Junior Member (female)
Join Date: Jul 2010
ROCD advice, please help
I'm new to this forum, but not the boards - I was originally diagnosed with GAD, but it has become increasingly apparent that the problem is OCD, so this is my first time on this board.
I've always been a terrible worrier. When I was little I went through phases of strange thoughts, some of which went on for a very long time (I refused to go upstairs by myself until I was about 12). From about the age of 11 onwards I suffered from anorexia and bulimia at different stages, which remained undiagnosed until I was about 20. I received a course of CBT (which then became Acceptance Commitment Therapy) and was on Fluoxetine for about two years, before coming off it about 6 months ago. The eating disorder was just beginning to get under control when the anxiety attacks started.
During my ED treatment I met my boyfriend - we have been together for 3 years, and even with the ED I have been the happiest I have ever felt. He is amazing, and everything anyone could ever want - funny, smart, gorgeous, caring, kind, passionate, intelligent, mature...the perfect guy. During the 3 years I have never felt anything but love for him, and we have never once argued.
About a month ago (when the ED treatment was being tailed off) I started having doubts, out of the blue - just one day I thought 'I don't love him anymore', and from then on I was taking panic attacks daily, even waking up with them in the morning.
I was put in contact with a clinical psychologist not long after that (my parents thought they were going to have to section me because the attacks were so constant and so severe to the point where I couldn't feed or clothe myself and couldn't be left alone, even when sleeping) who believes that all my history and my character link to OCD, and it is just manifesting itself in different ways. I have chosen to decline medication this time around, because my doctor's opinion is that I will always have OCD, and I don't want to be on medication for the rest of my life. The psychologist is doing a variety of things with me, including relaxation and ERP, and he is also trained in hypnosis.
Since seeing the psychologist, I have made a lot of progress, and can now do things again, even though I take little enjoyment in anything anymore and forget things a lot. With the psychologist's encouragement I stayed with my boyfriend 24/7 for a week while both our parents were on holidays, and the week after we went on holiday ourselves, so in total I have spent two weeks exclusively with my boyfriend. This has been difficult but interesting, because when I started staying with my boyfriend the thoughts kept changing, e.g. one day I would be scrutinising his personality and the next I would have convinced myself I was attracted to his next door neighbour. I kept up my ERP and tried some of the relaxation things, and on the whole I was quite happy.
The same kind of thing happened on holiday, except I didn't get the chance to do the ERP because we were kept so busy. Upon returning home though, I took a really bad turn, and started believing that I should break up with him - for the first since staying with him I was crying, shaking, tense - full blown anxiety attack, and it was extremely difficult to shake off the thought. The episode completely exhausted me.
This morning I came back to my family home (where I stay normally) and on the journey back I was actually feeling half positive - I could at least recognise that the anxiety wasn't being caused by my relationship, and could imagine and feel happy about our future together, though I still felt anxious and nervous about SOMETHING. Throughout the day however, the anxiety has been getting worse, and my thoughts keep changing and I keep crying - like one second I feel that all I want to do is cuddle my boyfriend again, then the next I feel like killing myself, then I think that I should be breaking up with him. The breaking up thought has stuck though, and it seems so real I thought I was actually going to go through with it. Since talking to my boyfriend I feel a bit better, but still not right, and I'm beginning to wonder if I'm making excuses for myself? Like I can think of many reasons why I would feel bad today (I don't get on particularly well with my family, coming back from holiday, not spending more time with my boyfriend, etc.) but I have this thought stuck in my head and it isn't going away - how do I know that it isn't real?!
Please help - I am beginning to feel very depressed and anxious, and very, very confused.