OCD

Summer 2015

I had relapses and I still do but the thoughts are so much weaker, they disappear over time faster.

My story could be a bit unique in it’s own way. I’m not a native speaker and I’m from Russia myself but I’ve been following the topic of OCD for year and a half to help myself. My sources for any kind of OCD knowledge had been purely in English because I find it has much a diverse information on Pure OCD and Russian sources happen to be quite limited on it. I’m 27 year old male, I’m a freelance worker and my story begins.

Growing up I did not really notice I might have a mental issue such as OCD, but looking back now, I could say it has been with me since I can remember myself. I had problems with high level of anxiety, but as I thought back then, it comes from the point of me being a very emotional person. But the Pure OCD revealed itself in its full power much later in my life, when I was the happiest I’d been.

It happened 2 years ago and to this day I still can’t believe I had to deal with it, even tho my Pure OCD did not go away fully (and never will), I learned how to manage it.

My story begins on summer 2015 when I met a woman that I fell in love with, as deeply as one can imagine and my strong feelings were mutual as she felt the same. But it’s not as easy as it sounds because we happened to live in different countries and we met online. She is from Germany and I am from Russia.

I don’t want you to think that I’m writing a love story here and not about OCD, but trust me, it’s more like an OCD story with love being a main part as an activating point of my Pure OCD that had been with me all my life but was not bothering me as much until I’ve got somebody I care about and not just myself.

Since we met, we’ve been inseparable as much as distance allows. That summer was my happiest time of my life, and when Pure OCD hit me deep, it felt like for these unbelievably happy moments I had to pay by dealing with it. By going into details of meeting this woman, which I will refer in this story as J., I want define how I was getting into the worst state of OCD I had ever experienced in my entire life, which was not limited only to emotional distress, due to overdose of positive and happy feelings.

But let’s keep the story in order.
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Podcast

Dr Steven Phillipson – Recovery From Thinking The Unthinkable

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In episode 99 I interviewed Dr Steven Phillipson. Steven is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for OCD. He co-founded the first CBT/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 I chat with Steven about the history behind the term Pure O, OCD support groups, therapy homework, you get out of therapy what you put in, the commonalities among OCD themes, how not to get stuck in the content/theme of the OCD thought, why OCD isn’t evil it’s just a friendly brain in overdrive, when a parent and child has the same theme of OCD, why a thought is just a thought, living by your values despite what ever emotion may be present, a relapse prevention strategy, dealing with false memory OCD, and learning to live in the present. 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

Emily Byrnes – A Strangely Wrapped Gift

In episode 98 I interviewed Emily Byrnes. Emily is a teacher and poet. Her new book “A strangely wrapped gift” is a collection of poems including some on OCD and mental health.

Emily Byrnes

In this episode I chat with Emily about spreading awareness of OCD through writing, breaking down stigma, CBT (ERP), being persistent in seeking treatment, why finding a CBT therapist who understands OCD is important, investing your time into something positive, getting a support system, why name her book “a strangely wrapped gift”, and Emily explains the meaning behind 4 poems I picked out. 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

Facing my fears with CBT

So for anyone out there, in darkness with no hope. There can be and is a small light at the end of the tunnel if you look hard enough.

Im 40 now and have had Emetophobia for as long as I can remember. Throughout my life the severity has fluctuated and other illnesses such as OCD have become entwined.
From as young as primary age I can recall being afraid of vomit. Looking back there were tell tale signs from a very early age. In primary I convinced myself I was ill when the assembly had to sing “The lords prayer”. I have no idea why that particular song, but every time without fail my grandmother (whom adopted me) would be called up and off home I went. I would get home and instantly feel fine.

Other times I would stay up all night pacing around as my grandmother slept upstairs, worrying I was about to vomit. I never ever told her, but I think she was aware that I just hated it.

By secondary school my main aim was to get through the day without vomiting. It was constantly on my mind and I was analysing every situation. This is where OCD struck and I would have a series of rituals I would need to complete in order to stop myself and family from being sick. My number at the time was 3 but with 1 for luck. So effectively 4. I became slightly religious in which I had to say the same prayer over and over to satisfaction 4×4×4 times and so on. If my grandmother dared call me or interrupt, I would despair as the whole thing needed to be done again. I was missing out on time with friends due to the amount of time it took me to complete my rituals.
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Podcast

Mark Freeman – Getting curious about anxiety

Find out more and register your interest in TheOCDCamp.com

In episode 97 I interviewed Mark Freeman. We recently ran a workshop together in London, so we took some time to reflect on the event, and talk generally about OCD recovery.

Mark Freeman book signing

In this episode I chat with Mark for the 4th time! We talk about our recent workshop in London, dealing with uncertainty, learning from difficult situations, questions Mark got asked on his workshops, how compassion and empathy can help, awareness for building empathy, putting a price on compulsions, straight forward mindfulness, getting curious about anxiety, and trusting 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

Zoe Gillis – Disconnect to Reconnect

Find out more and register your interest in TheOCDCamp.com

In episode 96 I interviewed Zoe Gillis. Zoe is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who runs nature and mindfulness wilderness retreats.

Zoe Gillis

In this episode I chat with Zoe about nature feeling like a safer place to release emotion, overcoming fears in nature, focusing on the beauty of nature, how nature can benefit mental well-being, sensory mindfulness, putting the phone down, journal writing, getting comfortable being uncomfortable, noticing beauty around you, advice for the anxious hiker, and nature for beginners. 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

Be water my friend

In episode 95 I talk about how water can be both calming and a metaphor for recovery from OCD. Water can be a great reminder to be mindful, to connect back to the experience of “now”. Water is (in my opinion) a great example of a recovery based mindset. Enjoy!

Be water my friend


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

Shannon Shy – Overcoming OCD

In episode 94 I interviewed Shannon Shy. Shannon is the president of the board of directors for the IOCDF and an OCD peer support specialist. He is also an attorney for the department of the U.S. Navy, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, and the author of two books about obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), “It’ll be Okay”: How I Kept OCD from Ruining My Life, and Hope Is on Your Side: A Motivational Journal for Those Affected OCD.

Shannon Shy

In this episode I chat with Shannon about his OCD story, the power of a single choice, developing a recovery strategy, peer support, the “hope” and “motivation” questions, welcoming triggers as an opportunity to get better, taking daily action in recovery, being consistent and persistent, not focusing on measuring progress so much, finding a position of calm, and learning to live to the fullest. 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

I’m standing. I’m living.

I write this to tell My story. To let others know they are not alone.

When I was young I’m not sure of the age but little. I used to kiss everyone of my beanie baby animals at night. It sounds sweet right? Well it wasn’t for me– I would kiss each one the get into bed. After I’d get into bed I would wonder did I really kiss each one? What if I didn’t- I would start to feel heavy in my chest and my body uneven. I would get up and kiss them all again (I had a lot), crawl back into bed. Sometimes I could be ok with just that but often times I would kiss them until my lips hurt and I was crying, or until someone in my family said to go to bed. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I would wake up thinking it all was silly until I would do it again the next night. I remember certain rituals. Feeling like one of my fingers was “bad” I would have to touch something with my other finger Two times for every one time I did with my bad finger. I would get stuck in one place for so long touching back and forth. I’m unsure anyone noticed. Maybe they did. Maybe they worried or joked about how I was just a weird kid, maybe OCD wasn’t a topic back then. But I remember feeling stuck in my head a lot.

I was fine a lot of the time, no one would of noticed, as I am now pretty functional outwardly. My teenage years were hard. College harder. I had an eating disorder in high school that I can see now was based entirely on OCD. I would pick out certain foods and amounts that were ok to eat. If I didn’t eat them at a certain time of day or I ate more than allowed I would get panicked. Would I get very fat? Would everything fall apart? Everything about being a teenage girl seemed to revolve around my OCD. Much like when I was little I had a ritual every night of doing sit-ups. 100. But if I miscounted I thought I would start over. I see so clearly the color of the carpet in my bedroom, feeling dizzy, upset- thinking if I could only get through this it would be ok, I would feel even. College is when I finally realized what was wrong with me. I started having weird thoughts. Worried I would stab someone I loved with a knife at night. I would get physically ill over it. I’d tell my then boyfriend at the time. He was a good guy, he would laugh it off say it’s ok. I would tell him so much it felt like sweet relief to say something until I thought it again. I looked up these thoughts online— intrusive thoughts. A glitch in the brain. It helped me to know it didn’t mean I wanted to hurt someone, in fact it meant quite the opposite I was so sickened by my thoughts I couldn’t let them go. I went on Zoloft. It failed, I felt sick and zombie and fat. I always said I could get through anything by walking. And honestly I think I did. When I met my husband he use to say I was in my “hole” when I got down. I couldn’t get out he would say unless I went outside or got out of the house. God he pulled me out of that hole so many times. The man is a saint really, he doesn’t hear it enough. And he prob didn’t know when he married me that he would deal with my mental illness so heavily.

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OCD

Living with trichotillomania

Through these experiences, I want to be able to help others, including Native Americans

My battle with trichotillomania has been on and off since a young age. My earliest memory of the start was in elementary school in music class one day when my head began itching and I began pulling. In 7th grade, it definitely continued to get worse up through high school. I began being bullied in high school from it; called names, lost friends, and had little support. I even tried committing suicide. My family did not understand my situation, and instead they pushed me to stop through shame. I wanted to wear a wig in school but I felt discouraged, thinking I might be made fun of worse.

I am Native American and my family also had superstitious beliefs. My problem in their eyes was from having someone who was “witching” me. Their assumption was that someone from their cultural view was jealous and/or hated me, and somehow got a hold of my nails or hair and buried it in a graveyard making me crazy. My anxiety built from the bullying in school, pressure to stop. My nail biting had also gotten worse as well, people saying my fingers were gonna curl in where I couldn’t use them anymore.

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