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Thread: Had an OCD meltdown yesterday, have to vent

  1. #31
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by doberman100
    Every day a new danger which is not a danger. Aids blood on this, that, it will be something which is red in colour. This is truly rediculous now.
    Even though I don't have OCD, I understand what this is like. It happens with anxiety, which I have intermittently (especially in situations that involve loss or abandonment). It's the stupidest thing because it literally makes no sense, yet it is powerfully compelling.

  2. #32
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    Hey thanks :) This has been a wake up call for me to reducate myself a bit about panic disorders and anxiety. I know so much of my stuff is not danger but ocd yet still am bewitched by it. It feels real but its not. Whilst its a constant struggle to limit the compulsions, the panic pangs are so frequent my head is spinning a bit. I feel like I need to get back to safety and thats back home. Im going to get there somehow. I have 4 weeks to basically pack up and leave, but so difficult to be productive as in the last 7 days there have been 3 serious ocd spikes which Ive struggled to rationalise, all about contamination. Life is so complicated i cant see the woods for the trees right now. What do you find relaxes you to get tge anxiety down?

  3. #33
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    I thought about your logic today and it got ne through a bad moment. :)

  4. #34
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    Is your OCD primarily focused on AIDS and STDs?

    If so, tell yourself the logical steps that the AIDS or STD would have to take to get into your food waste, then ask yourself if any of it is even remotely possible.

    As for the discolored towel, how would AIDS have gotten on your towel? Are you the only one who uses it? If so, that means you would have had to have contact with someone who has AIDS, which means you would already have it and you can't infect yourself if you're already infected. And if you're not infected, how would you infect yourself?

    I just tell myself that if whatever imagined disaster does in fact happen, then I'll just go with it. And I always forget about whatever it was I was obsessing about within a few minutes.

    I would imagine anxiety over your move is making the OCD worse. Tell yourself "I'm anxious over this move and that is why I am having these thoughts". See if it helps.

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  6. #35
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by doberman100
    What do you find relaxes you to get tge anxiety down?
    When it's really bad, it's like my brain has been hijacked and I can't break free of the ridiculous circular thinking.

    Sometimes it helps to focus on the immediate environment, something like the sunlight on a wall, or the wind. A sound. A piece of furniture. The feel of a keyboard under my fingers. A line on a piece of paper.

    I don't think about it; I just sense it. I look at it or feel it or hear it. Whatever sense applies. Anxiety is really just thoughts racing around in your head. When I focus on something immediate, the thoughts go away. Sometimes I just get a second of blankness before the thoughts start to flood back in. But that's something. I let myself regroup and try again.

    If anxiety starts to interfere with my productiveness, I do my tasks in bursts like an automaton. In the midst of the crazy, racing thoughts, I just visualize what I have to do and put one foot in front of the other until it gets done. Charge forth, eyes closed! Don't think about it.

    I remember that awesome statement by Winston Churchill: When you're going through hell, keep going.

    That's how I feel about it.

    And it makes sense. Why stop and spend time in hell when you can just pass through?

    Originally Posted by doberman100
    I thought about your logic today and it got ne through a bad moment. :)
    That works, too!

    You can also just decide not to think about something. Really.

    Sometimes when I get pissed off and slip into a sneaky hate spiral, I reach a point where I realize that thinking about these things is just making me feel worse. I've learned to say, "I'm not thinking about that anymore." And then I think about something else.

    It sounds stupidly simple, but it really works.

    I wasn't always able to do it, though.

  7. #36
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jibralta
    I remember that awesome statement by Winston Churchill: When you're going through hell, keep going.

    That's how I feel about it.

    And it makes sense. Why stop and spend time in hell when you can just pass through?
    Yes! Well said. I'd heard an abbreviated version, "When in hell, don't stop." ... and for that to make sense to me, I say, "Don't stop and visit hell--push forward."

    My anxiety came after hurricane Irene in 2012. I lost my home and belongings to mold. During disposal I employed the kind of methods I'd been taught in nursing school. I was regimented and detailed during the process, however, I was continually shaking and concerned about breaking emotionally and losing my job.

    I used my company EAP (Employee Assistance Program) to meet with a therapist for an assessment because I wanted to learn coping skills for the shaking and whether I was behaving rationally, or whether what I believed was a machine-like tackling of disposal of my property was actually some kind of manic episode, instead. I mean, there was plenty of rage there--I just didn't have time for it.

    This is why I advocate being kind to yourself about whatever methods you employ for plowing through whatever you 'must' do to get to the other side of it.

    Sure, the emotional aftermath of 'in between' is tough, and that's why it's important to deliberately decide to be on your own side. If you start imposing guilt and shame on yourself, then you leave yourself nowhere else to go. SOMEBODY needs to be your advocate--and that's you. So credit yourself for operating in your best interests, and set aside the analysis for a safe place in some therapist's office whenever you can manage that.

    You'll thank yourself later. Especially when you learn that your REASONS for behaving as you do are not without merit. Sure, you may be distorting and overcompensating. That doesn't mean you can't find ways to trim that down and learn how to streamline when you're ready.

    It took me years to smooth out my anxiety, even while another 100-year hurricane hit only one year later, and I'm still triggered now and then by some weather events or threats. However, instead of reverting back to shame, I've learned how to credit myself with resilience.

    That's a choice you get to make, too. Shame or resilience. I vote for resilience and 'creative coping,' and I'm with you.

    Head high.

  8. #37
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    Is your OCD primarily focused on AIDS and STDs?

    If so, tell yourself the logical steps that the AIDS or STD would have to take to get into your food waste, then ask yourself if any of it is even remotely possible.

    As for the discolored towel, how would AIDS have gotten on your towel? Are you the only one who uses it? If so, that means you would have had to have contact with someone who has AIDS, which means you would already have it and you can't infect yourself if you're already infected. And if you're not infected, how would you infect yourself?

    I just tell myself that if whatever imagined disaster does in fact happen, then I'll just go with it. And I always forget about whatever it was I was obsessing about within a few minutes.

    I would imagine anxiety over your move is making the OCD worse. Tell yourself "I'm anxious over this move and that is why I am having these thoughts". See if it helps.
    Good question. My OCD manifests itself in a number of ways, and contamination has the highest level of anxiety, with the pinnacle being fear of AIDs - with STDs down the list a bit depending on which particular STD. For example, the curable / vaccinated ones I don't really care about.

    I am applying the logic treatment, and had to do this yesterday rather a lot after thinking I stepped on some blood when out running. It was a nightmare for an hour or so before my mind began to break the problem down and use logic rather than panic. I stepped through the various 'probability' of events, and am trying to re-form the general rule of "If it's extremely remote possibility, it's not worth any worrying or panic". It's really difficult, but I've got to re-learn this - so much depends on re-learning that quick logic that most people employ in a second and then dismiss a fear instantly.

    The towel, I can see a bit more clearly now (work is done now, just down to prepping to leave the country) - and since I was the only one who used it, blitzed it at 60 degrees - so much that the colour faded (it looked basically brown when it came out the washing machine - cheap dyes I guess), there was no actual danger. But it wreaked absolute havoc on my mind. The whole incident did not pass any reasonable logic test. I wish I was Vulcan and everything I did was based on logic, as I'd have zero problems then.

    Anxiety and OCD. My god, I thought a lot of about that. My OCD has spiralled both during the breakdown of my marriage, being bullied at work and laid off, and then having to move out of my home as part of the break up to get a job and pay two people's rent for a few months as my ex was out of work. I then took on a huge challenging job which I am 100% capable of but in my diminished state was much harder. Not sure how I managed to hold it together, as having OCD like it this like having a broken arm. All I've been thinking is just make it through the divorce until you can get out of this horrendous situation - just hang on. That's me right now.

    What seems to help is thinking that the OCD will try its utmost to make me think I'm going to get AIDS, but despite everything it will throw at me - it won't succeed unless I do something that a normal person would think would actually result in having AIDS. I try to imagine me back home, going to the clinic finally, being okay - and getting treatment - I am so looking forward to that. Just gotta make it there.

  9. #38
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    Originally Posted by Jibralta
    When it's really bad, it's like my brain has been hijacked and I can't break free of the ridiculous circular thinking.

    Sometimes it helps to focus on the immediate environment, something like the sunlight on a wall, or the wind. A sound. A piece of furniture. The feel of a keyboard under my fingers. A line on a piece of paper.

    I don't think about it; I just sense it. I look at it or feel it or hear it. Whatever sense applies. Anxiety is really just thoughts racing around in your head. When I focus on something immediate, the thoughts go away. Sometimes I just get a second of blankness before the thoughts start to flood back in. But that's something. I let myself regroup and try again.

    If anxiety starts to interfere with my productiveness, I do my tasks in bursts like an automaton. In the midst of the crazy, racing thoughts, I just visualize what I have to do and put one foot in front of the other until it gets done. Charge forth, eyes closed! Don't think about it.

    I remember that awesome statement by Winston Churchill: When you're going through hell, keep going.

    That's how I feel about it.

    And it makes sense. Why stop and spend time in hell when you can just pass through?



    That works, too!

    You can also just decide not to think about something. Really.

    Sometimes when I get pissed off and slip into a sneaky hate spiral, I reach a point where I realize that thinking about these things is just making me feel worse. I've learned to say, "I'm not thinking about that anymore." And then I think about something else.

    It sounds stupidly simple, but it really works.

    I wasn't always able to do it, though.
    What a brilliant quote. I love it.

    And thank you for sharing your anxiety challenges :) Interesting which techniques you do in order to ground yourself again and interrupt the noise. I'm a keen gamer, and I find blotting out all my senses stops me thinking about the OCD stuff entirely. It's a relief.

    My productiveness it really taking a hit right now, but being 'productive' has been hammered into my head like a nail as part of my job and I think I'm a bit burnt out. I'm trying to give myself a week of just not pressuring myself endlessly (which I always seem to do) setting myself targets all the time. I need some good sleep, rest, let my mind enter deep sleep mode, see if I can see reality better.

    Do you find quality of sleep affects your anxiety? I wondering how I can get it down to a more natural level. When my anxiety is up, OCD moves in and creates irrational fear.

    I've caught the OCD a few times in the past 48 hours trying to create absolute nonsense, and I have stopped there and then saying to myself "Hang on, this is nonsense. I actually KNOW what this is - and it's not AIDs!! Sorry OCD, no win for you (swear word)."

  10. #39
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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    Yes! Well said. I'd heard an abbreviated version, "When in hell, don't stop." ... and for that to make sense to me, I say, "Don't stop and visit hell--push forward."

    My anxiety came after hurricane Irene in 2012. I lost my home and belongings to mold. During disposal I employed the kind of methods I'd been taught in nursing school. I was regimented and detailed during the process, however, I was continually shaking and concerned about breaking emotionally and losing my job.

    I used my company EAP (Employee Assistance Program) to meet with a therapist for an assessment because I wanted to learn coping skills for the shaking and whether I was behaving rationally, or whether what I believed was a machine-like tackling of disposal of my property was actually some kind of manic episode, instead. I mean, there was plenty of rage there--I just didn't have time for it.

    This is why I advocate being kind to yourself about whatever methods you employ for plowing through whatever you 'must' do to get to the other side of it.

    Sure, the emotional aftermath of 'in between' is tough, and that's why it's important to deliberately decide to be on your own side. If you start imposing guilt and shame on yourself, then you leave yourself nowhere else to go. SOMEBODY needs to be your advocate--and that's you. So credit yourself for operating in your best interests, and set aside the analysis for a safe place in some therapist's office whenever you can manage that.

    You'll thank yourself later. Especially when you learn that your REASONS for behaving as you do are not without merit. Sure, you may be distorting and overcompensating. That doesn't mean you can't find ways to trim that down and learn how to streamline when you're ready.

    It took me years to smooth out my anxiety, even while another 100-year hurricane hit only one year later, and I'm still triggered now and then by some weather events or threats. However, instead of reverting back to shame, I've learned how to credit myself with resilience.

    That's a choice you get to make, too. Shame or resilience. I vote for resilience and 'creative coping,' and I'm with you.

    Head high.
    Catfeeder - sorry to hear about the history of your anxiety. This must have been hell. The anxiety must have been off the scale - and you had the same concerns about breaking emotionally and losing your job. I've been there many times through the years in the worst OCD episodes. I think this one is the worst of the lot, after the worst initial phase over a decade ago.

    This lesson of being kind - it is so important. I'm having to do this, because like you say, it's like if you don't then nobody else will - you've got to. And you have a choice to be kind to yourself. I'm committed to getting this stuff sorted when I get back home, it will get tackled, and making that committment - what more can I ask of myself? I'm also trying to fight this thing with logic, and try to educate myself.

    Creative coping - that's what's happening now. To get this flat ready for moving, I'm not able to beat all the OCD and obsessions, but I'm trying to find a path that is feasible - that is not perfect but will get me out of here. It's not the quickest path, as my productivity issues due to the OCD are a real problem - but i CAN get there - that is what I am telling myself. I have to be positive, and I have to never give up.

    Thank you for the words of self pride :)

  11. #40
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    I do not have OCD and do not do well with risks of food spoilage/illness/anything to do with stomach bugs etc and what you and others have posted here really gave me something to think about about how to react (especially since I am a role model for my child in this way) - and it really helped in detail this morning with an issue that came up. Thank you and all the best to your continued perseverance!

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