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I have ocd, anxiety and agoraphobia AMA

24 replies

whatsnewpussycat34 · 06/06/2022 20:58

15 years since my initial breakdown that caused my prolonged symptoms. Feel free to ask me anything, especially if you or a loved one has been newly diagnosed or has symptoms

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PatAndFrank · 06/06/2022 21:37

My anxiety pisses me off, I spent 4 days last week stressing over what amounted to fuck all. How do you deal with other peoples reactions to how you are towards them?

ApolloandDaphne · 06/06/2022 21:38

Do you manage to go out anywhere at all?

whatsnewpussycat34 · 06/06/2022 21:45

@PatAndFrank sorry, I'm not sure what you mean about how I am towards people? Do you mean how my illness affects my relationships etc?

The 4 day ruminating is a bitch! I've found it helpful to differentiate between my "well brain" thoughts and my "not well brain" thoughts

@ApolloandDaphne yep :) I go to work every day and go out locally but I have a "safe zone" which is about 7 miles in one direction from my house

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AMAQs · 06/06/2022 22:08

How long did it take you to establish your safe zone? What techniques did you use?

do you think medication helps?

whatsnewpussycat34 · 06/06/2022 23:09

@AMAQs I really do think medication has allowed me to lead a more normal (although restricted) life, Especially surrounding the general anxiety. I still have deep, sticky thoughts that get stuck abd then I ruminate for days/weeks but I’ve always come out the other side.

I went on meds before I started pushing myself out in to my safe zone. I’d say it took about 7 years to be able to get to where I am now and since lockdown, it has regressed a bit but I’m now back to pushing for slightly longer journeys

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whatsnewpussycat34 · 06/06/2022 23:13

@AMAQs techniques I use when going out in to my zone or on the boundary is going with someone who I know will bring me back if I ask them to. Half way back I might kick myself and try again, this can happen a few times, so I find being with someone I trust to keep me safe really helps

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AMAQs · 06/06/2022 23:13

Well done you OP! Did you have periods of regression or stagnation before moving forward?

Has therapy helped?

Threetulips · 06/06/2022 23:16

What is it that physically prevents you from leaving the house? The actually can’t move sensation that prevents you leaving?

Asking because I know of a 16 year old lad who really can’t leave the house, or it takes hours to get him to leave - no amount of anything helps - small steps, just get dressed, or have a shower, shoes on, yet find when they get to where they’re going.

AMAQs · 06/06/2022 23:17

Sorry I have lots of questions as I’m supporting my DD who is in a similar position as you.

Is there anything that your family or friends do that helps? Does backing off or encouragement and pushing you out of your comfort zone work better for you?

whatsnewpussycat34 · 06/06/2022 23:19

@AMAQs absolutely still have regression and it knocks the confidence I've tried to build right out of me. Im no where near living the life I should be but I look back on my breakdown and feel very proud of myself for how far I've come.

I didn't find therapy helpful but that may just be down to not finding the right therapist. I know why I am the way i am and what contributed to it, I don't need to be rummaged around IYSWIM lol

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GingerFigs · 06/06/2022 23:20

What @Threetulips said...what is it that actually prevents you leaving the house? I'm really curious and promise I'm not being goady. Doses your brain think something will happen? Is it the fear you may have a panic attack away from home?

It sounds like you've worked really hard to tackle these things, well done, it can't be easy!

GingerFigs · 06/06/2022 23:22

Sorry me again, you've replied to someone that you know what caused it. Can I ask what that is? Was it one incident or a culmination of events? Obviously you don't need to answer that so apologies if I've asked too much.

whatsnewpussycat34 · 06/06/2022 23:25

@Threetulips the feeling I had when housebound is the same feeling I have when I'm nearing the end of my "safe zone" about 7-10 miles from my house.

It starts with a fleeting thought of "I'm leaving my safe place" (house, town, city or wherever) and then the urge to run away. From research I've done, it seems most people with agoraphobia have a fear of fear and panic. So my own voice will start saying "you're anxious, you're going to have a panic attack, you're going to lose your mind, you'll never be well ever again if you go any further"

Which is batshit crazy but that's the nature of the beast

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whatsnewpussycat34 · 06/06/2022 23:30

AMAQs · 06/06/2022 23:17

Sorry I have lots of questions as I’m supporting my DD who is in a similar position as you.

Is there anything that your family or friends do that helps? Does backing off or encouragement and pushing you out of your comfort zone work better for you?

@AMAQs I find someone else pushing makes me panic and for me, it's better to plan a route with someone I trust to say "ok"when I've had enough. It gives me some control and security. I'll then cry and they (DP) say it's absolutely fine. He's amazing for me.

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whatsnewpussycat34 · 06/06/2022 23:32

@GingerFigs honestly, a traumatic childhood and recreational drugs (a lot of drugs) weed, cocain, extacy and plenty of alcohol. I'm 10 years T total now though. I wouldn't have a glass of wine if you paid me 🤣

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Threetulips · 06/06/2022 23:39

Oils or be safe to assume then that there is nowhere you need to go and stay - say work for example and you can leave anytime?

School isn’t as forgiving!!

whatsnewpussycat34 · 06/06/2022 23:44

@Threetulips no I can't leave work at anytime but I don't have any anxiety in the office. It's well within my safe zone. I suppose the only difference in my life to everyone else's is that I can't go on holiday. My DP still goes away with his family and with the lads every year

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AMAQs · 06/06/2022 23:45

@Threetulips Go you 10 years sober - that is fantastic!

I choose to take DD’s lead and never push but get criticised by family for not forcing.

whatsnewpussycat34 · 06/06/2022 23:46

@Threetulips can this lad not leave the house due to anxiety or is he struggling to get ready to leave? You said he's fine once he gets to where he needs to be?

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whatsnewpussycat34 · 06/06/2022 23:50

@AMAQs things break when you force them (in my experience)

One thing I would say is that I wish I'd have known what was actually happening to me , or someone could have told me, when I was young and it was just starting. The longer I left it, the harder it was, and is, to not let it take over. I live a fairly routine lead, restricted life now and I think if I'd have been brave enough to seek help sooner, I'd be a lot different today

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GingerFigs · 07/06/2022 00:24

Thanks for your honest answers, it's really interesting although I'm sure for you you'd much rather you didn't have these things to deal with. Best wishes x

AMAQs · 07/06/2022 00:38

@whatsnewpussycat34 I meant go you for 10 years :)

CapitanSandy · 10/06/2022 19:15

Can I ask what happens for things like family occasions that are outside your safe zone? Does everyone accept your limitations?

whatsnewpussycat34 · 10/06/2022 19:29

@CapitanSandy my side of the family just accept it but it's been harder for my DPs to understand and accept. They're very travel oriented and do pretty much everything together and I do carry a lot of guilt about that.
Sometimes I forget I'm an adult and it's none of my DPs family's business about my condition but I do have a lot of guilt about holding him back etc.

he can leave me if ever it became a deal breaker but he's lasted 7 years so I think we'll be ok :)

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