March 8th, 2007 02:09 AM #1Unregistered Guest
To whom it may concern
My name is Joe. I am 28 years old and most my life I have been anal retentive. Ensuring things are always neat and clean. Certain rituals that I do over and over. Through the years I have mastered the art to keep it a secret. (hiding it from others). It is very stressful. However, the last few years have been the worse. Everyone around me make comments to include my wife and kids, fellow work employees. It is embarrassing and I don't want to be like this. I stay so stressed out that I can actually feel and hear my heart beating a lot of the time. The following is a list of some of the things that I can think of of the top of my head:
o Never step on a sidewalk crack.
o Spend 10 minutes brushing my teeth. (100 brush strokes on each section)
Rinse 5 times.
o When showering wash every part of my body with 15 sponge stokes to each section.
o I can not eat at home unless all trash is taken out and all toilets have been flushed. I do this myself before each meal.
o When at work, I ensure trash is taken out prior to eating in the office.
o My meal is ruined if ever anyone makes any type of bodily noise. Or if anyone says anything remotely gross.
o I must clean myself if someone sneezes around me, due to the fear that it has traveled airborne and has hit me. If I am at home, Ill shower. If I'm at work, ill take a sink bath as fast as I can.
o rarely ever use public restrooms. If I really have to I will sanitize the whole urinal/toilet. I will find cleaners in the nearest cleaning closet. If I cant find any, then I simply make myself sick until I get home.
o I never try new foods.
After getting home from work, I continue to work by cleaning every inch of this house. I want to stop, but I simply cant until everything is cleaned to perfect standard.
o People at work have noticed that I clean my desk and area daily. Not just a pick up but a thorough cleaning.
o My vehicle is cleaned daily even if it's clean to other people.
o The most embarrassing one is in my mind sometimes I feel that I must touch something more than once. A number will appear in my mind and I have to touch the certain object that amount of times or I feel something bad will happen to me or my family. So I usually look like a fool in public.
o The worse one I can think of is my head shaking/eye blinking. I sometimes continually shake my head up and down and bat my eyes quickly. I will get a number in my head and I feel that if I don't shake my head or blink my eyes that certain amount of times, something bad will happen to me or my family.
Like I said I was good at hiding it for years, but now it is very obvious. These are just a few things that come to my mind, I'm sure if you spoke with my family they would have a longer list. I don't want to be like this anymore. I don't know why I am like this. No one in my bloodline family is like this. Not even close! Is there something I can do or take to slow down this OCD or what ever you think it is? Any information/guidance you prove will be greatly appreciated not only by me, but my family.
March 8th, 2007 12:27 PM #2Unregistered Guest
thank you for a thorough exposition of your problem.i am sorry to hear that this is the way it is for you.i am not an expert on this but i do recognise patterns of learning when i see them.it may be helpful for you to consider it as learning gone wrong.underlying the compulsive act is a fear ,usually forgotten ,that some disaster will ensue if it is not carried out.the act is performed,the disaster does not take place,so an unconscious learning happens......."do "A"......then" B" (the disaster ) does not happen.B can be any number of things usually from deep childhood......"daddy will not die"....."mummy will not go away"......"the insects will not come"....... god will not stop loving me...........(and very common,"the germs will not get me")....all that sort of thing.....mostly forgotten but partly for that reason still holding power over the adult in the way that primitive fears terrify tiny children.this is why you feel so helpless before it,why it seems so powerful. i often suspect also the presence of an influential mother,with fears for the childs health,who has perhaps emphasised a little too much the importance of hand washing and toilet discipline.to the susceptible young child the idea of germs must be terrifying....tiny invisible monsters of absolute power and malignancy!....(i also suspect that the reason that the bacterial theory of disease took the public imagination so quickly was that grrms occupy so neatly the space in the public mind so recently vacated by evil spirits.)..evil spirits will get me if i dont wash ...maybe once isnt enough!you cant see them!how do you know you are safe!you dont!better do it again!maybe thats not enough!better clean everything!and again!and again!.....phew,it worked,i didnt die, that dream didnt come,the bad witch didnt win that time!better do it all again tomorrow! keep her at bay,at all costs!......such is often the structure of the problem.but we know now that if we dont expose ourselves to dirt our immune systems go wrong .they cant defend us and worse,in extreme cases they turn on and destroy our own bodies as in arthritis and multiple sclerosis.possibly other problems as well.if it was me i would start by breaking some of your more recent ,more minor,rules.keep a log,and employ your obsessive tendencies by filling it in each day.i suggest...."today i broke the rule about.........................,i felt bad about it, say a seven on a one to ten scale of feeling bad.but nothing bad happened.that is the fact and i can rely on facts.i will not allow these fantasies and mistaken learnings to bully me any more.i will keep at this until their power over me is broken. i will be free and healthy." tackle the problematic behaviours in ascending order of difficulty.take your time .it took a long time to establish the problem dont forget.and it may not be too disloyal to tell your mother in fantasy how wrong she was.she was doing her best for you but it came out wrong.good luck with this,and please let me know how you get on.
April 9th, 2007 06:42 PM #3Unregistered - sunshine Guest
I'm almost positive you have OCD. And likely, because you are trying to hide it, it sounds like it is expanding in its scope. I have a teenage son who has OCD, and in my quest to help him, I have done alot of research. Have you tried therapy or medication? When my son was first diagnosed, his symptoms were quite severe, and my heart broke for him (and I feel for you, too.) It seemed that he could not fight the recurring, irrational thoughts and they were severely affecting his daily functioning. Luckily, a psychiatric nurse practitioner recognized the symptoms and prescribed zoloft (which is approved for pediatric use). She told me that OCD can be a chemical issue in the brain and that SSRI (selective seratonin reuptake inhibitor) medication can rebalance things, and once he hit the right dosage, things would return to "normal", ie the irrational "stuck" thoughts and associated rituals would go away. It took awhile, but they did. He took 125 mg./day. After about 18 months of stable "bully free" months he has reduced his dosage to only 50 mg/day. Once in awhile when things are stressful, symptoms return, but we deal with them mostly through talk therapy then. Hope this helps a little. I didn't talk much about professional therapy because he resisted it pretty emphatically, but that might be worth exploring, too.