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OCD maybe? Anxiety, depression, GAD for sure




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Old 09-13-2016, 11:14 PM   #1
mom281
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OCD maybe? Anxiety, depression, GAD for sure

Hi! I have gad, anxiety and depression. I am medicated. For 25 years, I have been picking the skin around my fingers. It's gotten so bad that I use a utility knife and cause quite a bit of damage. I bleed, I have scabs and scars from the tips of my fingers to the knuckles. Is this ocd ? If not, what is it? I see a therapist but I try and hide it from her cuz it's embarrassing. Can I try anything on my own to stop? Is there an "easy" way to mention it at a session? I just get embarrassed super easily. I hate it! Thanks!

 
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:41 AM   #2
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Re: OCD maybe? Anxiety, depression, GAD for sure

Hi...
The first step is to recosnise and admit, which you aren't in denial. You need to share it with your therapist...because a new behaviour would mean increased stressors.
Cognitive behavioural therapy would be a helpful tool to learn and allow you to heal and move forward.

If you can identify the thoughts and then learn the process to intervene, you will be able to stop the destruction. I would be fearful of the possibility if infection and it ending up being systemic if you ignore treatment.

Easy to mention.... i have escalated with another behaviour and i am scared.

One thing you can do is write down your thoughts before you pick up that packing knife.....and then give yourself reasons of why you want to do it and why you don't. At least you will bring it to a cognitive level and hopefully be able to stop.

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Old 09-17-2016, 12:18 AM   #3
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Re: OCD maybe? Anxiety, depression, GAD for sure

Thanks so much Q! I have been doing this forever. I've been seeing therapist for 1.5 years and haven't told her anything about it. I know I do it when I'm stressed, anxious or even just bored. Therapy has been difficult cuz it's hard for me to open up. I want to tell her things and then I freeze and I can't. I know it's partially out of embarrassment but I also feel like I can't be fixed or I'm not important enough for someone to have to listen to my boring life. Or that I should be able to fix myself. I don't know. I do want to stop but I know I can't do it alone as I have tried and failed 1000's of previous times
Do I just show her the damage? Or just tell I need help with a picking problem or??? I'm scared. Thanks.

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Old 09-17-2016, 12:56 PM   #4
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Re: OCD maybe? Anxiety, depression, GAD for sure

Hi....yes, I know how difficult therapy can be, I went for a very long time and shudder to imagine my life if I didn't have the opportunity with the psychologist I was assigned.
Bottom line....we create defenses in order for us to cope. Normal. Although, it soothes us in ways that can be destructive. Then we have to cope with the destructive results and the cycle spirals.

The honesty is a process. When my therapist first mentioned anxiety, I cried and denied. When he mentioned I was charming I cried and imagined my manipulative brother. Perception is important.....a skewed one has to be presented with options so we can think more realistically and not in a box of limitations.

I can relate to scared. But what do we have to lose except feeling trapped caused by our behaviours and thinking? What you will find is that your awareness allows you freedom to make decisions in the moment rather than mindlessly, automatically, subconsciously.

Yes....(suggestion).....say to the therapist you are scared. She asks why and then show her your hands. I will guarantee she suspects and is allowing you to go at your own pace. It seems you're already at the point to move forward (a huge progress)....and while your fear is normal, just imagine the freedom you will have to feel less embarrassment and the need to hide your hands. Thats so exhausting.

My hands used to turn bright red and swollen. My thoughts were truly behind the continued reaction, and it took a very long time to see how it all worked. Yes, they still turn red for various reasons (heat, exercise, stress, food, products), except the anxiey part of it can be controlled. I'm not caught in that cycle. Yes...freedom and relief.

Please let me know how it goes with the therapist. You gain by the process....and learn tools to help you cope in the future, for life always gets in the way of progress. My therapist always said...make sure you have options (choices). I get that now.

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Old 09-17-2016, 06:27 PM   #5
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Re: OCD maybe? Anxiety, depression, GAD for sure

Thank you so much! That makes so much sense! I already suspects that she knows about my hands. I know she'll ask why I do it and what thoughts are in my head when I do it but I don't have an answer. I'll just be watching TV or whatever and realize a while later that I'm doing it again. Ugh. About your red/swollen hands, was that anxiety? When I have anxiety or I'm embarrassed, my face and neck turn bright splotchy red. It even happens for no known reasons sometimes. Drives me nuts. Happens at therapy a lot and I seriously hate it. It's good to know I'm not the only one who does that though. She'll ask me what my thoughts are at that moment and I can never answer so then I'm more frustrated. Lol. I keep going though so hopefully I'll eventually figure it out. There has to be reasons for all of my "issues".

 
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:51 AM   #6
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Re: OCD maybe? Anxiety, depression, GAD for sure

Hi....the facial and chest flushing happens to me, but I'm not as embarrassed about stuff as I used to be. Conscious options do make a difference s well as awareness. I'm a bold person in my thoughts, and do speak up rather than allow myself to feel a victim. My tolerance level for crap is pretty much low....but my stress in thosse situations is when I have to sort my emotions and responses as to not flame a situation as much as I would like. I'm not a passive person, and the challenges are often the choices I need to make rather than react negatively outward. My honesty can get me into trouble...lol.

The thoughts....well, they are there. It takes work to bring them to a conscious level, and it's not an easy process. You could start with anything you happen to think while mindlessly picking....to write it down. One thought. The cycle is so fast... that's why automatic behaviour is such a response. We learn to say hello, thank you, I'm fine, I'm sorry....sometimes we dont want to say them, but do anyway.

I have an issue with my face that started a few years ago......but it does involve picking hard sebum plugs out, and they keep coming back like an inflammatory response and the areas dont heal unless they are all removed. My dermatologist asked if I was on enough Effexor, and I told her that I know exactly what I'm thinking and why would I do this to myself when I am vain enough to know it looks horrible??? She has no explanation as to why it happens, tells me to not pick, but they won't heal. I've literally carved scars like roadmaps from hell in my face and dread the next one that will arrive. I've tried so many products and read of many others who have the same malady.....but no permanent solution. I'm soon to he 62 and dealing with this has created mental distress that psychological intervention will not resolve unless it helps stopping the physical response. I do have health autoimmune issues.....it's the not knowing that is driving me crazy.

Anyway....not that my issue is the same as yours, but the picking for me is a hope that this one out will be the resolve. Sometimes it is, but most times it isnt. It's possible that its a timed process.....3 to 4 months seems to be the average. I'm beyond crying...but it saddens me that it's ongoing. There is minor comfort that others are having the same thing , but it doesn't help except to try different products others have. The game's afoot. Im exhausted, but stimulated by the hope.

Please let me know how your session with the therapist goes. Yiu might want to think about how you feel when picking and the choice of knife and why....it's a start rather than what you are thinking. Do you have a ritual of having it at the ready or do yiu go and get it when the urge hits...etc. lThe process is one step at a time. Even if it's chaotic random feelings and thoughts and behaviours or whatever....eventually, lines are connected and a pattern emerges.

You seem to be moving forward and mentioning it to your therapist is a good start. If you don't mention certain things, and she asks for further info.....answer truthfully even if its that you are too embarrassed to say so. It's a thought and feeling and thats how the process can move into feeling ok to talk. Protect what you need, think about it for maybe talking about it in the future.

Yes, it can be overwhelming, but if you feel safe with this therapist, then that's good. If you don't feel safe, you may need to find another in order to heal.

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Old 09-19-2016, 11:49 PM   #7
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Re: OCD maybe? Anxiety, depression, GAD for sure

"Conscious options do make a difference as well as awareness". What do you mean?
I also don't know what a hard sebum plug is. I have zits and scars on my face and my arms and I'm a picker there too. I hate it!
I do feel safe. I also still feel scared. And I also always think that no one cares about me so why should she. I feel bad torturing her with my ridiculous problems. Like I don't even have a clue how I got the "bad". My life was not totally traumatic, everyone has bad stuff in their past. As for the picking/cutting. I don't know why. I've done it for so long that now I literally do it whenever my hands aren't doing something else. And I only started using the utility knife because I saw it sitting on the couch and figured I could dig better with a knife instead of my nails.
Thank you for all of your thoughtful responses! I literally have no one to talk to here except my therapist. Unfortunately I can't see her for a few more weeks because I had surgery. I'll eventually get to go back though! Thank you!

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Old 09-20-2016, 11:43 AM   #8
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Re: OCD maybe? Anxiety, depression, GAD for sure

Hi...I don't have time for a long reply, although it might end up being one...lol.

What surgery did you have done? are you in a lot of pain from it? I hope you have a good recovery. Could that have some part in how you're thinking?

The conscious decisions are listing them mentally rather than just out of habit and automatically replying or doing something we don't want to do.


You have told me reasons you believe that the therapist shouldn't be listening to you and wasting her time. You actually don't know what the therapist thinks unless you ask her. so, you make your decisions to not talk based on your belief system that is flawed because it's not based on fact.

Does she do anything that gives truth to that thought?

Do you think she is being unprofessional and condescending?

Do others not really care, or does their caring not fit our criteria of needs?

Sometimes we can create our own situations to fit our beliefs....it's like a self-fulfilling prophecy, and an endless belief to ourselves that's been created out of untruths or skewed facts.

It doesn't matter what trauma others have gone through...you only live your life, no one elses'. Comparing is counterproductive in many cases unless you are wanting to balance perspective in something else other than why you shouldn't feel bad. It really never works, actually, I believe it just puts one into a state of denial and one feels worse than better.

Change doesn't mean we become another person....it means we become to know ourselves. The defenses we put on ourselves can be so convoluted and confusing.

You're welcome...but please remember that I am but one with a perspective and suggestions and advice based on my experience. It certainly is a daily struggle.

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Old 09-21-2016, 07:54 PM   #9
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Re: OCD maybe? Anxiety, depression, GAD for sure

Wow! You've helped me think of so many things! Thank you so much! Today was a very high anxiety day and I'm not very good at handling them at all.
For your questions, two weeks ago, I had a hemorrhoidectomy (probably spelled wrong and sorry for tmi). I am recovery well and just started back to work a few hours a day. This has my anxiety through the roof because I have to constantly run the the bathroom and I feel like I'm not doing my job well. They need me there desperately so maybe I should see it as they get what they get cuz I don't have to go back yet. Maybe I'll try and tell my head that tomorrow.
I like my therapist. It's very hard for me to open up though. I guess I feel like if I don't even care about myself, why should anyone else? Or why would they? That probably my thinking because of my childhood but that's a whole different story. Lol.
For the trauma, I think mine was minimal so I beat myself up over not being strong enough or not being able to "just get over it".
I would love to change! I have no bobbies, no interests, no bucket list, no goals. My therapist has been trying to help me with that for over a year. No such luck. I think if I could find something, it would help me so much mentally.
Ok. Now I'm the one writing the book. I was supposed to go to therapy today but had to postpone until next week for recovery reasons. I have to try a and be more open. I'll keep you updated! Thanks for the support. I don't have any irl supports so right now, it's just my therapist. Gotta get my husband to plug in maybe.

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Old 09-22-2016, 10:43 AM   #10
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Re: OCD maybe? Anxiety, depression, GAD for sure

Hi...good to hear you're healing well from your surgery. Not tmi at all. I have ulcerative colitis, so it's not abnormal to talk about hemmies.

If you have permission to work limited hours, then you will just have to do your best between the bathroom necessities. If people are treating you differently, that's their issue. If your supervisor knows what's going on with you then try not to worry about it. You already recognise your importance regarding the work you do....this sitution is temporary, and soon things will be back to normal.
Is your head listening today? I like that suggestion!

You actually do care about yourself.....it's obvious to me.....could you be caring more about other's thoughts in relation to your own? It takes time to figure it out, and that's something you could mention to your therapist to discuss and work on.

I totally get the hobbies, bucket list, etc. Maybe if there's anything you say you like, write it down. Are there classes you would like to take? I took sign language classes when I was first diagnosed with UC, and at that time I had terrible anxiety and panic attacks. It was one thing I enjoyed to do, and eventually I was accepted into an interpreter program. I met many people through the process, even my best friend of 27 years.

Maybe once you start opening up to your therapist, the focus will be different. Ask her to start you on cognitive behavioural therapy. There might be written homework, but I think that you will feel more free to like other stuff and maybe start interest in a hobby, bucket list, etc.

It takes more work to white knuckle through situations when anxiety rules.
You care because you want to change. That is certainly something to be excited and proud about.

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Old 09-22-2016, 04:59 PM   #11
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Re: OCD maybe? Anxiety, depression, GAD for sure

Yeah, I've been at my same job for 25 years. It's just a restaurant job though. My boss and everyone knows I had surgery and I'm recovering. I think it's more of an issue with myself and my head. Lol. It the middle of a rush, I can stop and have to run to the bathroom. Boss is fine with it cuz I don't even have to be back to work yet. I could get two more weeks off from my doctor. I know work is short handed so just trying to help. Boss realizes she has the option of no one or me injured. She is taking what she can get! Lol. I did better today. The physical pain was the same but I was still having anxiety. Just tried to distract myself as best as I could.
The caring about myself thing - I feel like I care about others too much and put their needs in front of my own. Work is the best example. I could be chilling at home still instead I am working to help them out. I don't want to but I am. I also care too much what other people think of me. Trying to stop that. It has ruined tons of stuff in my life. That's a long story/stories. Lol.
What's funny is that you mention sign language classes. I wanted to be a sign language teacher when I was little. I had a friend who was deaf. She didn't know sign language but I thought it would be cool to learn it. As I got older, I thought that it wouldn't be a needed skill.
I've been seeing my therapist for 1.5 years. Hope I can open up soon! Lol! I think she has tried CBT. I looked it up online to see what it meant and I think she has suggested a few things. She's never come out and said it or anything.
I feel like I draw a blank in certain situations. Like when I pick my fingers-I can be watching tv and just be going at it! Lol. I have no reason for it that I think of while I'm doing it. When I'm in an anxiety state (or I have a deep worry feeling), my therapist wants to know what I'm thinking about. I don't know. I can just stare at the tv and have an overwhelming feeling of worry. I can literally have no clue what I just watched either. I think my therapist gets frustrated cuz I say I don't know. But I really don't know. It's frustrating.
So glad I found you! Thank you!

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Old 09-23-2016, 12:24 PM   #12
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Re: OCD maybe? Anxiety, depression, GAD for sure

Hi...interesting about your friend when you were young and your interest in sign language. It's an interesting language and culture....political as well as complicated issues that can be very stressful!. I feel better not being an interpreter and can mess up or misunderstand without a status of being judged of knowing better......because hearing people misunderstand and miscommunicate to each other all the time..whew, lol.

Would you say you love your job? A restaurant job is an important one, and one to be proud of and do well at it. It's a generous gesture for you to work limited hours. Do you accept the decision of you working while recuperating?....or are you resentful? As long as you aren't hindering your healing, it's a reasonable decision.

Is your anxiety affecting your performance at work? And is it all day? Can you maybe write down your day at work, what you think, experience, feel, etc....like a diary, and give it to your therapist once you go back?
You know those long stories about what others think that has ruined many aspects of your life....write about a few, what you felt, thought, etc.....it could be that insight you need to express. You can bring it to therapy or shred it afterward.....there are workbooks, dr. Phil has a few which might be insightful as to the process.

My therapist had me write about myself from earliest memories (homework) during the first few weeks, and we were working on relaxation for me to do at bedtime.... I failed them miserably because I kept falling asleep instead without focussing on doing the exercises. I responded to his discussion technique, so one to one talk therapy is what I needed. I have no problem to talk about myself or insight about myself and others (family seriously dysfunctional)....while he was impressed at my articulation, I wasn't as receptive at the obvious changes that needed to be done regarding my thinking processes at first. I was also in the 2 year interpreter program and my anxiety level was a constant. I was 38 at the time, so going back to school with many 20 year olds was a mind blaster and irritant. My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer and died on my supposed grad day (which was postponed since I had to do a further practicum, thankfully) Lots of stuff in play, and my therapist helped me survive it all.
In otherwords.....he was a constant contact that allowed me growth and to move forward with the anxiety and depression (which I never showed him, and he never saw me as having it). I sometimes had to see him twice a week for a few months. I'm grateful forever.

Thank you for the kind words. I know you say you draw a blank, however, I think that once you start recognising any thoughts and your feelings about them, you might open a few aspects of the process.

Do you dream and have you read any meanings of them?

How was your day?

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Old 09-23-2016, 08:42 PM   #13
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Re: OCD maybe? Anxiety, depression, GAD for sure

I actually almost hate my job (but I'm wishy washy on that answer cuz it's ok sometimes...lol). I'm only working while recovering because I feel bad about how short handed they are. Never thought about whether or not I am ok with the decision to help. I guess when I think about it, I'm very resentful. I hate that they call me and I hate more that I say yes. I guess I do it cuz I'd want them to return the favor. Before surgery, I was so thankful that I couldn't get called into work and was looking forward to recovering as a vacation from that drama - sad, hugh. I was suppose to take up to 3-4 weeks off. I went back on day 11 but I wasn't ready to work. I was just suppose to go in and do one hour of paperwork and that was it, which I did. I think they assumed it was ok to start asking me to work here and there. I should have said no the first time cuz it turned into all week. Guess I should clarify, I do all of the restaurants financials at the end of our week (Mondays) and I offered to go in once a week while recovering to do just that and nothing else.
The anxiety definitely effects my job but I am so thankful it doesn't happen often there. I think it's been really bad this week because I don't want to be there when I'm hurting. I was so panicked about being able to keep up and about having to take off running to the bathroom that I let those thoughts run through my head the whole shift and made myself sick. I've only worked on the day shift (since returning) so another manager is there too...I at least know I can leave if needed. I am scheduled my first night shift next week and will be the only manager on shift so I know my anxiety will be high. What if......insert anything imaginable here. lol.
I think I stay there out of "loyalty " which is totally stupid plus I'm just use to it. I've had other jobs in the past (started the restaurant job at 17 but have worked two jobs at times) but I end up letting my anxiety get to me. I've never had a dream job, I guess.
My therapist had my write down my feelings once and when I went back, I thought she'd read it but she had me read a few lines out loud...for some reason, that was extremely difficult for me to do. I get extremely embarrassed very easily (not just at therapy but anywhere).
I am glad you had a great connection with your therapist! Sounds like he has helped you very well! I am 42 now and have no desire to go back to college! Are you in a sign language occupation now then? I still find it interesting but it's not a field that I could go into-no job opportunities here. Trying to think of a hobby. No suck luck yet. So sorry about your mom! Sounds like you had a lot on your plate at that time. I can't imagine handling all of that at once.
The dream question. Hmmm. I have them sometimes. Some seem random, some are recurring. Never really read any meanings. One that stands out is about my dad. Just different scenarios where I stand up to him as an adult knowing that, at the moment of that argument (in the dream), I could get up and freaking leave without him being able to stop me! I think I can read into the meaning of that one pretty easily. Lol. Another one is one that I heard is very common (with varying scenarios) where your teeth are falling out. That one annoys me!
My day was pretty good actually. My boss had asked me to work the lunch hour but then didn't need me. Yay! I know she's only having me work as a last resort but it's still annoying. Hope you had a great day!

I guess a can babble! Lol! Sorry!

 
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Old 09-25-2016, 07:49 AM   #14
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Re: OCD maybe? Anxiety, depression, GAD for sure

Hi......good to hear your day went well. Mine are pretty much up and down, and the range of emotions is usually the same....but there's always great parts aside for the frustrations, etc. I haven't documented them, and I would probably be shocked how extreme and how often. I suppose if I asked my husband how he would sum me up it wouldn't be i the best light since he would probably note he most extreme of my behaviours, sigh.

Are you limiting the hours you work and not going over it? That could give you more control to balance the resentment. Are you using a special cushion to sit on to help with your comfort?
I hope the night shift goes smoothly.....is it overnight?

I was thinking about the utility knife....what if you out them all away and don't have them handy anywhere. If you get the urge to pick, then yiur head will have to kick into getting it....at that time, yiu might write down some thoughts as to how you feel and what you are thinking....have a pen and paper in the place of the knife.


I don't work interpreting....quit in 2000. My signing skills have waned a bit....mostly in the receptive aspect. Each Deaf person has signing style and somewhat different choices of expression of dynamics in stating something. Some people are much easier to inderstand. My best friend's husband is more difficult at times....and he chuckles at my struggle. I feel no anxiety about it. If I don't understand, I ask to repeat or say my reception skills are declined, lol. It's all good....and after an extended time of visiting with anyone Deaf, my brain is so hyper from waking up that part of my brain...it takes a while to come down, lol.

I was thinking about your sharing exchange of written thoughts with your therapist....were you anxious or just embarrassed, and did you tell her how you felt about doing so?
I get embarrassed as well if I were to read in front of anyone or if I am singled out. I use humour to deflect the attention. I'm much better at being defensive than offensive, but I have no problem to speak my mind or speak with anyone in general. Im many times too open and need to hone it down....yet I dont trust a huge number of people for various reasons. It's complicated, and there's a lot of gut instinct involved that has served me well, but caused more emotional torment. ..
I burn bridges as needed....because I can't have others who are toxic in my life.

I don't really have any hobbies. I'm actually a hairdresser since 1975....i work on my own with a now small clientelle. My husband calls it a hobby business since I dont make money (generated into product). Im mobile... it gives me control over who I do and I dont take any new clients at this point. I have fun trying lots of new stuff....but my my anxiety and trust in myself have always conflicted with the skill I have and how far I could have gone in that profession. It's worked for me and clients. It is what it is.

I've not had the teeth falling out dream, but I have had the standing up for myself dream. The constant one is a main house door that never seems to stay locked or shut, or being hunted by someone I dont know. It's definitely got a meaning of feeling vulnerable. Im also a procrastinator, so organisation dreams are aplenty, sigh.

Since I babble a lot, I should stop now. Hope you have a healing recuperative day.
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Old 09-25-2016, 09:30 PM   #15
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Re: OCD maybe? Anxiety, depression, GAD for sure

Wow! I think we have a lot in common. I'll elaborate more on my answers later cuz it's past my bedtime-not that I actually sleep or anything...lol.
I can work whatever hours I want to, basically. It's just when they call me in, I have a hard time saying no. I'll explain the hours later.
It's funny you mention hiding the blade. Today my husband uses it and I had to go find it. We have like 50 in our house all the time cuz my husband uses them for work. I know I'm not necessarily thinking about anything. I know I do it when I'm anxious. But I also do it while watching tv. I rub my fingers together and if I feel any skins pieces, I start picking away at it. Sometimes I thinks it's more habit but not sure! Ok. I'll post more tomorrow! Thanks and night!

Last edited by Administrator; 09-25-2016 at 10:19 PM.

 
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