Browsing Tag

Recovery

Podcast

Chrissie Hodges and Jess discuss OCD

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In episode 144 of The OCD Stories podcast my guest interviewer (Jess) 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.

Chrissie Hodges

In this episode Jess talks to Chrissie about an her story (an update on it), working through trauma, dealing with emotions beyond anxiety, breaking down stigma, how friends and family can support their loved one with OCD without giving reassurance, tips for starting advocacy, peer support, handling the “What if this is not OCD?” intrusive thought, raising awareness in schools, feeling self-compassion, 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

Story: Anna Foster

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In episode 135 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Anna Foster. Anna is a presenter for BBC radio Newcastle. She shares her OCD story for the first time. It’s a heartfelt and honest conversation.

Anna Foster

In this episode I chat with Anna about her OCD story, how OCD can change theme, how OCD affected her school life, maternal OCD, getting the motivation to work hard in therapy, how she kept her OCD secret, why there is nothing wrong with triggers, opening up to colleagues, the sense of freedom Anna got from therapy, medication, recovery is possible, lowering stress, getting to the point where the thoughts didn’t matter, the question doesn’t have to be answered, regret, advice for parents, 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

Story: Spenser Gabin

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In episode 127 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Spenser Gabin. In this story edition of the podcast Spenser shares his OCD story. 

Spenser Gabin

In this episode I chat with Spenser about his OCD story, and his recovery journey. We cover many other topics such as stopping reassurance – pros and cons list of doing a compulsion, living a valued life, how he keeps stress low, having patience in doing exposures, journalling, his peer support training, believing in treatment, having compassion for yourself and connecting with others with OCD. 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

Kirsten Pagacz – Leaving The OCD Circus

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In episode 125 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Kirsten Pagacz. Kirsten is author of the book “Leaving the OCD Circus” suffered a traumatic childhood which included on-set OCD at only 9 years of age. Kirsten’s undiagnosed OCD escalated for the next two decades until her complete mental collapse in her early thirties. Until then she didn’t even know that there was a name for what she was experiencing. Today Kirsten is a happy and successful business owner living a very full, well balanced, joyful life with very little to no OCD symptoms. She has dedicated herself to healing through Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Exposure Response Prevention, Mindfulness, Meditation and several other wellness tools.

Kirsten Pagacz

In this episode I chat with Kirsten about her OCD story, what helped her get better: CBT, Medication, and more. We discussed the idea of illness to wellness, her idea of soul nutrients, making choices, being in nature, exercising and many more topics. 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

Shala Nicely – Is Fred in the Refrigerator?: Taming OCD and Reclaiming My Life

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In episode 122 of The OCD Stories podcast I chatted with Shala Nicely. Shala is an anxiety disorders treatment specialist in Atlanta, co-founder of beyondthedoubt.com, co-author of , “Everyday Mindfulness for OCD” and author of the forthcoming book “is Fred in the refridgerator?: Taming OCD and reclaiming my life”.

Is Fred In The Refridgerator

In this episode I chatted with Shala about her new book, why OCD keeps people quiet about opening up, advice for those seeking treatment, living with uncertainty, self-compassion, not judging things as good or bad, and Shala’s hardest roadblock in becoming a therapist. 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!

You can also listen on Android and over devices through most podcast apps, such as Stitcher.

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Podcast

Rose (Bretécher) Cartwright – Pure

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In episode 119 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Rose Cartwright. Rose is a writer and author of the book “Pure” published under the surname Bretécher, which is now a Channel 4 drama series. Rose is also a director over at intrusivethoughts.org.

Rose (Bretécher) Cartwright

I talked with Rose about her OCD story, her book and now turning it into a TV drama. We talked about her recovery, and where she is at in her journey. We talk about violent and sexual intrusive thoughts, dealing with the potential embarrassment, shame and guilt around taboo thoughts, we discuss ERP, learning to not need an answer for the OCD thought, dealing with relapses, meditation, learning to love yourself, dealing with stigma and the advice she would give her 20 year old self. 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!

You can also listen on Android and over devices through most podcast apps, such as Stitcher.

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OCD

Taking OCD for a drive

OCD has been apart of my life since I can remember, but it wasn’t always apparent until I received my official diagnosis two summers ago and started to reflect on how it had affected me. In hopes of shedding light on the mental health stigma, I present my story to the OCD community.

Let’s call my OCD a creature. An elusive being; not one that slinks about unnoticed in the shadows, but not one that rears its head and cries for all to see. My OCD is a creature that merely sits on its haunches and waits for an opportunity to act. Unseen by many, it ponders carefully in the furled bracken of my mind- observing, adapting, and striking out to permeate into the physical world when the time comes. Barred back by reason, my creature claws tenaciously at the barriers my mind puts up in an effort to control the beast. But every so often, it breaks through. Every so often, my OCD takes hold of me.

As a six-year-old, my thoughts should have been a whirl of care-free illusions. However, it was then that my creature decided to forego this construct and lash out. Upon seeing something intriguing, my mind told me that if I wanted to remember it, I would have to stare at the image for no less than three seconds and say the phrase “Okay, now, good.” This compulsion is the earliest symptom of my OCD that I can accurately recall. If I did not perform this ritual, something would go wrong. Of course, my parents were unaware of this until I began my Cognitive-Based Therapy years later and revealed all the compulsions I had accumulated over the years. Eventually, my rituals and tics would evolve from psychological to physical as the creature grew over time and began to control my movements.

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Podcast

Story: Marco Maggioni

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In episode 117 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Marco Maggioni. Marco Kindly agreed to share his story with us. Marco’s written story for the site was titled “Overcoming OCD is not a fight, is an act of love”, this energy and mindset comes across in this episode beautifully.

Marco

In this episode I chat with Marco about his OCD story, his recovery journey, how meditation has played a role in his recovery, tips for meditating, letting thoughts be, and the importance of kindness and compassion. 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!

You can also listen on Android and over devices through most podcast apps, such as Stitcher.

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OCD

My OCD Story Part One: Living with OCD

OCD formally entered my life two years ago, but in hindsight, OCD has virtually touched every aspect of my life for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories of it is when the influenza virus finally made its way to my home country Venezuela. I was probably around 6 years old. I had heard the news on the radio that people were getting very sick and even dying from this and all I could feel was this paralysing anxiety and dread that I was going to also get it. I kept asking my parents for a surgeon’s mask to wear until the virus subsided and they kept refusing, laughing that I even wanted to wear such a thing outside. The only thing they said when I kept asking if I could get the virus was “you’re too young to be worrying about this” and while they moved on with their lives, I was trapped in endless overthinking about whether or not I could get seriously sick and if I would die soon.

Throughout all my education, I excelled in my courses at a great cost. Behind my straight A’s, top of the class achievements, and published papers at university level was great anxiety, panic attacks, self-punishment for not doing enough, and endless exhaustion from overexertion. I now know OCD was the one making me practice literally all the math problems (not one could be left undone before an exam!) because otherwise there was a slight chance I wasn’t prepared enough for the test. I saw my friends practicing five of them at the most, getting them all right like I did, but they knew when to stop; whereas I had to keep going because I could never feel confident enough until they were all done. And even then I didn’t feel confident enough – it was never enough. I now know OCD was the one keeping me in the library everyday (including weekends) until 11pm at night, prioritising staying on top of the class over all the friendships and connections I was starved from, being a student overseas away from family and friends. I now know OCD was the greatest obstacle in my education career, the one that beat me up so hard for not being perfect enough that I couldn’t finish my dream degree, a Masters in Research in Sexuality and Gender studies at my dream university. OCD didn’t let me finish my dissertation because it was never ‘good enough’, even though everyone told me I was a great writer, my destiny was academia, my research was exciting. None of this mattered because OCD kept drilling at me “you can’t do it, it’s never going to be perfect, so you might as well not do it”.

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OCD

At the age of 7

My OCD began to develop around the age of seven, around the time of my Grandmas death. I have always had a happy and fun family life, my parents have always worshiped me and my younger brother and I have very happy childhood memories. I have been very lucky with my upbringing as I have a very loving mother and father. I have always had a strong relationship with my Mum, she is my best friend and my main support network – she has been and always will be my rock. I can remember at a young age shouting down stairs to my mum and dad every night to make sure they were still there and that they were ok, even from being young I worried about my parents health and wellbeing.

My Grandma passed away before my younger brother was born. Back then it was just me, my mum and my dad, I have very faint memories of this but I am told that once my Grandma passed away I used to order the coats on the stairs every night. My mums would be at the bottom I presume so she was the safest, and then mine in the middle and my dad’s at the top protecting us. I have fond memories of Primary School, although there is one that sticks out. I must have been in the first year of school, I remember it was parents evening that night, so as you do you get your trays out ready for the parents to see your work when they arrive in the afternoon. I remember needing the toilet, I had my hand up as you do at the age asking for permission to leave my seat, the teacher at the time refused and asked me to wait, before I knew it I had an accident. I remember feeling so embarrassed and ashamed of myself, even at 9 years of age I was horrified. To make matters worse, I remember having to change into a P.E kit for the rest of the day. I cannot remember how quickly it developed but for a long time after this, I was obsessed with going to the toilet. Before leaving the house, I would go to the toilet at least 3 times to prevent this from ever happening to me again. It got to the point where I would sit on the toilet to just see if I needed to go, long car journeys with my parents meant frequent stops at service stations, in the end my Mum took me to see somebody about the problem and that is as far as I can remember. Looking back it is clear to me that it caused a lot of anxiety for me at the time, and I was trying to prevent the problem from happening by constantly going to the toilet. There is nothing else poignant for me that happened during this time. I remember being on holiday with my Mum, Dad and younger brother in Spain, and there was people on the streets selling drugs – whether or not this was due to anxiety I hated it – I remember thinking what if my dad took them? I remember shouting that I wanted to go home. I think it was at this point I started to develop fears of harm coming to my family.

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