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OCD and Coronavirus


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8 hours ago, Ashley said:

Government advice regarding self isolation if possible virus.  "they may leave the house for exercise and, in that case, at a safe distance from others" 

Relieved that walking will be allowed- just work panics now for me 😞

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I am keen to get some feedback so we can try and offer some support for different ways coronavirus is impacting on people with OCD. This is what I have so far, what else?

  • Contamination fears leading to additional washing/cleaning
  • Intrusive thoughts around passing virus on to loved ones / elderly
  • Worries about not being able to do exercise if isolated

 

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1 hour ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

My brain has gone off down the rabbit hole of "what if I secretly want people to die because I'm a psychopath" it is nothing if not creative :D 

Well you do have those psychopath tendencies in all the years we have know you....  

 

1 hour ago, Gemma7 said:

Increase in health anxiety, worrying about vulnerability etc. 

Your own do you mean?  What if you're more vulnerable because of XXXXX ?

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1 hour ago, Ashley said:

I am keen to get some feedback so we can try and offer some support for different ways coronavirus is impacting on people with OCD. This is what I have so far, what else?

  • Contamination fears leading to additional washing/cleaning
  • Intrusive thoughts around passing virus on to loved ones / elderly
  • Worries about not being able to do exercise if isolated

 

Going stir crazy if told to self-isolate for 4months (over 70s and vulnerables). 

We are trying to counter this by:

Getting in the materials and plants we need to stock our left border and build a rockery. 

Planning to write my autobiography - a very long book 😁

Taking pictures when allowed out to exercise. 

Getting local friends electronic contact details for skyping text phone calls. 

Recording TV using series links of great programmes. 

Might be a good idea to share hobbies and projects that can be done during enforced isolation. 

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9 minutes ago, Ashley said:

Your own do you mean?  What if you're more vulnerable because of XXXXX ?

Well I was speaking about my own worries but also appreciating that it'll be similar for others. 

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I'm worried from a health anxiety perspective that if I catch the virus then I will become seriously ill and/or die.

I'm 31 so I understand that I'm in a lower risk category due to age, but I do have mild asthma symptoms that have not yet been diagnosed as asthma or not, so with this current guidance that asthma sufferers are now at an increased risk of serious illness with coronavirus I'm worrying about that.

I've also been unable to get an appointment with my GP for a spirometry test which will confirm a diagnosis of asthma as my GP surgery are now only accepting urgent appointments that have been triaged via telephone. I rang today to try and get an appointment and was told no even after explaining my situation. I'm upset because whilst I have not yet been diagnosed I therefore don't have any medication such as preventer or reliever inhalers, so if I did get coronavirus then I might be more ill because I don't have any medication to help with asthma symptoms if I did develop any.

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And finally, I've had to cancel my upcoming wedding and honeymoon in May due to this outbreak which I'm very upset about, so I think this upheaval is affecting my mood in general and exacerbating any anxiety symptoms that I may have already.

Cancelling my wedding is a massive step back for me (albeit out of my control) because I previously had really bad OCD worries about this due to relationship-type worries. I'd done a lot of work in overcoming these over the past year and finally got to a stage where I could book the wedding and honeymoon without any anxiety and now I can't go ahead with it 😞. I'm trying really hard to not go down the OCD rabbit hole of "well it's obviously not meant to be then is it because it's been cancelled" etc.

Edited by Lynz
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23 minutes ago, humbleno1 said:

ironically its not contracting it that worries me, its more of a depression at the way things are going, and feeling no motivation as life is on lockdown, its created a nihilistic like viewpoint.

This is actually how I feel. The virus itself is not upsetting me, just the general lack of life limitations (not that I had much of a social life).  That's why I have totally loved hearing the stories of how singers and musicians in Italy have been performing from balconies.  

https://www.classicfm.com/music-news/videos/quarantined-italy-musicians-play-sing-balconies/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/14/solidarity-balcony-singing-spreads-across-italy-during-lockdown

That said If I was stuck in there and this started up every night I might have a different opinion 🤣

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My day-to-day life hasn't changed because I've lived like this to avoid Norovirus for at least the past four years!

However:

- I'm terrified for my parents' health and lives.

- My newborn niece and toddler nephew who live hundreds of miles away might have it so they have been examined by a doctor covered in protective gear today. They're not being tested because this government is ridiculous but their parents have to self-isolate with them in their flat, which sounds extremely stressful!

- One of my brothers and I have asthma and my other brother has a heart condition so I'm hoping we will all be ok with it too.

- I'm having to take on a lot of credit card debt because of a complicated financial situation + coronavirus.

- I'm worried for everyone else too! 

@Lynz, I'm so sorry you had to cancel your wedding and I really hope you stay safe and well! 

Edited by BelAnna
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A friend I did meet with this morning prior to easing down on socialising was very depressed about the whole thing. 

He is only partially sighted and has lost one kidney, and is a widower so gets out each day for company, coming into the village by bus. 

He said an elderly woman insisted he sat elsewhere on the bus "in case he was carrying coronavirus" :(

He asked me if I would take him fishing next time I go as he would enjoy the trip and to sit and chat by the lake. 

I will be happy to take him, but obviously that might not be for a long time now - I didn't tell him that, just said OK by me to take him. 

My wife is a little depressed by it all. She doesn't go out much anyway but she knows how difficult being obliged to stay in will be for me, especially as I am a socialite. 

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14 minutes ago, taurean said:

A friend I did meet with this morning prior to easing down on socialising was very depressed about the whole thing. 

He is only partially sighted and has lost one kidney, and is a widower so gets out each day for company, coming into the village by bus. 

He said an elderly woman insisted he sat elsewhere on the bus "in case he was carrying coronavirus" :(

He asked me if I would take him fishing next time I go as he would enjoy the trip and to sit and chat by the lake. 

I will be happy to take him, but obviously that might not be for a long time now - I didn't tell him that, just said OK by me to take him. 

My wife is a little depressed by it all. She doesn't go out much anyway but she knows how difficult being obliged to stay in will be for me, especially as I am a socialite. 

Oh wow it’s so tough isn’t it Taurean? Will you still be able to engage in your therapy?

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1 minute ago, Nikki79 said:

Oh wow it’s so tough isn’t it Taurean? Will you still be able to engage in your therapy?

I am pleased to say that I have completed the therapy and am currently fine again. 

The combination of very specific targeted help from OCD-UK members in the members area, plus a really talented private clinical psychologist, pulled me out of the episode. 

So at least I am feeling well going into this situation. And I have rediscovered the joys of photography and plenty of places I can walk to around here with the camera without any social interaction. 

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I have some nice games on my phone that I can play. 

Plus I like jigsaw puzzles and quizzes. 

What I especially learned from the psychologist is ways to divert thinking from obsessional issues so the OCD had little time available to it. Coupled with stopping carrying out compulsions, and rediscovering my joie de vivre this really helped to pull me around. 

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9 hours ago, Ashley said:

I am keen to get some feedback so we can try and offer some support for different ways coronavirus is impacting on people with OCD. This is what I have so far, what else?

  • Contamination fears leading to additional washing/cleaning
  • Intrusive thoughts around passing virus on to loved ones / elderly
  • Worries about not being able to do exercise if isolated

 

It has escalated my health anxiety, ie what if I have x undiagnosed condition.

Worry about family becoming I'll

Very stressed about not being able to go out as it is my main way of coping 

Worried about being called back early from mat leave (work in healthcare) and being unable to cope and my little one not being ready for me to go back 

Worry if nursery closes having two kids at home all day who don't understand why we can't go out will finish me off

Worry about not being able to get basic food and toiletries due to others panic buying etc 

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2 hours ago, humbleno1 said:

ironically its not contracting it that worries me, its more of a depression at the way things are going, and feeling no motivation as life is on lockdown, its created a nihilistic like viewpoint.

This is exactly the feeling I've been trying to describe to myself. I'm not so afraid of getting ill as I am about the change and restrictions. :( 

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16 minutes ago, ivybasil said:

This is exactly the feeling I've been trying to describe to myself. I'm not so afraid of getting ill as I am about the change and restrictions. :( 

Same here. My therapy group is likely to be cancelled too so less support as well as the disruption to routine.

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hi im new here but thought talking about it might help i have suffered with OCD and handwashing for years and as much as i hate it admit it i can not control it at the moment  my mum has COPD and im so worried about that and this virus  i have let it take over my life i can not sleep or eat i get through a bottle of hand wash a day i just dont know what to do anymore i just want to protect the people i love but i cant any advise would be great

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1 hour ago, lou2060 said:

i get through a bottle of hand wash a day i just dont know what to do anymore i just want to protect the people i love but i cant any advise would be great

Soap and water should be fine. Simple soap (bars) are great and will last you ages compared to bottles of hand wash. So save some money!

(Simple soap doesn’t seem to have perfume in which is good.)

I’m sorry about your situation. I think you need to make an appointment with your GP and ask to be referred to a CMHT (community mental health team) and see if you can get CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)

If you can’t get to your GP yet there are some good self help books you could get in the mean time.

Good luck ☀️ 

Edited by daja
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Why are elderly women so rude on buses??? And just generally?? I'm sorry for your friend's experience, Taurean.

My workplace has now closed and I'm kicking myself for the (TRULY EXTORTIONATE YIKES) amount of money I spent on food. I'm more protective of my dad than myself but I wound up having an anxiety attack at work day before yesterday which was downright embarrassing. I've had a few of those recently - once because my OCD got so bad following something I did; once because the manager had a go at me - cried so hard I gave myself a headache 🙄  and because everything felt so scary and tense. I had to excuse myself and scuttle off and my TL called me to the office for a quick chat. So that was altogether rather humiliating.

Really, what's been scaring me is the atmosphere and how different things feel. I'm at home until further notice but am trying to stay occupied. On the plus side - films until the wee hours! 

C x

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19 hours ago, Ashley said:

I am keen to get some feedback so we can try and offer some support for different ways coronavirus is impacting on people with OCD. This is what I have so far, what else?

  • Contamination fears leading to additional washing/cleaning
  • Intrusive thoughts around passing virus on to loved ones / elderly
  • Worries about not being able to do exercise if isolated

Two aspects that I have found affecting me personally are:

  • Separation from friends/family/home
  • Lack of normalcy outside my own personal situation

In the past, whenever I had a crisis or was struggling more than normal with my OCD I could turn to my family, I could physically go visit them if need be.  Now? Thats much more difficult of an option.  Aside from the possible challenges of overseas travel (I SHOULD still be allowed back in to the US if I chose to go), there is the recommendations of social distancing to consider.   Its a bit disturbing to have a social safety net I've relied on to suddenly be less available than usual.  Connecting via technology does, of course help, but I think the psychological aspect of not having the OPTION to see people in person is going to be hard on people.

Meanwhile, whenever I've struggled before, at least I could look around me and see a world that was, more or less, normal.  There might be problems here or there, but for the most part, things just kept going as usual.  Sports were played, shops were open, people could gather.  There might be temporary disruptions due to weather (snowstorms, hurricanes, etc.) or unpredictable events (earthquakes, terrorist attacks even) but it wasn't everywhere.  It wasn't for an undefined length of time.  Weather might disrupt things for a day or two, individuals might have more significant impact, but the people around them, and the greater communities continued to function as usual.  Even in distress there was the comfort of being surrounded by normalcy.  Now that has been taken away.  The whole world is being affected by this.  Entire societies are locked down and the usual isn't happening.  No sports.  No gatherings.  Empty streets.  Its eerie and unsettling, even if its not directly affecting you.  Its been almost fascinating to realize what an impact that level of "normal" that happens around us has on our own mental well being, at least for me, though I imagine for others.  In a way its like reaching that point where you understand your parents are mortal and fallible.  You lose that comforting feeling of mom and dad being invincible protectors with all the knowledge and answers that will always keep you safe that you have when you are young (at least most people have).  Not fun.  Perhaps inevitable, maybe even important, but not fun.

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