OCD

I worked hard every single day

My OCD started when I was a four year old child. For some reason,whenever I touched something, a door handle, a light switch, I had to lick my hands to ‘clean them’. Strange, as now I know it was doing the opposite than cleaning them, but for some reason I had to do it, or I’d be left feeling cripplingly anxiety for the rest of the day. From there, everything turned into a compulsion. By seven, I spent hours repeating phrases to everything I looked at in a room, I checked my bedroom door dozens of times a night to check it was closed until it felt ‘just right’.

As much as this was distressing, it wasn’t half as bad as what was to come. At nine years old, I developed a form of OCD called ‘pure O’ , a type that has no visible compulsions, which eventually sent me into a breakdown when I was thirteen. Pure OCD made me question everything I did. If I moved my hand a certian way, it had meant I’d sworn at someone, if I’d had a dream where I’d said something mean about someone else, if I said something mean about someone else, OCD would grasp onto this and morph it until the only way to get rid of the thought was to tell someone exactly what had happened.

I was misdiagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder at first, so by the time I was twelve, I was completley consumed by OCD. It made me believe I was a dangerous criminal. I was certain I was a dangerous criminal. I could go into details about these thoughts but you’d be reading this for hours. By thirteen, the intrusive thoughts got so bad, I attempted on my life. I spent the next year in a cycle of self destruction and self hatred. I was utterly consumed by my OCD. It controlled everything I did,or didn’t do. I was trapped. I spent a year in cognitive behavioural therapy, but I was so ill that I couldn’t properly engage. I started to get nightmares. I was put on medication which reduced my anxiety a little but didn’t make that much of a difference. I tried to hand myself into the police multiple times. By fourteen, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for treatment.

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Podcast

Story: Spenser Gabin

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In episode 127 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Spenser Gabin. In this story edition of the podcast Spenser shares his OCD story. 

Spenser Gabin

In this episode I chat with Spenser about his OCD story, and his recovery journey. We cover many other topics such as stopping reassurance – pros and cons list of doing a compulsion, living a valued life, how he keeps stress low, having patience in doing exposures, journalling, his peer support training, believing in treatment, having compassion for yourself and connecting with others with OCD. 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!

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OCD

The Intangible Demons in My Head: A Story of a 13 year old’s journey with OCD and Anxiety

I don’t wash my hands a hundred times a day. I don’t clean obsessively, or need things to be “just right”. I don’t count numbers, or switch light switches on and off. But I have OCD. Dear old OCD has been with me for a quite some time, and is always finding new ways to terrify me. Thanks again for that OCD.

For me, my OCD is mostly around intrusive thoughts and reassurance seeking. I remember my first intrusive thought, when I was just 9 years old, I couldn’t fall asleep, because I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was suffocating my dog with the blanket. I keep looking and checking on her, until I was certain it was off her and she could breathe. I felt if I didn’t keep checking, she would die, and it would all be my fault.

As I grew older, my GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and OCD symptoms grew larger and larger until they overflowed, and my parents knew it was time to take me to a therapist. My intrusive thoughts, or “bad thoughts” as I called them, revolved mostly around hurting myself, or killing myself. I was terrified that I would somehow manage to kill myself, and that because I thought that, it was going to happen. I avoided the kitchen, and couldn’t do anything dangerous in fear it would be me trying to commit suicide.

Let me make it clear that I was not going to do these things, but this is the nature of OCD, to make you doubt, doubt, doubt, fear the worst things, think the worst most “blasphemous” thoughts. Everytime I heard the word suicide, alarm bells, no freaking air raids go off in my head. I went into full panic. I write “were” because it used to be much worse. Although, this is still something I experience on a daily basis, it is much better than before.

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Podcast

Harris Goldberg – Relapse, stress and recovery

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In episode 126 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Harris Goldberg for the second time. 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

In this episode I chat with Harris about many topics including his recent relapse, his OCD story, managing stress, maintaining mental well-being, managing anxiety on a movie set, his biggest epiphany in recovery, what he would tell his 20-year-old self, and much much more. 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!

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OCD

My OCD took all of my primary school years

Hi,

I’m Jake, now 24 and no longer a severe sufferer of OCD. I battled OCD from as young as I could remember, although at the time I had no idea it was OCD. My friends in primary school and my family used to just says (it’s just jakes way). Thinking back now for other kids to react the way they did is very positive because I was never bullied or made to feel like a freak about it, it wasn’t until I got older and started secondary school when it got so bad I would be late for school most days and even had to afford P.E. in school sometimes…next paragraph you will understand why.

My OCD thoughts would taunt me and make me do near enough most things repeatedly, to a point where I was putting boxer shorts, trousers, socks, trainers you name it any item of clothing I was taking on and off 20 or more times before I was happy enough to leave the house or go onto the next item of clothing. I would also get in and out the bath multiple times when they got to a point I made the bathroom so wet with bath water we had to get a shower installed to help the situation. I’m going into this much detail because at the time I never thought I would be where I am today or writing about my experience. Now having my OCD controlled so much where I don’t even notice I have it (apart from being clean and tidy) I feel I can speak out and hope to help other sufferers that trust me it gets better and yes you can live a normal life.

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Podcast

Kirsten Pagacz – Leaving The OCD Circus

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In episode 125 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Kirsten Pagacz. Kirsten is author of the book “Leaving the OCD Circus” suffered a traumatic childhood which included on-set OCD at only 9 years of age. Kirsten’s undiagnosed OCD escalated for the next two decades until her complete mental collapse in her early thirties. Until then she didn’t even know that there was a name for what she was experiencing. Today Kirsten is a happy and successful business owner living a very full, well balanced, joyful life with very little to no OCD symptoms. She has dedicated herself to healing through Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Exposure Response Prevention, Mindfulness, Meditation and several other wellness tools.

Kirsten Pagacz

In this episode I chat with Kirsten about her OCD story, what helped her get better: CBT, Medication, and more. We discussed the idea of illness to wellness, her idea of soul nutrients, making choices, being in nature, exercising and many more topics. 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!

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Podcast

The OCD Camp – My conversation with 6 campers

Interested in The OCD Camp? Check out TheOCDCamp.com

In episode 124 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed 6 of the campers who attended the first UK OCD camp, to find out more about their experiences and what they learned. 

The OCD Camp 2018

In this episode my 6 guests talk about the weekend and what they enjoyed about it, including: Not feeling alone, seeing others face their fears, the ambience of the camp, exposures, music, living a value led life, feeling safe to open up and share, as well as much much more. 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 David Sherman – Medication

Disclaimer – This episode is not a replacement for medical advice. When making choices around medication please speak to a psychiatrist. 

In episode 123 of The OCD Stories podcast I chatted Dr David Sherman. David is a psychiatrist practicing in New York City for around 15 years, and for much of that time he was also an assistant professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Centre. He has kindly agreed to come on the show to answer your questions around medication.

Dr David Sherman

In this episode I chatted with David about medication for OCD. He answers 17 questions around medication all submitted by listeners of the show. 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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