OCD

The one you should keep

I’m thankful for my therapist, for the SSRI that has given my inner voice enough power to be louder than the doubt

I remember the day exactly. March 12th. It was a wonderful day. I spent the day doing what I love, which at the time was fashion photography. I went home that night, and laid myself down to sleep for what I would now know as my last night of peace. I spent the night tossing and turning, only to realize that my heart seemed to be beating faster than normal. Strange? It was 10pm and I’ve never not been able to sleep before. I sent my older sister a text, and asked her if she ever couldn’t fall asleep because her heart was beating so fast.

Her response shook me. “All the time. You’re having a panic attack.”

A what?

The next three months were excruciating. How could I go my whole life not experiencing this, living such a normal life, now not being able to even take a full breath. I enrolled myself into therapy, and met my current therapist. We talked about my ability to be impressionable when it came to hearing others anxiety stories. Of course I was feeling that way, I was lost in this whole new world of fear and panic. How do I know what to expect? What to believe? She then spoke the sentence that spiralled me into the onset of my OCD.

“Maybe you just need to find yourself?

Words from a therapist you never want to hear. Words from a therapist, or from anyone in general, almost certain to cause a identity crisis in someone in their early twenties. I went home and carried on with my usual daily tasks. Cleaning up after myself, and picking up the stuffing from my dogs favourite toys. I went to grab the laundry out of the dryer and I thought to myself, “What if I have to leave my boyfriend in order to find myself?”
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Podcast

Dr Steven Phillipson – How ERP works, and the power of choice

In episode 106 I interviewed Dr Steven Phillipson for the second time. Steven is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for OCD. He co-founded the first Support group for OCD sufferers in the New York area in 1987. Steven is the Clinical Director at the Center for Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy.

Dr Steven Phillipson

In this episode with Steven we discuss how ERP works, developing a champion mindset in recovery, the power of choice, living by your values, Viktor Frankl, the phrase “If I’m not choosing it, let it be!”, and staying centred in emotional turmoil. Enjoy! 

podcast

To listen on iTunes click the button, or go to iTunes and search “The OCD Stories“. If you enjoy the podcast please subscribe and leave a review. It helps us reach more people who need to hear these remarkable stories of recovery!

You can also listen on Android and over devices through most podcast apps, such as Stitcher.

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Podcast

Peter Weiss – Camping, Nature and OCD (Ep105)

More information on The OCD Camp here – theocdcamp.com

In episode 105 I interviewed Peter Weiss. Pete is an OCD therapist based on Seattle. He has been co-running camps for kids and adults with OCD for 10 years. He was one of the therapists in the 2013 documentary Extreme OCD Camp. Pete is helping me set up a camp for adults with OCD in the UK.

Peter Weiss

In this episode Pete shares some tips for spending more time in nature, we talk about big foot, living a life of adventure, the benefits from his OCD camp for attendees, and his hopes for the UK camp. Enjoy! 

podcast

To listen on iTunes click the button, or go to iTunes and search “The OCD Stories“. If you enjoy the podcast please subscribe and leave a review. It helps us reach more people who need to hear these remarkable stories of recovery!

You can also listen on Android and over devices through most podcast apps, such as Stitcher.

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Podcast

Dr Elizabeth McIngvale – Peace of Mind

In episode 104 I interviewed Dr Elizabeth McIngvale. Liz is the founder of the not for profit Peace of Mind foundation which is dedicated to serving the OCD community. She has a Phd in social work and is assistant professor at Baylor university. At the age of 17 she became the national spokesperson for the international OCD foundation.

Dr Elizabeth McIngvale

In this episode Liz shares her OCD Story, how she deals with OCD, how her view of ERP has changed in the last 5 years, lifestyle changes, her ‘live with Liz’ Facebook chats, the Peace of Mind foundation, the OCD challenge course, technology and OCD, and breaking down stigma. Enjoy! 

podcast

To listen on iTunes click the button, or go to iTunes and search “The OCD Stories“. If you enjoy the podcast please subscribe and leave a review. It helps us reach more people who need to hear these remarkable stories of recovery!

You can also listen on Android and over devices through most podcast apps, such as Stitcher.

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OCD

The illness that haunted my life

You can be whole again. You can live an amazing life. I promise.

My name is Lillie, and I, just like most who are likely reading this, am on my journey of recovery from OCD. And it’s been quite the journey, to say the least. OCD has been the fight for fucking my life, but I’ll get into that later. I realize that this illness has followed me and haunted me for my entire life, but it wasn’t until much later that I realized what it was.

When I was a young child, I had a loving family, all of my needs met, went to the best schools in my city, and my life was seemingly the “ideal childhood.” Except, I always had a nagging feeling like something was wrong with me. Even as young as 4 or 5 years old, and probably even before that. I felt like I was an outsider looking in with my peers. Things bothered me that didn’t bother anyone else. I just, for lack of a better term, didn’t feel right. I felt like I didn’t belong and despite being an outgoing and extroverted child, I couldn’t shake that something about me was different.  I worried more than the average child and was very meticulous…about everything. I was obsessive and impulsive (and compulsive, obviously). I was told that “I cared way too much” and “bothered by things that aren’t worth being bothered by” by teachers and peers. Kind, I know. Everything had to be “right” or else I would have a full blown meltdown. For example, I would arrange Barbie Dolls, Polly Pockets, and American Girl Dolls in a very particular way and my older brother would move them around just to be annoying and I would have a MELTDOWN. I mean, a screaming and crying meltdown. At my fourth birthday party, everyone was walking in and out of my room and touching my things. I was in full-blown panic, meltdown mode. I would write and rewrite things over and over and over and over again until they were “perfect.” I would count and recount things over and over until it was “right.” I never got a damn thing done in school. Ever. Homework was such a source of anxiety. In early high school, I sat in the lobby of the athletic building after school with a piece of my friend’s schoolwork who had beautiful handwriting, and wrote and rewrote words, until I had brand new handwriting because I thought mine wasn’t perfect enough. Test taking was just…hellish. I was, without fail, always the last person to finish a test, and not for lack of knowledge. “Am I doing this wrong?” “I need to have perfect handwriting.” “I have to erase all of this and rewrite it.” “I’m going to fail out of high school and end up on the street and just die.” “How do I get out of taking this test because I’m going to fail it.” And because of my OCD, my grades did suffer. They didn’t suffer drastically by any stretch of the imagination, and I would somehow make it onto my school’s Honor Roll each semester; but, since my grades were not all A+’s, I developed more anxiety around school. I was a serial procrastinator because I didn’t want to feel the anxiety of doing schoolwork, but had to get the work done eventually, so I also didn’t sleep. I was what some like to call, a vicious cycle. I’m not quite sure how I made it out of high school alive, and I’m not being dramatic.

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Podcast

The OCD Stories in 2018 (Ep103)

In episode 103 I wanted to take the time to share with you my plans for 2018. I find that you guys help me shape the show, so I want to be more transparent with you. In this episode I talk about the new site (not built yet), why I decided to shut down my personal YouTube channel, my aims to do more face to face meet ups with listeners around the world, The OCD Camp, guests and doing more with Patreon. Enjoy!

podcast

To listen on iTunes click the button, or go to iTunes and search “The OCD Stories“. If you enjoy the podcast please subscribe and leave a review. It helps us reach more people who need to hear these remarkable stories of recovery!

You can also listen on Android and over devices through most podcast apps, such as Stitcher.

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OCD

OCD: Collapse and Rebuilding

Change can, of course, lead to anxiety. But perhaps it’s challenging yourself to face this, to be open to the world and all it has to offer, that also opens you to the beauty and variety of a deeply fulfilling life.

I was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder at eleven years old, but while it was then I was first offered a label for some aspects of my thought processes and behaviour, it would be some years later, as a young adult, that I finally feel I developed an understanding and insight into the depth and variety of my obsessive compulsive tendencies, and how they had come to affect my life.

In life, we often find ourselves pushing beyond our comfort zones, and as a result, we may experience anxiety in the face of uncertainty and the unknown. To feel anxious is innately human; to feel anxious over decisions we’ve made, to feel anxious about the past and future. While closely intertwined and co-morbid with anxiety in a general sense, OCD is a separate diagnosis. As a condition, it is dichotomous; on one hand, a recognisable pattern of thoughts and actions feeding into one another in an identifiable obsessive-compulsive spiral, on the other, a nebulous concept, with obsessions and compulsions varying enormously for each individual sufferer.

Obsessions may be generalised as ideas relating to harm or misfortune befalling the sufferer or people around them. It is key to remember that obsessions are not indicative of a person’s desires, nor are they indicative of a way a person wishes to act. Everybody, at some point in their lives, will experience ‘ego-dystonic’ intrusive thoughts, or thoughts which are alien to their sense of self and personality. A conscientious driver may have a fleeting thought about swerving his car into an oncoming vehicle or upcoming pedestrian; a person who prizes themselves on being calm and collected may experience a sudden thought about acting in an aggressive or violent way towards somebody; a person manoeuvring to avoid entering somebody’s personal space on the street may suddenly have an intrusive thought about groping or touching the other person in a sexually inappropriate way; a person waiting behind another on a station platform may have a sudden mental image of pushing the bystander into an oncoming train.

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Podcast

Elke – Recovering from (Contamination) OCD

In episode 102 I interviewed Elke. Elke is a scientist for a biotech company and we know each other from Patreon where I have had the privilege of getting to know her and her story over the last year.

Elke

In this episode Elke shares her OCD story, why trusting therapist helps, writing a diary of progress, imagining yourself 30 years after therapy, her favourite The OCD Stories podcast episodes, hope in therapy/ERP, goals in therapy, her time dong exposures, Expo & Fun, Sharing with colleagues, lifestyle changes, and dealing with change. Hope it helps.

podcast

To listen on iTunes click the button, or go to iTunes and search “The OCD Stories“. If you enjoy the podcast please subscribe and leave a review. It helps us reach more people who need to hear these remarkable stories of recovery!

You can also listen on Android and over devices through most podcast apps, such as Stitcher.

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Podcast

Dr Ashley Smith – CBT, OCD recovery and a blind quest

In episode 101 I interviewed Dr Ashley Smith. Ashley has a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She worked as a staff psychologist at a children’s hospital and an anxiety specialty center for a combined 10 years before going into private practice. Ashley recently wrote her first book “Childhood Anxiety Disorders”. Inspired by her own difficulties she launched ablindquest.com to blog about creating lasting happiness regardless of perceived limitations.

Dr Ashley Smith

In this episode Ashley shares some of the biggest challenges people face in therapy, the things people do successfully that speeds up recovery, how her approach to OCD treatment has changed over the last 10 years, using positive psychology alongside ERP, advice for parents of kids with OCD, dealing with the emotion of shame, personal development, Ashley’s personal quest for happiness, and her year of new experiences. Hope it helps.

podcast

To listen on iTunes click the button, or go to iTunes and search “The OCD Stories“. If you enjoy the podcast please subscribe and leave a review. It helps us reach more people who need to hear these remarkable stories of recovery!

You can also listen on Android and over devices through most podcast apps, such as Stitcher.

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Podcast

Thank you

The OCD Stories patreon page >

In episode 100 I took the opportunity to thank you all sincerely for your support over the last two years, and reflect on the growth of The OCD Stories. Enjoy!

Episode 100


podcast

To listen on iTunes click the button, or go to iTunes and search “The OCD Stories“. If you enjoy the podcast please subscribe and leave a review. It helps us reach more people who need to hear these remarkable stories of recovery!

You can also listen on Android and over devices through most podcast apps, such as Stitcher.

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