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Pixie34

How can I help my husband?

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My husband has had OCD since he was a teenager, but has never sought out any treatment or advice from anyone and has found ways to manage it by himself. However since the pandemic began it has become completely unmanageable. He is having panic attacks multiple times a day, none of us can leave the house or even open a window for air and it is affecting us as a family (including my young child). It is suffocating. In the past few weeks I have finally managed to convince him to seek help and call his GP but he has received nothing except some websites to look at despite making it clear how much it is affecting him. We are based in Scotland. Does anyone from scotland have any advice on how to get help as he has spoken to 3 different doctors who tell him there is no help available at the moment. He has not been offered CBT and when he has mentioned it they tell him it's not available. We cannot self refer here either. No medication has been offered. They tell him a lot of people are like him at the moment due to covid-19 and I don't believe they are taking him seriously. I believe it is only a matter of time before his ocd escalates into something more serious and I fear we will have devastating consequences. We have another baby due in a few weeks time. Please help.

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Pixie it sounds as if you are going through a terrible time. I’m not expert but wanted to reply to let you know you aren’t alone.
Are you able to speak to the GP yourself to explain more fully that this is OCD and that it is affecting everyone severely? Can your midwife help with getting the message through? Your health is also being affected already and you obviously fear worse, so it’s important help is given. If you are worried your husband might hurt himself or you you need to say so. 
I can’t see any reason why he can’t be given medication, but even with it it’s going to be 4-6 weeks before it takes effect and maybe longer to find the right dose and drug. So you need some help sooner. 
Have you tried talking to him about what exactly he fears? It sounds as if the fear of the virus might be combined with fear for you and your baby. I’m finding the Breaking free from OCD book recommended on this forum very helpful in helping me to understand how OCD works and it might help you talk to him about what’s going on in his head. 
Im sure others with more experience will reply too but the very best of luck with getting the help you all need. 
 

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Is he also suffering strong anxiety? Doctors usually take notice if you mention symptoms of anxiety or depression - in fact , I find they're very likely to offer medication if anxiety or depression is impacting badly on his life/your lives, especially affecting things like eating, sleeping and work. It's not strictly an OCD solution on its own (although I find my medication almost completely wipes out my OCD thinking and anxiety), but it could make life bearable until therapy can be arranged. Even a book about OCD and relaxation recordings on Youtube (ideally a muscle relaxation one rather than a breathing exercise if he's stressed about breathing/respiratory disease) can provide some small amount of help. Not the same thing as full relief or instant relief, but go some way towards making his OCD manageable.

Sometimes the way things are worded to a doctor can make all the difference, I find. I recognised my OCD symptoms returning as the pandemic began to escalate, and spoke to my GP by phone. His initial reaction was that everyone was terrified - himself included - and it was perfectly normal. But when I described how I was having round-the-clock intrusive thoughts, feeling an almost physcial sensation of being 'contaminated', and my anxiety was affecting my ability to sleep and eat properly, he reconsidered and prescribed medication. It probably did help that he could see my records, and could see what I'd been prescribed and what it was for, but he was willing to discuss with me how I felt I could best managed the condition.

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