Hey all I have been here a lot, it has just been awhile. I am getting to where I cant take the pain, guilt and uncertainty of OCD. I work at a daycare and I HATE getting the kids their snacks or drinks or anything because I am petrified that I will somehow poison it. One peticular situation was I was pouring a drink for a little girl (it just so happens that this girl has cancer, so this freaks me out even more). I didnt want to touch her cup because at the time there was a flu going around, so I threw the first cup away then quickly realized that I would have to touch the cup in some way to pour her juice. So I gave it to her and I quickly told myself to stop being so ridiculous. I really wanted to just take the cup away from her and tell her to go outside for fear that I put something in the cup, I know I am delusional. I told myself to just go back to what I was doing and stop being so stupid. At this point I am worried that at some point I has put something bad in her cup. So to "double check" I went back into the room to see if there was anything "bad" (cleaning supplies, etc.) around. Well it was then that I noticed that there was a bleach bottle right next to the juice pitcher (totally should not have been there). So, now I am FREAKED that I put bleach in her juice. Totally ridiculous huh? Especially since I was totally freaked to even touch her cup for fear of giving her germs. My OCD combined with the guilt that I may have given her germs, and the fact that a bleach bottle was nearby makes me sooo worried that I did something. I know in my heart of hearts that I would not hurt a fly, but I cant shake this feeling. I replay that afternoon over and over in my head trying to "remember" doing something. This is so stupid, when I can remember clear as day that it wasnt until I went back that I noticed the bleach bottle. Why do I do this??? I want God to come down and tell me I did not do anything, for there is nowhere in my brain that I can find comfort.
This incident if you could call it that, was like a month ago. I was totally over it and realized it was my stupid OCD (after making sure I saw that girl everyday and she seemed healthy), so the obsession more or less went away. Then, today the girl had a rash and it all came whooshing back. All I could think was what if I did do something and this is a side effect and her cancer will come back (she is in remission) and it is all my fault??? I am sick right now. I know I would never do something like this but what if I did. Can anyone relate to what is going on in my brain or am I some psycho??? Please someone help!!!
I can TOTALLY understand what you are going through i am EXACTLY the same, always worrying i am going to 'contaminate' things, its terrible i hate it so much! Then you imagine that you did something that you know full well you didn't but you somehow convince yourself and the more you doubt yourself the worse it gets! You kind of really have to try to nip the anxiety/thoughts in the bud before they develop.
And I also totally understand what you say by you went checking for reassurance that it was all okay and then you see the bleach and its just like a horrible feeling of panic, you KNOW you didnt use it at all but just seeing it there makes you feel in some way like its a kind of 'message' that you did it, even though really its just a coincidence.
As the worry subsides though and you start to think a little bit more rationally as time goes by you realise that you had nothing to worry about so I try to remember that fact if im stressing about something I will try and think okay.... in the future I will look back on this and realise how irrational im being and that sometimes helps me to try and put things into perspective a bit.
But honestly try not to worry, I know what its like, but when the doubting starts to creep in again try your hardest to stop it and just remember that you did NOT put anything apart from juice in the cup, and you were being so careful with it anyways you wouldnt have even considered doing that, also the kid is obviously fine so try not to worry!
Oh my gosh that you soooo much for your response! I makes it SOO MUCH better when there is someone else who can relate!!! I just feel like the worst person in the world!!! What is funny is that before I even poured that juice I thought "Oh know I dont even want to pour her juice, I am alone in this room and I know what my OCD is going to do" I wanted to stop being a fool so I just helped her with the juice and now I am going through all of this. I have a few questions for you...
Could you share a story with me about when you had a similar thing happen? If you dont want to divulge I TOTALLY understand, as talking about it sometimes just brings it all out again.
Also, if and when you were in a similar situation and your mind goes back over it all again and again does it all seem fuzzy kind of? Like you remember but your mind is scrambling it all up?
Also, what if this child gets cancer again and dies??? I will totally think it was me!! How crazy, but that is my mind!!!
It's good that both of you can talk about your thoughts. That's a step in the direction of dealing with them. And it does sound like you are dealing with them. But I have to think that working in a daycare (I worked in one very briefly 20+ years ago) has got to be cruel and unusual punishment for someone with OCD. In my case it was more fear of me being contaminated and then bringing the germs to my kids. And let's face it, daycare centers are germ incubators. And accidents do happen when there are a lot of people too young to look out for themselves and not enough adults to do it for them.
Sorry I'm being so negative.
You guys are brave.
You know I think the same thing every single day, seriousperson. I feel like I should find different work, but I truly love children and love teaching them. Oh and then there is the small fact that I am going for my degree in Elementary Education. I am almost done, should I just throw that all away. During my strong days I tell myself that I am not going to let OCD run my life, I am in charge. However, then there are days like this...days where I just want to die. Days where I REALLY wish God or just SOMEONE could answer all the questions I have in my head so I can just STOP the thoughts!
Hang in there. You're definitely on the right track. In my forties I got my masters in Library and Information Science. I love my job (most of the time), and love working with the college students. They can be germy, but I've learned to use my OCD tendencies to keep me from getting sick without letting it stop me from working closely with the students. Although occasionally I even hold my breath. LOL
I read some books on OCD recently. Your attitude of not letting it ruin your life is at the heart of cognitive behavioral therapy. So, "keep on keepin' on."
Umm well its happened with different circumstances....
In the past I used to work in a hospital- imagine for someone with ocd- not the best job, and i would SCRUB EVERYTHING it took me ages to do anything cos i would be so so meticulous about everything!! I was worried about germs, chemical contamination... it was just awful!
At the moment I have this thing with driving where I am convinced that I have driven irrationally, and I know full well I havent and am the most conscientious driver ever I dont go over the speed limit, paying attention etc but I have this perfectionit idea when driving on the motorway that I need to stay in the perfect position in my line and cant get too close to the lines, especially not the outside line (next to the middle lane) And if im driving along and start thinking about something else im like did i do something stupid back then like swerve my car?? And i KNOW i didnt but i'll get home, park on the drveway and sit and analyse and try to remember how i drove and if i did anything and the MORE i try to remember the more my memory seems to go fuzzy and even a little distorted maybe but i cant leave it and go inside until im satisfied that it was okay.... such a pain!
These are just a couple of examples i could go on for ages lol
I also worry about every single symptom I feel and am convinced its something bad, and the more im worrying the more anxiety symptoms i get and then its just like a vicious circle!!
I have just bought some st johns wort which is mostly for mild depression i think but is also used for anxiety so im giving it a whirl but it can take up to 4 weeks to have noticable effects so fingers crossed!!
you are fine though, and like you said you hadnt even NOTICED the bleach before you went back into the room! So when you went searching for cleaning stuff you would have already known that was there! OCD really does make you doubt things to such an extent though and I know how frustrating it can be!!
I also know the feeling about wishing you could get reassurance from God, I have been like PLEASE just let me know somehow that everything's fine!!
Im determind not to let ocd/anxiety not mess with my life anymore, it is so hard, I am working and doing a masters degree at the same time and it affects them, as well as my social life cos sometimes i am just feeling too panicky/stressing to be able to enjoy going out and i decided 2007 is gonna be the year i fight back!
Oh the whole car thing? Done it! I have gotten a lot better, but I used to worry I hit someone or what not. When you said you would worry how you were driving if your thoughts went elsewhere, I SO relate to that. I would NEVER be able to work at a hospital with OCD so I give you total props! So, you really think I didnt do it and I am ok? Grr, I hate OCD with a passion. I just want to be normal, it there is such a thing!
Definitely Pure OCD. I have the same thing. I will look at a knife and then worry that I am going to stab someone and then flip out at the thought. I have had the poison fear as well. Then your brain starts throwing all of these "what if's" at you and you wig out. I know exactly how you feel. All I can say is the problem is mangeable. I use Mindfulness Meditation to help me through it. Others use cognitive behavioral therapy, and some others just learn to cope. Meds help. I take Xanax for the anxiety and it helps me to deal with the thought intrusions. Today I rarely get thought intrusions anymore. I still have some residual anxiety every once and awhile, but I can cope with it, so hang in there and try doing some research on the Meditation and/or CBT. I think it would really help you out. Also, don't quit your job. That will just reinforce that you couldn't handle the job and make your OCD worse. The best thing you can do is get up ad go to work every day and do battle with the OCD until it can't bother you anymore. Meditation and CBT will make this seem like a more real option, and you will start feeling better. Keep it up, because like most of us, we have the negative thoughts about the things we care the most about in life, so it is obvious that you love these children and probably belong there.
When I read the story about comtaminating the little girl's drink, I can definitely relate to that. I still look around after I pour my daughter's drink
to make sure that nothing bad i.e. chemicals, etc. could have been poured by accident into the cup. I also have a little bit of a difficult time taking/giving medication. I have to keep staring at the medication cup, reassuring myself that I have given my daughter the correct dosage. If I go over the line even a wee bit, I dump out the excess. When I am back on my acid reflux medication, I have to keep reading and re-reading the name/mg. on the pill. I have even gone so far as to take the pill out of my mouth and look at it again! LOL I also make my daughter spray her hair in the mornings WAY far away from my toothbrush - I'm always paranoid that something bad is going to get on it. I also move it WAY far out of the way when cleaning my bathroom countertop. Sigh.
Hey sorry i didnt reply for a while my modem just decided to cut out on me for a few days (im guessing cos of the bad weather we have been having around here) and so after days of buying new cables and trying to fix it, it just randomly started working again!! typical!
I was just coming by to see how you are getting on and if you are feeling better about things now
Like OCD egnineer said, I have been told that meditation is a very good excersize, it would probably work for me because if i get anxious then i get a lot of phyisical symptoms as well, tension headaches, stiff aching muscles, random 'pains', dizziness, light headedness etc the list could go on, I also tend to have a really bad habit of tightening my breathing and i feel like im not getting enough air and that makes me feel panicky, and then i also panic about the symptoms and pains i feel. Yesterday in work i was feeling dizzy and nauseus so i sat down, then i asked my boss if i could go and sit upstairs for a bit where it was cooler (the air conditioning in there is terrible and its so stuffy and yesterday seemed particularly warm and the big crowds of people bustling around you asking you nonstop questions doesnt help either!) so i went upstairs and i noticed my nose was bleeding a bit so that was me set off then- panicking thinking oh my goodness whats wrong do i have diabtetes, low blood sugar, high blood sugar, maybe i have an injury to my head... panicpanicpanic, then i calmed down and thought about it a bit more rationally and eventually felt better but that initial feeling of panic is just horrible!
Apparantly meditation and relaxation breathing can help you to stay calm and carry on breathing normally and therefore reduce the physical symptoms so i think i really need to get into the habit of doing some breathing excersizes daily, i think you only need to set asides about 5 minutes a day?
Also whenever I have spoken to people everyone says that excersize is fantastic for anxiety because it makes you feel better and more energetic, my only problem is with working, and uni, combined with anxiety that just tires me out i find it hard to put time aside to excersize but i do find it helps!
I am also trying to monitor what i eat and seeing if certain foods make me feel better or worse!
Another thing I have noticed lately is the number of people opening up to talking about their individual ocd's, anxieties, depression etc SO many people in work have said they have ocd's, to varying extents, mostly just mild, non bothering things, like things being straight, but some peoples are more moderate, id say mine is quite severe but mainly in a pure o kinda way, other people have been talking about how they have or have had anxiety and im surprised at how many people have said they have been on anti depressants in the past!! A few people also have been talking about their depression. I think in a way its really liberation to be able to open up and talk to people about it, it used to seem to be like embarrassing to talk about or you were scared people would think you are weird, i mean i dont tell most people everything in great detail but it still helps talking and not feeling like i am the only one who feels like this and wishing i could be 'normal', and in a way i feel like well i have this anxiety/ocd panic thing but there are people here talking about having had severe depression and in a way i am thankful i dont feel like that, but then other times i am like ARGH i hate feeling like this all the time why ME?? but i suppose that attitude doesnt help with anything, this year im really gonna try give ocd n anxiety a big kick up the ***!! lol
One last thing... i bought a book off amazon- its called the anxiety workbook, it was really quite cheap and its really good and covers all aspects of anxiety disorders like ocd, panic, phobias etc, and it describes different situations and feelings and thoughts, that i find i can relate to completely, and has all these excersizes and quizes and things, and also has info about excersize, nutrition, how to counteract anxiety provoking thoughts with positive counter statements and to assess the anxiety causing situation with a more rational approach, meditation, breathing excersizes, medications, etc it basically covers everything, you can just flip through to whichever sections are relevant, and i find it really helpful cos it kinda helps me 'distance' myself from my feelings and see that it is just an anxiety problem and there are lots of things i can do to help myself! Its definitely worth a look!
Sorry this has kinda turned into a big long essay!!