Browsing Tag

Therapy

Podcast

Dr Fred Penzel – Succeeding in Your OCD Treatment

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

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Podcast

Mark Freeman – Getting curious about anxiety

Find out more and register your interest in TheOCDCamp.com

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

OCD

just another day and new realities

I have a pretty firm hope that the more I act the way I want to be, the more I’ll become exactly that.

The first time my OCD played a role in daily life was when I was in middle school. I was at a friend’s house and we were going to watch a movie. Before he was able to open to DVD case and put the disc into the player, I insisted that he wash his hands. I didn’t want to get anything from his hands on the case. Begrudgingly, he said OK and went to the bathroom. One of the worst episodes of OCD I’ve ever had was about a year ago. I was getting out of bed and checked my phone for the time. As soon as I tried putting the phone down, I felt off, worried, out of control and obsessed. I couldn’t stop touching it, moving it, pressing on the surface. After about ten minutes of this I went outside to catch my breath, though I knew I wasn’t finished with the compulsion. Out on that porch I began breathing heavier and quicker. I started sweating, even though it was a brisk day. I squinted my eyes and held my eyelids closed, trying to psych myself out of what I knew was coming. Then, panic attack time. I spent the next 30 minutes on the couch, listening to Guns N’ Roses, trying to will myself out of it. Nothing worked, though, which I knew would be the case. I just had to manage and ride it out.

The loose point to my OCD story is that you can always make it out to the other side. In the moment, you’ll never get any clarity. Nor will you find any solace. People close to me always try to remind me that I’m not crazy, I’m not the only one who experiences this stuff, and it’s not as bad as I think it is. None of those observations help. Or they don’t help me. I’ve had to find ways to deal with my OCD on my own, because, let’s face it, OCD is a very private thing. I, for one, am not quite embarrassed to show it to people, but I am very hesitant. The judging, confused eyes are unnecessary. And the fast, five cent “advice” from those who don’t have this disorder is often painful.

Wisdom from those who know nothing about a topic is rarely useful, and bordering on useless.

I write about, share on social media, and talk with others about various mental health issues because I want to. Because doing so sometimes sheds light on the issue. It sometimes erases just a bit of the stigma around certain ones. And it helps me sleep at night and function throughout the day; knowing I did my small part in informing, educating, or just plain sharing.

Continue Reading

Podcast

Dr Courtney Paré – Homeopathy and OCD

In episode 89 I interviewed Dr Courtney Paré. Courtney is a naturopathic doctor who specialises in the treatment of mental health conditions, with a focus on anxiety and OCD.

Dr. Courtney Paré

In this episode I chat with Courtney about meditation, what is homeopathy, how homeopathy can work alongside SSRIs, how homeopathy is personalised, the importance of therapy, why intrusive thoughts stick around, being mindful, being compassionate with yourself, and 3 homeopathy case studies. 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

Punching OCD in the face

It doesn’t have to control you, you can be free.

I’m Chelsea and I’ve been living with OCD since as early as I can remember. My earliest memory of OCD was being in my room, I was probably three, and I’m having an image of a dog attacking me repeated over and over in my mind making it impossible for me to sleep. My OCD grew and changed with me as I got older, but because it was only intrusive images and no obvious physical compulsions it was hard to identify until was 30 years old! 30 years of living with OCD with no help… until this year. This has been a transformational year for me, to say the least, and I’m excited to share my story with you.

So as I was saying, my OCD changed with me as I got older. Since I was about seven I had an ongoing obsessive image of someone stabbing me at night when I was trying to sleep. I would check under the bed and in my closets multiple times a night to see if anyone was there. Every night I had to sleep with the light on and most nights I ended up in my parents bedroom because I couldn’t sleep.

When I was in my senior year of high school I had images of a tsunami hitting Long Island, where I’m from, every night. I would try to fall asleep but my OCD would start and I’d have to turn on the TV to see if there was news of a tsunami hitting Long Island. I remember knowing it was not a real fear but it felt so real to me that I had to check! I’d run outside at night to listen to see if I could hear a tsunami coming toward my house only to come inside and still feel unsettled. 

I went to college, specifically in an area that wouldn’t be impacted by a tsunami, and pushed myself hard, graduated, became a producer but kept finding myself in relationships that were unhealthy for me. I was attracted to people and situations that were dramatic and hard, and let’s be honest, I was a drama queen! But drama was a good distraction for me. I drank a lot, smoked way too much weed and was living as far from the moment as I could because the moment was way too scary. 

About a year ago I broke up with a boyfriend and started realizing I had not found a relationship that was good for me because I had not really figured out what was going on inside me. I was running and hiding from something I didn’t want to listen to. My OCD about a year ago was terrible. I was probably drinking 5-7 nights a week and smoking about everyday just to escape reality, or the reality that I thought was real. The images were terrible, they could be triggered by a horror film or a scary idea and they could ruin full days of my life. 

It wasn’t until I was listening to a friends mental health podcast, Call Us Crazy, that I realized I had OCD. It was my ah-ha moment and I was so excited. I compulsively researched OCD (typical) and immediately felt less alone. All of these scary thoughts that had been haunting me were experienced by tons of other people to! And the best news was there was help. Mt. Sinai’s OCD program seemed like the best so I called them the next day. Talia, the Clinical Research Coordinator, heard my story and was so kind and helped get me into the program as soon as possible.

Continue Reading