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Pure o and intrusive thoughts

(21 Posts)
CharlieBoo Fri 13-Sep-13 14:58:42

Hi, I've been having intrusive thoughts since Sunday. I had then first 2 years ago and went on citalopram and felt better quickly. For some unknown reason they're back and I feel physically sick and repulsed. I visited the gp yesterday and she's put me back on citalopram and put me forward for cbt.

I just want to talk and ask how common these are and do you have any tips to help me in the meantime?


desertgirl Fri 13-Sep-13 17:58:25

When you had them two years ago, did they give you any strategies for dealing with them apart from the citalopram? I'm not completely sure what counts as 'intrusive thoughts', have definitely had times when I have had thoughts I haven't wanted, but more often actually have difficulty identifying the thought (as opposed to the feeling that goes with it) so my cbt type strategies have been more aimed at dealing with that (it feels utterly ridiculous to say you don't know what you have been thinking, but hey).

So basically nothing useful to say other than sympathy, hang on in there and I hope the citalopram kicks in soon.

CharlieBoo Fri 13-Sep-13 20:06:19

Thanks desertgirl. Once the citalopram kicks in things will ease it just takes time and I just want to feel better again. I'm on 10mg till sun when I can take up to 20mg. The anxiety is crippling! I'm so lucky to have an amazing husband and family. My mum is just amazing too. Thanks for your kind words.

boomoohoo Fri 13-Sep-13 20:40:55

Hi Charlieboo, I have had pure o, last episodes of constant intrusive thoughts were 2 years ago, have been on setraline since. This alongside extended cbt sessions have really helped me.

My advice - be completely honest about your intrusive thoughts with your therapist. The only way to take the 'heat' and anxiety away from them, is to get them out your head and talk about them. For me this was very challenging as I was so sickened by my thoughts and ashamed, and was convinced the therapist would think I was disgusting.

There was an article in the guardian recently about a female sufferer of pure o, look it up online under the mental health supplement (sorry I'm rubbish at putting links in) it was so heartwarming and emotional to read someone going through the same horrible condition, let me know if you can't find it and ill try and send it..

Otherwise, in the meantime try and not beat yourself up about the thoughts. The guilt keeps them alive, remember the thoughts do not reflect your belief system or what you want to do. When a thought comes in think to yourself something like 'oh it's that silly thought again! What a strange little thought you are' and visualise the thought shrinking in your head.

Ill post more soon. X

CharlieBoo Fri 13-Sep-13 21:44:09

Boomoohoo thank you so much for replying... The thoughts make me feel so awful I end up in a panic attack. I really want to be honest with the therapist as I want them to go so much. It helps others have gone through this. The citalopram helped last time but if it doesn't I will ask for the setraline. Are they similar? I'm going to keep this thread going as today was such a dark day of images and panic, I just want tomorrow to be a normal day. I am emotionally and physically exhausted! Thanks again

boomoohoo Sat 14-Sep-13 00:13:57

The antidepressant doesn't stop the thoughts from coming, but it reduces the anxiety / depression experienced as a consequence of these thoughts. Which in turn reduces their frequency. It is the fact that we find the thoughts so abhorrent that they cause so much panic in us. Trying desperately not to think something, will only make u think it more. The only way to get through the thoughts and get rid of them, is to realise that they have absolutely no meaning. Every body in the world has intrusive thoughts about doing things completely against their moral code. The thing that separates pure o sufferers is the anxiety experienced from the thoughts.

I took setraline because I was breastfeeding at the time and its the only one you can safely take, but I have also heard it is commonly used to treat OCD..

Keep posting, it will be ok x

boomoohoo Sat 14-Sep-13 00:24:30

To clarify, I really think a talking therapy alongside ad's is effective.

I found writing quite helpful too. I used to write when I was very panicky and get my thought on paper, and I found that helped a bit.

also while u wait for cbt try and do things that relax you. Go for walks, massages, see friends, watch films.

Was your first experience 2 years ago? And how long after did u come off citalopram ?

CharlieBoo Sat 14-Sep-13 04:25:32

Am awake now and shaky with fear of these thoughts. Read the article from the guardian and showed it to my husband. I came off citalopram 5 months ago but was weaning off since Xmas. I have felt great. The thoughts are so utterly horrific I couldn't write them down I don't think... I just want them to go now and get on with my life.

I keep telling myself they're not real but I can't seem to stop this panic reaction my body has to them.. Last night I had the hugest panic attack... My whole body was shaking uncontrollably and I feel hot and sick and struggle o control my breathing. It's so hard right now.

Thanks for listening.

boomoohoo Sat 14-Sep-13 06:20:47

Charlieboo I really empathise, mine were horrific too.

You don't have to say, but do you have them about anyone in particular? Or a range of people? Mine were all about my daughter confused

boomoohoo Sat 14-Sep-13 06:22:08

Is there any way you could afford a private cbt counsellor? Perhaps one specialising in OCD conditions? Just cos I know there is sometimes a wait for these things on NHS.

boomoohoo Sat 14-Sep-13 06:29:29

Your anxiety may also be a symptom of the citalopram being completely out of your system. I came off setraline when I started to feel better. A few months later the thoughts and anxiety came back with a vengeance. I had had cbt the first time round but hasn't been totally honest about all my thoughts. Therefore the ones I hadn't dealt with were very powerful when they came back.

I was also crippled with anxiety and fear. I felt suicidal at times. But, through lots of cbt, and then 2 years of counselling, I no longer have the thoughts. Well, hardly ever. They v occasionally come to me, but I feel no anxiety response whatsoever as I know they hold no meaning.

It will get better xx

CharlieBoo Sat 14-Sep-13 06:41:19

Mine are about my children at times and general things that range in awfulness. I feel awful again this morning. Yes we could afford private councillor, I'm going to ring round today. Thanks for your support.

JanePlanet Sat 14-Sep-13 06:43:07

I hope this helps

OpheliaMonarch Sat 14-Sep-13 07:09:18

Don't know that I can help but I have OCD. I mostly only have intrusive thoughts. However I was diagnosed with OCD.

I was confused by the Guardian article as it went against everything I was told by the people I have seen, they flat out said Pure O didn't exist. (Sorry, just repeating what they said, not trying to offend.)

When I was diagnosed I mentioned the possibility of Pure O to the consultant psychotherapist, as I had thought that was what was wrong, she really didn't seem to like the term.

This article was recommended to me, it is a bit too focused on America and It's a bit aggressive, but just thought you'd like to see what I was pointed to.

-American link

-This is from OCD UK, they seem to contradict themselves confused
It is a good PDF on Pure O though.

Hope nobody thinks I'm being nasty or anything, just thought I should tell you what the people I'm seeing said.

I do think it's helpful to have a different name for people who don't have obvious physical compulsions as everyone I've told has said I can't have OCD because I don't wash my hands. angry

To be honest it feels like when it's in your head people don't believe you feel as bad as you do. It sounds awful but sometimes I wish I did do more physical stuff, so that people wouldn't think I was exaggerating.

I'm probably not helping much, but if being a confederate helps (not in a bad USA way) I'm your girl.

It sounds weird, but have you tried listening to audiobooks?
I literally listen to them end to end when I'm really bad, I listen whilst playing games on my IPad. This occupies me more than just reading or watching TV. I find listening and playing a tough game helps to distract me.

I got my IPad about two years ago, and found itunes has loads of books at varying prices. If you are using another device I know amazon and audible both do audiobook downloads, used to put a couple on my phone.

I know it sounds weird and trivial but when I'm bad it really does help take my mind off things and calm me down a bit.

I hope at least knowing you're not the only one helps. Hope you get some sleep. (Wow this is too long.blush)

boomoohoo Sat 14-Sep-13 07:13:10

Ophelia my therapists had not heard of the term pure o, and were reluctant to use it for me too, I have also got just an OCD diagnosis because of this..

CharlieBoo Sat 14-Sep-13 07:40:07

Thanks ladies you are all so kind... I have decided I'm going to have a GOOD day and not let these thoughts beat me! I am not diagnosed with anything other than anxiety. Once my tablets get into my system they will help... I bought imp of the mind on amazon but some of it scared me to be honest so I put it back in the drawer. I have an iPad so ill look at some audio books... Any you can recommend?

Thank you again, it means a lot. Ill check back in later and let you know how my day goes. X

boomoohoo Sat 14-Sep-13 07:44:09

Good for you Charlie! Let us know how your day goes x

HoleyGhost Sat 14-Sep-13 10:00:43

Thank you for posting this - I've had these thoughts and been too ashamed to tell anyone.

I have no useful advice but will be watching with interest

CharlieBoo Sat 14-Sep-13 17:33:12

How do you cope HoleyGhost, I feel like I'm going mad at times. Intrusions have been less today still feel shaken though. Off to church now. Hoping to find some peace.

CharlieBoo Sat 14-Sep-13 20:31:17

Had a good day but don't feel great again tonight! Oh please let the citalopram kick in soon!!

HoleyGhost Sat 14-Sep-13 22:34:04

When it is happening I try to distract myself, force myself to relax, remember that everyone has intrusive thoughts & I don't need to act on them.

More generally, getting enough sleep, enough time to myself, eating well and exercise. I will be reading up on this.

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