Podcast

Sean Shinnock – Hope, Vulnerability and OCD Advocacy

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In episode 165 of The OCD Stories podcast I interview Sean Shinnock. Sean is an artist, advocate, and creator of the monster initiative, with Draw your monster being a project under that umbrella. He has kindly agreed to talk with us again.

Sean Shinnock

In this episode I chat with Sean about hope, renewing hope, his advocacy, vulnerability, intimacy, The Monster Initiative, the advocacy campaign “Every crayon colours”, and so 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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OCD

This is my story, but it is still being written

My name is Alexandria and this is my story about disability and mental health.

I was first diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and depression when I was 13. My dad had recently left the home and I found myself feeling alone and miserable anytime my family members left me. I wanted to be with someone all the time. I found that the more I spent alone, the more I found myself crying and feeling helpless. Prior to this, I experimented sexually with other kids my age. Anything that happened was consensual, but it definitely was too young to be experiencing these types of things at such a young age. It wasn’t until my father left that my OCD kicked into high gear and my separation anxiety drove me down that dark road. These events were my two biggest triggers in my struggle with OCD.

   Looking back and assessing my past, I have found that my OCD started at a much younger age than 13. I remember first having existential/death OCD surrounding my mother and some of my family members when I was in first grade. I was often left alone and found that I had to sit with my thoughts and this lead me down that rabbit hole. Mental health wasn’t something that I had been taught, nor were others my age.

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Podcast

Not Alone Notes – Morgan Rondinelli and Molly Fishback

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In episode 164 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Morgan Rondinelli and Molly Fishback to talk about their initiative Not Alone Notes.

Not Alone Notes

In this episode I chat with Morgan and Molly about their OCD stories, their recovery journeys, meeting others with OCD, their initiative Not Alone Notes, who can get a note, getting into advocacy, why all pain is deserving of empathy and treatment. 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 Steven Phillipson – Altered States of Consciousness & OCD

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In episode 163 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Dr Steven Phillipson. 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 I chat with Steven about altered states of consciousness (ASC) which can occur after heavy usage of cannabis, or magic mushrooms (Psilocybin). We discuss how this lesser known symptom of OCD can manifest itself, and how to recover from it using CBT. 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 Steven Phillipson – Teletherapy

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In episode 162 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Dr Steven Phillipson. 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 I chat with Steven we talk about teletherapy for OCD – doing CBT over a video call, we discuss when it’s used, when it shouldn’t be used, how effective it is, 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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OCD

Transformation: The story of a 55 year old personal trainer with OCD

My career was in ruins. My OCD spiked and I was deeply depressed. I spent hours a day on the internet, obsessively searching for philosophical and scientific reassurance that consciousness is not an illusion.  My teeth were ground away—some to the root—by my counting ritual that unlocked my jaw hundreds of times a day, but only after I reached an illusory month, day, and year when my anxiety would magically cease.

The only peace I could find was in a fantasy.

Every time I ran–from a mile to a marathon-I imagined myself making an escape from a hostage situation in a foreign country, running hard to cross the border. I escaped from imprisonment after a violent hand to hand encounter with unspecified gangs of drug dealers and terrorists, sometimes in the Middle East, other times in Central America.  Oftentimes I imagined that I escaped from several gangs and places during the same run.

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Podcast

Chrissie Hodges – Gamechangers 2019

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In episode 161 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Chrissie Hodges. Chrissie is a Mental Health Advocate & Public Speaker, Peer Support Coach, Author of ‘Pure OCD: The Invisible Side of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder’. Chrissie was awarded the hero award at the 24th IOCDF conference in San Fran.

In this episode I chat with Chrissie about her story, her event The OCD Gamechangers, why she themed this year’s event the emotional side, getting into advocacy, bringing people together, what she’s learned from doing peer support 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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OCD

That is progress. And that is a good day.

As of writing this, I am about two weeks away from turning twenty-one years old. I am finishing my last semester at Michigan State University, from which I will graduate with two degrees: one in Comparative Cultures and Politics and one in Professional Writing. I will also have a minor in Spanish and graduate with 4.0 GPA, assuming I can finish this semester.

In addition to classes, I balance three jobs that help me pay for my education while getting professional experience. I have an incredible family, with two beautiful little sisters, loving parents, and the sweetest dog named Junie B. My boyfriend and I have been together for over five years, and our relationship is healthy, fun, and always mutually supportive.

I have to type the previous two paragraphs because they represent the surge of guilt that consistently accompanies my severe OCD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorder. I have not experienced trauma, nor have I ever been treated by my friends and family with anything but love. For this reason, I have difficulty justifying the seemingly ever-increasing instability of my mental health.


My story starts when I was four years old and starting kindergarten. For the first several months of the year, I vomited before leaving the house with my parents. At first it was because of nausea – yet it soon became an irresistible compulsion that led my parents to take me to the doctor.

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OCD

We are not the only ones with these thoughts

Here I am finally going to share some of the thoughts that I have struggled with the past four years. I have shared them with my psychologist, parents and some peers. I have not shared all of them, and neither in the detail that I am going into now. 

Before I realized that my intrusive thoughts were caused by my OCD, they had already caused a lot of damage. I developed a general anxiety disorder due to my intrusive thoughts.

These thoughts started 4 years ago, after I smoked a joint with friends. I was walking towards the supermarket and I was high as a kite. But then, in the supermarket, my first panic-attack ever happened. I had no idea what was going on and decided that I had to go home as fast as possible. So all alone in an alley I stood there, anxious as could be, thinking that I was going to die from a heart-attack. I managed to get home and there I lay in bed for the rest of the hour. I have never been so afraid in my life. I thought I was going to die. That was of course, before I knew what a panic-attack really is. But because I was high, the panic-attack was 10 times as intense as normal. 

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OCD

My acceptance of its permanence

I know these stories are are almost specifically meant to inspire through stories about progression. I have progressed through the 20 or so years that I have been dealing with this illness. I’m 29, I have a family I made my own and I am stable on the surface. However I haven’t progressed past OCD itself and beyond the surface I’m just doing my best to improve and enjoy my life as much as I can. It’s work. Oh boy it’s work. So a heads up, my story isn’t going to inspire you in the same way all of the other brave writers on here do. My inspiration is meant to be drawn from my sheer defiance of this thing. It has won by all accounts, I’m almost 30 years old and I have wasted so much time and so much potential dwelling on this. I was a weird kid and I had a weird upbringing. I noticed my OCD and at first I kinda enjoyed trying to create all these little connections. Whether it was trying to count to four using cracks in the wall or the seams between bricks, but having to use only where the crack has a point. So like connecting four points was a pattern and it again, was kind of stimulating.

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