Podcast

Harris Goldberg – OCD in Hollywood

In episode 77 I chat with Harris Goldberg. Harris is a director, writer and producer. He co-wrote the comedy Deuce Bigolow: Male Gigalo, and in 2007 wrote and directed the film NUMB, inspired by his own experiences of mental health.

Harris Goldberg

I had an interesting chat with Harris about many topics. We talked about using comedy as a defence mechanism, ERP, ERP advice, fear of death, depersonalization disorder, OCD triggering depersonalization, why do I have OCD vs how do I recover from it?, pushing against anxiety with ERP, and how the uncertainty of Hollywood can fuel OCD. We also discuss why Harris writes himself into his films, lifestyle changes, daily yoga, nutrition, guilt, why living a pure kind of existence was a compulsion, opening up about mental health in Hollywood, why the media gets OCD so wrong and the importance of being kind to yourself. 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

Kimberley Quinlan – Your Anxiety Toolkit

In episode 76 I chat with Kimberley Quinlan. Kimberley is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who treats people with OCD and related disorders, Eating Disorders and Body Focused Repetitive Disorders. She runs her own podcast called Your Anxiety Toolkit. Kimberley also trained at the OCD centre of Los Angeles, and later became the clinical director.

Kimberley Quinlan

In this conversation with Kimberley we chat about why OCD is highly treatable, how to know if it’s OCD or not, dealing with anxiety, self-compassion, the importance of body language, the difference between OCD and general anxiety disorder, mindfulness, and practicing non-judgement. 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

How do you know it’s right?

You can expend precious energy chasing the holy grail of 100% certainty, or you can choose to settle for 95%, or 70%, or even 20% certainty.

When I was a graduate student, I worked for months to prove the main mathematical result in my dissertation. I struggled with this proof. I churned out pages of chicken scratch calculations. I manipulated equations in my head while I ate, showered, vacuumed, and exercised. I had math dreams.

Finally, I thought I’d nailed it. It was a large and hairy beast that sprawled over many pages. I showed it to my adviser and declared, “I’m 95% sure it’s correct.”

He raised his eyebrows. “Well, you’d better be 100% sure,” he replied.

That’s when I realized that he wasn’t planning to check it himself. He was just going to trust me. And then I started to worry. What if there was an error in my proof? What if the central result in my dissertation turned out to be wrong? Could they take away my PhD? And if I got a job based on work I’d done in my dissertation, could they fire me? Would my career be ruined?

I checked my proof carefully many times. But I still couldn’t be 100% sure it was right. I knew there could be a glitch in my logic that I simply wasn’t smart enough to pick up on, no matter how many times I checked. After all, how many times had I turned in math homework – confident that my answers were correct – only to find out later that there was a major flaw in one of my solutions? And the stakes were much higher here. I asked a classmate – someone a lot smarter than me – to check my proof, and he thought it was correct. But I knew it wasn’t his dissertation or his responsibility, so I couldn’t completely trust his assurances.

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Podcast

Mark Freeman – The Mind Workout

Audible free trial (get Mark’s audio book for free) – Audible.co.uk/free-trial

In episode 75 I talk with Mark Freeman for the third time in the show’s history. Mark is a mental health author, coach and YouTuber. He is the co-founder of the blog everybodyhasabrain. Mark has just launched is new book “The mind workout”.

The Mind Workout

In this conversation with Mark we discuss getting into good mental shape, living with uncertainty, chemical imbalances, stigma, dealing with compulsions, training the brain to deal with urges by training it on ‘normal urges’, taking care of your mornings, motivation, setting goals, awareness bandwidth and the importance of values. 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

My disorder does not define me

My disorder does not define me and it shouldn’t define you either.

If you are reading this looking for a miracle cure for your anxiety or OCD, you can stop now.  This is not that kind of story.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that kind of story doesn’t exist in reality.  I should know.  I spent the better part of the last three years searching for it.  Instead, this is the story of my journey with OCD.  And while every individual’s story is going to be unique, it is my hope that by sharing I can help someone feel less alone in their struggles.

It was sometime in mid-April 2014.  I had just celebrated my 34th birthday.  The last few years had brought an incredible amount of joy into my life with the birth of my first daughter, a successful career as a teacher recently earning his master’s degree, a healthy social life, a loving wife, a nice home, and many hobbies to occupy my free time.  On the surface, I was living the life that that I had always dreamed of.  However, there were also some significant stressors that impacted me during those years. My mother and sister both survived bouts with cancer, my wife lost her job and was out of work for a few months, we had a pregnancy end in miscarriage, and my cousin died by suicide after a long battle with OCD.  Throughout all of these experiences, I kept moving forward, attempting to brush them off and never fully dealing with the emotions that came along with them.  In particular, my cousin’s death affected me in ways that I never allowed anyone else to see.  His OCD was something that I wasn’t aware of until his death.  However, I was no stranger to OCD myself.  On two separate occasions, after my wedding and the birth of our first daughter, I experienced bouts of intrusive thoughts significant enough to prompt me to research them and to determine that they might indicate a problem with obsessive compulsive disorder.  Fortunately, in both those instances, the thoughts subsided without causing any real interference with my day to day to life.
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Podcast

10 Things You Can Do This Week

Join the community and get Mark Freeman’s “10 things you can do this week (and next)” PDF. Click here >>

In episode 74 of the podcast I share two insights from Mark Freeman’s “10 things you can do this week (and next)” PDF. I talk about how changing your morning routine can help in recovery and how you can make your brain squirm. I share these insights and tell you how you can get a free copy. 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 focused on racism and anti-semitism

…there is a lot of comfort and support to be gained from knowing that somehow we are all in the same ship.

Dear all,

I want to remain anonymous, because I have a story which is still difficult to tell. (I hope I can make myself clear as I am not a native speaker.) I am a 41 year-old male living in Europe, and have been dealing with OCD symptoms from a very young age (3rd grade). Like many others, I have come to know its different types (contamination, sexual orientation, pedophilia, harm, relationship) and all of them were and still are equally nasty to me. I have been lucky enough to receive professional help (since I was 22) and with medication I function reasonably well. What I want to write about here is an OCD variation I did not read about yet, on the web or in books, but one that has been bothering me since I was 16.  It is an embarrassing type because it is focused on racism and antisemitism. In fact it is so embarrassing, that I almost feel compelled to stress here that I am not a racist or an anti-Semite (as I used to promise and swear to myself when I was younger).

I grew up in a progressive Christian family (I am non-religious now), and my parents always taught us to do the right thing and be there for others. They also showed this in their own behavior: Our family lived in Africa for a couple of years where my father was a tropical doctor, and my parents are still very active in helping refugees. As a kid I learned that racism and prejudice were not acceptable, and in school I learned about the Holocaust as the ultimate evil. And then, as a late adolescent, I started to get these unnerving thoughts. It is very difficult to put them in words, because they were vague and not very outspoken. But somehow they made me doubt the wrongness of antisemitism, and racism more generally, which I found shocking.

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Podcast

Go wild: positive mental well-being

In episode 73 I continue the theme of nature and mental health by recording this episode in a nature reserve. I discuss more benefits of nature on mental well-being, fractal patterns and their calming effects and reference some more studies. I hope this inspires you to get out into nature. 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

OCD Charities: OCD Action

In episode 72 I interview Olivia Bamber from the charity OCD Action. Olivia is the media and communications officer for the charity.

Olivia Bamber OCD Action

I had a good chat with Olivia. She shared her OCD story, and her experiences on the BBC documentary Extreme OCD Camp. We discussed the importance of putting effort into therapy, the services the charity offers: phone/email support, the buddy program etc. Olivia talked about fundraising for the charity and not letting OCD hold you back. 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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OCD, Relationship OCD

Lessons learned from Relationship Focused OCD

I encourage you to find a therapist who you connect with, and fight to get to the other side! You are worthy!

My first day of my first experience in intensive therapy I was asked to write down my thoughts one day from wake to sleep. I kid you not, by 9am I wrote “exhausted and yawning” (I had gotten up at 6:30). I looked at the journal and realized it was literally one page of thoughts already (probably more but I didn’t want to write it all) and it had only been 2.5 hours. These thoughts consumed about 95% of my day, and were draining me. I felt like I needed to find answers, but at the same time I didn’t know where to go, knew there weren’t actual answers, and part of me didn’t even feel like I needed any. I was trapped.

“Who do I want to be with? What if she isn’t the right person? What if I should be with a guy? But, wait, I have been with guys… How did I feel? Is that who I see myself with? Was it different from this? Should I try again? It’s expected of me. How should I feel? What if I doubt this and can’t commit? Does this feel right? Am I sexually attracted? But emotional means more to me…but you just doubted sexually so what about that?…  What is life? Do I want to be here? What if that car hits me as I get out of my car to get the mail?  Would I care? This is too much to deal with. What if my family never accepts me being with a girl? If they doubt it, maybe I am wrong. How do I know? What makes me happy? Should I move or try to go out more? No but that’s not who I am, but who am I? But wait, I want to be with her but do I need to explore myself more before committing? How do I know? I want to be with her. I had never acted this way with anyone else: losing track of time or had 7 hours feel like 1, sharing as much as I did with someone, yet my brain kept fighting me! I wasn’t used to this feeling. Comfort, calm, connection, and oh wait love–no, never! With a girl…was this right? Did I really feel this way? What if I am wrong?”

This is maybe two minutes of a day’s worth of thinking. Believe me it went on and on, uncontrolled, exhausting, circuitous, torturous circles of mental rumination. It tore me to pieces. I could go on and on, but you get the point. The answers weren’t there; the internal dialogue and questioning never ceased, and I couldn’t escape.

Our brain loves uncertainty and just following human nature, if you feed it, it gets hungry for more. OCD hits ya where it matters most (for me: relationships). I was tortured, stuck in my head, silently screaming so loudly that some days you could hear it through my smiles. I would ask friends, talk incessantly about the topic, but that was only temporary reassurance and fuel for the OCD cycle. The thoughts would only return a few minutes later, leaving me right back to where I started (fun, right?).

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