Podcast

Dr Allen Weg – OCD Treatment Through Storytelling

To get Jeff and Shala’s OCD course with 25% off, click here >>

In episode 63 of the podcast I interviewed Dr Allen WegAllen is a licensed psychologist and founder of the stress and anxiety services of New Jersey. He is on the board of directors for OCD New Jersey, an affiliate of the IOCDF, and he wrote the book “OCD treatment through storytelling”.

Allen Weg

I had a nice chat with Dr Allen Weg. He shared some great wisdom around OCD recovery. We talk about the power of storytelling, he explains ERP through a couple stories, shares the importance of lowering stress in your life, preventing relapse and graduated vs flooding in exposures. Enjoy!

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Podcast

Eric Kupers – The Dharma of OCD

In episode 62 of the podcast I interviewed Eric Kupers for the second timeEric is Associate Professor, at Cal State University East Bay, in the Department of Theatre. He is also Dance Co-Director, at the Dandelion Dance theatre.

Eric Kupers

Eric emailed with a long philosophical piece of writing (see below) for the site. It’s called “The Dharma of OCD”. Eric has taken one aspect of his understanding of the world and applied it to OCD to make sense of it. I liked this approach to tailoring understanding of treatment and recovery from one’s own perspective. In this talk we chat openly (and philosophically) about his piece, including what is Dharma, why is buddhist philosophy a good framework for understanding OCD and how does treatments such as ERP and ACT link in with it. Enjoy!

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Sexual Orientation OCD

The millions of intrusive thoughts that took over my life

almost one year after beginning recovery, but I have learned to discard them and accept them for what they are—OCD.

Before my onset of OCD, I had suffered from debilitating depression and a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a common trend for a recent college graduate without a clear path. Covering up depression was something I had done for years, while my panic attacks followed a near-perfect circadian rhythm as I laid down to sleep, out of earshot from any potential listeners. Nobody knew about the depression and GAD, but when I got OCD, the effects were immediate and painfully obvious to everyone around me.

Two Christmases ago, I went on a trip with my best friend and her family. We were eating out at a wonderful Italian restaurant, gabbing and laughing with my second family. Suddenly I look across the table at my best friend, thought about how nice she looked, then suddenly the thought hit me: she looks beautiful. I must be a lesbian. I immediately dropped my fork and sat there paralyzed while all the blood drained from my face and my stomach began tying itself into knots.

These feelings simmered unrelentingly for the next six months while my OCD thickened everyday. Every detail, conversation, action and relationship in my life leading up to that point was examined endlessly through this new lens. Here are just a couple of the millions of intrusive thoughts that took over my life, dictating my every word and action.

I can’t step in my closet to pick out clothes because then I would officially be “in the closet” and therefore I am secretly gay. 

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Sexual Orientation OCD

OCD caused me to…

OCD caused me to do many things:

OCD caused me to not wear blue, my favorite color; because blue is for boys and boys like girls, therefore I like girls.

OCD caused me to throw my clothes around my room because going into my closet was symbolic and meant that I was “in the closet”.

OCD caused me to not be able to not be able to walk around my house, cook in the kitchen or go to the bathroom out of fear of seeing my three girl roommates.

OCD caused me to never go to the gym or do any physical activity because this was a “butch” thing to do and meant that I was gay.

OCD caused me to take the long way home from school everyday because on the main route, there was a house where a “most likely gay couple” lived over 30 years ago (before I was even born).

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Podcast

Storytime – My 40 Year Journey With OCD

Overcome Compulsions Daily‘ t-shirt and hoody >>

It’s storytime… Eric shares his OCD story with us. Eric talks about how he observed the OCD cycle, and how he found a way out of that cycle. Hope it helps.

This Wednesday version will only be on itunes and other podcast apps. It will not be on YouTube like the interview episodes. You can also listen here through the audio player below.

Here is the written version of Eric’s story: My 40 Year Journey With OCD.

Share your story >

This podcast is also brought to you by nOCD. Download the app for free and they will donate $0.50 to an OCD charity on your behalf: http://m.treatmyocd.com/ocdstories

Enjoy,

Stu

Podcast

Adam Shaw – Pulling The Trigger (OCD Recovery)

OCD recovery is a marathon, so I am running the Brighton marathon (26 miles) – help me raise money for OCD UK here: JustGiving.com/theocdstories

In episode 61 of the podcast I interviewed Adam ShawAdam, along with Lauren Callaghan co-wrote the book “Pulling the trigger – OCD, Anxiety, panic attacks and related depression. A definitive survival and recovery approach”. Adam also founded the mental health charity The Shaw Mind Foundation.

Adam Shaw

 I had a good chat with Adam. We talk about suicide, why reassurance is a nasty drug, taking a punt on recovery, facing fears not fighting them and living a life beyond OCD. This is an inspiring talk, hope it helps. Enjoy!

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Podcast

Storytime – On Avoiding Writing This Essay

It’s storytime… Morgan shares her OCD story with us. Morgan talks about perfectionism and how OCD got worse in college. Morgan offers hope and an example that you can achieve your goals even if OCD is present. Hope it helps.

This Wednesday version will only be on itunes and other podcast apps. It will not be on YouTube like the interview episodes. You can also listen here through the audio player below.

Here is the written version of Morgan’s story: On avoiding writing this essay and Morgan on the podcast.

Share your story >

This podcast is also brought to you by nOCD. Download the app for free and they will donate $0.50 to an OCD charity on your behalf: http://m.treatmyocd.com/ocdstories

Enjoy,

Stu

Religious OCD

In The Midst

There is hope in the midst of brokenness

I try to resist, but the longer I last without giving in, the stronger the urge gets. As it has been throughout my life, my mind is relentless, perpetually bombarding me with thoughts, ideas, obsessions: darkness.

I try to let go but…

“Pack for next month’s trip… now”

“Work on your essay… now.”

“Exercise… now.”

Obsessive-compulsive disorder has been a reality for me as long as I can remember; every moment of every day filled with intrusion after intrusion, accusing me, threatening me, forcing fathomless anxiety upon my hopeless frame.

Waging war is one thing when the enemy is visible, defined, external. But when the enemy is inside?

One’s own mind is a formidable foe.

A feathery thought to the average person bears a weight of bricks in my mind. The only way to rid myself of the pressing anxiety it brings is to give in and do whatever it urges me to.

Resistance seems futile.

OCD first manifested in earnest in regards to self-image. As I began the turbulent years of high-school, mental whispers of inadequacy about my weight became more and more frequent.

“Face people head-on; don’t let them see your elephantine profile.”

“If you eat that chocolate bar, you’ll never be married.”

 “Do you think any girl could love you?”

I give in to the whispers, losing seventy pounds in the span of six months. Counting calories takes over. My parents try to intervene, telling me to simply stop my destructive habits. But they don’t see the battle being waged within, just the outer workings of it.

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OCD

On The Road To Recovery

But with the right help and support I know I can get better.

I was always been a different child, I obsessed over a lot of things that other kids wouldn’t. I believed that if I didn’t pray a certain amount of times, someone I loved would die. This was scary to deal with at such a young age. I would obsess over things and get worked up about things. Eventually my OCD grew, it manifested itself into everything in my life. As I started high school my OCD got unbearable. It took up my life I couldn’t function normally, I couldn’t even walk into a room without my mind telling me “don’t go in that room or someone will get hurt”. Things that I used to love became meaningless, I didn’t find joy from anything anymore.

I started going to therapy and soon started CBT. It was hard at first to open up to someone and let them know about my thoughts. I struggle with intrusive thoughts, these thoughts are so real to me sometimes I can’t tell what’s real and what’s in my mind. These thoughts revolve around harming people I love. I believed that once I had this thought it would come true. This is so scary for me because I take responsibility for everything. I started self harming because I felt worthless, like I needed to punish myself for being a bad person. I got sent away to a psychiatric hospital when I was 14, this was so scary. I didn’t like it at all, I felt alone and my self harm got worse after being in hospital. I ended up being discharged from hospital as they believed it wasn’t the right environment for me.

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Podcast

Liz Atkin – From Compulsive Skin Picking to Compulsive Charcoal

In episode 60 of the podcast I interviewed Liz AtkinLiz is an award winning visual artist and mental health advocate. She is known for her free 1 minute compulsive charcoal drawings. These drawings are inspired by and as a coping mechanism from compulsive skin picking, also known as dermatillomania.

Liz AtkinCharcoal Drawings

 I had a good chat with Liz about compulsive skin picking. She shared how she has transferred the energy of skin picking into art, how her drawings act as randoms acts of kindness for strangers. She talks about how art can be an conversation starter for both awareness of the condition and helping others who live with other conditions. Liz shares some tips for stopping skin picking, and offers some good advice for living an amazing live. Enjoy!

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