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OCD nightmare(26 Posts)
OCD has taken over again about 2 weeks ago I did some laundry that was only rinsed and not properly washed. In the machine were some knickers that I wore in bed after sex. Ever since I have been worried that there has been semen/germs transferred to things I touched and that the washing wasn't clean. I did re wash everything, but in between I had taken it out and put it out to dry touching it and touching everything else. It's been driving me insane should I worry?
Hi I have had medication a couple of times over years met with psychologist but wasn't working. I learnt to live with it cleaning thing s and avoiding thinigs until it now has built upto much more than the washing incident really. I fear my family members are contaminated I clean chairs after they sit in them I try to keep my home safe for me but get anxious about the bathroom bin, kitchen bin and lots of other areas. I have re started sertraline about 4 days ago n got docs this afternoon though it's really difficult to get all this out in one 5 min appointment.
Hi, will help you out here. I shouldn't but i will . Its fine, there will be no contamination risk honestly. You know thats true its your OCD making you think it. Please stop worrying about it. Nothing will be contaminated.
Sorry to hear your OCD is bad at the moment, I'm in the same boat just now. Just trying to get the courage to make an appointment at the docs.
Ty, it's hard keep thinking i'm mad. Going to docs this afternoon I know reassurance is worst thing but does help me. Hope you manage to get an appointment soon.
Ty going to call later today. Think its time to go back on medication of some sort, really don't want to but I'm not managing myself anymore. Good luck this afternoon.
Meds do help they take off the edge you can think better and deal with it better too. I left mine a bit too long kept putting it off and it's really bad now. Maybe this is my time to finally get it under control properly and not just managably so it then has a chance to creep back. I'm really embarressed to tell the doctor about what set it off.
See thats the thing with me too. I keep putting going to the docs off and every day it gets worse. At the moment its like every hour it gets worse. I actually thought i had beat it too for a long time - however ridiculous that sounds but i was honestly fine, just a couple of little niggles every now and then but i breezed past them. More fool me though, it came back and now I'm worse than I've been in years!
Try and be honest with the doctor. Easier said than done though. Maybe i should take my own advise.
I'm having to take a day off work so know I have to go to docs and keep on top of it. Sometimes in day feel fine others not so try and do things when I feel ok. I'm avoiding things I know will make it worse just now until meds work better. With me it's all germs related ocd, worse thing is there are so many things I still feel the need to make clean again even though I do a lot of cleaning. One dirty thing contaminates another and so on then it's too much to tackle all at once and it gets left and gets worse does that make sense.
I know exactly what you mean about germ related OCD and the contamination fears. I used to be really bad with it like you, i can't lie i still have issues with it, but i am probably now 90% clear of the germ/contamination related OCD when i had it 2/3 years ago.
Unfortunately my OCD has just developed to another area instead . But this is a problem i have. I seem to overcome one obsession/compulsion and it gets replaced with another.
Have you tried any CBT yet or ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)? I found them so helpful and am (pretty much) OCD free. I had great help from CBT with my exposures and the ACT stuff helps me recognise the OCD thoughts just as thoughts. Would recommend.
Ty for your messages. How do you manage exposures though when it's germ related?
I think you just prevent the response.. so you stop washing or you stop washing as much, or you have periods where you don't wash. It's very dependent on what works for you and it's best if someone helps you through it step by step.
You would also stop yourself from seeking reassurance that you have done enough/
Sometimes it can help to think about the thing that provoked it e.g. is your obsession related to the fact this is sexual contamination/is it morality related? Then you might want to sit and think about it at a level that causes you distress but that you can manage until the feelings go down.
The whole key is letting the feeling/urge/compulsion lie.. not responding to it. Catching the urge and sitting there with it until it eases.
This is SO easy to say now but trust me, I remember what it's like. I've done things 300 times plus an hour.
Break Free from OCD really helped me too - you can work though things step by step while you wait for appropriate treatment.
CBT helped me a a lot in the past and i still know and try to practice the techniques. Still here with bad OCD though . Definitely worth giving it a go though. I was a total advocate for CBT until my recent fall into the OCD pit.
One of my exposures was reducing the length of time and the amount of hand wash used to wash my hands. Was hell but i managed it. You keep a count of your anxiety level at the time and each time you do it.
It can work and makes total sense. You have to break the viscous circle of OCD and the only way to do that is to let yourself feel anxious and the anxiety will gradually decrease.
Never heard of ACT though.
ACT is sort of a new wave CBT in some ways TeaCup.. I would say that it helps by adding mindfulness and values to the treatment... so instead of looking at the fear as irrational and just going through those arguments, you accept that your fear is your fear and to some extent it really doesn't matter if anyone else deems it to be "rational" or not. It is a product of your unique learning history: it has specific meaning to you.
ACT believes that we can get trapped by the language we use.. we take our thoughts literally (and this is all people, not just people with a "condition" like OCD). We think that because we have thought something that thought somehow corresponds to something we need to act upon in the real world.
Unlike CBT, ACT isn't about saying that this is wrong/irrational/needs to be disproven in order to change your experiences. ACT basically says: you feel this way, these feelings are here, but if you "defuse" from them by using techniques to ground yourself in the present and see them as just thoughts, you may still feel these things but you will be more free to live a valued life. So there is a lot of emphasis on what you want your life to be about, and whether what you are doing is "workable" for you in any given moment. It's about playing the long game rather than just giving in to that behavioural urge in the moment.
The thing is, ACT doesn't promise you won't feel those feelings ever again. In fact, ACT would say you probably will as they're part of how you respond to certain things.. it's just a matter of whether you're going to be able to continue towards the life you want while feeling those feelings or whether you'll get caught in the cycle.
So for example, you might distil your core fear down into a word like, oh, death or disgusting or whatever it is that you are desperately trying to deal with. Then you would try to see that these are just words by:
- repeating them over and over really fast for 20-45 seconds
- singing it
- saying it in lots of crazy voices, like Yoda or Bart Simpson etc.
There are literally hundreds of things you can do just to build up that distance between your feelings when you have the thought and the verbal form of the thought: visualising it on a screen, saying "thanks Mind!" when the thought pops in e.g. recognising it's just a thought, doing mindfulness practices etc.
It's powerful stuff and has a decent research base, including for OCD I think.
TeaCup, do you know what caused your relapse? Will you get CBT again?
Hi working, I will read over that again and have a look into it ty. Don't think i will get CBT again will just try and keep the techniques going myself.
I do think it works though and i found it specifically helped me with contamination fears.
I would really recommend highgirl that you give it a go.
No idea what caused my relapse, i honestly thought i had it sussed this time .
Hi Teacup went to docs yest and increased my meds to stronger dose. Still worrying about everything when one stops another creeps in so know it's the ocd. The laundry thing has freaked me out I was at my friends house that evening and keep thinking it's on her things and now she's touching everything with it on so i've been avoiding her it's awful!
Hi highgirl, how are you getting on with the medication? I've only ever been on fluoxetine, i have no experience of anything else. Did the docs suggest referring you for CBT as working mentioned?
Try not to avoid your friend, not easy i know. Its easier to stay away from the situation. But your friend is ok isn't she? So you will be too if you see her.
Hi I have increased meds today and already less dry mouth and better appetite. There is a year waiting list for CBT!
Hi Tea pot today has been my lowest yet. Slept in until 12pm felt very tired when I got up felt really unsure of myself was had washing constantly. Put on clothing vest top had a white mark which I know is from cream I use in bed but reminded me of semen stain grossed me out a bit having to keep a level head which isn't easy.
Hi highgirl, Sorry to hear you were having a bad day yesterday. Did your day get any better?
I can relate to the hand washing, i used to constantly wash my hands and they always looked awful. On a good note though i got over that and i don't wash my hands anywhere near as much as i used to. And if i can you can too. One step at a time.
Are you on the waiting list for CBT? Maybe you can wait until the meds start working and settle down then try some CBT on your own?
Hi tea cup nearly 2 weeks now on meds and not much better. Tried to increase doseage but it made me fell worse. Doctor siad i need to increase it from tomorrow to get over this he also gave me skeeping tablets to try for one week. Hope you are ok and thanks for your support.
Hi highgirl, What side effects are you getting? I have no experience of sertraline Im afraid. Do you have to increase the dosage? Hopefully the sleeping tablets will help and then you will be 3 weeks in and should be noticing an improvement.
Im back on Fluoxetine as from today, I finally made it to the docs.
Side effects are not being able to get u pin morning, feeling panicky and hyper ventilating sometimes when panicky but should settle after a week the doc said just have to weather the storm. Glad you made it to the doctors :-)
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