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 OCD Format

Disclaimer – This podcast is for exploratory purposes only. The Bergen format is still being studied, and the success rate against weekly therapy is yet to be tested. If you are in therapy with a licensed therapist who understands OCD, and is using Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) you have the best treatment backed by decades of robust science whether you do that 1 hour a week, or in 3-week intensive.

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 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 OCD format is, what does it consist of, some of the results of the study, ERP, overcoming resistance to treatment, maintenance of improvements, how they plan to roll out the 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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OCD

A Worthwhile Struggle for Freedom

This post is not a step-by-step guide to get rid of OCD. No, I’ve found that, just like life itself, there is no concrete solution. And that’s what scares us who suffer from this disease the most: the terrorizing fear of uncertainty. I hope this post sparks ideas for other sufferers on how to cope. Maybe someone will be able to relate to the many, many obsessions I have. Oh boy, is OCD diverse.

At this point, I have now wrestled with OCD for the past 22 months. It has caused me to be physically present yet mentally absent with friends and family, to miss out on getting a career right out of college, and to lose passion for my hobbies, amongst other things.

My life growing up was filled with comfort and certainty. Any trying situation was taken up with God, who gave me quick reassurance. I graduated high school with honors and went to a liberal-arts school in North Carolina. My first 3 years of school came with great friends, and a healthy balance of work and play. I lived a virtually care-free and fulfilling life throughout this time, experimenting and taking on different tasks with relative ease.  

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Podcast

Karina Dach – Compassion, respect, and humor in OCD treatment

In episode 168 of The OCD Stories podcast I interview Karina Dach. Karina is a licensed therapist in Colorado, and Florida.

In this episode I chat with Karina about her therapy story, how she applies exposure therapy in her own life, advice for someone starting ERP, staying consistent with exposure therapy after therapy, dealing with difficult emotions, acknowledging your progress, living with uncertainty, creative exposure exercises, what is parent training, support groups, being in nature, 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

Somatic OCD and the Fear of Forever

I can recall the events leading up to that night so vividly, which says a lot because I can hardly remember what I had eaten for dinner last night. It was early February of 2006; the school week before mid-winter break had concluded. Yes, selective high schools in the Bay Area dedicated a whole week off to leisurely skiing with family in Tahoe. Marin County, being one of the wealthiest in the country, was definitely no exception to this. I’m from Novato, the farthest northern city in Marin, labeled the “poorest” by the general consensus. My idea of a fun filled getaway carving in and out of freshly fallen powdered snow, lounging around a fire listening to ambient music came in the form of a small zip lock dime bag. Inside the dime bag was the most crystal-dusted marijuana I had ever seen, and even to this day. On the back of the bag was a skull pattern on a black backdrop; something that I realize now was a sign that eerily foreshadowed how the night was about to play out. My friend Joey had bought this stuff off a guy we nicknamed Crabgrass. The week prior, Crabgrass sold us weed that did absolutely nothing to our young blossoming minds. Rightfully annoyed by this, we argued for either a refund or replacement. There was hardly any trust established between the slimy kid dealer and us, and so what we were getting could have possibly been laced; a nefarious joke played on two naïve boys looking to get high the first night of vacation.

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OCD

My “No Googling Symptoms” rule

Even in the most emotionally traumatic moment of my life, obsessive thoughts flowed through my mind.  Although, at the time, I just called them my “hypochondriac thoughts” or, more generally, “my anxieties.”

My OCD diagnosis was still four years away.  

But on that day. That grief-stricken day. Those obsessive thoughts still clouded my brain.  

I had just received a phone call from a sheriff’s deputy that would change my life.  My parents had been in a terrible car accident. My dad had been airlifted to a nearby trauma center.  

And my mom was dead.  

Within minutes though, my body started to react to this news. I started sweating. I was suddenly so thirsty. My heart was pounding. And I felt like I was in a strange, dream-like state.

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