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Old 02-17-2006, 11:17 PM   #1
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Well, I guess maybe I could benefit from being here...

I guess it was a stroke of luck that I happened upon this board because I was actually looking for a support group for Alzheimers because my mother is currently living with me and she has AD. First let me just introduce myself.

My name is Catherine, I am 26 years old, I have two children a daughter 5 and a son 1, and a wonderful (most of the time) husband. I stay at home with my son and mother and care for them most all day everyday while my daughter is at school and my husband at work.

Reading your alls posts have made me feel very comfortable in coming here and expressing my thoughts and I am hoping that some of you might be able to give me helpful information.

Let me just start out saying that I have no idea where my OCD came from. I have been diagnosed with OCD (mainly obsessional) and OCP. I guess I really never even thought to look into OCD because I thought it dealt mainly with people who would turn lights on and off repetitively and checked locks repetitively. It wasn't until one day that I read an article of a woman who was expressing the exact same thoughts as I that I thought MAYBE that is what I was dealing with. It has definately been the biggest struggle of my life thus far. I actually hid it from everyone for four years before I just had an emotional breakdown---which came after reading that article---which gave me some hope and feeling like I was not alone.

I'm going to tell my story and hope that some of you either will be able to relate or at least say "yes" this does sound like OCD because even though I have been diagnosed by a Psychiatrist, I'm still not totally convinced.

Let me begin by saying that I am taking 200mg of Zoloft daily and with my first episode years back it really seemed to help but I was only taking 100mg at the time. While I think it helps now, I would like to find something that helps a little more but I am limited due to the fact that I am breastfeeding my child and alot of the medications for this haven't been tested to see if they are safe. The doc wanted to put me on Luvox but it wasn't safe and I am not ready to stop feeding my son yet. That is when he went ahead and upped it to 200mg daily. They have not started me in CBT nor even suggested it which I am kinda dissappointed because I have heard that is more successful than medication in dealing with OCD. I do see a counselor once every two weeks to discuss how things are going and what changes I am making, what things do I do and notice that set off my obsessional thoughts etc...but nothing more than that. I really would like to get to the bottom of this but from everything I have read and been told---they don't know what causes it, therefore there is no cure

Ok here is my story---

Prior to the year 2001 I had never had any signs or thoughts (other than one time---about 7 years earlier) that ever lead me to believe that I was dealing with anything serious or OCD even depression. If anything I had always led a very carefree life. About a year after having my first child, I started having these horrible thoughts in my head about hurting her. I loved her more than anything in the world and even typing this out brings me to tears because this is nothing that I want. She is truly the light of my life. I can remember I was in a class at college reading a book and all the sudden the thought popped in my head. You see and hear about these parents harming their children all the time on tv and yes I would get obsessed with them and get so mad and "how could they" "why would they" etc etc etc to the point where I would question myself "what makes me so different than them"...I couldn't imagine it possible that any mother would WANT to do something like this---or what was pushing them over the edge. At the same time I was dealing with alot of stuff with my now husband who at the time wasn't. We had gotten prego unexpectedly and I spent my pregnancy alone as well as much time afterwards. I was working 40 hours a week and in school part time. I had alot on my plate. I was just shocked that thoughts like that would come into my mind and I felt such guilt that I just began to hate myself. I tried to convince myself that I was possessed and that the devil had ahold of me. I would read the Bible and pray and cry and pray and cry because I couldn't understand why God would let me suffer in this kind of way. I was scared to go to sleep because I was scared that I would get up and act on one of the thoughts without knowing or that my mind would "click" and I would go insane. I didn't know what was wrong with me but at the time I couldn't bring mysefl to tell anyone in my family what was truly going on. I did have a breakdown at my sisters one day and I just told her that I was extremely stressed, I didn't want to live, work, eat, do anything anymore and that I felt emotionally disconnected from my daughter. I mean how was I supposed to tell anyone what was really going on? I thought I would immediately be put in a looney bin!

That is when I went to the doc told him I was stressed and anxious all the time and he put me on Zoloft 50 mg but told me if I needed 100 I could take that. At the time it did seem like things were getting better for me and that the thoughts were subsiding. Also my now husband and I were working things out and getting back together so I had alot to occupy my mind at that time. We got back together and then started planning our wedding and then found out two weeks before getting married that I was having our second child. Throughout my whole pregnancy I never had those types of thoughts at all. I was terrified the entire time that after my pregnancy was over that it would come back again. I worried about it constantly. I couldn't figure it out.

After I had my son, for the first month things seemed fine. Stressful but fine! Then all of the sudden one day---I thought about my past thoughts---and I was like "oh no, why did I do that" now they may come back in which they did. Again it was thoughts geared towards my children. The ones whom I adore the most. The ones I couldn't live without and I think that is a big fear of mine because I feel so vulnerable now knowing that my heart is actually walking in two places outside my body and that if anything ever happened to them that I would NEVER be able to pick up the pieces. I constantly worry about one of them having a terminal disease and if I could ever find peace with God if that happened to one of my children. I worry about how my husband and I are financially and if that will be enough for my children, when they go to school will they be made to feel like they are less if we don't give them everything no matter what we have to give up in order to do so. I worry about everything. What happens if my marriage fails or my husband finds another woman...how will I pick up the pieces?

I had a very good first 9 years as a child and then when my parents divorced I think I lost all faith in love and trust. I was diagnosed with PTSD and I think alot of the things I went through during the teen years of my life have played a part in what I am dealing with now. I was very sexually promiscuous and I "hate" myself for that because I was so careless and am so lucky today. I thought that by having sex with someone that would make me love me. All I have ever really wanted was to find that security that I had with my parents before they got divorced...and I'm not sure that I will ever find it.

Anyway, when my son was a month old and the thoughts started coming back I hated when my husbad left for work in the morning and I dreaded having to go to bed at night as I still do! I don't know why I think that my body will get up and do something without my mind knowing but I am not totally convinced. When my son was around 10 months old I finally broke down after reading that article of another mother and told my husband that something was really wrong but that I thought I had put a finger on what it was. I was so ashamed and still am. I couldn't even look at him the entire time he read the article. I felt worthless, a horrible mother, person, everything. I mean I would lay in bed at night before everyone knew and think I'm just gonna get up, get in my car and leave and never come back. I had convinced myself that my family would be better off without their crazy mother. At one point I started thinking that my husband was giving me some pill in my drinks or in my food that was making me go crazy, although he had never given me any reason (realistically) to think that he would do something like that. I guess I was looking for anything that wouldn't make me feel liek I was going crazy because I was running out of options.

After talking with my husband, he suggested that I go see my doctor and be honest with them about my feelings (I was terrified). I set down and wrote everything like a letter. Everything that I was feeling from point A to where I was at that point in time because I knew I would cry and forget things if I just didn't go ahead and have it all written out for him ahead of time.

 
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Old 02-17-2006, 11:19 PM   #2
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Re: Well, I guess maybe I could benefit from being here...

That is how I now ended up on 200mg and seeing a counselor every two weeks and a phych. every month. I feel better when I go but I still feel crazy and I hate it. Some nights will be ok and other nights will be awful. It does seem to get worse closer to the time that I am supposed to start my period---is it that way with any of you other females? Also sometimes my head will actually start to hurt because I can't get the thoughts to stop repeating in my head. It's like an ongoing battle in my head. Sometimes I can turn it off and other times I can't. At times it really makes me want to physically hurt myself in order to stop the thoughts---like redirecting my thoughts I guess.

I also asked my husband to take all sharp objects and things of that nature out of the house because seeing them would sometimes send panic attacks. I told him I had had thoughts that I wanted him to lock our door from the outside on our bedroom because I didn't want to be able to get out witout him being up. I hated him falling asleep without me but I couldn't ever go to sleep easily. Has anyone else had anything similar to this. Just hearing that I am not alone makes me feel alot better.

The only compulsion that I know I have other than going on "cleaning binges"---I think it is a compulsion I am not sure but I twiddle my hair (if that makes since) and I will twiddle it so much that I can't get the knot out and then I have to pull it out. That has started really bothering me because I guess before I never paid attention to the fact that I was doing it but now sometimes I see the amount of hair that I pull out and it kinda weirds me out. Anyone else do anything similar?

Do you have any suggestions? Anything anyone has to say would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read my story.

Catherine

 
Old 02-18-2006, 08:40 AM   #3
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Re: Well, I guess maybe I could benefit from being here...

Wow, reading this reminds me so much of myself. Many of my obsessions are also about my child, either me harming him, someone else harming him, or just something horrible happening to him. The part of being afraid to sleep is also something that I have done, (because of a movie I saw). And hiding sharp objects.

If you have Pure 0, your compulsions are probably all mental (most of mine are). I would say hiding or getting rid of knives is a compulsion.

I first started having problems about 4 years ago, but never realized it could be OCD until about 4 months ago. After reading quite a bit about it, and going to other forums like this one, I have found there are many other people who have the same obsessions. That alone has made me feel alot better, because before that I thought I was the only one having these horrible thoughts.

When you can, maybe you should change your meds. Also, I've read that CBT is very important. Until then, maybe read some books on OCD. Brainlock is a good self-help book. Also Imp of the Mind is one I really like, it talks alot about bad thoughts like these.

I know how horrible it is to have harming thoughts about your own child. Just know that there are many other people who have the same problem, and that you are not at all alone. Also from everything I've read, people with OCD Never actually act on these thoughts. Knowing that has really helped me alot.

Anyways, hope this helped.

 
Old 02-18-2006, 12:34 PM   #4
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Re: Well, I guess maybe I could benefit from being here...

Ah, the tormented life of pure obsessionals... I'm a pure "O", as well, and like you, I never thought to suspect OCD because of the stereotypes that are present about cleaning and checking locks. Personally, I think being a pure obsessional is the worst type of OCD because we have to suffer silently- nobody knows what's wrong with us, and OCD isn't thought to be the problem. Plus, we have the benefit of having thoughts that are socially unacceptable, unlike having a need to be clean, a normal response that has just gone haywire...Did you ever feel like you were becoming schizophrenic because you lost control over your thoughts? I know I did- worst time of my life, when I was 12. I never want to relive that again; it was literally hell and being a prisoner in my own mind...I really like how you said about dreading going to bed and having your husband leave you. I was the same way. Like, if I went to the supermarket with my mom and she told me to go get a carton of milk, I'd try to protest because, unbeknownest to her, that would mean having to be by myself, conditions ripe for obsessions to breed. There are still certain stores (mostly big open places like craft stores) that I absolutely hate going into because I still will get this creepy feeling of foreboding doom since those were the stores I was most likely to obsess in. If you have any questions, or just want to talk, I'm here! God bless!
-GatsbyLuvr1920-
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Last edited by GatsbyLuvr1920; 02-18-2006 at 12:37 PM.

 
Old 02-20-2006, 04:45 PM   #5
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Re: Well, I guess maybe I could benefit from being here...

Hi Catherine,

First I want to welcome you to the boards. As I read your post, a lot of it sounded familiar to me and I wanted to try to lend some encouragment to you or at least try. In your post you mentioned that your first real experience with OCD thoughts were in 2001, approx a year after giving birth. The first thing I thought when I read that was that you were experiencing postpartum depression. See, a lot of people think that postpartum depression has to happen right before or after giving birth but that is simply not true. It can take up to 2 years to show symptoms but by then a lot of people fail to make the connection. you also mentioned that you have a 1 year old and have had OCD symptoms again. I speak through experience. I've had OCD for 15 years but it was manageable to me until 2003 when I gave birth to my daughter. I was fine for about 3 weeks and then my world came crashing to a halt. I knew OCD was playing a role but I was in No way prepared for the postpartum - OCD combo and if not for my husband and mom, I know I would not have survived. 6 weeks after giving birth I finally went to a Doc who prescribed Zoloft (50mg) It took a few weeks but the world slowly made sense to me again and I became the mom I always dreamed in my heart I could be. Fastforwarding to 2005, I gave birth to my son and this time I thought I was prepared, I spoke to my Doc and he knew my first experience with postpartum and I thought now, I had it under control. I stopped taking the Zoloft once I knew I was pregnant because I wasn't sure of the long term effects but I knew as soon as I gave birth I would have to go back on it. Well the Zoloft did not kick in fast enough and I have Never been closer to death in my life! I cried nonstop, the racing thoughts were unbearable and now I had an infant and a toddler to take care of and it was just too much for me. One morning I went to my mom who was staying with us, and I asked her if she would promise to take care of the kids for me because I just couldn't anymore and I was going to check myself into the hospital. She looked at me with all the honesty and love that a mother does and said "no". She told me that once I decided I could no longer take care of my children, that no one could promise what kind of life they would have without their mom. I sat there silent for a few moments and then thanked her for her bluntness. I decided that day, that I would take it one day at a time, allow the medicine to do its job and not give up THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in my life which is my family, my 2 angel children that I love most in this world. The good news is that I feel so much better now. The Zoloft took about 6 weeks to reach its full effectiveness and I enjoy every day with my 2 kids because I know how close I came to giving it all up.

I also wanted to add that what got me through those excruciating times were the books on OCD that I read over and over to remind myself that I was dealing with an actual disorder and that I was not a lunatic!. The one book I recommend you buy is "Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals" by Ian Osborn. It's like my OCD bible. I also read "Down Came The Rain" by Brooke Shields which helped me a lot too.

Catherine, having OCD and being a mom is the toughest thing I've ever faced in my life but I look at my family and they are worth every bit of the battle I have in my mind. The only silver lining I have found with having OCD is that it has forced me through tears, tears and more tears to find God and to know my true self. I know I am a good person with a disorder that tries to make me think otherwise. You just can't let OCD win. Think of all the good things in your life. Don't let OCD take that away.

oh! one more thing...my OCD gets worse around my monthly cycle too so I just make sure I mentally rehearse my coping self talk and remind myself it's the damn OCD, over and Over until the symptoms subside. It's a tough way to live but I get through it and I hope you will too.

If you ever need to talk, just post and I will reply as soon as I can. Take care, and God Bless.

and as a side note... Gatsby gives the best advice and information I have ever read on this or any other board so I recommend reading some of her other posts. They've helped me a lot.

All the best,

simplyj

 
Old 02-22-2006, 12:42 AM   #6
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Re: Well, I guess maybe I could benefit from being here...

I can identify with most of the postings.
I haven't technically been diagnosed with OCD, but am pretty sure that I have it.
Checking the doors constantly, worrying about everything, and afraid of my thoughts.
I would go to the doctor, but have not done so for OCD. I get very frustrated and anxious. When that happens I can not find the right words to say.
I was prescribed Paxil. I actually purchased the Paxil. Then I read the side effects and flushed them down the toliet. So going to the doctor's is not very helpful if I am not willing to follow their plan.
My best defense and plan of action to OCD is to confront it.
I know that my fears and anything that I consider embarrassing will come to haunt me eventually. It really doesn't matter what the fear is, it seems to be fear itself or anything offending to my values.
When an unwanted thought comes to mind, I yell out NO. Luckily it's only happening at home and not at work. I am very much trying not to feel bad for unwanted thoughts, because it will keep repeating if I do feel bad.
I am fighting this, I know that I am not alone. I think a lot of this may be from past traumatic history. However, if I am to overcome this issue, I must forgive myself, in order to forgive others. Then eventually as the pain subsides, the memories will be a far distance away, and the blame, anger will be hopefully forgotten.
I thought I was posessed, I thought I was psychic, and psycho. I personally have to understand, that God will understand. Maybe all I really wanted to know was the cause. I want to understand why people are hurting people. I want to know why people refuse to change their belief system, if their belief system is hurting them. I am truely like a child wanting to know why.

I feel that my OCD tendancies is related to all of this. I appreciate everyone for sharing their feelings. I am trying to find an answer to this.
It helps to talk, because as busy as most of us are, we don't really get a chance to communicate our thoughts. That is very lonely feeling that I get very frustrated about, as many people are feeling today.

Their is a positive side to OCD, I make a great researcher. My doors are always locked, and my children have been kissed on the cheek at least five times a night while I am checking the doors and oven and any thing that might be "labeled" as danger. The OCD apparently did not effect my house cleaning style. That is little sad, but honestly I am tired all the time and a clean house with children is messy again within a few hours. I am learning to delegate more and that is nice.

 
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