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flowerpots6

New here - is this OCD?

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Hello,

I wasn't sure where to turn, but i wondered if anyone could offer any advice. 

Over the past couple of years Ive been going through these phases where I think about something that happened in the past and I get completely wound up by it. I google things, ask people for reassurance, google whether I'm a good or bad person. I'm a medical student and I begin focussing on doing an injection, did I do something wrong? Did I injure the patient? And then the only way I can relax about it is getting in touch with the doctor supervising and emailing to see if there have been any adverse reactions or complaints, then I seem to feel a bit better. It it really starting to affect my life, and I qualify in a few months and I'm terrified about starting my job and this happening every single day. I feel like I wont have the energy to keep trying to make sure I did 100% the correct thing every time but I dont know how to live with uncertainty. Its like there is a list of about 8 things that I seem to rotate over, and as soon as I start to relax about one mistake from the past, I feel better for about a day and then my brain seems to tell me 'you dont have anything to worry about, start worrying about another thing on the list!' and so the cycle goes. 

 

Another typical problem, and the one Ive been struggling with the past few weeks, is this. I work in a nursing dementia home to fund my studies, and I keep focussing on one event about 4 years ago where I was helping a lady with her dinner and she was very confused and moving a lot with her arms. I tucked her arms under the cover and carried on, and the nurse came in and said nicely 'oh shes all tucked up'. But now, what if that could be considered restraint? I keep thinking that I'm going to be reported, and rightly so because I shouldn't have done that. I feel absolutely awful. I keep googling what will happen when I'm reported, planning what I will say and how I need to be totally honest, and how I'll be removed from the register and then have to let the medical council know, which will then go to a hearing and I wont be able to work as a doctor anymore. I dont want to be a burden to anyone, but what if I can't get a job? Everyone will think I'm a horrible, cruel person. I absolutely love my job, and try every day I work to do everything perfectly, but its becoming exhausted being so stuck in my head. I'm so lucky in so many ways, I have a beautiful house, an amazing partner and wonderful friends, and I'm getting to do my dream job, but I feel like I absolutely don't deserve any of this. 

 

I'm sorry this is so long. I only very recently came across the idea that this could be a form of OCD, and I wondered if anyone had any suggestions of places to go for help. Is there any online support?  I feel silly  trying to speak to my GP, and I'm not sure how to bring it up with my partner. I feel like people will just say I'm being silly and to forget about it. Has anyone else had any experience of this? It would be great to hear from anyone. I feel like this is something I really need to try and get some support for, before I start work and it overtakes my life. 

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read, and hope you are all keeping safe. 

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Oh, you bet this is OCD.

Your obsessions are thoughts thst you've done something wrong. Your compulsions are Googling, asking for reassurance and, no doubt, ruminating. 

This is a great place for support. There are also dome good books out there. 

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Hi Flowerpots,

Welcome to the forum :)

Like PolarBear said what you describe does sound like OCD. The types of worries you're having about making a mistake in the past and then checking afterwards are all common obsessions and compulsions. Not being tolerant of uncertainty is also common among people with OCD. The good news is OCD is a highly treatable condition with the right help, so although things are tough now, they won't always be.

The current recommended treatment for OCD is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which is a type of talking therapy which looks at the meanings we place on our thoughts and doubts and helps us to find better, more healthy ways to deal with them. This is done through learning about thoughts and challenging our behaviour through exposure exercises. All of this is done in a structured way with the help of a therapist.

If you're in England you can self-refer for CBT on the NHS without talking to your GP. If you're in another country of the UK, it would mean speaking to your GP. I know that you worry that they might be dismissive in some way, but you needn't go into details with your GP. You can just ask for a referral to your local mental health services and explain that you've been struggling with anxiety.

I highly recommend a self-help book called Break Free from OCD https://www.ocduk.org/shop/break-free-from-ocd/ which is written by experts in treating OCD using CBT. You could read it together with your partner if you feel it might help them to understand a little better. 

We are also hosting online support groups at the moment that you can register for here https://www.ocduk.org/support-groups/zoom/ There is no obligation to talk so you can just listen if you would prefer.

Gemma :)

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Thank you so much everyone for replying. I take comfort that I seem to be in the right place. 

Can I ask, what exactly is rumination? 

Is there anyone who has been through anything similar that can recommend anything to do in the short term before I can seek professional help? Im trying so hard to reassure myself and message old people I worked with to see if I was a good member of staff etc, which is exhausting. I dont seem to be able to deal with uncertainty about anything, and keep thinking about the possibility that my whole life could change and I wont be able to get a job etc. I dont know how to help myself in the short term! 

Sorry to be a bother but not sure where else to turn. This has all become much worse, as covid means Im spending much more time on my own thinking my own thoughts, as im sure is the case with many people. 

Thank you again :) 

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Rumination is going over a thought in your head, again and again, and not getting anywhere with it.

Have you ever sort of snapped to and said, omg, I've been thinking about that all day! That's rumination.

I want to point out that this thing you do, reassuring yourself and seeking reassurance from others, is a compulsion and will only make your situation worse.

Edited by PolarBear

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Thank you for clarifying. Im going to read the book that was recommended and start to look to the future, I dont want a life where I spend so much time thinking about things! Its strange because these things happened years ago, and I wonder how It didnt seem to bother me for years and suddenly its in my mind all the time. The brain works in strange ways!

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