Sympathy with OCD
I posted this a while back entitled "overcomers of ocd?" and I didn't get any responses. So I thought I'd repost it below. A lot of this stuff is very recent research on the disorder too, so it'd be great if you could give your opinions and experiences with any of things I mentioned.
I've had OCD symptoms since August of 2009 until now, just about a full year, and I realize that some people say it starts when you're young, but that wasn't the case for me. It has occurred at the age of 27 for me. I was wondering if anyone had a success story where they overcame OCD with drugs, therapy, and perhaps any type of alternative non-drug treatments you may have tried? I'm guessing if you're on this forum, perhaps it's something you deal with as an ongoing struggle. Any success stories though? Which drug, therapy, decision you made in your everyday life, alternative treatment may have worked for you?
The therapist I went to agreed with me that this condition seemed to be biological in nature. I actually had gotten an MRI of my brain and some blood tests both of which the neurologist described to me as normal and not pathological. One OCD website I went to mentioned that the caudate nucleus in the lower half of the brain is overstimulated, perhaps causing OCD. However, after looking at the MRI pirctures (which were still, not animations) I could not get a sense of what area of the brain may have been stimulated more.
I get out and socialize every day, and the intrusive thoughts continually nag me and don't seem to ever go away. My only "compulsion" that I can describe is being restless with the intrusive thoughts and feeling like I need to get out immediately and be with people and can't even sit still in the morning and do something around the house etc.
I was thinking about getting started with alternative treatments like massage, accupuncture, and infrared light therapy because I do not like taking drugs, and have had bad experiences with SSRI's (Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro etc.) in the past. Drugs like aspirin has worked when I took it the one and only time to clear my head a litle bit and give some rest, and I was just prescribed Gabapentin which is actually an anti-seizure drug that works to help calm anxiety and calm nerves, similar to drugs that work on serotonin.
Lastly, I wondered if I could get any sympathy or understanding about the nature of the intrusive thoughts that others experience. My experience has been that it is somewhat "associative pschology". One OCD website described a technique that if a thought were to come as "fire", you might automatically make it "destruction", while they recommend you say something like "firefly". This is all very quick though, and that's why it's intrusive for me. I've found the intrusive thoughts are not something that I've been able to deal with by the pessimistic to optimistic thought changes characteristic of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. It seems more biological in nature to me. And I would describe the thoughts as irrational, and better when I'm in groups or in social circumstances. But sometimes it comes back at night again and acts up when I can't do anything about it.
Any experiences about a positive prognosis for OCD, and what decisions you made, or what therapies, or drugs that worked for you would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.