OCD

Toughness and beauty in OCD recovery

It was my 7th or 8th Christmas when my first intrusive thought came to my mind. I was in my grandparent’s living room with my mum and suddenly the thought popped into my head: “you want your mother to die”. I remember having my first panic attack and telling my mother what I just thought, to what she concluded it was just a silly thought, something everyone had sometimes. After that first contact with my dear life companion, I experienced a period where I had a lot of those thoughts, which caused me to freak out. I remember being at church and thinking: “Jesus is an asshole, God is an asshole”, and then feeling extremely guilty and asking for forgiveness. However, I just labelled those thoughts as silly thoughts, something that everybody had.

That period passed, and I experienced a normal life until I hit high school.  At age 12, I started opening and closing the bathroom tap before going to sleep until it felt right, if I wouldn’t do that a member of my family would die. If I was writing and a letter wasn’t perfect, I would try to round it up until it was completely perfect (you can imagine how many times the letter would thicken until I felt it was right). If I didn’t do something perfect in an exam I would have to reproduce perfectly in my head what I wrote in order to convince myself that it was right and that my teacher would read it as the right answer. If I didn’t reproduce it without hesitating I would have to repeat it again or it would be automatically wrong and I wouldn’t have a good mark. This last one could include variations, doing it while getting up of a chair, where the movement should be perfect too, etc. If I didn’t complete the rituals successfully, a wave of anxiety swallowed me.

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Podcast

Story: Matt Shoobridge

This week’s episode is sponsored by Huddle.care. To find out more (and get a discount for 2 months) check out huddle.care/ocd

In episode 167 of The OCD Stories podcast I interview Matt Shoobridge. Matt hosts his own radio show on mental health called ‘Mind over matter’. He has kindly agreed to share his OCD story with us.

Matt Shoobridge

In this episode I chat with Matt about his OCD story, his mushroom metaphor, sharing hope, what he learned in CBT therapy, mindfulness, his radio show ‘Mind over matter’, exercise, medication, and 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

Altered States of OCD

C:\Users\Boyers\Desktop\Psychological Self Portrait 1984.jpg

Psychological Self-Portrait

I scribbled the drawing above in the winter of 1984.  I was 20 years old. Something was wrong. The connection between my mind and my body had suddenly slackened, and at times it seemed to disappear.  It seemed like I was no longer me.  I described my thought process as follows:

The pictures in my head won’t go away: blue plastic in the sun, neon lights in a garage, a soft lamp in a rainy window… all within the boundaries of a moment, connected by strings my memory can’t trace.

The pictures,” I called them, and they travelled in streams flowing softly from nowhere.  They were not mine, but I couldn’t ignore them.  Worse, the pictures were not neutral.  Each carried a wisp of feeling, an emotional imprint—a tiny leash bound to the edges of my mood.  Often, that leash led me around campus for hours.

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OCD

In my mind there was a WAR

I hadn’t washed in 2 weeks, I couldn’t flick the switch back to ‘Off’ because I was too consumed trying to figure out when it switched ‘On’. Did it ever? Am I psychotic? Am I ill? What if I was always like this? Or am I just a horrible, disgusting person who’s a harm to others? I’ll lose my career. My friends and my family. I’ll be in the papers and I’ll never have a normal life.

What is normal? I don’t know but I’d rather be anything than this. I contemplated suicide because without a doubt, I would rather have taken my life than be anything that my mind was telling me I was. My stomach was churning, I was vomiting involuntarily over and over. I punished myself, I deserved it. I didn’t eat. I scratched compulsively at my skin.

This was the time in my life that OCD got the better of me. However – I feel it’s important to note that at this time, I was nearing qualification as a mental health nurse and I didn’t have a clue that this was anything to do with OCD. “I’m not arranging tins or counting numbers, I’m not washing my hands repeatedly?” The words I told myself as I sought answers for my state. Lack of education.

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Podcast

Dr Maggie Perry – huddle.care, group therapy & teletherapy

Find out more about huddle.care/ocd

In episode 166 of The OCD Stories podcast I interview Dr Maggie Perry. Maggie is a licensed psychologist who created the online anxiety and OCD group therapy platform huddle.care. huddle care groups are centred around acceptance-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety and OCD.

Dr Maggie Perry

In this episode I chat with Maggie about her therapy story, huddle.care, how playing basketball inspired huddle.care, we talk about the inner workings of OCD, anxiety, social anxiety and panic, we discuss shame, and guilt, ERP, group therapy, teletherapy and Maggie’s 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

The warrior within

OCD has been a part of my life for many years. It has taken me 33 years to accept that it is a chronic illness and it is a part of me. I spent my early teens and 20’s feeling out of control. My body, and mind were completely riddled with anxiety symptoms. The only peace I got was when I numbed myself with alcohol and let loose on the weekend. 

Finally, yoga found me when I made the move once again to Queensland. As I sit in the class the teacher said “you are not your thoughts” I felt this freed me. I realised that if I’m not my thoughts I can get on with my life no matter what is going on in my head. Even though yoga has been my saving grace, it also flared up my OCD to, I was convinced that yoga could heal the monster in my head. I felt peace in class but once I left the space in was bombarded with repetitive noise in my head. 

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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

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

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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