Browsing Tag

Medication

OCD

OCD or Recovery: The Choice

One way is recovery and the other is OCD. It is awesome to have that choice!

Growing up I used to worry a lot. About everything. I never told anyone though. I’m not sure if this was because I thought ‘If I don’t say it its not real’. Or maybe I didn’t want to seem weak? Or perhaps I didn’t want people to worry themselves? Probably all of those. It does not matter too much now. The fact is I had a load of anxiety taking a ride on never ending waltzers in my belly and, despite having a wonderfully supportive family, I never felt comfortable vocalising its existence.

So where does this anxiety go? How is the pressure relieved? Unfortunately the natural mistake any child, teenager or adult can make is to try to work that feeling out. To try to think themselves out of that feeling. It can work briefly. But if that anxiety pot is always on the verge of brimming you have to keep thinking of more ways to reassure yourself that everything is going to be okay. Throw a frightful “intrusive thought” into the mix and its not too much of a jump to see what can happen next. The individual starts to dedicate their whole lives to convincing themselves that thought was not real. But the issue is the anxiety made it FEEL real. And so the cycle continues. OCD is born.

I remember in my early 20s I used to say to myself “I will NOT have that thought today” and manage about 5 minutes at best. That track got stuck more than the NOW 54 CD that I used to use as a tea coaster and frisbee. And was even shitter. I was so desperate to have a ‘pure’ brain without ugly thoughts. But anything from a pair of scissors to a dark BBC News story would be enough to set me off into dreadful doubt and reflection. Of course all of this reassurance, coping and avoidance made things much worse. I had got to the point of planning how to ‘hand myself in’ (for crimes against the thinking world I suppose) and researching online to see if I had the same brain as the Moors Murderers. All was not well.

Then, whilst training for a new healthcare role at the age of 24, a little miracle happened. The woman taking the group mentioned “some people with OCD have repeated unwanted thoughts about hurting people”. I sat bolt upright. Straight after I raced home and jumped on Wikipedia and started reading about OCD, intrusive thoughts and compulsions. The relief I felt that day is still something I marvel at fondly. That there could be a reason for all this confusion and fear felt something close to being reborn.
Continue Reading

Podcast

Alison Dotson – Being Me With OCD

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

In episode 54 of the podcast I interviewed Alison Dotson. Alison is an OCD advocate and author of the book “Being me with OCD: How I learned to obsess less and live my life”.

Alison Dotson

I enjoyed chatting with Alison. She does a lot for the OCD community, and she does it with a smile. Her book was enjoyable to read and if you haven’t checked it out, give it a go (links below). In this episode we talk about her OCD story which includes religious and sexual orientation OCD themes. Advice for seeking help, the keys to Alison’s recovery, using exposures in your everyday life, how having a support group can help and the ‘obsession in a box’ technique. Enjoy!

Continue Reading

Harm OCD

It all seemed too weird

It all seemed too weird, embarrassing, ridiculous to share with anyone but I am thankful to have the opportunity to share it here.

Someone recently reminded me that we all have our dark places, things that we are ashamed of.  The following is a brief description of mine…

My story is connected to obsessive compulsive disorder.  Specifically something called “harm ocd”.  I discovered the name for it when I was 14 or 15, but the symptoms had been there for years.  I can remember being a young child and having disturbing thoughts of harming myself or someone close to me.  These thoughts would be accompanied by distressing images which caused extreme anxiety.  Was i going crazy, losing my mind?  Was I a danger to myself and others?  Typically the thoughts would be about physically hurting/harming someone close to me (I did not want to hurt anyone, but feared that I would lose control and do so).  I became afraid to be alone with others, to be around sharp objects/potential weapons, to babysit, etc.  The avoidance did not work and the thoughts continued until I discovered a medication and therapy that worked for me (anafranil and ERP).

Continue Reading

Podcast

Dr Jonathan Grayson – OCD Recovery, Uncertainty and Virtual Camping

Help and inspire others by sharing your OCD story. Find out more here >

In episode 45 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Dr Jonathan Grayson. Jon with his wife, Cathy founded the LA treatment centre for anxiety and OCD. Jon has been working with people with OCD for 35 years and is the author of Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He founded the support group GOAL and is also known for his idea virtual camping.

Dr Jonathan Grayson

I chatted with Jon about the strength you gain from having and recovering from OCD. We discuss certainty as an emotion, learning to cope with the worst, camping and virtual camping. We talk about motivation in recovery, seeing a life after OCD, medication, how ACT can work with ERP, his support group GOAL and how a supportive community can help. 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

Continue Reading

Podcast

4 Ideas for OCD Recovery

In episode 44 of The OCD Stories podcast I talk about 4 ideas for OCD recovery that have been on my mind.

Stuart Ralph

I talk about why I started the podcast, and its aims, why it can be good to bolt on new ideas to your existing treatment approach, using ERP throughout life not just OCD, changing your focus from the problem to the solution, silver linings and the importance of community. 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

Continue Reading

Podcast

Dr Becky Beaton – Hoarding, Trauma and OCD

In episode 43 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Dr Becky Beaton. Becky is the Founder and Director of The Anxiety & Stress Management Institute. Becky is also a co-founder of OCD Georgia, which is an affiliate of the IOCDF. She was also a psychologist on the US TV show Hoarding for 60 episodes.

Dr Becky Beaton

I talked with Becky about many topics including hoarding, therapies for hoarding, how trauma affects OCD, dealing with anxiety around flying, getting motivated for therapy, the impact of stress on OCD, the importance of sleep, why conscious breathing is important, mindfulness and how to get started with it, medication, nutrition and exercise. 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

Continue Reading

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!)

Continue Reading

Intrusive Thoughts

“I Hate You” An OCD Obsession

For all of us dealing with OCD no matter how severe and in whatever shape or form, know that your inner fortitude must be incredibly strong to deal with this monster every day.

It was Winston Churchill who gave his manic depression the name ‘black dog’ and I think a lot of you reading this may know what he was referring to when he penned that 75 years ago, I certainly can.

My OCD story started almost 5 years ago. I was 35.

I had a newborn son at home, life was great despite being exhausted ( he was a terrible sleeper) but I still had some of that new Dad ‘shine’ to me…it kept me going through those long days trying my best to manage a work/ life balance.

I remember the day so vividly when my OCD raised its ugly head for the first time. I was walking home after work , I used to cherish that time. Clear the mind…. Fresh air.  I couldn’t wait to get home and see my baby boy. it was unseasonably warm for a February day in Toronto and it felt good to be walking with the sun on my face . Out of nowhere I had this thought ‘what if I hate my son ?’  It felt like An MMA fighter had sunk his fist into my solar plexus and was circling the ring looking for his next opening. I just stood there on the pavement, horrified, confused, scared… That thought sent a 50,000 volt shock through my system. I couldn’t get it out of my head.

Continue Reading

Podcast

Ed’s Story: The Complex Truth of OCD

Get the right help, and the world will look like a different place

In episode 26 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Ed Renshaw. Ed first wrote his OCD story for the website in 2015. I’ve since got to know Ed well, and wanted to get him on the show to share his journey and inspiration with you.

Ed Renshaw

In this episode I chat with Ed about his OCD journey, his relapse and what is helping him in recovery, including therapy, medication, playing the violin and writing. We go into some deep topics around stigma, getting the help you need and positive distractions. Enjoy…

Continue Reading

Harm OCD, OCD, Relationship OCD, Religious OCD

Living With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

I always knew I was different. I was a sensitive child. Some of my first memories consist of coming home from school and thinking about my day and all of the things I had done badly, incorrectly, or the ways in which I had failed to be the daughter my parents would love. As a result, every day without fail I would get a huge knot in my stomach that wouldn’t go away. The only way I figured out to make it stop was to accost my father as he came in the door from work and to blurt out to him all the things I had done during the day that were wrong, and then to ask for his forgiveness. I was 5. The pattern lasted for years.

I remember being a pre-teen. My mind was full of thoughts, most of which I was sure would damn me to hell. I prayed. I repeated my prayer each night, in the same order, the same number of times. My prayer saved me. My prayer protected my family from imminent harm.

My mother got sick. She went to the hospital and I was a mess. All I could think of was to write down all the things that happened each day and to recite them back to my mother when I was allowed to talk to her in the evenings. I remember with clarity writing “my brother threw a dirty sock at me.” I knew my lists were trivial and that my mother didn’t know what to do with my confessions but the pattern continued.

I didn’t like my parents. My father was a strict disciplinarian. Each second of my life was controlled. I was a puppet in my parent’s puppet show. I longed for control and eventually found it by cutting. By my teen years the battle in my head was raging on. I could not voice the things in my head for fear of rejection or condemnation, so to make my mental pain subside I would find razor blades or anything sharp and would cut to make the pain physical. Physical pain was much more feasible to me.

Continue Reading