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Therapy

OCD

My OCD took all of my primary school years

Hi,

I’m Jake, now 24 and no longer a severe sufferer of OCD. I battled OCD from as young as I could remember, although at the time I had no idea it was OCD. My friends in primary school and my family used to just says (it’s just jakes way). Thinking back now for other kids to react the way they did is very positive because I was never bullied or made to feel like a freak about it, it wasn’t until I got older and started secondary school when it got so bad I would be late for school most days and even had to afford P.E. in school sometimes…next paragraph you will understand why.

My OCD thoughts would taunt me and make me do near enough most things repeatedly, to a point where I was putting boxer shorts, trousers, socks, trainers you name it any item of clothing I was taking on and off 20 or more times before I was happy enough to leave the house or go onto the next item of clothing. I would also get in and out the bath multiple times when they got to a point I made the bathroom so wet with bath water we had to get a shower installed to help the situation. I’m going into this much detail because at the time I never thought I would be where I am today or writing about my experience. Now having my OCD controlled so much where I don’t even notice I have it (apart from being clean and tidy) I feel I can speak out and hope to help other sufferers that trust me it gets better and yes you can live a normal life.

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OCD

Our thoughts do not define who we are

I’ve shared my story before. Back when I was suffering and didn’t know much about OCD. But it’s been a year with severe ocd. It’s been a year and I’m in recovery. So I’ll share my story in more and better detail.

All I did was have a off day, I walked into my kitchen and thought “what if there’s no spark in my boyfriend and I’s Relationship?” I panicked. “What if I lose feelings? Is this losing feelings? But I love him. Why would I?” My first OCD attack. I’ll never forget it. For weeks after that I was okay. I didn’t have obsessions or compulsions and life was well. Until I began to fall for him more. My anxiety spiked and peaked to new levels, I was having more thoughts about us which I didn’t quite get. I’d time myself on my phone and reassure myself for that amount of time. The thoughts still returned, rookie mistake. After that I’d google things like “am I lying to myself?” And one night I had an anxiety attack so big I almost left him from having intrusive thoughts . The day after it happened, I was anxious. I couldn’t stop it. I didn’t know why. It progressed and got worse and I realized.. I had ROCD.

I remember wanting to seek treatment the day I found out I had it. I could resonate with some of the symptoms and found that the deeper I got into it, the more and more I could relate to this little diagnosis I put on myself. So fast forward about 2 months and I’m struggling deeply with various obsessions. A thought popped out of nowhere. “What if I’m gay?” I freaked, and took an online test. It said I was straight, I knew I was. I couldn’t understand the deal! I was just worrying if I loved my boyfriend or not the day before, why the sudden sexuality issue? So I obsessed, the same way I did with my partner. And uncovered my HOCD the day I began obsessing.

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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 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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OCD

80% happiness and 20% fleeting ‘what ifs’

My story starts off, probably somewhat different from most in that I hadn’t really experienced OCD at any stage in my childhood – anxiety, most definitely, but never OCD specifically that I can recall. I guess this is what made my journey of discovery that bit longer – I really had no idea what was happening or what was wrong with me.

I remember the moment so clearly – it was September 29th 2007, and I was sitting in Burger King with my boyfriend; we were both 19 and had just celebrated our one year anniversary a week earlier. Everything was perfect…perfect being the word that would ultimately come back and bite me in the ass.

I referred to a joke that I had heard earlier that week, and after reciting it back, I distinctly remember my boyfriend responding with a polite, yet quite insincere sounding ‘chuckle’ – you know the kind when you’re not really engaged in the conversation and offer that sort of response you think the other person wants to hear? We all do it. Except, when he did it, I had a thought…a jarring thought. And it went something like this:

He didn’t laugh at that joke

He really didn’t seem interested in what I was saying

What if he doesn’t find me interesting anymore?

What if this relationship isn’t right?

Oh god….

And so began my spiral into what would ultimately become 9 and a half years of utter despair and anxiety towards romantic relationships.

That moment changed me; however, I got through the rest of the meal. We said our goodbyes and I got on to the bus. Soon after I sat down, I experienced my first ever panic attack.

How could this be happening? How could I be having these doubts all of a sudden? Everything was FINE! Everything was PERFECT! Of course, this was only the beginning of a long road of scrutiny with my thoughts, and the next day I called in sick to work because I was so distraught. I mentioned it to my Mum, and of course, she didn’t really know where this was coming from either. But because I was only 19 and this was my first serious relationship (I think she secretly wanted me to get out and play the field more), she openly questioned the same thing…which of course set me off even more. I started confiding in friends and other family members, begging for help. “It’ll pass” most of them said.

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Podcast

Story: Lillie Fergus

In episode 112 I interviewed Lillie Fergus about her OCD story. This is the first episode in the new story series of the show. Where I will interview people with OCD monthly to share their story, and find out about their recovery. 

Lillie

In this episode with Lillie we discuss her OCD story, OCD running in her family, existential obsessions, recovery – ERP therapy, how to stay motivated to do ERP homework, dealing with uncertainty, how meditation has been useful for Lillie, dealing with roadblocks in recovery, breaking down stigma, her advice for people starting their OCD recovery, dealing with anxiety, and why it’s important to keep learning in recovery. 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

Dr Jonathan Abramowitz – Getting over OCD

In episode 109 I interviewed Dr Jonathan Abramowitz. Jonathan is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Chapel Hill, NC specializing in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He is also Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina. Jonathan has written two self-help books and published over 250 scientific articles, books, and book chapters.

Jonathan Abramowitz

In this episode with Jon we discuss treatment resistant OCD, intensive ERP vs weekly ERP, increasing tolerance to uncertainty, ERP questions from listeners of the show, how OCD research has progressed over the last 20 years, what has been the key research in the last two years, and much much more. 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

Dr Kevin Chapman – Having GRIT in OCD recovery

In episode 107 I interviewed Dr Kevin ChapmanKevin is a Licensed Psychologist in Kentucky. He specialises in the treatment of anxiety disorders using CBT, and ERP for OCD. Kevin is on the board of the nOCD app and is the sports psychologist for Louisville City Football Club.

Dr Kevin Chapman

In this episode with Kevin we talked about how long it takes in ERP to see some results, why it takes some people longer, what Kevin has noticed about his clients that get results quicker, how his view of treating people with OCD has changed over the last 10 years, being hopeful, dealing with mental compulsions, and somatic symptoms. We also talked about what he has learned working with athletes and how this can help people with OCD. Kevin shares the idea behind the acronym GRIT: Guts Resilience Initiative Tenacity. 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

Dr Steven Phillipson – How ERP works, and the power of choice

In episode 106 I interviewed Dr Steven Phillipson for the second time. 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 with Steven we discuss how ERP works, developing a champion mindset in recovery, the power of choice, living by your values, Viktor Frankl, the phrase “If I’m not choosing it, let it be!”, and staying centred in emotional turmoil. 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

Mark Freeman – Getting curious about anxiety

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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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