Browsing Tag

OCD

OCD

My still “undiagnosed” OCD story

I know things will only get better, even though right now as I’m typing these words in my computer my brain is telling me, “are you sure about that?”

I consider my childhood a very happy one, always smiling, happy to have a family that was very stable.  I always admired my parent’s relationship growing up, and would pray that one-day I’ll marry someone like my dad and have a happy life. When I turned 13 I started liking boys my age, there were many guys who were impossible to get and I would pray (no joking when I said praying) every night so they can notice me, but the minute they would start showing interest in me I would immediately feel not attracted to them. My mind would immediately start thinking, “his nose is big, his head is big, and his shoes are old and things like that. I never saw this as an issue, I just thought I was being an adolescent and being immature was part of it.  I began dating this guy who was a really good guy, but I always felt like I was never “in love” with him, because I didn’t feel those butterflies and things I used to feel with the guys that were not interested in me, we became really good friends and I decided to give him a chance. We were young and I knew I was leaving the country in a couple years, so anxiety and obsessional thinking was never an issue because I had an “exit door”. We dated for 3 years and to be completely honest it has been the best relationship I have ever had.  We eventually broke up because I moved to the U.S.

Continue Reading

Podcast

Dr Edna Foa – The treatment, research and history of OCD recovery

In episode 111 I interviewed Dr Edna Foa. Edna is a Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety. She has devoted her academic career to study the psychopathology and treatment of anxiety disorders, primarily obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social phobia. In 2010 TIME magazine named Edna one of their 100 most influential people in the world. In 2011 she was awarded the Outstanding Career Achievement Award by the IOCDF. Dr Edna Foa

In this episode with Edna we chat about her therapy story, the history of ERP, cure vs recovery, characteristics of Edna’s most successful patients, motivation/determination in recovery, OCD research, OCD and PTSD, is there an association between treating OCD and PTSD?, research on intensive ERP therapy vs non-intensive, Edna’s words of hope for people with anxiety disorders (including OCD) and advice for a good life. 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.

Continue Reading

Podcast

Stuart Ralph – Behind the scenes of The OCD Stories

Get exclusive podcasts and content by becoming a member of the podcast find out more here >>

In episode 110 I was interviewed by a good friend and fellow podcaster Lawrence Neal (of The Corporate Warrior podcast). Lawrence asked me questions about running The OCD Stories, what I learned from my guests, what it’s like training in therapy, my hopes for the show, The OCD Camp, how I manage workload stress, what I do for fun and the biggest opportunity for OCD therapists. Enjoy!

Stuart Ralph

 

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.

Continue Reading

Podcast

Chrissie Hodges – OCD Gamechangers (Ep108)

In episode 108 I interviewed Chrissie Hodges. Chrissie has been on the podcast twice before discussing her peer support work and Pure O. In this interview Chrissie answered some listener questions about OCD recovery. We also chat about her OCD Gamechangers event in March. 

In this episode with Chrissie we discuss her long term dream and goals for OCD advocacy,  reassurance seeking behaviour, how to deal with isolation, coping with lapses in recovery, explaining difficult thoughts to a loved one. We also discuss Chrissie’s innovative event in Denver called OCD Gamechangers. 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.

Continue Reading

OCD

The one you should keep

I’m thankful for my therapist, for the SSRI that has given my inner voice enough power to be louder than the doubt

I remember the day exactly. March 12th. It was a wonderful day. I spent the day doing what I love, which at the time was fashion photography. I went home that night, and laid myself down to sleep for what I would now know as my last night of peace. I spent the night tossing and turning, only to realize that my heart seemed to be beating faster than normal. Strange? It was 10pm and I’ve never not been able to sleep before. I sent my older sister a text, and asked her if she ever couldn’t fall asleep because her heart was beating so fast.

Her response shook me. “All the time. You’re having a panic attack.”

A what?

The next three months were excruciating. How could I go my whole life not experiencing this, living such a normal life, now not being able to even take a full breath. I enrolled myself into therapy, and met my current therapist. We talked about my ability to be impressionable when it came to hearing others anxiety stories. Of course I was feeling that way, I was lost in this whole new world of fear and panic. How do I know what to expect? What to believe? She then spoke the sentence that spiralled me into the onset of my OCD.

“Maybe you just need to find yourself?

Words from a therapist you never want to hear. Words from a therapist, or from anyone in general, almost certain to cause a identity crisis in someone in their early twenties. I went home and carried on with my usual daily tasks. Cleaning up after myself, and picking up the stuffing from my dogs favourite toys. I went to grab the laundry out of the dryer and I thought to myself, “What if I have to leave my boyfriend in order to find myself?”
Continue Reading

Podcast

Peter Weiss – Camping, Nature and OCD (Ep105)

More information on The OCD Camp here – theocdcamp.com

In episode 105 I interviewed Peter Weiss. Pete is an OCD therapist based on Seattle. He has been co-running camps for kids and adults with OCD for 10 years. He was one of the therapists in the 2013 documentary Extreme OCD Camp. Pete is helping me set up a camp for adults with OCD in the UK.

Peter Weiss

In this episode Pete shares some tips for spending more time in nature, we talk about big foot, living a life of adventure, the benefits from his OCD camp for attendees, and his hopes for the UK camp. 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.

Continue Reading

Podcast

Dr Elizabeth McIngvale – Peace of Mind

In episode 104 I interviewed Dr Elizabeth McIngvale. Liz is the founder of the not for profit Peace of Mind foundation which is dedicated to serving the OCD community. She has a Phd in social work and is assistant professor at Baylor university. At the age of 17 she became the national spokesperson for the international OCD foundation.

Dr Elizabeth McIngvale

In this episode Liz shares her OCD Story, how she deals with OCD, how her view of ERP has changed in the last 5 years, lifestyle changes, her ‘live with Liz’ Facebook chats, the Peace of Mind foundation, the OCD challenge course, technology and OCD, and breaking down stigma. 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.

Continue Reading

OCD

The illness that haunted my life

You can be whole again. You can live an amazing life. I promise.

My name is Lillie, and I, just like most who are likely reading this, am on my journey of recovery from OCD. And it’s been quite the journey, to say the least. OCD has been the fight for fucking my life, but I’ll get into that later. I realize that this illness has followed me and haunted me for my entire life, but it wasn’t until much later that I realized what it was.

When I was a young child, I had a loving family, all of my needs met, went to the best schools in my city, and my life was seemingly the “ideal childhood.” Except, I always had a nagging feeling like something was wrong with me. Even as young as 4 or 5 years old, and probably even before that. I felt like I was an outsider looking in with my peers. Things bothered me that didn’t bother anyone else. I just, for lack of a better term, didn’t feel right. I felt like I didn’t belong and despite being an outgoing and extroverted child, I couldn’t shake that something about me was different.  I worried more than the average child and was very meticulous…about everything. I was obsessive and impulsive (and compulsive, obviously). I was told that “I cared way too much” and “bothered by things that aren’t worth being bothered by” by teachers and peers. Kind, I know. Everything had to be “right” or else I would have a full blown meltdown. For example, I would arrange Barbie Dolls, Polly Pockets, and American Girl Dolls in a very particular way and my older brother would move them around just to be annoying and I would have a MELTDOWN. I mean, a screaming and crying meltdown. At my fourth birthday party, everyone was walking in and out of my room and touching my things. I was in full-blown panic, meltdown mode. I would write and rewrite things over and over and over and over again until they were “perfect.” I would count and recount things over and over until it was “right.” I never got a damn thing done in school. Ever. Homework was such a source of anxiety. In early high school, I sat in the lobby of the athletic building after school with a piece of my friend’s schoolwork who had beautiful handwriting, and wrote and rewrote words, until I had brand new handwriting because I thought mine wasn’t perfect enough. Test taking was just…hellish. I was, without fail, always the last person to finish a test, and not for lack of knowledge. “Am I doing this wrong?” “I need to have perfect handwriting.” “I have to erase all of this and rewrite it.” “I’m going to fail out of high school and end up on the street and just die.” “How do I get out of taking this test because I’m going to fail it.” And because of my OCD, my grades did suffer. They didn’t suffer drastically by any stretch of the imagination, and I would somehow make it onto my school’s Honor Roll each semester; but, since my grades were not all A+’s, I developed more anxiety around school. I was a serial procrastinator because I didn’t want to feel the anxiety of doing schoolwork, but had to get the work done eventually, so I also didn’t sleep. I was what some like to call, a vicious cycle. I’m not quite sure how I made it out of high school alive, and I’m not being dramatic.

Continue Reading

Podcast

Dr Steven Phillipson – Recovery From Thinking The Unthinkable

Love camping? Sign up for more info on theocdcamp.com

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.

Continue Reading

Podcast

Mark Freeman – Getting curious about anxiety

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.

Continue Reading