Browsing Tag

OCD

OCD

Psychic Scrupulosity, Evil Spirits, and Bad Vibes

Whenever I was sixteen, I was convinced I was evil. I was tormented by intrusive thoughts that took the form of “evil spirits” who I believed were attracted to me (because I was evil). I avoided certain objects because they had “bad energy” and I tried many cleansing rituals like praying, smudging with sage, carrying crystals, and sleeping with rosary beads to chase away the spirits. However, it never was enough. It never worked. I wore a cross around my neck, and at one point, I thought it was burning my flesh (because I was evil, of course!). I went to churches and visited psychics and priests. At my worst, I was unable to be alone, and I wanted to be placed into a metal institution because I could not find relief. This incredible spike went on for over 3 months straight.

I’m sharing my story because there aren’t many resources written about scrupulosity from a new age, spiritual perspective. There are predominate beliefs in the spiritual community which present an extra challenge to OCD suffers like myself. I actually sought help online in spiritual forums and had my OCD reinforced. I’m not here to make the case for woo-woo, but I can honestly say I have retained my spiritual practice and beliefs without OCD. If you are suffering right now, you do not have to give up your spirituality, you just have to recognize how OCD and your spirituality interact.

Examples of problematic spiritual beliefs for OCD suffers:

In the spiritual community, thoughts are not just thoughts. They are considered to be real and creating your reality. They are also considered meaningful visions or symbols. In addition, real-life objects are considered to have an invisible energy or vibration, which can contaminate your own invisible energy field, requiring cleansing.
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OCD

Baby Steps

My OCD story started in childhood. I remember walking and counting, and walking and counting. I made up complex rituals around even numbers and sets of three. I always had to end my steps on a certain number, or with a set of three. When I was with my family or my friends, we would arrive at a destination or a stop at a crosswalk, and I would continue to take tiny steps in place to complete my ritual.

I also made up rituals about colors. I became convinced that it was imperative to avoid certain color combinations. I would move my toys, my books, my clothes – anything to avoid seeing certain colors together. Many of my childhood friends made up games or sang songs about avoiding cracks in the sidewalk, but I took the game to another level. I would avoid an exact number of cracks, tiles, or objects on the ground, or I would step on every single one and end with a set of three.

I would say that my childhood OCD was almost purely behavioral. I had no obsessions, very few “what ifs” and no idea why I felt compelled to do these things. However, I did have the beginnings of one emotion I believe is ubiquitous among many OCD sufferers: shame. Even as a child, I remember being aware that my behavior was not “normal.” I was afraid adults would laugh or scold me if they knew about my behavior, so I kept my rituals secret.

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OCD

Living with Brian

Hi, my names Joe and I have had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder since I was four years old.
I am now twenty and still suffer with the condition. My story started when I faced a few traumatic experiences around illness and contamination when I was four years old. I won’t go into exactly what happened as I find it very hard to talk about but I will say that they were serious enough to leave me scarred for life.

Before I continue my story I would like to point out that my OCD now is not all focused around contamination and illness. I very much see what happened to me as a child as a seed for my OCD. Over the years as I have grown my OCD has turned into this ginormous tree, and every brach is a different strand or worry that I may have.

I have been in and out of therapy and counselling all my life and some things have worked more than others for me. I have also been prescribed two kinds of drugs by my GP over the years to combat both extreme levels of Anxiety and Depression that was as a result of my OCD.

Even though throughout my life I have had a lot of help and support, I suppose in my mind I think “how can I get rid of this, when I don’t know a life any different?” as I have had the condition for longer than I can remember.
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Podcast

Story: Richard Taylor

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In episode 121 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Richard Taylor. In this story edition of the podcast I chat with Richard about his OCD story, and his recovery journey. He shares some wonderful wisdom and hope for those struggling with OCD.

Richard Taylor

In this episode I chat with Richard his OCD story. In particular we discuss the acceptance of having OCD, having a motivation to recover, trusting the therapist, having the right people around you, the power of saying NO to stuff, believing change can happen, talking to others with OCD, doing things for the sheer happiness of it and why it’s ok to talk about your problems. 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 Steven Phillipson – “I’m a bit OCD”. What actually is OCD?

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In episode 120 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Dr Steven Phillipson. Steven is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for OCD. He co-founded the first 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 got Steven on to talk about what Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) actually is, what Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is and how they differ. We talk about how the media misrepresents OCD as a condition, and how this gets picked up by the general public who unknowingly use phrases like “I’m so OCD” or “I’m a little bit OCD”. We discuss what we can do about these phrases being used. This was an eye opening talk, and will hopefully break down some of the stigma that faces those with OCD (and OCPD). 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

Rose (Bretécher) Cartwright – Pure

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In episode 119 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Rose Cartwright. Rose is a writer and author of the book “Pure” published under the surname Bretécher, which is now a Channel 4 drama series. Rose is also a director over at intrusivethoughts.org.

Rose (Bretécher) Cartwright

I talked with Rose about her OCD story, her book and now turning it into a TV drama. We talked about her recovery, and where she is at in her journey. We talk about violent and sexual intrusive thoughts, dealing with the potential embarrassment, shame and guilt around taboo thoughts, we discuss ERP, learning to not need an answer for the OCD thought, dealing with relapses, meditation, learning to love yourself, dealing with stigma and the advice she would give her 20 year old self. 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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OCD

OCD and the Prince of Peace

Sunday morning church service is a time of quiet reflection to draw nearer to God…to God. To God. To God. Stop it.

But for myself, and the rest of the one in forty adults with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, that quietness doesn’t come on Sunday. Or any other day. There is no real quiet with OCD. But it seems church would be a place to alleviate the intrusive thoughts and the uncomfortable compulsions for an hour a week, right? Not so much.

Being dressed up for church is helpful. It affords me the chance to open the door to the rectory with my necktie thereby avoiding the germs of all the dirty souls who have come before me.

Churchgoers are creatures of habit. They like to sit in the same place every Sunday. This also works to my advantage. Familiarity and consistency are like armor against those serotonin rebuking demons living in my brain.

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Podcast

Dr Fred Penzel – Succeeding in Your OCD Treatment

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In episode 116 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Dr Fred Penzel for the second time. Fred is a licensed psychologist; he is the executive director of Western Suffolk Psychological Services. He specialises in CBT for OCD, BDD, Trichotillomania and PTSD. Fred is a founding member of the International OCD Foundation and author of the book Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders: A Complete Guide to Getting Well and Staying Well”

Dr Fred Penzel

I talked with Fred about his article 25 tips to succeeding in your OCD treatment, including why to “Always expect the unexpected”,  “Remember that dealing with your symptoms is your responsibility alone”, how a parent, friend or loved one can handle reassurance seeking behaviours, “Remember that in OCD, the problem is not the anxiety — the problem is the compulsions”. Fred also answers some of your submitted questions. 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

Margaret Sisson – OCD & Addiction (Riley’s Wish Foundation)

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In episode 115 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Margaret Sisson. Margaret founded the charity Riley’s Wish which helps sufferers of OCD and addiction. The charity was started in honour and memory of her son Riley, who was a passionate advocate for people with OCD and addiction.

Margaret and Riley Sission

I talked with Margaret about Riley’s OCD story, what don’t people know about OCD and addiction together, where clinicians could respond better to someone with OCD and addiction, advice for those with OCD and addiction, advice for family members, support systems, the Foundation Riley’s Wish, and how people can help the foundation. 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

Catherine Benfield – Perinatal and Postnatal OCD

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In episode 114 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Catherine Benfield. Catherine runs the blog Taming Olivia, where she blogs about her experiences with OCD, focusing on perinatal and postnatal OCD.

Catherine Benfield

I chatted with Catherine about her OCD story, the content of her intrusive thoughts, intrusive impulses, how to encourage your loved one to seek help, Recovery: Medication, CBT, ERP. We also discuss the importance of self-love, self-compassion and self-care in recovery. We discuss some ideas of what to do if you are afraid of having a kid because of OCD, how to keep a healthy lifestyle which can be important for mental health when you have a kid, overcoming roadblocks in recovery, her blog Taming Olivia, and what Catherine wish she would have known at the start of recovery. 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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