward the end, I was finally diagnosed. I rated mysrlf as having severe OCD. I was also diagnosed with GAD, major depressive disorder. I began meds, getting to a good cocktail thst hrlped me out a lot.

I did CBT. I learned everything I could about OCD, including lurking here. I did cognitive work. I did ERP. It was hell. I did it anyway.

I got better. I started helping out here. Five years on, I get very infrequent obsessions, which are easily ignored. I do no compulsions. I eat right, I sleep right, I take care of myself. As far as I'm concerned, I am recovered.

 

Share this post


Link to post

Hey, I’m not Polar Bear but I’ve suffered with the “what if I get drunk and forget” fear before. I went through a horrible episode in 2017.

It took months of hard work and ERP to get rid of the thought. I never found out if I did the thing - I simply just don’t care anymore. My brain never brings it up.

Now ... to only do that with my current obsession ... :)

Share this post


Link to post

Essentially we can obsess + compulse = disorder about anything. 

And when we do, the OCD will work in similar fashion. 

From my time around here, which is some 7 years now, I have seen sufferers with miriads of different themes, and versions of them, and plenty of them thought they had something especially different. 

They hadn't. It's not the manifestation, which can be anything, it's understanding how OCD works, then making the necessary thinking and behavioural changes that brings about recovery. 

With certain themes, like harm, paedophilia, sexual preference, that beastly OCD - and its lying - takes our true core character values and alleges the opposite to be, or could be, true. 

Yes it lies, but it seems so believable that the doubt and fear consume us.

Learning this essential element of  OCD was a game changer for me. 

Edited by taurean

Share this post


Link to post

Just to build on what PolarBear said. 

One of my worst compulsions was avoidance, and  if it had had its way OCD would literally have made me reclusive. 

To me, triggers seemed everywhere - on the TV, on the radio, in the newspaper or a book, on posters in the streets and interchanges, the large TV screens at stations. 

I had an outside role with customers, travel was essential. 

So I just carried on, at the same time seeking the right mix of CBT and other things to aid my recovery. 

I found that mix, I kept my job going, I maintained my pension rights - and I got better for me, but really mostly for my wife as well. 

Those posters headlines etc are still there, they would still be triggers, but thanks to CBT I don't focus on them. If something does occasionally try to get a grip I don't engage with it and gently refocus away. 

 

Edited by taurean

Share this post


Link to post

Hi All thanks for your replies. 

I'm in a really bad emotional place at the moment today has been really hard for me and I'm really feeling the emotional strain and it's caused some serious issues. 

It appears you have all had success stories and I'm really pleased for you all I really am and I really do hope that I will one day be able to see that it's OCD that's causing me these issues but I'm not so sure I will ever be able to get out of this mess I'm in. 

The problem is I need to be able to 'feel' everything in life.

I need to be able to 'feel' that it's OCD that's causing my problems and the problem is that the feeling I now realise is a compulsion. But I've ALWAYS had this feeling for everything I do in life and its really difficult to let go of something when you've had it for 47 years..... 

I would say mine in severe as well I spend almost every waking minute obsessing. 

I was at one point completely stuck in toilets obsessing and when I finally got the reassurance and left the toilet the worry came back as soon as I walked out the door and I had to return back to the toilet. Fancy being trapped in a toilet? How strange is that....

I have never taken any medication and my therapist has recommended it but I've never even taken recreational drugs growing up and have a thing about drugs therefore I don't want to take anything. 

I just hope one day it will subside and let me live a peaceful relaxing life....

 

Edited by MentalChecker

Share this post


Link to post

Try not to "idolize" one person. A "normal sufferer's" advice is good enough. Actuuaaaaly anyone who is truly educated on the matter is good enough

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, MentalChecker said:

I need to be able to 'feel' that it's OCD that's causing my problems and the problem is that the feeling I now realise is a compulsion. But I've ALWAYS had this feeling for everything I do in life and its really difficult to let go of something when you've had it for 47 years.....

Difficult maybe, but as someone who was plagued periodically with intense episodes of constantly-repeating OCD intrusive thoughts  for 45 years before I found the right mix to dismantle the power of it, not impossible. 

To my understanding from my own mindfulness-based CBT for OCD clinical psychologist, we do all our obsessing and compulsing in what she calls the active "doing" part of the brain, and  it follows that if we switch our thinking out of that part of the brain, we can find some respite from that.

 She taught me how to switch attention into the benign "just being" part of the brain, where we  focus in the present in the moment, mindfully.

It was a game-changer for me, the missing ingredient I needed in my therpy.Combined with a sound understanding of CBT, and practising that including ERP - with the mindfulness alongside this - I was at last  able to shut down those episodes of constantly-repeating OCD intrusions.

So it might be worth your while learning the simplistics of mindfulness, so you can discover the way to ease your mind off the obsessing and into focusing in the present in the moment.

For me, an added bonus of adding mindfulness to CBT  is when we are thinking in that benign, just being, part of the brain, the brain relaxes and so as a consequence does our body, and nervous tensions and anxiety responses tend to ease away, and sleep becomes easier and more restful.

Share this post


Link to post
41 minutes ago, OCDhavenobrain said:

Try not to "idolize" one person. A "normal sufferer's" advice is good enough. Actuuaaaaly anyone who is truly educated on the matter is good enough

Hi Mate I wasn't idolising anybody I'm just new to the forum and Polar Bears posts were the main ones I had seen and hit me in certain places. But that doesn't mean that there aren't other members on this forum that weren't equally as educated for me to ask if I had spent the amount of time needed to look through every thread and post ever posted I'm sure there would have been loads 😊

Edited by MentalChecker

Share this post


Link to post
16 minutes ago, taurean said:

Difficult maybe, but as someone who was plagued periodically with intense episodes of constantly-repeating OCD intrusive thoughts  for 45 years before I found the right mix to dismantle the power of it, not impossible. 

To my understanding from my own mindfulness-based CBT for OCD clinical psychologist, we do all our obsessing and compulsing in what she calls the active "doing" part of the brain, and  it follows that if we switch our thinking out of that part of the brain, we can find some respite from that.

 She taught me how to switch attention into the benign "just being" part of the brain, where we  focus in the present in the moment, mindfully.

It was a game-changer for me, the missing ingredient I needed in my therpy.Combined with a sound understanding of CBT, and practising that including ERP - with the mindfulness alongside this - I was at last  able to shut down those episodes of constantly-repeating OCD intrusions.

So it might be worth your while learning the simplistics of mindfulness, so you can discover the way to ease your mind off the obsessing and into focusing in the present in the moment.

For me, an added bonus of adding mindfulness to CBT  is when we are thinking in that benign, just being, part of the brain, the brain relaxes and so as a consequence does our body, and nervous tensions and anxiety responses tend to ease away, and sleep becomes easier and more restful.

Sounds interesting thank you I shall look it up. 

Did you rely on this feeling that I'm talking about? 

It's like without the feeling I can't function. It's in everything I do in life from deciding on what to eat to what to watch on TV.

Its ingrained and unfortunately apparently is what's causing me to not make any improvement as I'm relying on and chasing this feeling in every decision and thought I have. 

Share this post


Link to post

No I didn't have that manifestation. My version of obsessive hell was constantly-repeating upsetting thoughts in my mental chatter, on a harm theme. 

But as I said before, the particular manifestation of obsessional thinking isn't the issue. We don't have to find others with a similar theme, and even if we do, we can't help them if they don't work on the necessary thinking and behavioural changes. 

I found several people with a similar form of constantly-repeating intrusions, though different theme. 

They hadn't found an answer to it either. 

The charity here gave me a helping hand through an introduction to the clinic in London where I found my therapist. That started me on a new journey of knowledge, added to by some members of OCD-UK who took an interest in helping me find a solution. 

Share this post


Link to post
30 minutes ago, MentalChecker said:

Hi Mate I wasn't idolising anybody I'm just new to the forum and Polar Bears posts were the main ones I had seen and hit me in certain places. But that doesn't mean that there aren't other members on this forum that weren't equally as educated for me to ask if I had spent the amount of time needed to look through every thread and post ever posted I'm sure there would have been loads 😊

It is just that I have seen it so often amongst sufferers that the sufferer want a certain kind of knowledge, and only this knowledge is good enough. 

No guilt in wanting educated guesses. 

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, MentalChecker said:

The problem is I need to be able to 'feel' everything in life.

I need to be able to 'feel' that it's OCD that's causing my problems and the problem is that the feeling I now realise is a compulsion. But I've ALWAYS had this feeling for everything I do in life and its really difficult to let go of something when you've had it for 47 years...

Most, if not all, OCD sufferers seek to feel "right" about things, one of the core issues with OCD is that it prevents us from getting that "right" feeling normally like non-sufferers do (or we do about things that aren't obsessions).  It becomes more noticeable for us because of OCD.  Compulsions are one of the ways people strive to get this "right" feeling even when its unconnected to the actual thought.  Having to count things a certain number of times, or perform an action JUST the right way is a way of triggering that part of the brain that OCD sometimes blocks.

And yes, after 47 years of doing something its going to be hard to change, but change is still possible, people change all the time, and even people who have been in a habit for that long can change, with time, patience, and dedication.  Remember it didn't become the way it is overnight and it won't change overnight, and thats ok.

 

6 hours ago, MentalChecker said:

I have never taken any medication and my therapist has recommended it but I've never even taken recreational drugs growing up and have a thing about drugs therefore I don't want to take anything. 

I can appreciate your reluctance to take medication, I too had the same association between illicit drugs and prescription drugs when I was first starting.  But I can also tell you that taking medication for my OCD has made an enormous difference.  Thats not to say you must do it, thats a very personal decision and there is nothing wrong with approaching OCD recovery without using medication.  

I do think you should consider though that medication like these and illicit drugs are very very different things.  OCD (and other) medications go through rigorous testing and approval procedures, they are prescribed based on medical knowledge and with very specific dosage limitations and understandings.  You are encouraged (and should absolutely do so) to continue to update your doctor of any symptoms you might be having.  Its all the polar opposite of illicit drugs, which are not controlled, not quality tested, not monitored by anyone.  You would probably not think twice if you needed to take a drug for a different condition like diabetes or asthma, yet those go through the same process as OCD medication.  l would encourage you to really consider whether medication is right for you without the connection to other drugs.  Its still OK if you say no, its still ok to decide you want to pursue a different path to recovery, but its best to make that decision with as clear thinking as possible and not be influenced by unrelated issues.  Just my two cents.

Share this post


Link to post

Sidenote:

Was anyone else disappointed this wasn't a post about someone being afraid of polar bears (the animal) or Polar Bear (the person)?  That would have been an interesting obsession to deal with ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, dksea said:

Most, if not all, OCD sufferers seek to feel "right" about things, one of the core issues with OCD is that it prevents us from getting that "right" feeling normally like non-sufferers do (or we do about things that aren't obsessions).  It becomes more noticeable for us because of OCD.  Compulsions are one of the ways people strive to get this "right" feeling even when its unconnected to the actual thought.  Having to count things a certain number of times, or perform an action JUST the right way is a way of triggering that part of the brain that OCD sometimes blocks.

Hi Dksea, 

Firstly I get the thought/worry, and then I get the hit of anxiety, and then I start remuninating about it to try and sort it out in my head to get the 'feeling' that the thought I'm worried about isn't true to then get the reassurance to calm the anxiety. 

I've been doing better over the last couple of weeks by not going into the toilet to do it as that was taking so much time out of my day and then everytime I got the reassurance and started making my way back out of the toilet, the thought hit me that maybe I didn't think about it correctly, wasnt really reassured, and should redo it all again to make sure it's all been thought about correctly and the reassurance was really justified.

Im now just doing things in my mind whilst working or driving or whatever else I'm doing which isn't therefore affecting things so badly as being in the toilet but it's still bothering me most minutes of each day. 

For example yesterday morning I did the same process as above whilst driving into work around 8am and got the reassurance hit and I normally make a noise or say something to myself once I've got the reassurance but ever since yesterday morning I've been doubting whether I thought about it correctly and was really reassured and I've been trying to reasssure myself that I was, instead of going down the route of going over everything again, which is a bit of a shortcut to it all which I know is still a compulsion but a bit quicker for me to do...... 

Edited by MentalChecker

Share this post


Link to post

Edit by reading the above I can see my process is irrational but what I can't see is my worries are irrational those are genuine and possible fears...... 

Edited by MentalChecker

Share this post


Link to post

If you are obsessing repeatedly (O) , carrying out compulsions to try and fix things (C) , and suffering anxiety or distress (D) then you have OCD. 

The obsession can be rational or irrational. But it will likely be exaggerated in importance. 

People talk about "pure O", obsessions without compulsions, but for me one can usually unearth compulsions which can be mental as well as physical. 

 

Edited by taurean

Share this post


Link to post

Re the title of the topic, Polar Bear, I immediately thought of our Canadian friend, confirmed when opening the topic to read "Hi Polar Bear" as your intro. 

If you had written Polar Bears in the title, that would have led me to thinking of the animals. 

Polar bears can be dangerous, especially when young are around. And will enter towns when hungry. There has been a TV series about them screened here in the UK. 

Edited by taurean

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, MentalChecker said:

I can see my process is irrational but what I can't see is my worries are irrational those are genuine and possible fears...... 

The problem is not that worries are impossible or unreal, the problem is the way OCD sufferers respond to those worries is out of scope with the worry/fear and causes significant distress and disruption to their daily life.

For example, I might fear that I am going to have a heart attack.  Thats a real situation, its something that really happens, its effects are quite significant and sometimes obviously fatal.  Having a heart attack is certainly a genuine thing to fear and its definitely possible.  But that doesn't mean I should panic every time I feel a sensation or even a pain in my upper body.  It doesn't mean that I should call my doctor each time I have what I think is shortness of breath.  It doesn't mean that laying awake at night going over the events of each day to see if I showed any signs of having a heart attack is a worthwhile thing to do.  Or maybe its about something that happened in the past.  Maybe I was driving home one night, it was dark, there was someone riding a bicycle on the side of the road and I drifted too far towards them causing them to swerve off the road, falling down a slope and seriously injuring themselves.  I didn't hit them, I couldn't see them, so I have no idea that it happened.  Should I worry about that?  Should I analyze all the times I was driving and see if I can remember any sign of a person on a bike?  Should I scan the newspapers from those days looking for stories about injured bicycle riders who were run off the road by a car?  What if that was me?  How can I know it wasn't?

The world is full of risks.  The world is filled with situations and outcomes we don't know and often can never know.  Most people don't struggle with these sorts of issues the way OCD sufferers do.  Their brains more or less correctly evaluate risks and possibilities and dismiss those that are impossible to answer.  You could spend the rest of your life ruminating and analyzing and odds are extremely high you'll never know, you'll never be able to prove to yourself with enough certainty that the thing didn't happen.  So you can choose to continue to pursue an almost certainly impossible goal, all the while continuing to be plagued with anxiety and uncertainty, being trapped by the OCD.  Or you can challenge the idea that you have to answer these questions, you can decide to stop playing OCD's game.  What you are doing now isn't working, why not start thinking about changing your path?

Share this post


Link to post
11 hours ago, dksea said:

Sidenote:

Was anyone else disappointed this wasn't a post about someone being afraid of polar bears (the animal) or Polar Bear (the person)?  That would have been an interesting obsession to deal with ;-)

Lol. :)

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Dksea thank you for taking the time to write that post it must have taken ages as its very well written :)

I see exactly what you are saying but my brain will not let go of this worry and I feel I can't let go of it and move on without knowing the answer. 

It's really causing me issues, however hopefully when I see my therapist the week after next I can explain it to her and hopefully she can explain to me a way that my mind can process it and move on without worrying about it anymore.... 

Out of interest do you mind me asking how bad your ocd was and a brief history of how it was affecting your life? As you also appear very well informed and able to deal with the affects of OCD. 

 

Edited by MentalChecker

Share this post


Link to post

It's a trap. You keep looking and looking for an answer but none appears. So you try harder and harder but no answer arrives. 

You have to give yourself permission to not know and then give up the search. 

I have seen this scores of times. I have talked to people who are just like you, five or ten years into their search for the truth, who are no farther ahead than they were on Day 1.

Share this post


Link to post

The search for the "answer" is as futile as our forebears searching for the "philosopher's stone". 

Those that stop searching can start to get better. 

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, MentalChecker said:

I see exactly what you are saying but my brain will not let go of this worry and I feel I can't let go of it and move on without knowing the answer. 

It's really causing me issues, however hopefully when I see my therapist the week after next I can explain it to her and hopefully she can explain to me a way that my mind can process it and move on without worrying about it anymore.... 

Oh absolutely, I understand that feeling, but thats the way OCD is for everyone.  We all feel that need to "know" to be "sure".  Thats the whole problem, OCD causes us to be unable to get that feeling for certain thoughts.  Trust me, if it were a matter of simply understanding the thought/worry/etc. we'd all be cured.  I can think of no group of people who will take as much effort to try and "solve" a problem as OCD sufferers when trying to deal with their anxiety in a traditional manner.

The thing is, and we have loads of evidence to show this, you need to learn to move on from the thought first, even though you still worry, THEN you will find you don't worry so much, if at all.  Yes, its a bit counter intuitive, a non-sufferer wouldn't have to do this, but unfortunately our brains work a bit differently so for that reason we have to respond differently.  

In a way OCD is like a bad habit, like smoking.  Imagine you decide you want to quit smoking, but you tell yourself, well, when I'm ok not having a cigarette then I'll stop smoking cigarettes.  The logic is kind of backwards.  Instead, you have to stop using the cigarettes, which at first will be unpleasant, you'll probably feel worse than when you were smoking, and then, as your body and mind learn the new routine you'll desire cigarettes less and less and feel much better when you don't/can't have them.  You have to retrain your body and mind to act normally WITHOUT the cigarette.  Similarly with OCD you have to train your brain to act normally WITHOUT the compulsions of OCD (including rumination and searching for a way to "process" the worry), at first its very unpleasant, you aren't used to resisting, OCD is screaming at you to do what it wants, just like the smokers mind screams at them that it NEEDS another cigarette.  Yet in the end the reality is you don't NEED another cigarette, and you don't NEED to solve the questions OCD is demanding you do.  You genuinely feel like you do, thats why we struggle, but you have to make the choice not to listen to the OCD, no matter how hard it screams.  Eventually it will fade, and you will win.  It sucks that you have to go through the hard part, a part that non-OCD people never have to go through, but thats just the way it is unfortunately.  The good news is we know its possible, millions of people have and continue to do it, not because they are super heroes or anything, but because they made a hard choice and put in the effort.  You can too, but you have to give up trying to "solve" the worry first, that will only keep you trapped.

 

Share this post


Link to post
On 05/06/2019 at 23:17, MentalChecker said:

Out of interest do you mind me asking how bad your ocd was and a brief history of how it was affecting your life? As you also appear very well informed and able to deal with the affects of OCD. 

Sure no problem.  I've been dealing with OCD for about 25 years now, it started when I was around 13 years old.  There have been three huge incidents that have shaped my journey, along with numerous smaller ones.

The first big incident happened one day at school I became sick to my stomach and didn't make it out of the classroom in time (a tad embarrassing but not the end of the world right?).  Well after that I began having extreme fear of being sick again, in general but even more so in public places.  The slightest stomach ache would have me wanting to run to the nurses office, I had trouble getting to sleep at night, going to public places, even church was tough (I'd have to sit on the aisle, "just in case").  It dramatically affected my life.  It also wasn't the only intrusive thoughts I started struggling with, I had anxieties about being gay, having sexual thoughts about family members, etc.  My parents had me see a therapist (traditional talk therapist at first) who after a few sessions referred me to a psychiatrist who quickly (and easily) diagnosed me with OCD.  I began taking medication at that point and things improved significantly.  I was still anxious in some situations (long bus rides for school, airplanes, etc.) but it wasn't nearly as overwhelming.  Over the subsequent years things went up and down, we adjust my medication from time to time depending on how well I was coping.  

The second big incident was when I had my first panic attack, around 10 years after I first developed OCD.  That was one of the worst moments of my life, I genuinely felt like I was either dying or going insane.  I'd never experienced fear like that before.  At that point we adjusted my meds a bit, and I started seeing a therapist too, doing CBT for the first time.  Things got back on track again, I only did a few sessions of the CBT and felt like things were good, and moved on with my life.  

It wasn't until the third big incident that things really really changed.   That one I can date specifically, it was 12 years ago, on June 23, 2007.  I was sitting around, watching TV (Doctor Who,  Season/Series 3 of the new version with David Tenant, the episode was The Sound of the Drums, thats how I can remember the exact date) and I had a brief fleeting image/thought.  I don't remember exactly but the general idea was that I could harm myself with a knife.  Don't know where it came from, don't know why, but it didn't matter, my brain went in to panic mode.  "What if I lose control and hurt/kill myself".  I stewed around in the panic for a little while before first calling my parents (who lived about an hour away) and then driving myself to the local hospital urgent care room because I was afraid to be alone with myself.  I didn't admit to the specifics of the thought right away (just that I was having "anxiety attacks", and I did some serious avoidance, like taking all the sharp knives in my house, putting them in an old toolbox and taking it down to the storage room I had in the apartment building I lived in.  It wasn't just sharp objects either, I feared losing control and jumping off a bridge, or jumping in front of a car too.  I avoided high places, walked as far away from the edge of the road as possible, etc. Eventually after one more panic incident I admitted to a nurse at my psychiatrists office the exact anxieties I was having, still afraid they would lock me up because they would think I was suicidal.  The reality, of course, was the exact opposite, the thought of suicide or harming myself was terrifying.Fortunately the nurse, who worked in the psychiatry office and was probably used to dealing with people with all kinds of mental illness was aware and understanding.  She assured me that I was going to be ok, and that the extreme distress I was feeling at these thoughts probably meant I was the LEAST likely type of person to act on them.  After talking with her I was able to see my psychiatrist, we adjust my meds up again and I started seeing a CBT therapist again, this time for more sessions than before.  And this time I really paid attention, I really started putting in the work and learning the details of CBT and how it worked, and how I had to change my thinking and response to that thinking.  

I had relied almost exclusively on the medication up til that point (I have been fortunate at how effective its been with relatively little side effects) but I took away from these experiences how much CBT could make a difference, how I could short circuit OCD incidents by my own choices and honestly my OCD journey has been a LOT easier since that point.  I've had a few bumps in the road along the way, but compared to 10 or 20 years ago its like I'm living a different life, I am so much more free.  While I continue to take medication and probably always will, being able to apply the CBT techniques gives me the confidence to live my life, knowing I can pretty well handle the occasional intrusive thought.  I'm not perfect, I still make the wrong choices too (and not just about OCD, but lets talk about my eating habits another time ;) ) but I am better and I continue to get better.

When my OCD first hit, riding on a bus was torture to me.  I had to sit as close to the front as possible.  I sucked on mints to try and keep my stomach calm.  If I could I'd sleep, just to avoid having to deal with everything.  I needed to know where the garbage can was, or have a plastic bag or something I could use "just in case".  Even the thought of having to go on a bus trip filled me with anxiety.  Planes were the same way.  Now?  I live in a country (Japan) where taking public transit is the norm.  For awhile I took a train to work every day.  A very very crowded train.  To travel around the city I have to ride the subway, the trains or occasionally the bus.  I fly at least two or three times a year.  And I give my OCD barely a second thought when I do.  I think nothing of hopping on the train to get somewhere. I dread the cramped seats of the plane more than any stomach trouble and I prefer to grab a window seat now and not the aisle like I used to (extra arm space, can lean your head on the side, etc.).  I challenged my anxieties (essentially ERP) and learned to not be afraid of these environments.  Interestingly I have never even come close to being sick on a bus, train or plane in the 25 years since my initial incident.  All that worry over something thats never happened.  Of course if it does happen it will be unpleasant, but I'll be able to deal with it.  Life goes on.  

Its been a long, sometimes slow, journey.  There have been major setbacks and a lot of learning and growing.  I wouldn't wish OCD on anyone and I'd happily use one of my three genie wishes if I found a magic lamp to be rid of it permanently forever, but I can also live a fulfilling and meaningful life with it, just like I do with my asthma, which I also learned to manage (fortunately very mild) or my peanut allergy (also fairly mild).  My biggest regret is not doing the CBT sooner.  I think that would have made a big difference and maybe prevented some of the major incidents that came later.  But I can't change the past, only learn from it.  I wish I had had something like this forum when I was first going through my OCD journey, but its here now so I'm glad others can take advantage of it.  I'm unlucky in that I have OCD, but I'm lucky in that I have had supportive parents, supportive medical professionals and opportunities to improve my life.Some lessons I learned the hard way (CBT CBT CBT) but overall I've been relatively lucky.  Now I can help others by providing insight from my journey so that at least SOME good can come from my own illness, and thats why I stay active on this forum.  I also think its valuable to provide more objective, outside opinions and perspectives, as we sufferers tend to have difficulty evaluating situations well when we are in the midst of the OCD.  Its like being on the ground in the middle of the forest, vs. being in a plane/helicopter, looking down on the person in the forest.  We can be guides for each other and thats what I try to do to the best of my ability.

Anyway that went on longer than I expected, but I hope you find it useful, or at least entertaining to read.  Happy to answer more questions if you have them, but like I said, the key to it all, I believe is accepting and embracing CBT.  Thats the biggest takeaway I can give towards OCD recovery.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...