So OCD sucks. I was quite clear on that in my last blog. It picks at your vulnerabilities, it picks at your kind side and it makes you doubt everything you do. So how do you begin to tackle this bloody thing?!
Well I’ve been trying to figure that out for the best part of 13 years. I’ve tried hypnotherapy, 2 rounds of CBT, medication, and now counselling. Medication helps take the ‘sting’ out of it. It boosts the serotonin levels in my brain (the Chemical that basically makes you happy). It helps reduce my anxiety, and that helps when I’m trying not to overly check something. It’s not something I want to be on for a long time, and to be honest I’ve never wanted to take them, but it’s needed to help me make things better.
hypnotherapy was interesting. It wasn’t the stereotypical hypnotherapy that you see on tv. You were put into a deep state of relaxation. It helped but it just didn’t click with me. I did learn some great techniques to relax though.
CBT is the favoured Course of therapy through the NHS and the most common treatment for OCD, as well as many different mental health conditions. I had to basically stop doing the things I ‘had’ to do in order to satisfy my OCD. For example, check the front door. Most people would lock the door and check once, but I have to do it several times. CBT encourages you to do it once and then stop yourself from doing it again. The problem I had was that I needed an open ended treatment plan. I was given a max of 10 sessions. I couldn’t put a time limit on getting better. I was in a good place while I was doing therapy, I just couldn’t quite keep it going afterwards. CBT has worked wonders for a lot of people and I would never discourage anyone from using it. I’m still using it now and I’m starting to implement it through my counselling therapy.
it’s early days at the moment, but I’m really enjoying counselling. I can just talk and talk. We are starting to look into my earlier years and I’m starting to remember things that couldn’t of possibly triggered things. When I leave I feel lighter, like I’ve cleared my head of all the rubbish.It’s a great feeling and I think that when I get a hold of this, I will carry on with check in sessions every few months. There’s a lot of different techniques used, CBT being one of them. There are lots more, I’ve just not got to them yet.
One of the best things I’ve done though and a ‘game changer’ is to talk about my struggles openly. I cannot describe what a feeling it is to not have to pretend or hide my quirks. Speaking out has made me feel a lot more connected with the world. I’ve had lots of lovely messages from people and it’s made me feel like I’m not the only person dealing with this.
I feel like I’ve accepted my problems, and now I know I can win this battle and help others hopefully at the same time.
Below is a picture of the tattoo I got last year. It’s the chemical symbol for serotonin. The semi colon is to show solidarity against depression, Suicide and other mental health conditions. And the green is the mental health colour.
Thanks for reading.