Browsing Tag

Therapy

Podcast

Dr Amy Mariaskin – Gender Identity themed OCD

In episode 184 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Dr Amy Mariaskin. Amy is a licenced clinical psychologist and director at The Nashville OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center. 

Dr Amy Mariaskin

In this episode I chat with Amy about her OCD and therapy story, the story behind her clinic’s logo, Amy explains the terminology around gender identity, what are some obsessions and compulsions around this gender identity theme (sometimes called transgender OCD), what some example exposures look like for this theme, the effectiveness of ERP for this theme, words of hope, 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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OCD

I’m getting there

I have felt inspired to share my story about OCD, in part because I have finally realised how much it helps me to share and listen to others’ stories (while trying to fight the guilty feelings which surge up when my OCD tells me that I should not be using my problem and others’ to gain relief, but instead I should be looking out for others’ safety and well-being). So hopefully my story might resonate with someone out there, whilst getting it out in the open will be cathartic for me!

I am 51 years old and have struggled with OCD since age 13 (though I now see I showed signs of it way before). I remember the exact moment when I first had extreme anxiety: at that time, my Mum was the most important person in my life and she had suffered from poor health and had been in and out of hospital quite a lot while I grew up. Anyway, this particular time, my Mum had just got out of hospital following an operation. I overheard a conversation which basically said how lucky my Mum had been and if she’d waited much more she’d be dead. My world fell apart and the first thought that crashed through my head was: “How could I have been so selfish as to be having such a good time at school and all this was going on?!! I am one bad person.” The compulsions began immediately. I began to draw imaginary circles around my waist with my hands and my index fingers of both hands had to touch. I would hold great store in numbers, and odd and even steps. I would never step on the cracks in the pavement and I began to touch objects once, twice, three times, four times….  And I would say to myself: “Ok, one more time”, but it never was one more time – it was never enough.

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Podcast

Your ERP Questions Answered – Part 2 With Dr Joan Davidson

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In episode 160 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Dr Joan Davidson. Joan is a licensed psychologist and co-director of the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy. She is Assistant Professor in the psychology department at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of the book “daring to challenge OCD: overcome your fear of treatment and take control of your life using ERP”.

Part 1 of Your ERP questions answered – with Shala Nicely

Dr Joan Davidson

In this episode I chat with Joan about ERP. She answers many questions that were submitted by the listeners a while back. We hope you find this episode useful in answering some of your ERP questions. 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: Alex Culafi

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In episode 159 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Alex Culafi. Alex has kindly agreed to share his OCD story with us.

Alexander Culafi

In this episode I chat with Alex about his OCD story, sensorimotor themed OCD, Existential themed OCD, volunteering for the IOCDF, stoicism, exercise, finding an OCD therapist, asking for help 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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OCD

I stepped onto the road to recovery

My OCD story doesn’t have a start date. I can’t reach back through my memory and pinpoint a day, a time or an event where OCD showed up and barged into my life. OCD has been a guest at the table of my mind for as long as I can remember. It’s woven itself into the fabric of my awareness and experiences so seamlessly that, for a long time, I didn’t even realize it was there.

CHILDHOOD

I was born into a home full of Love.I learned to walk and talk and play and dream in the security of my parents’ warmth, steadiness, and Faith. To grow up in the world my mom and dad created together was, and still is, God’s greatest gift to me. 

But no matter how secure and safe we may be, life is not perfect. One way or another, OCD found a way to rattle the windows of my mind and plant fear in my heart.

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Podcast

Ruji Rahman – CBT, Compassion and Uncertainty

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In episode 156 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Ruji Rahman. Ruji is a London based CBT therapist. As well as being a psychotherapist Ruji herself has lived experience with OCD.

Ruji Rahman

In this episode I chat with Ruji about her OCD story, writing about her story, CBT, ERP, compassion in therapy, being flexible during therapy, importance of a therapist in doing exposures, and uncertainty. 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 Katia Moritz – The Core of OCD Treatment

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In episode 155 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Katia Moritz. Katia is a Clinical Director of the NeuroBehavioral Institute in Florida and is a licensed psychologist who treats OCD. She also wrote the children’s OCD book “blink, blink, clop, clop”.

In this episode I chat with Katia about her therapy story, her book “Blink, blink, clop, clop”, early detection in OCD, the NBI ranch, learning to live again, family interventions, advice for parents, learning to live with uncertainty, and why it takes a village to treat 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

Dr Russ Harris – The Happiness Trap

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In episode 151 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Dr Russ Harris. Russ is a medical practitioner, author of the international best-selling book ‘The Happiness Trap’, and is an world-renowned trainer of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT).

DR RUSS HARRIS

In this episode I chat with Russ about his therapy story, he demonstrates several exercises, we discuss the choice point, his book The Happiness Trap, living a value led life, applying ACT principals when feeling emotionally overwhelmed, 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

Jessica Emily – Littlest Lady (Redefining Trauma, & OCD)

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In episode 150 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Jessica Emily. Jessica is the creator of LittlesLady.com, and she’s kindly agreed to share her OCD and mental health story with us.

Littlest Lady - Jessica Emily

In this episode I chat with Jessica about her OCD story, abuse and trauma, therapy, her biggest epiphany in recovery, her work on LittlestLady.com, words of hope for those with OCD and experienced trauma. 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 human mental health issue

My parents shunned any type of conversation about sex. In fact, I have never seen my parents kiss even and probably saw them awkwardly hug a handful of times in my life. I lived a very sheltered upbringing. In fact, I’d purposely take off my contacts in High School health class so I wouldn’t see the board or occupy myself in a book in the back of the classroom. I didn’t want to know anything about sex. As a Muslim, Pakistani American born and raised in Connecticut and a Hijaabi (I wore the head scarf out of peer pressure from the girls at the Mosque) at the time, I had no intention of engaging in sex because it was shunned. Even at the mosque, we were separated from the men and if I saw a boy, I would lower my gaze and he’d do the same. My only interaction with boys were my cousins. And in Islam, we are allowed to  marry our cousins. When I hit puberty, I started falling for my cousin. I looked forward to weekend family gatherings just so we could chat. I felt intense emotions for him that I can still remember feeling. A handshake was everything. Perhaps this is why sex has been the biggest taboo and the biggest part of my OCD in my life.

When two lesbians were invited to be guest speakers in my 10th grade health class, I got curious. As I listened to them talk about coming out, it hit me. I looked at the girl sitting in front of me. She had a tight shirt on and her small waist looked beautiful. I fixated on that waist and it was my very first trigger into my HOCD. From that moment, the entire world flipped upside down, like I was really in the upside down (Stranger Things reference). Every woman, even my own mother made me spike. A spike is a strain in my body, like in my stomach and vagina (I still don’t know what it really is). My favorite Bollywood actresses made me spike. A beautiful voice singing, siri, an operator, the Doctor’s secretary all made me spike. What was going on? I was surrounded by women everyday and it felt like hell. I couldn’t look at them. I was analyzing them. Do I like them? Do I want to be with them? So I wanted to avoid them, isolating myself and wanting to stay home and not even go out in the world.

Before this, I only ever imagined to be with my male cousin. I thought I was in love with him. And this whole time I felt so alone, unable to express any of this to anyone. It was so embarrassing. So, I called a gay hotline that I found online and asked them what was going on with me and they made it even worse. Their triggering words were ‘You just haven’t let yourself like a girl yet, just try it.’ I remember playing badminton with my sister and suddenly fell to the floor in a massive panic attack. I told her everything. She comforted me, telling me that even she thinks about women sometimes. These words gave me ease. It was my first compulsion. I don’t remember when it disappeared but it did. Probably because my OCD content shifted to ‘weight OCD.’ I then fixated on my body. But I’ll get to that in a bit.

My HOCD came back in full force at 19. It was like the devil. I started googling ‘gay Muslims’ to find out if this was even okay as a Muslim. I found Faisal Alam, a gay Muslim activist who founded an organization for gay Muslims. I started to talk to a gay muslim man on Faisal’s forum group, and he told me that I wasn’t actually gay. Again, a sigh of momentary relief. I finally found a therapist. I don’t even know how I had the money for it. He was in Connecticut. He was an old white man. My first thought was, ‘how is an old white man going to understand a young, South Asian Muslim girl?’ I was so nervous that he’d tell me I was a lesbian and my life and my dreams of a husband and kids would be shattered. He gave me reassurance instead. He told me being gay or straight was a choice and that reassurance helped for a bit. I would continue seeking reassurance from him and he kept giving it to me, unable to truly resolve my real problem, OCD.

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