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In episode 129 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Dr Jenny Yip. Jenny is a clinical psychologist who specilises in OCD and anxiety. Jenny runs the Renewed freedom center based in Los Angeles. She is also a clinical advisor to the nOCD app, and author of the book Productive, Successful YOU! : End Procrastination by Making Anxiety Work for You Rather Than Against You.
In this episode I chat with Jenny about her OCD story including postpartum OCD, how OCD fears are unique to each person, exercise and meditation – mindful walks/yoga, the importance of a patients belief in the process of therapy, involving the family in treatment so that the standards in therapy are maintained in the home i.e. no reassurance seeking, parents being role models for living with discomfort i.e. refusing to play into compulsions, reducing the amount we use our phones, and much much more. Hope it helps.
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I told everyone all my thoughts presuming my baby would be taken away but he wasn’t… My first realisation!!!
My main OCD story starts in 2014 previous to that I had without really knowing it suffered crippling anxiety and worry (I just presumed we all worried in the same way about the same things) I also had self confidence issues which I dealt with by developing an eating disorder (control) in my early teens.
I met my husband to be at 17 which helped me gain a lot of confidence. I managed to overcome my anorexia apart from a few blips along the way, I went to college, uni got a job we got married. One thing that I couldn’t do was drive. I had past my test first time at 20 then never managed to get behind the wheel again properly for years, I put it down to a phobia initially but now I know differently, (in my mind, I had run someone over, killed them, gone to prison and shamed my family before I had even put the key on the ignition!!!).
During these years I had no idea I was suffering from mental health issues until 2004 a big one hit me out of the blue. I was a happy newly wed, new house, new job and desperate to start a family one night I was watching tv and there was an advert for pampers. I didn’t think anything of it, the advert finished and a different advert started then an image of a young boy naked entered my mind, my life as I had known it ended there and my 12 year battle with OCD started. I panicked ‘why did I think that?’ What’s wrong with me, I must be a monster a peadophile… I went into major panic, ruminating, over thinking , every horrible thought you could possibly imagine went through my head it was impossible to live with and I wanted to end my life. If it wasn’t for my husband I wouldn’t be here. I took the meds and engaged in CBT although it was hardly explained to me properly and was not diagnosed with OCD at the time. I slowly got my self together ( I say that loosely) but lived on the edge with crippling intrusive thoughts avoiding children at all costs for the next 7 years or so, and on and off meds but had no counselling after the initial sessions in 2004, at the same time I was grieving for the family I could not have (in my mind there was no way I could be or deserved to be a mum). My life felt miserable.
At the end of 2013 , I was so unhappy about not having a family but still crippled by the what if’s that my husband and I decided that we needed to try, I think my biggest motivation was my age and that l would soon be turning 40. We got pregnant a month after finally deciding I was so shocked at how quick it was and I was petrified. Towards the end of my pregnancy I did receive some counselling but unfortunately not the right kind and my midwife and doctor were both anti meds. I was so anxious about my pregnancy and having a baby that my mind was going into overdrive all sorts of worse case scenarios…so I had already decided I was giving the baby up.