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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Podcast

Jayme Valdez – Addiction, taboo OCD themes, ERP and ACT

In episode 172 of The OCD Stories podcast I interview Jayme Valdez. Jayme is the owner of Clearview OCD Counseling, a private psychotherapy practice just outside Boston. Jayme is a licensed mental health counselor and serves on the Board of Directors for OCD Massachusetts and OCD Rhode Island. Jayme is particularly interested in providing inclusive treatment for all persons living with OCD, including those with substance use disorders, self-harming behaviors, suicidality, as well as those in the LGBTQ, Persons of Color and other underserved communities.

Jayme Valdez

In this episode I chat with Jayme about her mental health story, treating addiction alongside OCD, harm themed OCD, ERP for peadophile themed OCD, using ACT for OCD, an ACT approach to ERP, creative ways of treating OCD, when to reduce therapy, 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!

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Podcast

Story: Mark-Ameen Johnson

In episode 171 of The OCD Stories podcast I interview Mark-Ameen Johnson. Mark has kindly agreed to share his OCD story, and his advocacy work.

Mark-Ameen Johnson

In this episode I chat with Mark about his OCD story, CBT, scrupulosity, his advocacy in sexual orientation OCD, OCD is OCD, 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!

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Podcast

Dr Jonathan Hoffman – OCD & Comorbidities

In episode 170 of The OCD Stories podcast I interview Dr Jonathan Hoffman. Jon is a licensed psychologist in the states of Florida, New York, and Utah. He is Clinical Director of the Neurobehavioral Institute (NBI), which he co-founded with Dr. Katia Moritz.

Dr Jonathan Hoffman

In this episode I chat with Jon about his therapy story, OCD and its mechanisms, ways of viewing OCD, finding your north star in recovery, comorbidities, working with comorbidities and OCD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and the NBI Ranch. 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!

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Podcast

Gerd Kvale and Bjarne Hansen – The Bergen 4-Day OCD Treatment

In episode 169 of The OCD Stories podcast I interview Gerd Kvale and Bjarne Hansen, both professors and psychologists at the University of Bergen and at Haukeland University Hospital Bergen, Norway. They have created the Bergen 4-day OCD treatment format.

Gerd Kvale and Bjarne Hansen
Image credit: Time.com

In this episode I chat with Gerd and Bjarne about what the Bergen 4-day OCD treatment is, what do the 4 days consist of, some of the results of the study, ERP, overcoming resistance to treatment, maintenance of improvements, how they plan to roll out the 4-day format, words of hope for people with OCD, 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!

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