I have suffered from OCD since I was about 8 years ld I am now 21. I do things like touch door knobs, wash my hands I even take double showers. I feel like this is out of hand so much so that myself and a few friends of mine notice that my 20 month old son is picking up on it. I do not know what to do, It is so bad, I cant stop doing it I have tried several times in the last several years. Please help if you have any suggestions or advise.
Hi Mrs Vaughan! I'm not surprised by what you're telling me in terms of your son picking up on the OCD. We as human beings in general are products of our environment. He's learning from watching you as I did my mother and grandparents etc. I know that there is help available through counseling if you haven't tried it already. I'd need some more facts on what you've tried over the last several years. Wise counsel is always best. I do believe that OCD is an irrational fear and is also about having control over some aspect of your life. I dated a girl for 10 mo. recently that struggled with it and still does. I'm not sure if what I said helps at all, but I thought I'd give it a shot. I commend you on wanting to get help! Props to you!
Thank you so much and you are right I do need counseling, I just have these thoughts in my head that if I don't do my OCD that something will happen to my son, or my husband, or that something bad will happen I spend an hour each night before bed doing things like getting in and out of bed multiple times touching doors, walls, poutting on lotion checking to see if my son is breathing making sure that there is no water on the counters that my house is spotless, etc. It is really bad, I can try and maintain it but it seems impossible. I have tried mind over matter and convincing myself that it is all in my head, which it is but I can not seem to shake it, it of course gets worse with stress, and my life is really stressful, but it is still this bad when I am not under that much stress. I break down and cry and pray to god that he will take this away from me but I feel like there is no hope.
I would ask myself too are there any other underlying circumstance behind your behavior besides worrying about protecting your family? Since it does get worse with stress, I would ask myself, "What can I do to alleviate or minimize stress in my life?" and go from there. Are you in a warm weather climite all year around such as CA, FL, AZ? I'm wondering if this might also be seasonal for you? Do you by any chance keep a diary of exactly what you do and when in conjunction with stress or life events? That may be worth a try as well. But there's always hope! I'm not sure if you're a Christian or not, but just to share a word on hope, the verse that comes to my mind is Jeriamiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord! Plans to prosper and not harm you, to give you HOPE and a future!" I know at my church we have a stress and anxiety class that is taught ever so often. Sometimes in life HOPE is all we have.
Thank you so much Jet_Fire. Also, yes I live in CA in the Mojave desert, also as a child I had problems with divorced parents an abusive in and out of jail and the absent father, I was molested multiple times by different people including family. I also had head lice as a child for years from about age 7 or 8 until I was about 12 so I am sure that the lice treatments could have done some damage by being so close to my brain it could have thrown off a balance in the chemicals in my head, I have no Idea why or how it came to be but I feel like OCD is apart of my normal everyday life, which is not normal to have this problem. I truly wish that I could afford counseling, but right now I have no medical insurance and no money to do so with.
Mrs. Vaughan thank you so much for sharing! I know that OCD is an underlying symptom of abuse. I commend you though of thinking about your son and wanting to grab the bull by the horns and make a change first and foremost for yourself, but also for your son and husband. I know OCD can turn into perfectionism so you may want to be careful in that realm too! I don't mean to say that to add any more to your OCD. I'm not a chemist so I can not speak of the chemicals effecting you from the past. I can also sympathize with you in having no medical insurance. Back in 2006 I got sick and racked up a $8000 doctor bill. I was working but only 30hrs/week so I did not qualify through my employer for health insurance. It took me 18 months to pay the bill off at about $260/mo. If you could get the money, then you could get some weekly counseling for about $20/week. That's what it would cost me through my current provider Aetna.
There are some odd things that i do that seem like effects of OCD but i'm not sure. Like for instance, I need to have my blankets facing a certain way before I go to sleep because I am afraid of choking on the tags. Then when I'm washing my hands, both hands have to be in the water for the same amount of time or else it will feel uneven. Also I have to say a certain prayer before i go to sleep twice, once while i'm laying down, and once when i am sitting up... And I usually orgainze items on the belt at the grocery store. My friends know these things, and when they stay over, they will purposly put their blankets backwards because they know that it annoys me and makes me feel uncomfortable... Is it all just in my head???