Podcast

What words of hope do you have for those with OCD?

This episode is sponsored by UNSTUCK: an OCD Kids Movie. Check out the website for information on how to rent the film. And if you are a therapist you can buy the film to show to all your clients, UNSTUCK have given us a code to use when purchasing the film for your practice, use code APR19UNS to get 20% off. Visit https://www.ocdkidsmovie.com/ to find out more!

In episode 177 of The OCD Stories podcast I was at the OCD Action conference in London, and I interviewed anyone who wanted to answer the questions “What’s your one bit of advice for those with OCD?” and “What words of hope do you have for those with OCD?”. On today’s episode I share the answers to the second question. Hope it helps.

OCD Action
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!

Continue Reading
Podcast

Story: Max Hawker – Rory Hobble and the Voyage to Haligogen

This episode is sponsored by UNSTUCK: an OCD Kids Movie. Check out the website for information on how to rent the film. And if you are a therapist you can buy the film to show to all your clients, UNSTUCK have given us a code to use when purchasing the film for your practice, use code APR19UNS to get 20% off. Visit https://www.ocdkidsmovie.com/ to find out more!

In episode 176 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Max Hawker. Max has kindly agreed to share his OCD story with us, and talk about his new book “Rory Hobble and the Voyage to Haligogen” which features  a character with OCD.

Max Hawker

In this episode I chat with Max about his OCD story, therapy, ERP, group therapy, setting goals, writing his books, his words of hope and much much more. 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!

Continue Reading
Podcast

Mary Torres – ERP in Groups

This episode is sponsored by UNSTUCK: an OCD Kids Movie. Check out the website for information on how to rent the film. And if you are a therapist you can buy the film to show to all your clients, UNSTUCK have given us a code to use when purchasing the film for your practice, use code APR19UNS to get 20% off. Visit https://www.ocdkidsmovie.com/ to find out more!

In episode 175 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Mary Torres. Mary is a licensed mental health counsellor based in south of Seattle where she runs her private practice Cornerstone OCD and anxiety.

In this episode I chat with Mary about her therapy story, ERP in group therapy, how it differs from 121 therapy, what ERP in a group looks like, the benefits of groups, how the group supports each other, when group therapy may not be good, and much much more. 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!

Continue Reading
OCD

My OCD Story: Irrational and ‘Rational’ Themes

When you have lived with OCD for years, and it has manifested itself in a variety of ways, or ‘themes’ as they are called, it becomes difficult to distinguish a ‘real’ and ‘rational’ worry or effort, from one propelled by your obsessive nature. Yes, I know, part of therapy involves learning to not ask those questions, whether this is real or that is not, but it’s not always easy.

Growing up, I struggled with Pure ‘O’, and ritualistic behaviour. When I was fourteen, during summer vacation, I suddenly had this thought, how can I be sure I’m not a cannibal. I don’t think there was a specific trigger, it was just something that occurred to me, and I could not shake it off. My mother was lying next to me on our bed, and I felt scared, that I would harm her. I could barely sleep that night. The next morning, I got up and started reading up on cannibalism, to assure myself my thoughts are wrong, that I cannot be, of course I’m not. However, the more I read, the uncertainty grew, from narratives of cannibalistic communities to a particular story about a group of expeditioners stranded in snow capped mountains, without food, who started feeding on the corpses of their fellow expeditioners, to survive. This, scared me. People could become cannibals. I could become one, maybe I’m one, and just haven’t been pushed hard enough. I got increasingly terrified of becoming, quite literally, a monster. This was bad as it was, and soon enough, my obsessive thoughts and consequent attempts to reassure myself by reading up had acquired a newer theme – which was of sexual in nature. I visited websites, trying to hide what I was reading, whenever my mom or dad would enter the room. I felt miserable, and dirty, and like a pervert. Soon enough, I could not take it any longer, I broke down in front of my parents, I told them everything – they were puzzled, but supportive and took me to see a psychiatrist. I live in India, and mental health is a taboo topic in most families, and awareness, even amongst those educated, is grim. After navigating through three shrinks, two of whom did not offer anything conclusive, I got third time lucky. Actually, being diagnosed was a relief. It meant, this was not me, I was not this pervert, this monster.

Continue Reading
Podcast

What’s your one bit of advice for those with OCD?

Today’s episode is sponsored by Riley’s Wish. To find out more including Riley’s story, to find resources or make a donation please visit RileysWish.com.

In episode 174 of The OCD Stories podcast I was at the OCD Action conference in London, and I interviewed anyone who wanted to answer the questions “What’s your one bit of advice for those with OCD?” and “What words of hope do you have for those with OCD?”. On today’s episode I share the answers to the first question. Hope it helps.

OCD Action
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!

Continue Reading
Podcast

Rose Cartwright – PURE (The TV show)

Today’s episode is sponsored by Riley’s Wish. To find out more including Riley’s story, to find resources or make a donation please visit RileysWish.com.

In episode 173 of The OCD Stories podcast I interview Rose Cartwright. Rose is a writer and author of the book “PURE”, which is now a channel 4 comedy-drama series. Rose is also a director over at intrusivethoughts.org, and Madeofmillions.com.

Rose (Bretécher) Cartwright

In this episode I chat with Rose about her TV show PURE, how she kept control over her story, her wisdom for working with the media, dealing with shame, advocacy, self-care, meditation, what Rose has learned on her own recovery journey, her initiative Made of Millions, and words of hope. 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!

Continue Reading
OCD

There is hope for me, and for you

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t anxious. As a kid, I worried about small things, big things, even existential things, for as long as I can remember. Two early examples, from when I was probably about 5-6 years old, that come to mind are:

1- When I realized that one day, the 1990s were going to end. I sobbed to my mom, wondering what was going to happen when we weren’t living in the 90s anymore.

2- I had a terrible thought that I didn’t love my dad as much as I loved my mom, and in my head, this was very, very wrong. I, again, sobbed about this to my poor mom, who did her best to comfort me as I then began to list off every person I didn’t think I loved enough in my life.

Growing up, my parents loved watching Law and Order, and other TV shows revolving around murder and other terrible crimes. I began to worry that something like what happened on these shows would happen to me, or worse, that I would somehow become the bad guy and be responsible for one of the awful things that always happened on those shows. Horror movies and books gave me similar worries. I saw The Omen at around 11 or 12, and worried that maybe I was a child of the devil.

Continue Reading
OCD

OCD, existential questions and treatment

My ankles wobbled. My quads ached. My mind raced. What’s the point of this, anyways? Why am I here? Why are any humans here on Earth? My mind bombarded me with these questions on a loop while I was out on a run on an overcast, fall day my senior year of college. These questions had been quietly nagging at me for a few weeks, but without any distractions on a run, they became shouting and unbearable. With each passing day, I found myself out on runs trapped with existential questions that seemed to only grow more important, and my world started to shrink. What had previously been an activity I could turn to for solace quickly turned into a prison for my intrusive thoughts to run wild.

At the time, neither I nor my therapist recognized these symptoms of repeated, obsessive, distressing thoughts or the ritualistic behaviors that followed as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. After all, these are big, philosophical questions that everyone faces at some point in their lives, right? And being on the cusp of a major life transition, of entering my last year of college and starting to apply for jobs, it made sense to many around me that I would ask some of these questions and want to understand what my “purpose” is in life. However, the extent to which these questions controlled my life quickly eclipsed the range of what would be considered normal or healthy. Every time I’d hang out with my friends, I’d probe them on their religious beliefs. I’d call my parents multiple times a day and ask them for reassurance that my life mattered. I’d spend hours awake at night googling the “meaning of life” and I’d find myself deep into the weeds of existential arguments on online chat boards, trying to make sense of it all and find bulletproof, irrefutable, 100% certain answers. While some of these behaviors provided temporary relief, my brain was so adept at coming up with follow-up questions. For every “answer” that I provided my brain, it was able to generate ten more questions that would restart the cycle all over again.

Continue Reading
OCD

OCD Land (Creative Writing)

I am far from home even though my surroundings seem vaguely familiar. How did I get here? Was I tempted like Eve in the Garden… possibly persuaded by a serpent to eat fruit off of the wrong tree? Or did I follow Alice down a rabbit hole searching for answers? I don’t remember making this choice. I don’t remember a clearly marked entrance, but somehow or another I am stuck here without a compass. My thoughts and feelings suddenly can’t be trusted. In OCD land you can’t distinguish up from down, right from left, or wrong from right. It’s all a trap… an endless maze.

Welcome to the mind fuck. I will be your tour guide for the remainder of your stay.  I will whisper the most compelling things into your ear, get you to perform all sorts of tricks, and make you retrace your steps. I will be here every day to remind you to go back and do again because we all know it wasn’t right the first time or even the hundredth. Nothing in OCD land is ever enough.

Continue Reading
OCD

…THIS is OCD.

I see a little girl sitting on her bed, writing in a journal that has stolen her freedom. She writes, “I will praise you and love you always.” To any reader it seems cute for a little girl to be so devoted, but she has written that same phrase at the end of every entry for months. Forgetting to write it means she has forgotten God and forgetting God means damnation. She is chained to that phrase.

After closing the journal she forces herself to stay awake for hours at night because she can’t seem to get the final prayer just right. 

The next day she comes home from school and sits on her bed for hours instead of doing homework. Maybe enough time begging for forgiveness would prove that she is in fact saved. She failed to tell anyone about God that day, and wonders if she still knows him since she couldn’t muster up the courage.

…THIS is OCD?

Continue Reading