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CBT

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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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

ERP for Pure O

Support our videos and get rewards by becoming an The OCD Stories patron: https://www.patreon.com/theocdstories

In episode 56 of the podcast I cover a question I have been asked and seen around the web many times, “how do I do ERP for Pure O?”. There are many great ways of doing this, however I share a couple ways on this episode, focusing on a technique called imaginal exposure in particular. Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy is best done with a therapist as it can be quite emotionally challenging and the therapist is trained to help you get the most out of it.

Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain – Mark Twain

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Harm OCD, Pure O

My Pure O and Harm OCD Story

She has confirmed to me time and time again that no one in the history of OCD has ever actually acted on these intrusive thoughts

Like many, my OCD reared it’s ugly head when I was a teenager in the form of Pure O, or harm OCD.  At the time I had no idea what OCD was, there certainly was no Google back then, and sincerely thought I was losing my mind.  I certainly didn’t want to talk to anyone about the intrusive thoughts so I kept the torment to myself. I remember in the late 80s being in our kitchen with the Phil Donahue show playing on the tv and only half listening until I realized there were people on this show discussing exactly what I was going through.  It was like an elephant being lifted off my chest and I cried many tears of relief as I listened to other stories and finally understood what I had was just a horrible condition that affected many.

I have thought at the worst times that I would rather have terminal cancer than this disorder, because at least only myself would have the chance of being harmed in that scenario.  The cruelty of this illness seems to me to be one of the worst illnesses that can affect a human, but I know there is hope in the form of reaching out for help.

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Intrusive Thoughts

Dear OCD

Dear OCD,

You have been around for quite some time now for my son (now 22yrs old)…… I first noticed when he was 13yrs old, I thought it was just little fad he was going through. Bending down touching the floor, or the top of a fence or not walking on the cracks on the pavement.

You did that for 3yrs then on a holiday weekend it all came pouring. You could not cope anymore, you thought you were gay, a bad person, a really really bad person and would go to hell, you cried with fear. OCD gave you a breakdown! You were admitted to hospital and diagnosed with OCD…. You had continuous intrusive thoughts, sexual, violent, religious thoughts…. Your head was full…… I could visibly see your worry, your pain, your fear!!! But I was helpless and did not know what to do….. I cried with you, I tried to re-assure you….. I did the best I could.

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Peadophile OCD, Pure O, Sexual Orientation OCD

The OCD Rabbit Hole

For my friends, family and Kiwi girlfriend.

I have ‘Pure O’ OCD where the compulsions are more in your head and ‘mental’ as opposed to someone with contamination OCD where they will do ‘physical’ compulsions such as washing their hands and trying to control not getting contaminated from AIDS or Ebola. But to be honest as I have had OCD since I was a child (4-5 apparently.) I have gone through all the different types including (not in order): fears of black specks, contamination, washing hands, ‘Pure O’, fear of the numbers 13 and 666 (with plenty of horror movie references,) sexual and religious OCD. All the compulsions do, are re-enforce the OCD and that is where Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helps.

With regards to the sexual OCD, it has gone through the’ OCD mill’ where the first worries with sexuality was when I was at boarding school and like most boys at the age of 13, there were many jokes about being gay. I recall one boy saying that “1 in 10 people are gay” so of course we all looked around to try and work out which one of us would end up gay if we weren’t already. I would look at Calvin Klein boxer adverts and worry that I was attracted to images of men with six packs. As I realised that being gay wasn’t an issue, it then went onto darker sides of the sexuality spectrum. It went onto bestiality at the age of 14-15 where I worried I might be attracted to animals. I had a weird dream at one point, which involved a sex act with a dog. This completely freaked me out where I then felt sick and actually cried. Looking back, it was disturbing but also amusing in how ridiculous it was. The bestiality fear tapped into my love of animals, where I have always been a massive fan of dogs and cats (not in a sexual way!)

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Podcast

Shala Nicely Answers Your OCD Recovery Questions

In episode 41 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Shala Nicely. Shala is an anxiety disorders treatment specialist in Atlanta and author of the forthcoming books, “Is Fred in the Refrigerator?” and “Everyday Mindfulness for OCD”. Shala is also co-founder of BeyondTheDoubt.com.

Shala Nicely

I chatted with Shala and asked her your questions, she gave some great answers. Shala answered questions on sleep, dealing with mental checking, advice for starting ERP, how obsessions have changed over time, medication, accepting risk, depression and imaginal exposure. 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.

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

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Podcast

Ashley Fulwood (OCD UK) – Recovery Is Possible

In episode 39 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Ashley Fulwood. Ashley is the CEO of the charity OCD UK which aims to serve the 1 million people affected by OCD in the UK, and I’m sure their work has helped you wherever you are in the world.

Ashley Fulwood

I chatted with Ashley about breaking down stigma, dealing with life areas beyond OCD, the idea of going beyond normal to get to normal and why OCD doesn’t make us do anything, it makes us feel like we should do the compulsion. We discuss why setting deadlines are important to getting things done in recovery, why working on the cognitive part is also important in recovery, and why we need to be kind to ourselves. 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.

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

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OCD

A Strange Thing to Talk About: My Life with OCD

I’ve started to realize I shouldn’t take these feelings and thoughts as gospel.

With OCD, certain questions and doubts can become addicted to answers, creating even more questions and doubts. Answering is like tossing water on a grease fire. It’s a paradoxical and insidious disorder.

When I was younger, I’d spin in specific circles as if a string were wrapped around me. Working in tandem with my tics, my mind would repeatedly flip and spin imaginary metal contraptions until they fit together correctly. I’d lick my hand whenever it brushed up against someone, and even worse, I would actually consider this my own form of hoarding other people’s germs (Yeah, I know how weird that one is). I’d spend hours and then years wondering and checking to see if my lips were resting strangely or my arms were too thin or my jaw were too weak.

I’d also repeatedly rest my fingertips in the edges of my eye sockets and pull at my jaw and press my temples because I feared and questioned how vulnerable the human face was and whether I actually wanted to pull mine apart. I’d routinely check my thoughts to see if I were capable of incest or pedophilia or murder. I’d picture my own death quite literally a thousand times a day.

My experience with OCD has been long and bizarre and even debilitating, and the list of obsessions and compulsions I’ve had is endless. I’ve gone through almost every subset apart from pop culture’s stock representation of OCD as a “cleaning disorder” (I’m filthy). Some have been temporary and some have stayed with me to this day, but they all come from the same place. I avoided getting help because it all felt too strange to put into words.

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Pure O

Taming the beast: OCD, body dysmorphia, and depression

I’m writing this with the hope that, if we openly speak about that which we so often mention in hushed tones, we can begin the process of helping those who suffer in silence.

I am a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend, a boyfriend, and a writer. I am also a murderer, I’ve contaminated people with infectious diseases, I’ve seen my cat die in a horrific house fire, I’ve run over countless people with my car, I’ve committed the most heinous moral, ethical, and sexual sacrilege, and at my worst… I believe these accusations my mind has concocted against me. I’m writing this for myself. I’m writing this for every person affected in some way, directly or indirectly, by the beasts that are OCD, body dysmorphia, and depression. I’m writing this with the hope that, if we openly speak about that which we so often mention in hushed tones, we can begin the process of helping those who suffer in silence.

I’ve had what can only be considered the most trying year of my life. No, I didn’t endure some sort of traumatic loss of a loved one, I wasn’t on the front-line of a war, I still have a decent paying job, and my limbs are all intact. But sometimes everything is awash in gray. Existence loses its color. Purpose is indefinable. I’m merely a vessel that’s physically here but emotionally and spiritually dead. That short story I wanted to write and submit to hopefully kick-start my writing career? Absolutely no interest—I’m the most uncreative, talentless person to ever live. Driving the thirty or so minutes to go visit my parents? Maybe next weekend—I’m a terrible, lousy son. Cleaning the apartment? I just can’t be bothered—Man, I’m such a slob. Breathing? Christ, who thought a basic physiological function could be so hard—I’m so lazy. My boyfriend hasn’t texted because he’s busy? It’s no wonder—You’re an inadequate partner and he doesn’t really love you. You don’t even love yourself… Most of the time, at least. When did your self-worth train derail? Did it ever leave the station?

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