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The OCD Support Thread

(120 Posts)
PixieOnaLeaf Mon 01-Feb-10 21:05:49

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TruthSweet Tue 02-Feb-10 09:19:11

Hi, I have....post-natal depression, post-natal OCD, generalised depression, ordinary OCD and trichotillomania (hair pulling). I am also epileptic. I take Sertraline and Lamictal (for epilepsy).

I am 30, married for 5 years with DD1 (3.11 years), DD2 (2.2 years) and DD3 (16 weeks), am a SAHM and I live in the South-East.

My OCD manifests it's self as intrusive thoughts regarding the children and having to use specific cutlery for different food, eating things in particular orders, obsessions over harnesses/car seats/straps/reins, very hyper-sensitive to critisism over my breastfeeding and have suicidal ideation which my CPN dismisses as I have 'such beautiful children and they are so well dressed'. WTF does that have to do with the price of fish???

I did a OCD CBT group over the summer and did really well, I left being able to eat skittles in any order (my major food related problem blush & <eye rolling emoticon>, could go in the car with out checking the girls car seat straps umpteen million times and could use any spoon to eat cereal with out a sense of dread descending over me. I am back sliding majorly at the moment though.

I would like to apologise for my spelling as I really can't be arsed to check it and anyway it would send me over the edge today as already it's a bad one. sad

I'd really like to chat to other OCD parents as all over the people I have met with OCD don't have children and I wonder how it affects mine.

UpYourViva Tue 02-Feb-10 10:31:54

Feels like an AA meeting grin

Ive suffered from OCD and very bad anxiety for as long as i can remember. Never knew it was an actual 'thing' until i saw a documentary quite a few years back and discovered it had a name and others were as 'crazy' as me!

Dont wanna go in to all the details or ill be here all day, but basicaly it got worse when i had dd 5yrs ago, its cirrently kind of under control,except for the intrusive thought about death every day

I wanna look into CBT again (did it years ago but didnt like it) but i dont really want to go to the GP and ask because i find it embarrasing blush

Sorry for any sp mistakes

PixieOnaLeaf Tue 02-Feb-10 11:39:01

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OCDDD Tue 02-Feb-10 14:06:54

Can I join in please? This is really about my 13 year old DD rather than me. I found her crying in her room a couple of weeks ago and she told me about the thoughts that she has been having (for at least 5 years, maybe longer). What she has described to me does sound like OCD and I have been reading the book Freeing Your Child from OCD by Tamar E Chansky (I saw it recommended on here) which has thrown up another few things which I now believe are part of it.

She has described her rituals or compulsions to me and they are mainly about touching things a certain number of times with both her hands and feet. She says she doesn't wash her hands a lot although she does often have red and chapped hands and DH and I have both in the past said she must not be drying them properly - but I now think she may be overwashing. She does say she brushes her teeth for too long. She certainly has no tidiness compulsion because her bedroom is a tip!

She has told me that she thinks something bad will happen if she doesn't do her rituals, but she won't elaborate on what they are and I don't want to force her.

She used to pull her eyelashes out - to the point where she had none left. This was a few years ago. She used to get really upset when I mentioned it, but after a few months stopped doing it. She also had very exagerrated blinks a few years ago which worried me. I took her for an eye test and the optician said all was well and she stopped doing it straight away...

She has always had very sensitive skin and would refuse to wear anything with an 'itchy label' as she puts it. We went out shopping one day and she got into a state over an 'itchy' bit on her top and I had to buy her a tshirt to change into.

Sorry, this has turned into a bit of an essay. I have suggested that it might be a good idea for her to go along and talk to someone about it all but she is not keen. Now that it's out in the open with me she does seem a lot less stressy in general, and I know she is continuing, but trying to reduce, her compulsions.

Any helpful advice or thoughts?

I have name changed.

PixieOnaLeaf Tue 02-Feb-10 14:19:07

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MaryAnnSingleton Tue 02-Feb-10 14:24:57

ooh,can I join ?- have to go an pick up friends dcs from school,but will be back later !

PixieOnaLeaf Tue 02-Feb-10 14:31:16

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OCDDD Tue 02-Feb-10 14:36:42

Thanks Pixie. Yes, I agree about not attributing everything to OCD. I suppose I mentioned the itchy label thing because I would never have associated it with OCD, so was taken aback that it was mentioned in the book I read.

I did wonder about going to the GP on her behalf, but I wasn't sure I could. At the moment I don't want to try too hard to get her to see anyone. It's been going on for so long without anyone knowing that I don't feel I need to rush things.

I'm just pleased I happened to go in to her room at that point or I still wouldn't know. She didn't want to tell me because she thought I'd laugh sad. We've told DH and her sister. DH has his head stuck very firmly in the sand at the moment.

I haven't - and don't intend - to tell anyone else, at least for the moment. Which might explain the name change. I've also suggested that she doesn't tell her friends. Although she has some lovely friends, I don't think they'd really get it and I also suspect they'd pass it on to others who might not be such good friends.

PixieOnaLeaf Tue 02-Feb-10 14:49:29

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cocolepew Tue 02-Feb-10 17:28:14

OCDDD, my DD is 12 and has had OCD since November, that we know of. She suffers from anxiety and has a major blood phobia, she was terrified of her period starting (it hasn't)and this all got too much for her. Her started to have intrusive thoughts, all about suicide, self harm or me killing her. She had to be hospitalised at first. She has had a few sessions of therapy (privately, CAMHS was taking too long) and she is 99.99% back to how she was. She was lucky that she 'gelled' with her therapist immediately.

She has a CD that they made together, she listens to it everyday and she is starting EMDR with him. I am shocked about how quickly the therapy helped. She writes down her thoughts and grades them up to 10, anything at 5 or under is acceptble anxiety. She then writes how she should deal with this thought and regrades it.

She is going to be assessed for ASD soon, I think she has Aspergers.

Pixie congratulations on the twins!smile

MaryAnnSingleton Tue 02-Feb-10 17:53:50

ok, am back...
I'll try to keep it brief, but it's a bit of a long story...

I think I have had OCD for a very long time- possibly the beginnings of it in childhood/early teens but it kicked in horribly in my twenties,when life was going pretty well for me (and I think this might be relevant). I had huge anxieties about germs - I washed my hands until they were raw and bleeding -I bought soap from different shops so that no one would suspect- I think I must've got through a bar a day. I would wash myself laboriously in the shower-it took ages-I was afraid of the house being broken into,or the gas/water being left on,plugs not taken out etc - I was afraid of using the loo where I worked,partly because of infection and because I knew I'd have to complete my elaborate washing rituals afterwards and could be interrupted by someone,or they'd notice -and I was frightened of poisoning anyone (what if I'd accidentally put bleach in their coffee ?) I used to long to just get to bed (after checking everything) and sleep and hated waking up to go through another day - really I would have liked to have never woken up.

My mum found a therapist for me who turned out to be a quite important psychoanalyst -so I ended up having analysis for probably a year or so,twice a week- cost a fortune and in my opinion,not really helpful at all for OCD.

Following that I spent a year in a psych. hospital - again not helpful to OCD though I met some amazing people and learned a lot about mental illness.
After that things were tolerable and I managed pretty well until I met my dh to be - I was happy and everything was going well and I started to develop anxieties about germs/checking and convinced myself that I may be HIV positive - I even took a test,though it was totally unlikely that I could be. Even when I got a negative result I doubted it and thought there must be a mistake.
Saw another therapist,again not very helpful - I think you can talk it through until you've talked about everything and it makes no real,lasting difference.

Then -got referred to hospital for CBT and anti depressants -which was very,very successful ! All pretty good until I became pregnant with ds (again I was very,very happy to be expecting-) and as the pregnancy wore on the fears about cleanliness and the possibility of harming my unborn baby grew -towards the end of the preg. I wouldn't eat various things in case they were harmful. After he was born my brilliant GP took great care of me and helped me through my anxieties and got me back on the right path...some antidepressants helped and I was able to stop taking them after not too long.

I think I just now live with it in an OCD-lite form -there are things I have to do in order to do the things I want to do,iyswim. The germ thing is fine- my house has to be in order and clean,I have to check every item of clothing before it goes in the machine,and going away is very stressful because of checking.

I have recently started taking venlafaxine (2 x 75mg) a day as I would like a CBT top up but the psych. team who assessed me want me to be 'receptive' before I'm considered for it.I know it would help !
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May and had surgery/radiotherapy and now tamoxifen for 5 years - I don't think this has made OCD worse but has made me think about things,hence the asking for more CBT.
So sorry- this has turned into an essay - and I don't want to frighten anyone and I'm not looking for sympathy - I remain totally optimistic - it's a pain but there are things that can be done to help.

TotalChaos Tue 02-Feb-10 18:04:29

Have had OCD on and off for many years - atm controlled nicely by Prozac. Mainly germ phobia/handwashing.

OCDDD - you/your DD might find this site useful:-

ocdyouth.iop.kcl.ac.uk/.

I wouldn't let things drag on indefinitely with your DD - as living with this level of anxiety can take its toll and make one more prone to depression. CBT with the right person (i.e. someone who is fully qualified and experienced in using CBT for OCD) can be very helpful. CBT is geared around a limited number of sessions, so may be worth considering looking for this privately, as you won't be opening yourself up to years of £££££.

cocolepew Tue 02-Feb-10 18:14:35

TC that website is interesting. DD has been having words pop into her head (I don't want to write them down because they are a bit racist). I thought it was very similar to Tourettes, I see on the website that the same genes may be involved.

Thanks for the link.

PixieOnaLeaf Tue 02-Feb-10 18:57:14

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PixieOnaLeaf Tue 02-Feb-10 21:21:16

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cocolepew Wed 03-Feb-10 07:54:58

Thanks Pixie I know she doesn't have tourettes (I have worked with children that do) but I just noticed the similarity, albeit silent.

OCDDD Wed 03-Feb-10 09:18:31

Morning everyone.

Totalchaos, thanks for the link, I will show it to DD.

Pixie, DDs sister is older, so I can't help you with tips on how to explain it to someone younger. DD1 had to know because there was a lot of fighting over the bathroom, which I know is normal teen arguing, but I wanted to ask DD1 to back off a bit and understand why DD2 might be overly stressy with bathroom time.

Coco and MaryAnn, what you have said does reassure me that CBT could be very helpful.

This does seem all a bit overwhelming at the moment, but we will have a lot of time, just the two of us, over half term and I hope that DD will open up a bit more to me then.

MaryAnnSingleton Wed 03-Feb-10 12:31:00

sorry for spewing all that out- I should have edited a bit..it sounds grim, but really I'm doing fine now

BigMomma3 Wed 03-Feb-10 14:23:47

Oooh can i join please?

My name is Bigmomma3 and I am an OCD sufferer. There is it AA style grin.

I have 3 kids aged from 8-13 and am unexpectedly but very happily expecting my 5th (lost one to stillbirth which has not helped my anxieties). I have been on all the spectrums of this; cleaning rituals, counting steps, checking to make sure things are unplugged/locked and obsessions that someone is going to break in and kill us unless I stay awake all night (this started after a burgulary). This has manifested into intrusive thoughts about my children's safety and health which is my problem now as I seem to be on the 'Pure O' bit and don't have rituals anymore!!

I have been suffering from this since I was around 7/8 and am now 38 and bloody fed up of it! I did not know that was what it was until October last year shock. I was having panic attacks and attributed it to me being a looney (as I had thought of myself all these years and my mum reiterated sad) and I stumbled across the 'No More Panic' website and I saw some posts from people who were exactly the same as me. I sobbed and sobbed as I had always thought it was only me having all these bizarre thoughts.

I went to see my GP and finally told him (took a lot of courage) and was referred to CMHT and given Prozac which really increased the intrusive thoughts bigtime and I was happy to come off it after 2 months when I found out I was pregnant.

I had 6 sessions of CBT privately which really helped me think about the way I view myself but could not afford anymore. Luckily though my referral for CBT on the NHS has just come up and I hope to start that soon.

Cocolepew and OCDD - I wish my mother had bothered to get me some help earlier instead of just saying I was mental and evil sad. Your DDs are so lucky to have you.

I do have some worried about my DD (age 13) as she has little foibles like not washing her face when in the shower, she has to dry and dress herself and wash her face in the sink! I will talk to her tonight.

PixieOnaLeaf Wed 03-Feb-10 16:04:59

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lucjam Wed 03-Feb-10 20:58:51

Hi, this is only my 3rd ever post on mumsnet.

I went for my first day today at the priory for cbt. I go as a day patient (as in i don't stay overnight just go for an entire day once a week). I was told I had anxiety disorder (no suprises there) and OCD - was very shocked. It never occured to me that I would have OCD, it doesn't particularly manifest it'self as compulsions although I do clean the work surfaces often and count steps and shake my hands in a certain way when I run up and down stairs!! Bonkers! Anyway it comes out as intrusive thoughts, mostly of a sexual nature towards strangers and in violent thoughts about my children. Marvellous.

I have just changed from citalopram to prozac.

Anyway just thought I would say hi.

BigMomma3 Wed 03-Feb-10 22:09:58

Hi Lucjam! I was the same with regards to a diagnosis. Never occurred to me I had OCD at all. In fact I used to joke about my 'OCD tendencies' with regards to cleaning. I never put it together, just thought I was a wacko!!

Is'nt it a relief though to know that other people think the same way we do? I think knowing that is half the way to recovery as I hid it for so long and felt such shame. I have been reading so much about it and know so much about it that now the intrusive thoughts are coming up but I am just smiling to myself about how pathetic they are rather than feeling the jolt of despair and shock like I used to.

I can actually say that I used to hide knives away as I had a fear of sleepwalking sad although I never did and I realise now that my fear of the thoughts made things a whole lot worse. So I am now trying not to be afraid of them, I'm not blocking them either, just laughing at them which was a bit weird at first but now they are definitely losing their power over me!!

lazymumofteenagesons Wed 03-Feb-10 22:34:33

My 18 year old son has just been diagnosed by a psychiatrist with ocd. All I can say is that our lives seem to have been turned upside down. He says he ha been suffering in silence for about 3 years and all those times we were shouting at him for being late for school etc he was stuck in his room checking stuff. I knew something wasn't right when he stopped going out with friends, eventually he admitted to the instrusive thoughts and checking/touching..... I took him to GP who referred to psychiatrist who has referred to a psychologist for CBT.

He has now virtually stopped going to school (in his final year with very good university prospects). He says it is exhausting as he is constantly troubled by these thoughts and when other people have a break from work he has to fight with whats in his head. Everything takes him ages. He tries to get out of bed numerous times, bathroom includes masses of rituals, everything from tooth mug to toilet have to be touched in a certian way.

He will happily do school work at home, but can't face going in.

He is going for his second CBT appt at end of the week. How long before some improvement. I just want him to be a happy, annoying, bolshy teenager again.

Sorry for the long winded account but I am finding it increasingly difficult to deal with. I don't know whether to just pull him out of school for now - he is so close to finishing.

I haven't done a name change cos this should be treated like any other illness.

lucjam Wed 03-Feb-10 22:57:33

Hi Big momma, i was told today that trying to block the thoughts is the worst thing you can do but to almost embrace them or rather let them happen and then they go away so you're def on the right track.

Lazymum so sad about your ds can imagine how fustrating it must be for you having to tell him to hurry up and fustrating for him having to perform his rituals asap.

It's still such a shock and now i read more about it this evening on t'internet i can see i've been like this for 7 years or so.

Good to have a diagnosis and to know i'm not going totally mad...

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